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July 3: The Day of Mentor and Disciple

Photo by Seikyo Press.

“The bond of mentor and disciple transcends the bounds of this existence. As long as my mentor is in my heart, I know I will never be defeated.”[1]

—Ikeda Sensei

July 3, 1945—second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda was released from prison, where he had been detained for refusing to submit to the wartime Japanese militarist authorities. His mentor, first Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, had died in prison the previous year, on November 18, 1944, a martyr to his beliefs.

President Toda stood up alone to rebuild the Soka Gakkai and realize kosen-rufu amid the charred ruins of war-torn Japan. And on that same day 12 years later, in 1957, the authorities arrested and imprisoned the young Daisaku Ikeda on false election fraud charges in an attempt to oppress the Soka Gakkai’s flourishing people’s movement. In 1962, he was fully exonerated in what came to be known as the Osaka Incident. Thus, began the Soka Gakkai’s fierce battle against the devilish nature of authority.

Today, SGI members celebrate July 3 as the Day of Mentor and Disciple, which Ikeda Sensei describes as “a day when genuine disciples resolutely stand up alone for justice. It is the day for disciples to dedicate themselves anew to the struggle for truth, the day when they take one more step forward on the path triumphantly opened by their mentor.”[2]


  1. October 15, 2010, World Tribune, p. 11.
  2. Ibid.

Pursue the Great Path of Mentor and Disciple, Regarding Hardships as a Badge of Honor

Commentary on Volume 27