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The ‘Ikeda Sun Group’ Relaunched

An opportunity for our retired men’s division members to protect our kosen-rufu movement.

Photo by Mike O’Malley.

by James Herrmann
SGI-USA Men’s Leader

During the global economic crisis of 2007–08, many members faced layoffs and financial difficulties. I remember hearing how men in Boston and in other cities around the country—unemployed but undefeated—rallied together to chant daimoku during the day until every one of them found work.

This experience showed the importance of having our centers open during the day for members to chant and create victories in their lives. When we learned of the Sun Group (Taiyo-kai) that existed in Japan, the men’s division asked Ikeda Sensei if the SGI-USA, too, could form a group that contributed to our kosen-rufu movement during the daytime.

On Nov. 18, 2010, the 80th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding, Sensei responded to this request by forming and affixing his name to the Ikeda Sun Group (Ikeda Taiyo-kai) in America. This behind-the-scenes support group is composed of men’s division members who have retired and are able to actively support daytime activities at our Buddhist centers on weekdays.

In a separate setting, Sensei offered the following encouragement:

The members of the Soka Gakkai’s various groups for our more senior members … are all striving energetically for the victory and advancement of kosen-rufu. They are indomitable champions of our movement and examples of how to brilliantly live out the closing chapters of one’s life. They are true masters of the art of living who uphold the Mystic Law, the teaching of perennial youth and eternal life, and whose triumphant lives are imbued with the four noble virtues of eternity, happiness, true self and purity. I pray that they will always enjoy good health and high spirits![1]

With that, I’d like to announce with great pride that we will be reestablishing the Ikeda Sun Group. The purpose is threefold: to further reopen our community centers; to provide opportunities for the men’s division in their golden years to continue building fortune through protecting our members and our kosen-rufu movement; and to keep our precious legacy with our mentor alive. 

Selected centers will now be open during the day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for members to come chant, meet with friends they are introducing to Buddhism or visit the bookstore.

I believe this to be a tremendous opportunity. The life I have today is, without a doubt, built upon the training I received in the Soka Group, the young men’s division behind-the-scenes training group. To this day, I strive to carry on this behind-the-scenes spirit with me every day.

Sensei’s heart has always been to protect the Soka Gakkai and its members and for each member to see benefit. I believe he formed these groups so that in any chapter of our life, we can continue advancing in our shared mission unbowed. He writes:

There is, of course, a retirement age in one’s career. But there is no retirement age in a life dedicated to chanting and spreading Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which enables us to attain eternal and indestructible victory and enjoy a life force as strong and radiant as the rising sun.[2]

So, while conveying my appreciation in advance to the men’s division in the Ikeda Sun Group, I’d also like to congratulate them for this golden opportunity.

May 3, 2024, World Tribune, p. 8


  1. Translated from the Sept. 16, 2004, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun. ↩︎
  2. March 13, 2009, World Tribune, special insert, p. D. ↩︎

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