Skip to main content

Frontline News

‘Each of You Is a Protagonist for Kosen-rufu’

Photo by Mary D’Elia.

WESTON, Fla.—Never mind the forecasted thunderstorm: The Women’s Division #1 Conference participants brought the sun to SGI-USA’s Florida Nature and Culture Center in what turned out to be a weekend of beautiful Florida weather.

Over 170 women ages 34 to 45 gathered from June 2 to 5 for the conference themed “Each District, One Precious Youth!” 

SGI-USA Women’s Leader Naoko Leslie reminded everyone of their ability to “make the heavenly deities dance” based on the “lion’s roar” of daimoku, conveying  the profound power of prayer (see July 2023 Living Buddhism, pp. 45–46). The participants enjoyed lectures, presentations, experiences and small group discussions that helped them renew their vow and deepen their relationship with their mentor, Ikeda Sensei. 

They also celebrated the 72nd anniversary of the establishment of the women’s division (June 10) with territory performances that were both heartfelt and joyous, bringing the crowd to their feet. 

In a message to the participants commemorating the women’s division’s founding, SGI Women’s Leader Yumiko Kasanuki said that through the COVID-19 pandemic, we learned that the world shares a common destiny, and she praised the efforts of Soka women who persevered while overcoming indescribable sufferings. 

“During lockdown, even under circumstances in which connections between people might easily be broken, Ikeda Sensei’s disciples stood up around the world with the determination to bring forth various kinds of wisdom to ensure that the network of encouragement would continue,” she wrote. “Their efforts resemble the emergence of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth.” 

Ms. Kasanuki further encouraged the women that now is the time to share what they have realized through this experience and plant boundless seeds of hope by sharing Buddhism with others. She cited the following from Sensei’s essay published in the May 18, 2023, Seikyo Shimbun:  

We are advancing in rhythm with the second Seven Bells, which began in 2001. In addition, the Soka Gakkai’s centennial lies in wait only seven years from now in 2030.  

Who will ring the bells of victory in life and kosen-rufu? You must resolve that you will be the ones!  

First, you need to engage in your human revolution and do your utmost to ensure that your families, Soka Gakkai districts and your wider communities thrive and prosper. I hope you will cherish great aspirations, set concrete goals and challenge yourselves to achieve them one by one with joy and perseverance.  

The grand stage of the second Seven Bells lies before us—the grand stage for building the foundations for world peace. The time for spreading the life-affirming philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism is now. 

Again today, ringing the bells of hope and courage in our lives, let us advance in good cheer, from one milestone to the next, aligned with the Mystic Law and in rhythm with the triumphant song of Soka! (June 16, 2023, World Tribune, p. 4) 

“Each of you is a protagonist of kosen-rufu,” Ms. Kasanuki wrote. “Please cheerfully and vibrantly unite your hearts with Sensei and advance with unity that serves as a model for the world.” 

The participants, many of whom are recent youth division graduates, returned home with a fresh resolve to introduce one young person to Buddhist practice in their district and support their growth into a capable person for the future, based on the SGI-USA’s goal to welcome one precious youth to each district this year.

“I gained confidence as a new women’s division member and expectant mother,” said Emily Ferguson, a vice district leader in Torrance, California. “I now have the courage and motivation to make my district strong, strengthen bonds with my co-leaders and connect with the members through home visits!”

July 7, 2023, World Tribune, p. 10

Like Shakespeare

The Brave Parrot