Taiwan Soka Association Opens Newly Constructed Zhi Shan Culture Center
On May 3, 2009, Taiwan Soka Association (TSA) officially opened its recently completed headquarters building, Zhi Shan Culture Center, in Taipei. An SGI delegation from Japan led by SGI Vice President Hiromasa Ikeda attended the opening ceremony. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a congratulatory message.
The center is located directly across the street from the National Palace Museum, one of the world's four largest museums, and is close to universities and gardens.
The new center, built on the site of the old Zhi Shan Culture Center, has six stories above ground and three basement floors, comprising a large prayer hall, conference rooms, a large concert hall named New Century Hall, an exhibition hall named Song of Victory Grand Hall and other rooms. The center will serve as a major hub for movements to promote peace, culture and education.
TSA members have consistently engaged in various activities that contribute to society and build local networks. In March and April this year, TSA hosted community friendship and culture festivals in 160 venues throughout the country, visited by some 4.3 million people.
Some 700 TSA leaders from across the country attended the opening ceremony. Following musical performances by TSA's fife-and-drum corps and choir, TSA Women's Leader Chen Jen-Jen said she was moved by the opening of the new center and urged the participants to make TSA the most harmonious, most united group of people in the world. TSA General Director Lin Chao expressed his hopes to spread justice and foster fellow members having a spirit of shared commitment with their mentor, coupled with a sense of gratitude. Mr. Hiromasa Ikeda congratulated TSA members for their impressive achievement in contributing to their community as a model for other members in the world.
On the same day, an exhibition introducing SGI's movements for peace, culture and education opened at the Song of Victory Grand Hall. In one corner of the exhibition is a depiction of Dr. Arnold Toynbee, British historian, and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda meeting for their dialogue at Dr. Toynbee's residence in the 1970s. Also displayed are awards and commendations conferred upon Mr. Ikeda from administrative agencies and educational institutions in Taiwan.
The new Zhi Shan Culture Center will be open to the public in July.
[Adapted from an article in the May 9, 2009 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Taiwan Soka Association]