Founding of Soka Gakkai Women's Group Celebrated in June
On June 4, Soka Gakkai held its monthly leaders meeting at the Soka International Friendship Center in Tokyo, Japan. The meeting commemorated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Soka Gakkai's women's group. SGI members from 13 countries and territories, including South Asia, Europe, Latin America, Korea and New Zealand, attended, along with representatives from Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures--areas greatly affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
In a message for the occasion, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda expressed his deepest appreciation for the efforts of the women members who have continuously striven to overcome difficulties and worked to create harmonious communities. Mr. Ikeda quoted a passage from "The True Aspect of All Phenomena," one of Nichiren's writings, and stressed the importance of engaging in dialogue based on sincerity. He also shared his hope that young people would develop into capable leaders who will bring happiness to mothers around the world.
At the meeting, SGI members from several countries shared their experiences of practicing Buddhism. After she and her husband began practicing Buddhism, Sikha Singh from India said they were able to transform a negative financial situation and create a happier, more harmonious family. She also voiced her determination to contribute to creating lasting peace in India.
Soka Gakkai Women's Leader Shinobu Sugimoto shared Mr. Ikeda's encouragement to mothers, saying those who have offered prayers and supported their friends are a source of hope and victory for all. Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada stated that Soka Gakkai would be making even greater efforts to develop capable youth for the future. He also relayed Mr. Ikeda's encouragement to pray wholeheartedly for the well-being and happiness of friends and to give hope and courage to others through engaging in heartfelt dialogue.
In celebration of the women's group's 60th anniversary, a plaque was engraved with Mr. Ikeda's lyrics to "Mother," composed in 1971. The musical arrangement for the song was completed five years later in 1976. The unveiling ceremony was held on June 3 at the Soka Gakkai Women's Center in Tokyo.
The unveiling ceremony included choral performances by the Soka Gakkai White Lily Chorus. Mr. Harada, attending the unveiling, stated his hope that the women would continue to create new paths toward peace and happiness.
On June 5, a cultural exchange meeting was held between Soka Gakkai and SGI women from nine countries at the Soka Gakkai Women's Center. Representative young women members also attended.
Mr. Ikeda and his wife sent a message to participants saying the gathering was a blueprint for kosen-rufu, or world peace through individual happiness. He also called on everyone to make great strides in their own personal growth and in working for lasting peace. The meeting also included welcome words by SGI Women's Leader Kayoko Asano and three faith-based experiences from members. Lastly, SGI Vice President Hiromasa Ikeda expressed his hope that everyone would lead lives of absolute happiness and victory based on the humanistic philosophy of Buddhism.
[Adapted from articles in the June 4, 5 and 6, 2011 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]