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Ikeda Sensei

Engaging in Confident Dialogue Like Our Founding President

Friends talking in the city
FG Trade / Getty Images.

Originally published in the June 2022 Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

Nichiren Daishonin writes, “If the [source] is inexhaustible, the stream will never run dry” (“Flowering and Bearing Grain,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 909). It is the Soka Gakkai’s unsurpassed honor to have an everlasting source in its founding spirit. June is the birth month of our founder and first president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi.[1]

Mr. Makiguchi underlined the following passage in the copy of Nichiren Daishonin’s writings he always carried with him: “Great evil portends the arrival of great good. If all of Jambudvipa [the entire world] were to be thrown into chaos, there could be no doubt that [the Lotus Sutra would] ‘be widely propagated throughout Jambudvipa’” (“The Kalpa of Decrease,” WND-1, 1122).

Even during the unprecedented conflict of World War II, Mr. Makiguchi, driven by his unshakable conviction in this lion’s roar, steadfastly continued to practice just as the Daishonin instructed to fulfill the great vow for kosen-rufu.

In the early days of our movement, Mr. Makiguchi called discussion meetings gatherings for “proving the way of life of great good.” Through tireless one-to-one dialogues, he gave others the courage to bravely confront even the greatest evil and misfortune in life. He led one person after another to show actual proof that practicing the Mystic Law could create value of great good in the form of happiness for both oneself and others.

A month before the war’s outbreak, Mr. Makiguchi traveled from Kansai to Kyushu, confidently engaging in Buddhist dialogue. Later, he was imprisoned for his beliefs. Amid those harsh conditions, thinking of the Daishonin’s ordeals on Sado Island, he wrote that he had no anxieties or worries and lacked nothing. In one letter, he said: “Depending on one’s state of mind, even hell can be enjoyable,”[2] echoing the Daishonin’s words “I feel immeasurable delight even though I am now an exile” (“The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” WND-1, 386).

Inheriting this spirit, Mr. Makiguchi’s disciple Josei Toda and the Bodhisattvas of the Earth of Soka have opened the path of human revolution, teaching that a profound inner change in a single individual can lead to a change in the destiny of a nation, and further, in the destiny of all humankind.

Whatever the situation, whatever the time, we of the Soka Gakkai, walking the path of mentor and disciple, have a philosophy that assures “great evil portends the arrival of great good,” a practice that enables us to make this a reality and a great network that champions peace, culture and education.

Mr. Makiguchi declared: “When we encounter a challenge or trial, we should be even more determined to press forward tenaciously and lead undefeated lives.”

Let us emulate our founding president, Mr. Makiguchi, and engage in confident dialogue with even greater courage!

Our voice does the Buddha’s work!
Confident in
fulfilling our vow,
let us courageously spread
our inspiring movement for happiness.


  1. First Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi was born on June 6, 1871. ↩︎
  2. Translated from Japanese. Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Makiguchi Tsunesaburo zenshu (Collected Writings of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi), vol. 10 (Tokyo: Daisanbunmei-sha, 1987), p. 285. ↩︎

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