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Encouragement

Fresh Dynamic Progress Arises From Fresh Resolve

2022 Message to the Women and Young Women from SGI Honorary Women’s Leader Kaneko Ikeda

Kaneko Orchids at FNCC
Hundreds of Dendrobium Kaneko Ikeda Orchids, a gift from Singapore Soka Association, grace the grounds of the SGI-USA Florida Nature and Culture Center, Weston, Fla., January. Photo by Roxy Azuaje

As we embark on this active month of February in the Year of Youth and Dynamic Progress, I would like to present a short message to all of you to express my gratitude and deep respect. 

Thanks to your daimoku, my husband and I are in fine health and spirits. Inspired by the splendid growth and activities of our young Bodhisattvas of the Earth everywhere, we are chanting wholeheartedly each morning and evening for the health and safety, happiness and harmony and hope-filled victories of every member of the Soka family.

At the recent Soka Gakkai headquarters leaders meeting (held on Jan. 8), the SGI-Argentina young women’s leader Paula López shared a very moving personal faith experience involving her family. She also reported on the remarkable achievements of the members in Argentina. I was touched to learn that, despite the time difference, some SGI-Argentina youth were chanting for the success of the meeting while it was being held.

Blossom—Ikeda Sensei and Mrs. Ikeda at the Tokyo Makiguchi Memorial Hall in Hachioji, Tokyo, September 2006. Photo by Seikyo Press.

Looking back, it was in February 1952 that second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda first conveyed his vision of global citizenship[1] to us youth division members. This was right in the middle of the February Campaign.[2] Seven decades have passed since then, and I am certain that he would be overjoyed to see how our wonderful movement for happiness and peace is bringing people across the globe together.

There is a passage from a letter Nichiren Daishonin wrote to a female disciple that both Presidents Makiguchi and Toda underlined in their copies of Nichiren Daishonin’s writings and that my husband has also frequently shared with members. It reads: “Three things are required—a good teacher, a good believer, and a good teaching—before prayers can be effective and disasters banished from the land” (“Those Initially Aspiring to the Way,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 880)

I joined the Soka Gakkai as a child with my parents more than 80 years ago (on July 12, 1941). I am deeply grateful to have encountered the Mystic Law and been able to walk the path of mentor and disciple dedicated to kosen-rufu all these years, together with fellow members around the world, united in the spirit of “many in body, one in mind.”

One of the five eternal guidelines of the Soka Gakkai is “Faith for overcoming obstacles.” Discussing this guideline in a lecture, my husband shared these words of President Toda:

Nichiren Buddhism is a teaching that enables those facing adversity to become happy without fail. Those who overcome hardships through faith can bring forth incredible strength. They can truly become an ally to others who are suffering.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our members everywhere are uniting in spirit to encourage and support one another more than ever. Persevering in “faith for overcoming obstacles,” they are tirelessly contributing to the betterment of their communities and societies.

My husband has said that our efforts to transform this global adversity will surely bring to the 21st century an even more brilliant flowering of capable individuals, each shining in their own unique way. These beautiful “human flowers” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 142) will carry on the vow to establish the correct teaching for the peace of the land and ensure the eternal transmission of the Law.

“Those who overcome hardships through faith can bring forth incredible strength. They can truly become an ally to others who are suffering.”

This year’s theme of Youth and Dynamic Progress calls to mind the year my husband, at the young age of 32, became the third president of the Soka Gakkai, on May 3, 1960. It was indeed a year of dynamic progress in our movement for worldwide kosen-rufu, achieved together with and through the power of the youth.

In his diary at the beginning of that year, my husband wrote: “Yesterday I decided to start chanting an additional one thousand daimoku [every day]. This is my new determination, for the next stage of dynamic progress.”

Fresh dynamic progress arises from fresh resolve.

Nothing is a match for the vibrant prayers of Soka women united one in heart and mind with their mentor. Let us continue day by day, month after month, to encourage and warm others’ hearts and foster the wings of young people, basing ourselves on “the chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which is like the warmth of the mother bird” (“Letter to Niike,” WND-1, 1030). And let’s vow together to achieve tremendous dynamic progress in our lives and kosen-rufu!

With my very best wishes for the safety and well-being of all of you, my dear and precious friends.

Kaneko Ikeda
SGI Honorary Women’s Leader

References

  1. Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda first articulated his concept of global citizenship at a youth division study seminar on Feb. 17, 1952. It is the idea that all the people of the world are members of a global family and should seek prosperity through mutual cooperation and harmony, rather than engage in conflict and discrimination.
  2. February Campaign: In February 1952, as Tokyo’s Kamata Chapter advisor, 24-year-old Daisaku Ikeda led the chapter in achieving the unprecedented monthly propagation result of 201 new households.

Mensaje de la señora Kaneko Ikeda para la División Juvenil Femenina y la División Femenina

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