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Buddhism

Back to listMay 21, 2008

Importance of Dedicated, Unseen Efforts Highlighted at Soka Gakkai's Monthly Leaders' Meeting

080521hqldrs_mtg.jpg Overseas SGI members attend the monthly leaders' meeting

On May 21, 2008, the Soka Gakkai held its monthly leaders' meeting at the Tokyo Makiguchi Memorial Hall in Hachioji, Tokyo, attended by representatives from throughout Japan and SGI members from 25 countries and territories. Together with Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada, national Women's Leader Asami Mitsui and other executive leaders, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda and his wife Kaneko welcomed the SGI members and expressed appreciation for their traveling the long distance to Japan.

General Director Eygló Jónsdóttir of SGI-Iceland, which recently became officially registered with the government as a religious organization, reported on the collaboration with the Environment Ministry of a showing of the SGI's "Seeds of Change: The Earth Charter and Human Potential" exhibition in Reykjavík.

Mr. Harada expressed his heartfelt condolences to the victims of the recent cyclone in Myanmar and earthquake in Sichuan, China. Mr. Harada encouraged the participants to each become trusted individuals in their respective communities through sincere interactions and asked the men and women to support and foster the youth.

During his speech, Mr. Ikeda spoke about his mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, whose advice and insights he had, as a youth, always carefully written down and kept in notebooks. Sharing some of Mr. Toda's practical wisdom with the audience, he declared that success in any endeavor comes from first establishing a clear objective and then being firmly determined to realize it without fail. This commitment determines the eventual outcome. He also shared Mr. Toda's belief that true victors in life are those who experience and surmount great hardships.

In both life and faith, Mr. Toda once affirmed, one's conviction is of the utmost importance. Nichiren was a model of conviction. His persuasive power, moreover, came not merely from the ability to convince but flowed from his compassion, which is clearly evident in his writings.

In his speech, Mr. Ikeda also described the diligent efforts of master gardener Tadashi Sasaki who has tended the cherry trees at the Toda Memorial Park in Atsuta, Hokkaido. Although experts warned that a variety of cherry trees known as Somei-yoshino or Yoshino Cherry, particularly beloved by the Japanese, including Mr. Toda, would not survive Hokkaido's harsh winters, they have thrived in the unaccommodating northern climate through Mr. Sasaki's meticulous care. This spring, the 8,000 cherry trees in the park were in full bloom and enjoyed by the thousands who came to see them. Mr. Ikeda thanked Mr. Sasaki, now in his 80s, commending him for his quiet dedication over the years that made the impossible possible. "In every sphere of endeavor, people who keep striving and challenging themselves are admirable. Those who persevere win in the end," he remarked.

The monthly leaders' meeting is broadcast by satellite to Soka Gakkai community centers across Japan. May's meeting was, for the first time, broadcast via the Internet to remote islands and mountainous areas of Japan where it had previously been available only in audio format.

[Adapted from articles in the May 22 and 27, 2008 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]