Soka Gakkai Holds First Monthly Leaders Meeting of 2011 in Japan
On January 8, Soka Gakkai held its monthly leaders meeting, which commemorated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Young Men's Group (July 11, 1951) and Young Women's Group (July 19, 1951). The event, also celebrating the 60th anniversary of home delivery of the Seikyo Shimbun by Soka Gakkai members, was held at the Soka International Friendship Center in Sendagaya, Tokyo. Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada, other Soka Gakkai executive leaders and 96 SGI members from 15 countries and territories attended.
In a message, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda expressed his deepest appreciation for those who have delivered the Seikyo Shimbun for many years. He encouraged participants to continue deepening their faith through study, practice and dialogue and to challenge to make even more effort for the sake of world peace. He went on to say that by doing so one will accumulate great fortune that will benefit one's parents, family and friends and bring happiness to many people.
At the meeting, youth performers played the Japanese drum, the tsugaru shamisen (Japanese three-stringed instrument), and the koto (Japanese harp). A classical Japanese dance was also presented.
Following the performances, Mr. Harada encouraged those attending to expand their state of life, emphasizing nurturing and raising capable youth for the future. He also stated doing so was the starting point for realizing a peaceful community, as stated by Nichiren himself in his writing "On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land."
Hideko Kitagawa, who has been delivering the Seikyo Shimbun for 35 years in Mie Prefecture, told how her Buddhist practice coupled with encouragement from Mr. Ikeda helped her overcome various set backs, especially her daughter's illness. Her practice also opened up a desire to dedicate herself to help develop her own community through her regular visits with senior citizens.
Hisaroku Ando, a Seikyo Shimbun correspondent for 22 years in Kanagawa Prefecture, shared how he applied himself to his daily Buddhist practice to overcome various illnesses as well as in his work as a manager of a major pharmaceutical company in Japan.
[Adapted from articles in the January 9 and 14, 2011, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]