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Ikeda Sensei

Win Through the Shared Spirit of Mentor and Disciple

Message to the Nationwide Young Men’s Leaders Meeting

Photo by Shuichi Segawa / EyeEm / Getty Images.

Ikeda Sensei sent the following message to the Nationwide Young Men’s Division Leaders Meeting, held at the Toda Memorial Auditorium in Sugamo, Tokyo, on Oct. 2, 2022. The message was translated from the Oct. 3, 2022, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun.

The courageous dynamic progress of youth changes history. I am watching over today’s gathering, confident that it will mark the start of further dynamic progress toward fresh triumphs in worldwide kosen-rufu.[1]

First and second Soka Gakkai presidents Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda are no doubt rejoicing at the solid and dependable network you have forged to shoulder our movement for peace, culture and education as we move toward the Soka Gakkai’s 100th anniversary [in 2030]. 

Congratulations to all our spirited young men engaged in the shared struggle of mentor and disciple on your fresh start![2]

In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, Nichiren Daishonin says, “[The Lotus Sutra] describes how one dances with joy when one comes to the realization that the elements of the body and the mind are the Wonderful Law [Mystic Law]” (p. 45). 

Each of you chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the ultimate law of the universe, and are dedicated to fulfilling your vow from time without beginning. As such, you embody the Mystic Law both spiritually and physically. 

People with whom you share a profound karmic connection, who are ready to “spring from the earth,” are waiting for you to talk with them. They are waiting to hear your confident voices. 

When young people awaken to and brim with joy at this fundamental truth, no matter what hardships may assail them in their lives and in society, they can find a way to overcome them and change poison into medicine without fail. 

On Oct. 2, 1960, I embarked on my first overseas trip, my mentor Josei Toda’s photograph tucked in my breast pocket. While engaging in constant dialogue with my mentor, I called forth and brought together one youthful Bodhisattva of the Earth after another. Today, you are the vanguard of the youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth worldwide who are following in their footsteps.

The Daishonin declared: “At first only Nichiren chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, but then two, three, and a hundred followed, chanting and teaching others. Propagation will unfold this way in the future as well. Does this not signify ‘emerging from the earth’?” (“The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, 385).

People with whom you share a profound karmic connection, who are ready to “spring from the earth,”[3] are waiting for you to talk with them. They are waiting to hear your confident voices. I call on you now to joyously and magnificently demonstrate the principle of “emerging from the earth” (WND-1, 385), for the happiness of others, a harmonious society and a peaceful world! 

In a letter to the young Nanjo Tokimitsu, who was battling adversity because of his beliefs, Nichiren Daishonin promises, “You will receive great blessings in your present existence” (“Good Fortune in This Life,” WND-1, 655). 

I am praying that each one of you, who has chosen to appear at this time, will enjoy “great blessings”—the visible reward that comes from unseen virtue—and lead a life of triumph, striving on the path of your chosen mission with unwavering faith as long as you live. 

Shin’ichi Yamamotos[4] of the new era—may you win victory after victory through the power of the shared spirit of mentor and disciple!


  1. The Soka Gakkai’s theme for 2022 is Year of Youth and Dynamic Progress. ↩︎
  2. At the meeting, new national young men’s leaders were announced. ↩︎
  3. Line from an impromptu poem composed by Ikeda Sensei on Aug. 14, 1947, when he first met Josei Toda, who came to be his lifelong mentor and later second Soka Gakkai president. ↩︎
  4. Shin’ichi Yamamoto is the pseudonym Sensei uses to refer to himself in the novels The Human Revolution and The New Human Revolution. ↩︎

Taking Action With the Buddha’s Infinite Compassion