SGI Spring Training Session and Cultural Exchange Meetings
Some 250 SGI members from 60 countries and territories around the world attended the week-long SGI Spring Training Course in Japan, starting with an opening ceremony on March 1 held at the Soka International Friendship Hall in Sendagaya, Tokyo.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a welcome message to participants in which he shared his heartfelt wish for SGI members to become citizens who can empathize with those who are suffering and be guiding examples of how to live with hope.
Following greetings by SGI Secretary-General (Executive Director) Hisao Matsuyama, individual SGI members from Russia and New Zealand spoke about the activities of their local SGI organizations.
SGI Women's Leader Kayoko Asano and SGI General Director Yoshitaka Oba also welcomed members. Mr. Oba stressed the value of sharing the same spirit as one’s mentor while promoting harmony in society through strengthening friendship and trust.
Soka Gakkai Vice General Director Shigeo Hasegawa also spoke, reiterating Mr. Ikeda's words that hope is the greatest treasure of life and that courage is the wellspring of victory.
On March 4, the visiting SGI members attended a meeting at the Kanagawa Culture Center in the port city of Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. They then broke into small groups to attend cultural exchange meetings with local Soka Gakkai members in Kanagawa area. Members shared their experiences of practicing Buddhism in their country and shared aspects of their culture, such as traditional folk dance, songs and hand-made crafts.
[Adapted from articles in the March 2 and 5, 2012, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]