Skip to main content

The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 24: Chapter One—Ode to Mothers

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

At the end of August 1976, Shin’ichi Yamamoto’s dialogue with the French writer André Malraux (1901–76) titled Ningen kakumei to ningen no joken (Changes Within: The Human Revolution and the Human Condition) was published in Japanese.

And from mid-August through early October 1976, the Soka Gakkai’s prefectural and local culture festivals were held as celebrations of humanity accompanied by the “Song of Human Revolution.” They were lively gatherings of individuals joyfully engaging in their human revolution.

On September 5, Shin’ichi attended the Tokyo Culture Festival where participants performed the song “Mother,” which was based on his poem. Each verse of the song deeply penetrated Shin’ichi’s heart, inspiring him to offer a prayer of gratitude to the noble mothers of the world. He chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo silently, thinking of his own mother, Sachi, who was resting in her sickbed.

He also encouraged the young men’s division members who dramatically formed a five-story human tower after failing on their first attempt.

After the culture festival, he hurried to be with his mother, whose condition had taken a turn for the worse. Feeling at ease upon seeing her son, his mother smiled and closed her eyes to rest. Shin’ichi reflected on memories of his mother who was always cheerful and patient. The next morning, she took her last breath and passed away peacefully.

On September 15, at the Tokai Training Center in Shizuoka Prefecture, Shin’ichi attended a ceremony unveiling a bronze bust of founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi.

On October 25, having traveled to Hokkaido, he participated in a ceremony marking the start of construction of the Toda Memorial Park Cemetery in Mr. Toda’s hometown of Atsuta Village. To keep the flame of the oneness of mentor and disciple burning forever, while visiting Ishikawa Prefecture, he suggested establishing a Toda Memorial Room, and on his visit to Toyama Prefecture, he proposed creating a Makiguchi Memorial Room.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Appreciating One’s Parents Is a Vital Part of One’s Humanity

In September 1976, Shin’ichi Yamamoto’s mother, Sachi, passed away peacefully. He recalled many memories of his mother, including the following.

A mother raises her children with boundless love. Young children can be quite demanding and dependent. But once her children have grown up, it’s time for them to repay their debt of gratitude by showing care for their mother. To lose one’s sense of gratitude is to lose the most important part of one’s humanity.

When Shin’ichi’s mother, Sachi, came to the Soka Gakkai Headquarters, she often wore a black haori (a traditional Japanese formal half-length coat) that she had sewn herself. Regarding the headquarters as the main bastion of kosen-rufu and a solemn place engraved with the spirit of the organization’s successive presidents, she felt it was only natural to dress formally when she made a visit there. It never even crossed her mind to expect special treatment or take advantage of the fact that her own son was president of the organization.

In April 1975, the year before she died, Shin’ichi had a chance to see his mother for the first time in a long time. … With all the events scheduled, however, they only had a few minutes to talk.

Shin’ichi gave his mother, who loved flowers, a floral garland and some cherry branches in bloom. He put the garland around her neck, and she thanked him repeatedly, smiling at the sight of the cherry blossoms that were given to her.

When they had to part, Shin’ichi wanted to further express his gratitude in some way and offered to carry his mother up the steep path before them. He bent down to allow her to climb on his back, but she said in embarrassment: “I’m fine, I’m fine. I can’t let you do that.”

“No, Mother, I want to,” he insisted, and she relented, thanked him and allowed him to carry her.

His mother had always been small, but now that she was elderly, she was even smaller and lighter.

Shin’ichi pretended to be groaning under his mother’s weight and teased her, “Ah, you’re so heavy!” making her laugh with carefree delight.

He never forgot that feeling of her warmth when he carried her on his back that day. (The New Human Revolution, vol. 24, pp. 39–41)

Key Passage

There is no distinction between friend and foe in the heart of a compassionate mother who loves her children. This is the starting point for love of humanity and peace. (NHR-24, 34–35)

Commentary on Volume 24

Volume 24: Chapter Two—Vigilant Safeguarding