Skip to main content


Members of Guam Undeterred by Typhoon

TAMUNING, Guam—After Typhoon Mawar brought hurricane-force winds and heavy rainfall to Guam on May 24, 2023, an elderly woman who had just undergone knee surgery stayed in her bedroom for days without electricity, subsisting on bottled nutrition shakes. Her roof had blown off during the typhoon, and she was left with nothing but her bed and the Gohonzon, chanting with the spirit to never give up. It was her fellow SGI-USA members who located her days after the storm, offering essential support and relief supplies. 

Confirming her safety was a part of a larger effort by the Marianas Region leadership team, which created a strong communication system as Typhoon Mawar headed toward Guam, checking in with district members and chanting daimoku for their safety and well-being.

On May 24, 2023, Mawar passed north of Guam, destroying homes and knocking out power across the island. Even though it marked the strongest storm to come ashore since Typhoon Pongsona in 2002, no injuries or deaths were immediately reported on the island.

Additionally, the SGI Guam Ikeda Peace and Culture Center, which opened on Jan. 21, 2023, in Tamuning, Guam, as an international symbol of the Soka Gakkai’s people-centered movement, remained largely unscathed, save for the fence and surrounding vegetation. After the typhoon passed over the island, local SGI members, some of whom had lost their own homes, came to the center to fix the fence, clean the property and replant trees and flowers, making the center all but new again.

Two weeks afterward, half of the island’s residents still have no power or water. But the local leadership team continues its outreach efforts. As of June 6, 2023, over 32 members have been visited. 

SGI-USA Executive Advisor Danny Nagashima, who moved to the island earlier this year to support the region’s growth toward the SGI’s 50th anniversary, said how, since the center’s opening, the Guam members have been planting seeds of Buddhism on the island, including over 1,000 in May.

“Therefore, we all felt, after great evil, great good will occur,” Mr. Nagashima said. “This was great evil trying to stop us from propagating the Mystic Law on this island.” The people of Guam remain undeterred. 

Some of the members lost everything, but they are cheerfully sharing Buddhism with others with a vow to transform the island.

Kathy Alegria, Marianas Region women’s leader, said the members are determined to turn poison into medicine toward 2025, the SGI’s 50th anniversary, with Ikeda Sensei in their hearts.

“The members are so appreciative and moved by the care of the SGI-USA,” she said. “This is our family—our Soka family.” 

—Prepared by the World Tribune staff

June 16, 2023, World Tribune, p. 4

Sound the Bells of Courage and Hope for a Brighter Future!