Feature

2021 Year In Review: Part 1

Anatolii Kovalov / Getty Images


Jan. 1 World Tribune: Elevate the Life State of All Humankind

In his New Year’s message, Ikeda Sensei stresses the importance of 2021, which marks the start of the crucial decade toward the Soka Gakkai’s centennial in 2030, in which the SGI will firmly establish and perpetuate the flow of kosen-rufu into the eternal future. Sensei calls on the members to “infinitely expand our Soka movement of hope and victory dedicated to realizing the Daishonin’s ideal of establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land and the entire world.”

Jan. 8 World Tribune: With the Courage of a Lion King

In September, the Central Executive Committee holds extensive discussions on the organization’s vision toward 2030, which includes an expanded general membership, future division and SGI-USA publications readership; a vision, in short, of the life-affirming philosophy and practice of Soka entering the mainstream of American culture.

Jan. 15 World Tribune: Sensei’s New Year’s Poems

Sensei composes three poems to celebrate the start of 2021, stating in one: “The time is now. / I entrust everything to you, / my beloved disciples! / Triumph over all to build / a castle of youth, a castle of hope!”

Jan. 15 World Tribune: Montgomery Honors Daisaku Ikeda

Montgomery, AL Proclamation

On New Year’s Day, the city of Montgomery, Alabama, salutes Daisaku Ikeda’s 93rd birthday (Jan. 2 in Japan) declaring him an honorary citizen of the state’s capital. The city is where the first large-scale nationwide protest against segregation took place, sparked by Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus. The proclamation notes Mr. Ikeda’s deep friendship with Mrs. Parks based on their shared global vision of “hope, freedom and democracy with justice and equality for all.”

Feb. 5 World Tribune: Advancing Cheerfully on Our Shared Journey of Hope and Victory

The morning sun illuminates the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu, Tokyo, Jan. 2, 2021.
Dawn—The morning sun illuminates the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu, Tokyo, Jan. 2, 2021. Photo by Seikyo Press

Sensei opens his message to the First Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting Toward Our Centennial held on Jan. 7, emphasizing that the youth are a boundless source of hope and can inspire many others when they “respond to even the most daunting challenges with positivity and resilience, and grow in the process.”

Recalling his own determination in 1961 on his first New Year’s Day after becoming Soka Gakkai President to “create a hundred years’ worth of history in one year,” Sensei calls on the members to work to resolve the challenges facing society in this important decade.

Feb. 5 World Tribune: Introducing the HOPE Campaign

The SGI-USA presents a new united action plan for 2021—the HOPE Campaign:

H: Hope-filled daimoku
Chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as our foundation for victory

O: Open Ikeda Sensei’s guidance and Nichiren Daishonin’s writings
Study Sensei’s encouragement and Nichiren’s writings, and put them into action

P: Plant seeds of Buddhahood
Help those around us form a connection to the life-empowering philosophy and practice of Nichiren Buddhism

E: Encourage others
Use our voices to connect life-to-life with members and guests, and uplift their spirits

Feb. 5 World Tribune: The 28 Day Buddhability Journey

Buddhability introduces the 28 Day Buddhability Journey in February for guests. The challenge includes chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo every day and engaging in one unique daily challenge—like sending a positive text to a friend or creating a personal goal for the month.

Feb. 5 World Tribune: Value Creation in a Time of Crisis

In his 39th annual peace proposal, “Value Creation in a Time of Crisis,” released on Jan. 26, SGI Day, Daisaku Ikeda calls for increased global cooperation on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Feb. 12 World Tribune: A Magnificent Palace of Happiness Exists Within

Close-Up Of White Flowering Plant Photo Taken In Italy, San Donato In Fronzano

SGI Honorary Women’s Leader Kaneko Ikeda commemorates Women’s Month with a hope-filled message. “The palace of happiness does not exist somewhere outside us,” she writes in part. “Our life itself is an embodiment of the Mystic Law, and … a magnificent palace of happiness exists within our own hearts.”

Feb. 19 World Tribune: First SGI Online Study Lecture

The SGI releases its first Online Study Lecture, a 40-minute presentation by SGI Study Leader Masaaki Morinaka, to provide a learning opportunity and source of encouragement to members around the world.

March 5 World Tribune: ‘The Great Joy of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth’

The calligraphic work by Sensei “The Great Joy of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth” is unveiled on Jan. 31. Of this work, Sensei writes, “Through chanting [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo], we come to realize that we are by no means powerless, weak or insignificant but rather that our life is incredibly noble and respect-worthy, capable of harnessing the unsurpassed power of the Buddha that is one with the universe.”

March 12 World Tribune: An Unforgettable February

Women from all over the nation gathered together online with their guests in celebration of SGI-USA Women’s Day.
Women from all over the nation gathered together online with their guests in celebration of SGI-USA Women’s Day.

From Feb. 25 to 28, the women and young women of the SGI-USA celebrate Women’s Month with virtual introduction-to-Buddhism meetings across the country.

March 19 World Tribune: The Soka Tradition is to Never Be Defeated

Guests who were introduced to the SGI-USA in the past year and the members (in the background) supporting them. Photos by Joseph Giordano, Skylar Soriano, William Stanford, Mauricio Zatarain.
Guests who were introduced to the SGI-USA in the past year and the members (in the background) supporting them. Photos by Joseph Giordano, Skylar Soriano, William Stanford, Mauricio Zatarain.

In its first quarterly conference of the year, held virtually on March 6, the SGI-USA Central Executive Committee affirms the SGI-USA’s focus for 2021 on sharing Buddhism as a part of daily practice and fostering youth toward the Soka Gakkai’s centennial in 2030.

April 9 World Tribune: The Emergence of 10,000 Youthful Bodhisattvas

Commemorating March 16, 1958, when second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda passed the baton of kosen-rufu to his youthful successors, 24 locations nationwide host virtual youth general meetings with the theme—“Victory: What Is It Really, and How Do I Achieve It?”—gathering over 10,000 youth members and guests.