SGI-USA Youth Celebrate March 16
During March 2007, SGI-USA youth throughout the country commemorated March 16, 1958, a historic day in the history of the Soka Gakkai. On that day, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, weakened and failing in health, bequeathed the task of realizing the peace and happiness of humanity based on the philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism to the 6,000 youth members who had gathered from throughout Japan on short notice.
Some 400 youth members of three regions located in or around New York City gathered for a commemorative meeting in the city on March 25. Titled "Victory Begins at This Moment," the meeting opened with an African dance and a vibrant drum performance. Following a presentation on the significance of March 16, a young woman shared her personal experience of realizing her goal of a career in filmmaking through her practice of Nichiren Buddhism. On the same day at the Queens Community Center, 175 youth members of the Long Island/Queens Region and 20 of their guests met with a slogan of "Advance with Victory Towards Your Dreams." The theme reflected the ideal of youth following their dreams and challenging to surmount difficulties and obstacles in daily life, thereby spreading courage and hope to others and positively impacting their community and society at large. Among the many highlights was a hip-hop rap about Josei Toda passing on the mission of working for world peace to the youth.
In Sacramento, California, SGI-USA youth members welcomed national Young Women's Leader Kimberly Hermann and hosted an open house for residents in the community. Some 275 members introduced the humanistic philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism to 50 guests who attended the event, which included an art exhibit, poetry readings and cultural performances.
Elsewhere, in Honolulu, Hawaii, 700 participants celebrated March 16 at the Hawaii Culture Center with a theme of "Total Advancement and Victory Starts With Me!"
Through planning for and participating in the many meetings, the SGI-USA youth deepened their friendships, their personal goals and their commitment to working for a better society based on the essential spirit of Nichiren Buddhism--that one person's positive, inner transformation can bring about a change in one's environment.
[Adapted from articles in the April 9, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan, and the April 20, 2007 issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA]