SGI Youth Leaders Participate in Training Course and Cultural Exchanges in Japan
To commemorate the Soka Gakkai's 80th anniversary, 250 youth representatives from 60 countries and territories gathered for an SGI Youth Training Course in Japan, from September 2-6, 2010.
Yumiko Kumazawa was appointed SGI Young Women's Leader at the opening session held on September 2 at the Soka International Friendship Hall in Sendagaya, Tokyo. Representatives from various countries reported on recent activities in their respective SGI organizations. A young man from Ghana shared his resolve to further develop his understanding of the Buddhist concept of the shared commitment of mentor and disciple while he was in Japan and to contribute to the peace and development of Africa upon his return home. A young woman from Peru spoke about the efforts of SGI members in her country to engage in dialogue, create a culture of peace and become citizens who play active roles in the betterment of their communities.
SGI General Director Yoshitaka Oba commended the youth for traveling such long distances to attend the training course and for their dedication to become capable leaders for the future. Mr. Oba encouraged them to realize their innate potential through working for the sake of others' happiness.
On September 4, a commemorative Soka Gakkai Youth Leaders Meeting was held at the Soka International Friendship Hall in conjunction with the Soka Gakkai's monthly leaders meeting. In his message, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda encouraged the participants to become people of justice, to treasure dialogue and to share with others the hope-filled philosophy of human revolution.
The following day, on September 5, SGI youth members visited Kyoto, Shiga, Fukui, Hyogo, Nara and Wakayama Prefectures for cultural exchange meetings with local Soka Gakkai members. SGI-Thailand members visited the Soka Gakkai Fukui Culture Center where local members performed a classical Japanese dance. The exchange also included a combined musical performance by the youth members from Fukui and Thailand.
On September 6, the SGI youth members attended another exchange meeting at Kansai Ikeda Memorial Hall in Osaka. A representative Kansai leader encouraged the young people to challenge any obstacle with what Soka Gakkai members call the "Kansai Spirit," the spirit of being "ever-victorious."
[Adapted from articles in the September 3, 5 and 7, 2010, issues of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]