Soka Gakkai Members in Remote Japanese Villages Foster Friendships in the Community
Soka Gakkai members in remote villages are engaging in dialogue and fostering friendships in their communities in rural areas across mainland Japan. In Yasuoka Village, Nagano Prefecture, which has a spectacular view overlooking the Tenryu River, members have engaged in dialogue to increase understanding of the Soka Gakkai's activities and the humanistic philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism among their neighbors. The village mayor and community leaders joined the many friends and guests who attended the local Soka Gakkai discussion meetings this autumn. Among young Soka Gakkai members of Yasuoka, a large number have careers in social welfare and related fields and are active in the community.
Rural areas across Japan are suffering the effects of changing demographics due to a combination of an aging population, declining work opportunities and depopulation due to the younger generation moving to metropolitan areas. Local Soka Gakkai groups are contributing to the revitalization of such communities.
[Adapted from an article in the November 22, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]