SGI 2009 Spring Training Course Held in Japan
From March 3 to 7, 2009, SGI's 2009 Spring Training Course was held in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, with 250 participants from 60 countries and territories. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a welcome message, in which he expressed his deep appreciation for the members' efforts to develop themselves as exemplary citizens through their Buddhist practice.
A study session on Nichiren Buddhism took place on March 5 at Soka International Friendship Hall in Sendagaya, Tokyo. SGI Study Department Chief Katsuji Saito lectured on Nichiren's writing, "The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind." During a question and answer session, Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada spoke about the shared commitment of mentor and disciple and highlighted Mr. Ikeda's dedication to spreading and realizing his mentor's ideals. Mr. Harada encouraged everyone to perpetuate the legacy of the Soka Gakkai's first three presidents with the same spirit.
On March 6, visiting SGI representatives attended a meeting at Soka Gakkai Kansai Culture Center in Osaka, to commemorate March 16, 1958, when second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda bequeathed his mission of creating lasting global peace to the youth just weeks before he passed away. SGI-UK Women's Leader Suzanne Pritchard and SGI-USA General Director Daniel Nagashima spoke on behalf of the SGI members, expressing how happy they were to visit the Kansai region.
On March 7, participants toured Osaka Castle and the Osaka Central Public Hall, site of the historic Osaka Rally in 1957. In the afternoon, the SGI members traveled in small groups to attend exchange meetings with local Soka Gakkai members at 34 venues in five prefectures in Kansai. Through sharing personal experiences, performing songs and dances, both Kansai and SGI members reconfirmed their resolve to advance with the "ever victorious" Kansai spirit.
[Adapted from articles in the March 4, 6 and 8, 2009 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]