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The New Human Revolution

Launching Out—Volume 30, Chapter 3

Ikeda Sensei’s ongoing novel, The New Human Revolution, which he began writing in 1993, is the history of the progress of the Soka Gakkai following his inauguration in 1960 as its third president, and a record of the modern development of the Soka Gakkai and the SGI. It also serves as practical guidance for how to further expand our movement for kosen-rufu. “Launching Out” is the third chapter of volume 30, the final volume of The New Human Revolution. Ikeda Sensei appears in the novel as Shin’ichi Yamamoto.

Installment 10 | Installment 20 | Installment 30 | Installment 40 | Installment 50 | Installment 60

Installment 1

Beijing was bathed in bright sunshine. The tranquil rural landscape surrounding the airport spoke of springtime in the capital.

At 2:30 p.m. on April 21, 1980, Shin’ichi Yamamoto and the rest of the Fifth Soka Gakkai Delegation to China arrived at Beijing airport.

This was Shin’ichi’s first overseas trip since stepping down as Soka Gakkai president. He was determined to solidify the golden bridge of friendship between China and Japan that had been built through grassroots exchange and to continue expanding the great path of lasting peace toward the 21st century.

China-Japan Friendship Association Vice President Sun Pinghua, who met the delegation at the airport, remarked to Shin’ichi: “For the last two or three days, Beijing has been covered in clouds of yellow dust. You couldn’t see an inch in front of you. The winds finally stopped yesterday evening. Today, the weather is springlike and the skies are blue. Nature is celebrating your arrival.”

The formal invitation from the China-Japan Friendship Association had expressed the hope of welcoming the Soka Gakkai delegation “in the warmth of spring when the flowers are in bloom,” and the weather on this day perfectly matched that description.

For a moment, Shin’ichi thought of the situation affecting the Soka Gakkai in Japan. The extreme and unrelenting attacks by the young priests of Nichiren Shoshu, he mused, were like swirling clouds of yellow dust, but they could not continue forever. Shin’ichi was confident that once the Soka Gakkai rode through this storm, a new hopeful future for kosen-rufu would arrive, as bright and clear as today’s blue skies.

A large embroidered tapestry of a waterfall was hanging on the wall of the airport VIP room to which they were escorted. It depicted the great waterfall that lies upstream from the Dragon Gate rapids or falls in the Yellow River. According to legend, carp that succeed in climbing these are transformed into dragons. This is the origin of the Japanese expression tō-ryūmon—literally, “climbing the Dragon Gate”—meaning “the gateway to success in life.”

The Daishonin employed the story of the Dragon Gate in a number of his writings as a metaphor for our Buddhist practice and the difficulty of attaining Buddhahood.

The delegation members gazed intently at the tapestry, thinking of the Soka Gakkai’s history of surmounting countless raging rapids.

Installment 2


  1. The Four Modernizations was a policy program aimed at strengthening and modernizing China’s agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology sectors. ↩︎
  2. Translated from Russian. Leo Tolstoy, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii (Complete Works), (Moscow: Terra, 1992), vol. 69, p. 144. ↩︎
  3. This refers to the direction of the moon’s apparent retrograde motion. While the moon rises in the east and sets in the west like the sun, because of the direction of its orbit around the earth, each night it appears a little farther to the east of its position in the sky at the same time the previous night. ↩︎
  4. Eight winds: Prosperity, decline, disgrace, honor, praise, censure, suffering, and pleasure. In a letter to Shijo Kingo, the Daishonin writes: “Worthy persons deserve to be called so because they are not carried away by the eight winds. … They are neither elated by prosperity nor grieved by decline. The heavenly gods will surely protect one who is unbending before the eight winds” (WND-1,794). ↩︎
  5. Translated from Japanese. Kitaro Nishida, Nishida Kitaro Zenshu (Collected Writings of Kitaro Nishida), vol. 18 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1966), p. 513. ↩︎
  6. Mahatma Gandhi, The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. vol. 68 (Oct. 15, 1938–Feb. 28, 1939) (New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1977), p. 169. ↩︎
  7. Yamaguchi Campaign: A propagation campaign that unfolded over a three-month period spanning October and November 1956 and January 1957. On the instructions of President Toda, the young Daisaku Ikeda traveled to Yamaguchi Prefecture and launched an unprecedented effort to open the way for the development of the kosen-rufu movement there. At the end of September 1956, just before the campaign was launched, the Soka Gakkai had a membership of 459 households in Yamaguchi. By the end of January 1957, the number had increased almost tenfold, to 4,073 households. ↩︎
  8. Hans Christian Andersen, A Poet’s Bazaar: Pictures of Travel in Germany, Italy, Greece, and the Orient (New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1871), p. 342. ↩︎
  9. Martin Luther King, Jr. Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (Boston: Beacon Press, 1967), p. 128. ↩︎
  10. He had also made a brief stopover at the airport in Mexico in 1974. ↩︎
  11. In addition to annual memorials for the deceased, monthly memorials are also often observed. Mr. Toda passed away on April 2, 1958. His annual memorial is observed on April 2 each year, while his monthly memorial is observed on the second of each month. ↩︎
  12. Rosamund Bartlett, Tolstoy: A Russian Life (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), p. 391. ↩︎
  13. Translated from French. Victor Hugo, Actes et Paroles, III: Depuis l’Exil (Acts and Words, III: Since the Exile), in Oeuvres Complètes (Complete Works), edited by Jean Massin (Paris: Le Club Français du Livre, 1970), vol. 15, p. 1382. ↩︎
  14. Cf. Leo Tolstoy, Tolstoy’s Diaries: Volume II, 1895–1910, edited and translated by
    R. F. Christian (London: The Athlone Press, 1985), p. 677. ↩︎

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