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On January 26, 1975, SGI was founded on the island of Guam at a gathering of practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism from 51 countries. This year, the 40th anniversary of this landmark event, referred to as SGI Day, was celebrated by SGI members from Paraguay to Canada and Taiwan to the U.S.
In Guam, the anniversary was marked at a meeting attended by some 250 local SGI members, held at the Somnak Ballroom in the Westin Hotel Resort in Tumon on January 16.
related article Lotus Sutra Exhibition Debuts in Malaysia On February 16, "The Lotus Sutra – A Message of Peace and Harmonious Coexistence" exhibition created by the SGI-affiliated Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP) opened for the first time in Malaysia at Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM)'s Wisma Kebudayaan culture center in Kuala Lumpur. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a congratulatory message, noting that, in the 40 years since its founding, and based on the Buddhist philosophy of respect for the dignity of life, SGI has spread to 192 countries and territories worldwide. He described SGI as shining brilliantly as a beacon of hope to illuminate the future. Encouraging the participants of the meeting, he said, “Please be convinced that your earnest efforts today—each step forward that you take in the present—serve to open up a great path forward toward peace and the happiness of all people far into the future.”
The following day, SGI members in Guam joined their local community for the Third Latte Peace Festival held in Tamuning Park. At the opening of the festival, Member of the House of Representatives for Guam, Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo, presented a statement read into the U.S. Congressional Record recognizing the efforts of the SGI and Mr. Ikeda to promote peace, culture and education at the grassroots level.
The anniversary was celebrated at the SGI-USA Hawaii Culture Center in Honolulu on January 18 at a meeting of more than 800 members that included Hawaiian dances and song.
On January 24–25, Taiwan Soka Association (TSA) also marked the 40th anniversary with an SGI Day culture festival held at the Xinzhuang Culture and Arts Center near Taipei. Some 600 TSA youth put on songs, dances and orchestral performances. TSA’s Li-ming (Dawn) Dance Group performed a Chinese dance.
[Adapted from articles in February 6, 2015, issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA, the January 20 and 28, 2015, issues of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan, and Soka Press Online, Taiwan Soka Association (TSA); photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun and TSA]
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