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Seeking Spirit

The New Human Revolution, “Seeking Spirit” Chapter, Installment 29

Volume 27, Chapter 4

By Daisaku Ikeda

Gazing down at Sendai City from the castle ruins, Toda said to Shin’ichi: “Date Masamune lost his vision in his right eye when he was a child and later came to be known as the One-eyed Dragon. With his sighted eye, he looked to the world and the future. Masamune’s progressive thinking and policy of promoting people based on ability rather than on family lineage are likely what strengthened the domain and helped it flourish.

“The Soka Gakkai, too, can build a foundation for enduring success if we foster many great leaders who work together. Indeed, ‘The people are our castle, our stone walls, our moat.’[1] Therefore, realizing the grand ideal of kosen-rufu depends entirely on raising capable individuals.”

Taking a deep breath, Toda looked at Shin’ichi. As if imparting final instructions, he added: “Warlords of the past went into battle with their castle as their fortress. Today, the Soka Gakkai is advancing toward kosen-rufu with capable people as its fortress.”

Shin’ichi had engraved these words deeply in his life.

“We must look for capable individuals,” Toda continued. “To find them, we must be able to see a person’s potential. And to do that, we have to be convinced that each is capable.

“If we can’t appreciate or accept people, we won’t be able to identify their positive qualities, strengths and talents. A cloudy or distorted mirror cannot reflect things correctly. In the same way, a clouded or distorted mind cannot accurately discern someone’s potential, unique traits or abilities.

“That’s why leaders must always strive to grow, to cultivate the ability to see things impartially and to expand their state of life.”

Shin’ichi then asked, “What should young people do to fully develop and demonstrate their strengths and qualities and become genuinely capable individuals?”

Toda replied: “That’s an important question. What do you think?”

Instead of responding immediately to Shin’ichi’s questions, Toda often first asked for his opinion. He wanted him to think deeply for himself and arrive at his own conclusions. That was Toda’s method for fostering capable people.


  1. Famous words by Takeda Shingen (1521–73), a military commander in the Sengoku period (1467–1615).

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