Buddhist Study Exams in Japan, Brazil, Taiwan
Every year, SGI holds Buddhist study exams for members in various countries. This year, exams were held in Brazil, Japan and Taiwan in the month of October.
On October 2, the advanced level youth Buddhist study exam was administered in over 400 venues throughout Japan, with some 46,000 people taking part, including those from remote islands.
In his message to examinees, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda praised everyone for studying Nichiren Buddhism and encouraged them to reflect what they have learned in daily life, through their actions and through caring for others.
The exam centered around two treatises written by Nichiren titled "The Opening of the Eyes" and "The Selection of the Time." A compilation of Nichiren's teachings recorded by his disciple Nikko, "The Orally Transmitted Teachings," was also part of the study material.
The material covered Buddhist concepts such as "the three thousand realms in a single moment of life" and "lessening one's karmic retribution," as well as the meaning of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada and youth leaders visited various exam venues to encourage participants. In total, over 24,000 people passed the test.
SGI-Brazil held its entrance and first level study exams at some 400 venues throughout the country on October 2. Study material included letters written by Nichiren to his disciples such as "Letter from Sado" and "Letter to the Brothers."
SGI-Brazil General Director Julio Kosaka visited exam takers in São Bernardo do Campo and commended everyone for their efforts to deepen their understanding and faith in Buddhism.
Leading up to the exam, one woman walked 10 kilometers each way to attend study meetings. Although unable to read, with the help of her sons she was successfully able to take the exam.
Members of Taiwan Soka Association (TSA) also took the intermediate level Buddhist study examination, held in 39 venues, on October 2. Some 5,000 took part, 1,000 of whom were students.
[Adapted from articles in the October 3 and 7, 2011, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan, and from a report from the Taiwan Soka Association; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]