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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 22: Chapter Four—The Treasure of Life

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Life is the most precious treasure in the world. On September 15, Shin’ichi Yamamoto attended for the first time a doctor’s division general meeting. This day later came to be called Doctors Division Day.

Arriving in Hiroshima on the evening of November 7, he toured the newly completed Hiroshima Culture Center and attended its official opening ceremony that night. The next afternoon, he visited the memorial cenotaph for the victims of the atomic bombing, where he laid a wreath and offered prayers.

On November 9, Shin’ichi attended a Soka Gakkai headquarters general meeting. He declared his commitment to exert his utmost for the complete eradication of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth. He proposed practical steps toward this goal, like convening an international peace conference in Hiroshima. He also spoke on the social role and responsibility of the Soka Gakkai, bringing his eighty-minute address to a close.

After attending a guest reception that followed the general meeting, Shin’ichi joined the inauguration ceremony of a new class of the Hiroshima Future Group, to which he invited the Wakatake (Young Bamboo) Boys and Girls Chorus to perform.

On November 10, attending a welcome festival for overseas representatives and a memorial service in honor of victims of the atomic bombing, Shin’ichi headed to the Hiroshima Community Center. There, he had a conversation with the owner of the home in front of the center.

The next day, Shin’ichi changed his schedule to make his first visit to the Kure Community Center, where he did gongyo with members who had hastily assembled there. As he made his way back to the Hiroshima Culture Center, he encouraged members he encountered.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Encouragement Is the Lifeline of the Soka Gakkai

In November 1975, Shin’ichi Yamamoto visited Hiroshima. While there, he made an unexpected visit to Kure and held a gongyo meeting. His encouragement to the members continued as he made his way back to Hiroshima City.

On the way, he encountered about ten people who were standing alongside the road in front of a flower shop. They appeared to be looking out for someone. There were women, men and several female junior and senior high school students.

Shin’ichi said to the driver: “They must be our members. Can you please stop the car for a moment?”

The group hadn’t been able to make it to the Kure Community Center in time for the chanting sessions, and were waiting along the road, hoping to at least wave to Shin’ichi as he passed by.

Suddenly, to their surprise, a black car stopped in front of them. The window opened to reveal Shin’ichi’s smiling face. They shouted with joy. One of the junior high school students offered Shin’ichi the bouquet of lilies she was holding. They had brought them for Shin’ichi.

Accepting the flowers, Shin’ichi said: “Thank you! I won’t forget your sincerity. Let’s meet again!”

A short while later, the members were presented with a gift of sweets from Shin’ichi.

After driving a little while farther, Shin’ichi’s car came upon a group of women waiting at a bus stop. To a common observer, they just looked like ordinary women waiting for a bus. However, Shin’ichi relayed instructions by wireless radio to the leaders in the car behind him: “There are five members at that bus stop. Please present them with sets of prayer beads and decorative silk cloths to wrap them in.”

When the leaders got there with the gifts, they found five women waiting for a bus, just as Shin’ichi had said, and they were all Soka Gakkai members. The leaders were astonished.

All Soka Gakkai members are precious children of the Buddha. They’re all Bodhisattvas of the Earth. The noble effort of kosen-rufu is achieved by praising, protecting and encouraging them. That’s why Shin’ichi dedicated himself wholeheartedly to illuminating them with the light of encouragement, never overlooking a single precious member. And that’s why he immediately knew that these women were Soka Gakkai members.

Encouragement is the lifeline of the Soka Gakkai. Shin’ichi was determined to do all he could to transmit this spirit of protecting the members to all leaders. (The New Human Revolution, vol. 22, pp. 368–70)

The chapter summaries were originally published in the August 5, 2020, Seikyo Shimbun, while the “Unforgettable Scenes” were originally published in the August 12, 2020, issue.

Key Passage

The social role and responsibility of the Soka Gakkai is to engage in a spiritual struggle, deriving from the innermost depths of our beings, against such external forces as violence and political and economic oppression that diminish the dignity and value of human life.” (NHR-22, 332)

Volume 22: Chapter Three—High Seas

Excerpts From Nichiren’s Writings in Volume 22