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Crimson Dawn of Disciples

Awesome Sky at Sunset in Costa Rica
Photo by Kryssia Campos / Getty Images

Nov. 14, 2021, marks 40 years since the completion of the “Song of Crimson.” After the first priesthood issue,[1] the young men’s division members of Shikoku created the song together with Ikeda Sensei as an expression of their determination to secure the future of kosen-rufu together with their mentor. Let’s revisit the spirit behind “Song of Crimson” as we celebrate 30 years of spiritual independence this month.

“A bright red sun rises, breaking through the clouds. Moment by moment, the sky turns crimson and a brand new day arrives. ‘Crimson’ describes the sun of time without beginning glowing in our hearts, the passionate fighting spirit to create a new age, and the radiance of youthful vitality!”[2]

“Song of Crimson” was born of the Shikoku young men’s division’s desire to respond to their mentor, Ikeda Sensei. He was barred from encouraging members publicly after stepping down as Soka Gakkai president on April 24, 1979. Nichiren Shoshu priests sought to divide the members from their mentor and wrest control of the organization, but the members in Shikoku and throughout Japan braved through.

They were finally able to welcome Sensei to Shikoku on Nov. 12, 1981. The night before, a group of young men’s leaders gathered and decided to compose a song that conveyed their determination, working late into the night.

After several revisions, the young men presented the song to Sensei the next day and requested he help improve it. Agreeing, Sensei began making suggestions for the lyrics and melody:

How the song begins is very important. The first line is crucial. We need something that evokes a vivid, colorful image, such as that of the full moon rising, or the sun’s first rays bursting forth.

I think for this song, the color should be crimson. How about starting with “Ah, the crimson … ”

Then we can make the song’s title “Song of Crimson.” As for the music, it should be upbeat and energetic, fresh and original, building as the song proceeds.[3]

In what became a series of revision sessions, Sensei worked meticulously with the young men to foster their awareness as successors.

They requested that, instead of representing only Shikoku, their project be presented as the young men’s division song nationwide. Sensei responded, “If that’s the case … let’s make it even better—the absolute best.”[4]

After more than 20 revision sessions, Sensei completed “Song of Crimson” together with his young disciples on the evening of Nov. 14. He later told his wife that everything he wishes to say to youth is included in this song and that he wants the young men’s division to “advance into the 21st century singing ‘Song of Crimson.’”[5]

—Prepared by the World Tribune staff

Song of Crimson

These lyrics were adapted for the English version of the song. For the literal translation of the original Japanese, see The New Human Revolution, vol. 30, p. 491.

Crimson torches light the sky
The dawn breaks in the east
One alone upon the blazing earth
Raises the flag of peace
Now marching forth to the call
Come the pure and the true
We rise from deep within the
To deepen the rainbow’s blue.

On golden wings we fly
Man’s dark night to cease
The crimson sun reveals the sky
The crimson dawn of peace

Drums of peace awake the earth
The bells ring in the day
Golden youth upon the
mentor’s road
Opening up the way
To the peak, to the horizon
Our bright song to share
We rise undaunted by the storms
With mankind’s deepest prayer

On golden wings we fly Man’s dark night to cease
The crimson sun reveals the sky
The crimson dawn of peace

Brilliant days are now begun
For all life we vow
To grow in faith and reach the
Kosen-rufu now!
We’ll protect now and forever
Our castle of peace
Our joyful faith ignites the sun
The crimson dawn of peace

On golden wings we fly
Man’s dark night to cease
The crimson sun reveals the sky
The crimson dawn of peace

Click here to listen to “Song of Crimson”


  1. The first priesthood issue: Nichiren Shoshu priests conspired with a corrupt Soka Gakkai lawyer to attack Ikeda Sensei and the Soka Gakkai’s members, seeking to gain control over the organization’s assets. On April 24, 1979, Sensei stepped down as Soka Gakkai president to protect the members from further persecution. ↩︎
  2. The New Human Revolution, vol. 30, p. 488. ↩︎
  3. Ibid., p. 482. ↩︎
  4. Ibid., p. 487. ↩︎
  5. Ibid., pp. 491-92. ↩︎

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