Soka Gakkai Members in Remote Islands and Villages Active in Local Communities
Soka Gakkai members in remote islands and mountainous areas in Japan are actively engaging in dialogue and fostering friendships. Many are also active participants in their neighborhood associations, playing pivotal roles in working for the welfare of other residents and contributing to the revitalization of their communities. Typical of these areas are Chichijima and Hahajima, part of the Ogasawara Islands in the Pacific Ocean, some 1,000 km south of Tokyo, as well as Shiiba and Morotsuka villages in Miyazaki Prefecture, southern Japan. Because of the challenges of traveling in such remote areas, local activities are centered on one-on-one visits at personal residences and regular discussion meetings. The members rely on the Soka Gakkai's organ newspaper and other publications to learn about nationwide activities and for study materials.
Since May 2008, the Soka Gakkai's monthly leaders' meeting is being broadcast via the Internet to these remote areas of Japan. Local members have reported that the video transmissions have refreshed their desire to advance further in their practice of Buddhism.
[Adapted from articles in the June 12 and 27, 2008 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]