March 11 Earthquake Memorial Prayers Held Throughout Japan
To mark one year since the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, Soka Gakkai members held memorial prayer meetings in culture centers throughout Tohoku and the whole of Japan on March 11, 2012.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda and his wife Kaneko attended one such prayer meeting held at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters in Shinanomachi, Tokyo. They offered their heartfelt expression of sympathy and support to all those who have been affected by the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.
In a message sent to the memorial meetings held in the Tohoku region, Mr. Ikeda commended the efforts of the many people who have worked tirelessly to help others in the face of the tragedy and have been doing their utmost to help create hope and value for others through overcoming their own sufferings. Mr. Ikeda also shared how Nichiren Buddhism teaches that those who have suffered the most have the right to become truly happy.
Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada attended a prayer meeting held at the Shiogama Culture Center in Miyagi Prefecture. Mr. Harada encouraged participants to support each other and to continue to work together toward Tohoku's safe recovery. At the meeting, youth members performed the Soka Gakkai song "Youth, Scale the Mountain of Kosen-rufu" to reaffirm their hope for the future.
In remembrance of those who lost their lives on March 11, and in the spirit of wishing for the fast recovery of Tohoku, Mr. Ikeda had suggested cherry trees be planted as a symbol of hope and new life on the occasion of the Tohoku General Meeting held in July 2011. In the same spirit, after the prayer meetings held on March 11, 2012, cherry trees were planted at various centers in the affected areas throughout Tohoku.
[Adapted from an article in the March 12, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]