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Ikeda Sensei

The Spirit of Soka Youth Burns Brighter in July (Part 2)

The Song of Human Victory

Gary Yeowell / Getty Images.

The following essay by Ikeda Sensei was originally published in the July 8, 2015, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun, and in the Sept. 11, 2015, World Tribune, pp. 2–3. Part 1 can be found in the July 15, 2022, World Tribune, pp. 2–3.

July is also the month of Kansai. The Kansai members’ efforts to foster capable people and spread happiness are gaining momentum.

Many visiting SGI leaders attended the 12th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting, which was held in conjunction with the Kansai General Meeting at the Kansai Toda Memorial Auditorium in Toyonaka, Osaka (on June 28, 2015).

The day before the meeting, the SGI representatives participated in exchange meetings in areas throughout Kansai, and were deeply touched by the enthusiastic welcome they received from the members.

I am confident that they will take the spirit of “Ever-Victorious Kansai” back home with them, where it will set in motion a fresh wave of development.

It was at the Kansai Toda Memorial Auditorium that members and I first sang the Kansai Soka Gakkai song “Josho no sora” (Ever-Victorious Skies) together, on July 17, 1978. The youth again performed the song at the recent Kansai General Meeting and were later joined by members of the men’s and women’s divisions, as well as pioneer members from throughout the region, in a resounding group performance. 

The young men and young women came to this meeting having achieved tremendous success in telling their friends about Buddhism. The future division members are also growing splendidly.

The Kansai spirit of the noble pioneer members, who have shared many struggles together with me, including the Osaka Rally, which took place amid a torrential downpour, has been solidly inherited by a new generation. I am profoundly moved and inspired to see the baton of the Ever-Victorious Kansai spirit being carried on.

I have discussed with Kansai members on numerous occasions the significance of the phrase from “Life Span,” the 16th chapter of the Lotus Sutra, “where living beings enjoy themselves at ease” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 272). 

True ease is a condition in which life is inherently enjoyable, and fulfillment and joy well up from the depths of our being. It is a state of absolute happiness that cannot be destroyed, no matter what circumstances we encounter. The source of this immense life force is chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for ourselves and others. Those who make daimoku, chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, their top priority will never be defeated. They are guaranteed to triumph over every obstacle and truly enjoy all that life brings.

Nichiren Daishonin says: “‘Bodhisattva’ is a preliminary step toward the attainment of the effect of Buddhahood” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 87). As long as we base ourselves on earnest daimoku and courageous dialogue for the sake of kosen-rufu, we can open the way for ever-victorious lives, filled with the greatest happiness and exhilaration, for both ourselves and those around us.

I am delighted to see that our young women’s division members are also making a fresh departure [with new leadership appointments in Japan], spreading wide the two “wings” of practice and study, and advancing with joyous Kayo-kai solidarity.

Incidentally, today, July 8, is Byakuren Group Day.

A monument in the Makiguchi Memorial Garden bears the lyrics to the Byakuren song, “Hoshi wa hikarite” (The Stars Shine), as well as the following words: 

Your joyous smiles impart hope to your friends. … Your songs of truth and justice stir courage in the hearts of others. … Your beautiful example of praying and taking action for the happiness of others and the world embodies the symbol of the lotus flower in the water, unsoiled by worldly things. [see LSOC, 263]

The young women of the Byakuren Group are spending their youth in this noble way. 

The Daishonin writes: “Can anything exceed the sun and moon in brightness? Can anything surpass the lotus flower in purity?” (“Easy Delivery of a Fortune Child,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 186). The real world is an unending muddy morass of problems and conflicts. However, amid such troubles, Buddhism enables us to actualize the brightest and purest way of life.

The French author Madame de Staël (1766–1817) wrote, “We must fortify ourselves by our own thoughts, in the midst of the reverses of life.”[1]

For us, it is our Buddhist faith and practice that produce such courage. The sincere encouragement of our fellow members, who share our commitment, is also an inexhaustible source of courage.

It was my mentor’s most cherished wish for every young women’s division member to become happy. This is also my wish, and that of my wife. I hope that you, the young women’s division members, will continue to encourage and support one another, and work together harmoniously to build a world of beautiful friendship and unity.

The youth division in Japan recently began holding special meetings centered on sharing members’ experiences in faith.

On July 12, young men’s division members will hold a nationwide leaders meeting in Tokyo. This is the historic date on which the Tokyo Rally was held at the National Sports Arena in Tokyo’s Kuramae district, in protest of my unjust arrest during the Osaka Incident (in 1957).[2]

At that time, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda declared: “Since becoming president, I have been fully prepared to give my life if necessary. Therefore, I am not afraid of anything.” 

As long as we are ready to struggle to the very end for truth and justice, without begrudging our lives, no difficulty can perturb us. Obstacles and persecution only make our fighting spirit burn brighter. That is the eternal spirit of Soka revolutionaries.

The greater the resistance waves meet, the stronger they grow”—I wrote these words in my diary on July 9, 1950. I was 22 years old, struggling with all my might to protect and support my mentor.

Today, the youth, my direct disciples, are walking the same great path. In accord with the Buddhist principle of the simultaneity of cause and effect, your future is certain to be one of immeasurable success and victory.

The development of Soka youth is the hope of the world. That is why I call on you to continue moving forward steadfastly with invincible strength and optimism. 

With the ever-victorious spirit

burning brightly in your hearts,

joyfully achieve victories

in a youth dedicated to a noble cause,

together with friends.


  1. Madame de Staël, Reflections on Suicide (New York: AMS Press Inc., 1975), pp. 64–65. ↩︎
  2. Osaka Incident: The occasion when Ikeda Sensei, then-Soka Gakkai youth division chief of staff, was arrested and wrongfully charged with election law violations in a House of Councillors by-election in Osaka in 1957. At the end of the court case, which continued for more than four years, he was fully exonerated. ↩︎

Bringing Out the Buddha