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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 22: Chapter Three—High Seas

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Returning from Hawaii, Shin’ichi Yamamoto led the summer training course at Soka University, encouraging various groups. On August 3, he met the Gonen-kai (Five Year Group), former future division members who had met every five years since attending the January 1966 Japan National Future Division Meeting.

On August 4, he offered heartfelt guidance to the members of the senior high school division, while he gave members of the junior high school division and the boys and girls division a hearty send-off on August 5 and 6, respectively.

During the Tokyo young men’s division training course, Shin’ichi took a commemorative photograph with the Hato-kai (High Seas Group), a group of merchant marine sailors. Many capable individuals emerged from this group, including a ship captain who had been recognized with the Prime Minister’s Award for helping to rescue the entire crew of a cargo vessel that had shipwrecked in a raging storm.

Moreover, out of their desire to invigorate the maritime shipping industry, which was suffering from the economic downturn, the High Seas Group held an exhibition of photos by its members that was well received in Japan and abroad.

On September 9, Shin’ichi attended the young women’s student bureau leaders meeting where he proposed an “Eight-thirty Movement,” in which evening meetings would end by half past eight.

Then on September 28, he attended the inaugural meeting of the Seishunkai (Spring of Youth Group), a training group for women who could lead a new era. Similar groups were formed in various regions throughout Japan. Shin’ichi encouraged these young women with his entire being, seeking to entrust them with the 21st century. In time, these women would become central figures within the Soka Gakkai as well as in society.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

An Organization Built on Bonds of Trust

In September 1975, at a ceremony establishing the Seishun-kai (Spring of Youth Group), a young women’s training group, Shin’ichi Yamamoto gave his all in answering questions and offering guidance, determined to entrust the future to these young women.

The young women continued to ask questions on how to help the organization grow and other topics, all of which were imbued with a single-minded focus on kosen-rufu. Shin’ichi sensed hope and strength for the future. …

After replying to all of the other young women’s questions and speaking about how to advance their movement in organizational terms, Shin’ichi said with all his heart: “An organization is a network of human relationships. We need to create bonds with individual members within our organization. If the relationships are only between leaders and members, our organization will be weak. When we really care about everyone we come into contact with as fellow siblings, our organization will be truly humane.

“The way to make our organization strong is to strive to forge ties of trust linking ourselves to everyone else. Become the kind of person whom everyone appreciates for helping them overcome their problems, for encouraging them and giving them hope. That’s what I’ve always done. I’m consistently striving my hardest to establish strong ties with every Soka Gakkai member. I encourage hundreds and thousands of members every day, in one form or another. These ties are what make the Soka Gakkai strong.

“If this solidarity of individuals is lost, we’ll end up working at cross purposes and the Soka Gakkai will perish. Please never forget this crucial point.”

The young women all looked intently at Shin’ichi, their eyes shining.

Shin’ichi smiled. “All right, let’s take a photograph together. This will be a precious proof of our vow.”

Shin’ichi had the members line up in front as he stood behind them. The shutter clicked and the flash went off. When the photograph was taken, Shin’ichi looked at all the young women and said: “If everyone else disappears, it’ll be fine as long as you remain. I’ll increase the membership up to ten million again. Let’s do it together. No matter what happens, never stop practicing this Buddhism.” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 22, pp. 272–74)

Key Passage

Finding capable individuals requires polishing one’s ability to identify others’ strengths. Toward that end, one needs to have the humility to overcome one’s own arrogance and be prepared to learn from others—which is nothing other than the struggle to carry out one’s own human revolution. (NHR-22, 259)

Volume 22: Chapter Two—Currents

Volume 22: Chapter Four—The Treasure of Life