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Ikeda Sensei

Strong, Deep Roots of Faith for the Future

Ascending a New Summit of Kosen-rufu Together

Photo by Felix Mittermeier / Pexels.

The following essay by Ikeda Sensei was translated from the Oct. 25, 2023, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper,Seikyo Shimbun.

The deeper the roots, the more prolific the branches. The farther the source, the longer the stream” (“On Repaying Debts of Gratitude,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 736).

Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, wrote these words in “On Repaying Debts of Gratitude” and expressed his vision for the future “ten thousand years and more, for all eternity.”

In any realm, a sustainable future requires strong, solid roots and a rich, abundant source.

Carrying on the Daishonin’s powerful vow of “great and encompassing compassion” (see WND-1, 736), we of the Soka Gakkai strive, day by day and month after month, to deepen the roots of faith for human revolution and keep fresh and vital the source that is our united commitment to compassionately spread the Mystic Law and realize world peace.

Our frontline chapters and districts are the roots that provide encouragement to our members and nurture their development and growth. They are the source of the propagation of the great Law.

This year marks 45 years since the adoption of our present chapter system at the start of the second phase of kosen-rufu [in 1978]. I stressed to the members at the time of that fresh departure that kosen-rufu exists within ourselves, our families, our connections with people in our communities and our circles of fellow members, and that is why it is important for us to build solid foundations in these areas.

That year, 1978, afire with a passionate spirit of shared struggle alongside our newly appointed chapter men’s and women’s leaders, I traveled extensively throughout Japan while continuing to write many new Soka Gakkai songs.

Our records show that I made seven visits that year to Kansai, for whose members I wrote the song “Ever-Victorious Skies.”

And with my song for Tokyo, “Ah, Our Inspiring Members!” in my heart, I attended gatherings of Soka pioneers from Adachi Ward and other parts of the capital.

That summer, I traveled across Hokkaido, which has profound ties to the first three presidents, meeting with over 20,000 members.

I chanted intensely and composed songs for many regions and prefectures.

I also fondly recall attending a general meeting with members who had gathered with an eager seeking spirit from Japan’s many outlying islands, including Okinawa.

That was also the year I encouraged our leaders to make the ratio of meetings to personal guidance 2:8 [in order to foster many more capable people and develop a stronger organization].

Continuous efforts in one-to-one dialogue activate the power of “many in body, one in mind for achieving all of our goals” (see “Many in Body, One in Mind,” WND-1, 618).[1]

I also made a special effort to visit and express my profound gratitude to those who so generously opened their homes as gathering places for our members.

The Lotus Sutra states: “If in the place where the Law is expounded one encourages someone to sit and hear the sutra, the blessings one acquires will enable one to gain the seat of Shakra, Brahma, and the wheel-turner”[2] (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 291).

Families who offer their homes for assemblies of the Mystic Law are sure to enjoy good fortune and benefit as great leaders in lifetime after lifetime.

On the anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding that year [Nov. 18, 1978], the headquarters leaders meeting was held at our Arakawa Culture Center, a citadel of the people that I dearly love. Calling on our members to join me in making a fresh start [toward 2000], I urged them to live on with the life force of an immortal phoenix and demonstrate great victory in faith and life.

We will soon usher in the Year of Fresh Departure for a Youthful Soka Gakkai Worldwide [the Soka Gakkai’s theme for 2024].

My mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, said that the strength and resilience of Soka youth will inject great revitalization into the world’s youth as a whole.

As members of our ever-youthful Soka family, let’s each advance fearlessly with the strong, courageous heart of a lion king.

Our unseen virtue is both the root and source of visible reward.[3]

From our chapters, let us work to create a magnificent jeweled forest of Bodhisattvas of the Earth and a grand, ever-flowing river of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land”!

December 1, 2023, World Tribune, pp. 2–3


  1. Nichiren Daishonin writes: “If the spirit of many in body but one in mind prevails among the people, they will achieve all their goals, whereas if one in body but different in mind, they can achieve nothing remarkable” (“Many in Body, One in Mind,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 618). ↩︎
  2. Wheel-turner: Also wheel-turning king. An ideal ruler in Indian mythology. ↩︎
  3. Nichiren cites the saying: “Where there is unseen virtue, there will be visible reward” (“Unseen Virtue and Visible Reward,” WND-1, 907). ↩︎

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