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Back to listMar 11, 2012

March Headquarters Meeting Focuses on Recovery from March 11 Disaster

Visitors learning a history of the Lotus SutraAt the Tokyo Toda Memorial Auditorium in Sugamo, Tokyo

On March 3, some 250 SGI members from 60 countries and territories visiting Japan for a training course joined the 56th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting held at the Tokyo Toda Memorial Auditorium in Sugamo. Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada, General Director Masaaki Masaki and Women's Leader Shinobu Sugimoto also attended, together with representatives from Tohoku Region who were affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The meeting was simultaneously linked up via satellite to several Soka Gakkai centers in the affected region where local members were meeting.  Lively gatherings in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture, and Iwaki in Fukushima Prefecture were introduced.

In his message to the meeting, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda emphasized that the act of encouraging another is the true essence of promoting world peace. He stressed that this is precisely the way to actualize a secure, peaceful society based on humanitarian principles, as expounded in Nichiren's treatise "On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land." Mr. Ikeda encouraged participants to embark on this endeavor of bettering their communities through the promotion of sincere dialogue.

Visitors learning a history of the Lotus SutraMembers gather at the Iwaki Culture Center in Fukushima Prefecture

Members from Tohoku shared a poem from Mr. Ikeda's work The New Human Revolution dedicated to the Tohoku members and commemorating the arrival of spring, which reads:

 

  • My friends!
  • Transform sadness into courage.
  • Transform karma into mission.
  • Break through the darkness
  • and make the morning sun rise in your hearts.

 

Fifth grade elementary student, Daiki Oikawa, then read live from the Tohoku International Women's Center in Sendai City his essay titled "An Undefeated Heart" about how he lost his grandfather in the tsunami but was able to find the strength and courage to carry on. The essay [Click here to read] won first prize in a contest organized by the Soka Gakkai Boys' and Girls' Group.

The meeting also included a report by SGI-Thailand Men's Leader Pornchai Wongcharoenchai. He shared that despite the flooding, the spread of a new influenza virus and ongoing political instability in the country, the men of SGI-Thailand, through their own determined efforts and the support of the women's members, have managed to boost their participation in SGI activities across the country.  

Lastly, Mr. Harada encouraged participants to uphold the ideal of realizing a peaceful and prosperous society based on the humanistic principles of Buddhism, and to help lay an indestructible foundation for world peace.

[Adapted from an article in the March 4, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]