Skip to main content

Ikeda Sensei

Embodying Unity in Diversity Based on the ‘Great Wisdom of Equality’

2nd Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting

A golden full moon viewed from the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu in Tokyo on Feb. 27, a day observed as SGI Women’s Day in such countries as the U.S., Brazil and New Zealand. Feb. 27 is also SGI Honorary Women’s Leader Kaneko Ikeda’s birthday.
A golden full moon viewed from the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu in Tokyo on Feb. 27, a day observed as SGI Women’s Day in such countries as the U.S., Brazil and New Zealand. Feb. 27 is also SGI Honorary Women’s Leader Kaneko Ikeda’s birthday. Photo by Seikyo Press

Ikeda Sensei sent the following message to the Second Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting Toward Our Centennial and the 55th Anniversary Nationwide Men’s Division Leaders Meeting,[1] held conjointly on Feb. 28, 2021, in the Three Founding Presidents Conference Room of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu in Tokyo. This was translated from the March 1, 2021, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, the Seikyo Shimbun.

As if celebrating the 800th anniversary[2] of the birth of Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, an exceptionally beautiful golden full moon smiled brightly in the sky last night, Feb. 27. This date is also observed as Women’s Day by our members in countries such as the United States, Brazil and New Zealand, as well as in various regions of Japan, including Hokuriku and Okinawa.

The Daishonin writes, “For those who have profound faith, it is as though a full moon were illuminating the night” (“The Essence of the ‘Medicine King’ Chapter,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 94).

With their deep prayers, our women’s and young women’s division members everywhere are warmly supporting today’s Men’s Division Leaders Meeting being held in tandem with this uplifting headquarters leaders meeting. Congratulations!

Nichiren notes that the Bodhisattvas of the Earth are bodhisattvas “who had thoroughly forged their resolve” (“General Stone Tiger,” WND-1, 953). This is because, without firm resolve, they would not be able to spread the Mystic Law in the evil and corrupt age of the Latter Day of the Law.

It will soon be the 10th anniversary of the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami [that struck on March 11, 2011]. The members of our invincible Tohoku Soka family have risen with heroic fortitude and resilience from this catastrophic, once-in-a-millennium natural disaster. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to change poison into medicine, they have worked tirelessly to rebuild and remake their beloved communities.

The Daishonin is surely praising each of these incredibly noble members as a true Bodhisattva of the Earth who, in enduring the unendurable, has forged even stronger resolve. Long live the proud “victorious people of Tohoku”![3]

I am reminded of the time a group of youth and I climbed up to the ruins of Aoba Castle[4] in Sendai [the capital of Miyagi Prefecture in the Tohoku region] with our mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda [on April 25, 1954]. Looking down over the famed City of Trees below through the morning mist, Mr. Toda voiced his profound and powerful hopes for the people of Tohoku, who had faced and overcome so many natural disasters throughout the centuries.

That is why we the youth vowed with him to accomplish the goal of establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land through widely spreading the Mystic Law, which the Daishonin had advocated with a great lion’s roar. That unforgettable “Aoba Pledge” we made that day was a pledge for kosen-rufu, a pledge for establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land.

The key to fulfilling that pledge, Mr. Toda told us, is for the Soka Gakkai to build a strong castle of capable people.

Everything hinges on capable people.

Nichiren writes, “One whose presence pervades the realms of heaven, earth, and humanity and who does not waver in the slightest is called [a king]” (see “White Horses and White Swans,” WND-1, 1063).

True kings, true champions of humanity, are those who remain unshaken, calm and resolute, who take responsibility for working for the happiness and security of the people, and the peace and prosperity of society. These are the defining qualities of capable individuals of principle and integrity that the world is waiting for.

A king, a champion of humanity, is synonymous with the term “golden pillar” that we use to describe our men’s division members. When such “golden pillars” of our noble movement emerge and stand proudly with the heart of a lion king, one after another, then just as the Daishonin teaches in his treatise “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” they will transform where they are into an everlasting Buddha land, into a shining, indestructible treasure realm (see WND-1, 25).[5]

A pillar stands firmly and fulfills its mission, whether others are aware of it or not. Let us of the men’s division continue to support in every way we can our fellow members, whose lives are precious treasure towers, and staunchly protect the great castle of kosen-rufu. Striving to be leaders who respond to the sincere hopes of the people and earn their respect and trust, let’s together achieve great victories in life and kosen-rufu as a legacy for our young successors.

Our Soka castle of capable people is bound together by the ties of mutual respect, perfectly reflecting Nichiren’s words “You should respect one another [as Buddhas do]” (“The Fourteen Slanders,” WND-1, 757). It is also defined by unparalleled unity in diversity based on the “great wisdom of equality” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, pp. 209–10). It is a realm where individuals freely reveal their unique capacities in accord with the principle of “cherry, plum, peach, and damson blossoms” (see The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 200) while striving together in common purpose “with the spirit of many in body but one in mind, transcending all differences among themselves to become as inseparable as fish and the water in which they swim” (“The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life,” WND-1, 217).

That’s what makes our movement a model of spiritual solidarity that the world, today filled with growing division and isolation, is earnestly seeking.

Sixty-five years ago, during our landmark Osaka Campaign [in 1956], Mr. Toda and I spoke of our hopes for the future, sharing our vision of bringing peace to the land and to the world based on the life-affirming principles of Nichiren Buddhism.

Mr. Toda declared that the Soka Gakkai—which he called “the king of the religious world”—would send truly capable individuals into every area of society and become a pillar of peace, culture and education for the global family of humankind. It would serve as a vast source of inspiration, enriching society as a whole and opening new horizons for the future of humanity. He also predicted that this would become a reality in the culminating stages of my endeavors, and we are seeing precisely that happening right now!


  1. The men’s division was formed on March 5, 1966, and this year celebrates its 55th anniversary. ↩︎
  2. Nichiren Daishonin was born on Feb. 16, 1222. According to Japanese tradition, a person is counted as 1 year old on the day of their birth. ↩︎
  3. A phrase from the Tohoku Soka Gakkai song “The Aoba Pledge.” ↩︎
  4. Aoba Castle: Also known as Sendai Castle. Built by warlord Date Masamune (1567–1636). ↩︎
  5. Nichiren writes: “If you do so [take faith in the Mystic Law], then the threefold world will become the Buddha land, and how could a Buddha land ever decline? The regions in the ten directions will all become treasure realms, and how could a treasure realm ever suffer harm?” (“On Establishing the Correct Teaching,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 25). ↩︎

Soka Champions of Encouragement

Together Creating Inspiring Stories for Future Generations (The Ikegami Brothers Part 2)