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Encouragement

Creating a Growing Realm of Inspiration and Empowerment

Ascending a New Summit of Kosen-rufu Together

Photo by Jason Sung / Unsplash.

On July 22, 1951, right after the establishment of the young men’s and young women’s divisions,[1] a profoundly significant special general meeting was held with the Soka Gakkai Kosen-rufu Gohonzon[2] for the first time.

Before this Gohonzon dedicated to the “Fulfillment of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu through the Compassionate Propagation of the Great Law,” second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda called to the stage a group of members, young and old, who had made outstanding contributions to kosen-rufu. He voiced his absolute certainty that Nichiren Daishonin was praising them unstintingly and would bestow them with wonderful rewards.

At the end of the meeting, he smiled at the youth gathered on the stage and declared: “As long as we have such young people, the Soka Gakkai will be rock-solid!”

In the first half of this Year of Youth and Dynamic Progress, our Soka family has striven tirelessly in the unity of “many in body, one in mind” to compassionately spread the Mystic Law and realize the ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land.”

There can be no doubt that Nichiren Daishonin is fully aware of your efforts and that Mr. Toda would also be so delighted.

Immediately following the Osaka Campaign[3] of 1956, my mentor and I discussed our vision for the Soka Gakkai’s future. Transcending the vagaries of public opinion, our organization would make broad-ranging contributions to society and create a growing realm of inspiration and empowerment. That, we believed, would pave the way to a better future for humanity. 

And now we have truly entered an age when our members are active in all fields of society, working hard for the happiness of the people, their efforts widely praised and appreciated by others. This is the proof of our victory. 

This summer once again, let’s make a special effort to shine a light on each of our talented young members, warmly encouraging and fostering their growth.

The Future Division Dynamic Growth Month is currently underway in Japan [beginning from mid-July through the end of August, the summer holiday period]. 

The young men’s division, led by the spirited members of the YMD Academy, is forging ahead energetically to share Nichiren Buddhism and expand their circle of friendship.  

The young men’s student division, whose members are proudly exerting themselves in “the two ways of practice and study” (“The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 386), will hold its annual Buddhist study competency exam [on Aug. 28 this year]. 

Our gathering of young women, the Ikeda Kayo-kai, is striding forward positively, each member shining with the beautiful individuality of “cherry, plum, peach, and damson” (see The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 200).

Today, July 22, is also the anniversary of the establishment of the Fife and Drum Corps,[4] young emissaries of peace. Members of the Fife and Drum Corps and also the youth division Music Corps—as well as graduates from both—are making wonderful contributions to our movement around the world.

Let us warmly applaud the admirable efforts of all our young people who are striving so hard to train and improve themselves in their youth.  

There’s a memory from the summer of 1962 that I’ll never forget, when the air was filled with voices raised in song. Members were gathered outside the new Okinawa Headquarters building, unable to fit inside for the opening ceremony, and from the roof deck I led them all in a rousing chorus of “Heroes of Okinawa” (on July 18, 1962). 

As they had pledged with me that day, my beloved members in Okinawa have overcome every wave of challenge to demonstrate the validity of Nichiren Buddhism, which teaches that all who align their lives with the Mystic Law will become happy in the end. And they have built a pioneering treasure realm of kosen-rufu in Okinawa. 

My wife, Kaneko, and I are praying wholeheartedly for the health, happiness, harmony, good fortune and benefit of all our precious friends not only in Okinawa but throughout Japan and the world, who are tirelessly dedicating themselves to their mission. 

Nichiren Daishonin writes: “The [revitalizing] neighing of the white horses is the sound of our voices chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (“King Rinda,” WND-1, 989). With the resonant sound of our daimoku, let us strengthen our own and others’ life force physically and spiritually, increase the brilliance and power of the protective forces of the universe and bring hope and tranquility to the lands where we have chosen to fulfill our vow for kosen-rufu. 

References

  1. The young men’s division was established on July 11, and the young women’s division was established on July 19, in 1951. ↩︎
  2. In addition to the words “For the Fulfillment of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu through the Compassionate Propagation of the Great Law,” this Gohonzon also bears the inscription “To Be Permanently Enshrined in the Soka Gakkai” (Jpn Soka Gakkai Joju). It is now enshrined in the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu in Shinanomachi, Tokyo. ↩︎
  3. Osaka Campaign: In May 1956, the Kansai members, uniting around a young Daisaku Ikeda, who had been dispatched by second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda to support them, increased their chapter’s membership by 11,111 households in a single month. In elections held two months later in July, the Soka Gakkai-backed candidate in Kansai won a seat in the upper house, an accomplishment that was thought all but impossible at the time. ↩︎
  4. The Soka Gakkai’s Fife and Drum Corps was established on July 22, 1956. ↩︎

Imparting the Light of Hope and Security to Our Young Successors