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Humanitarian Activities

Back to listApr 8, 2012

Youth Festival and General Meeting Held in Fukushima Prefecture

The Youth Festival in Tamura CityThe Youth Festival in Tamura City

Soka Gakkai youth members in Fukushima Prefecture held a Soka Youth Festival titled "The Light of Happiness" in Tamura City on April 1. The festival, attended by some 3,000 people, aimed to give hope and impart a "never-give-up" spirit in the people of Fukushima.

Many of the performers were people who had personally been affected by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit northern Japan on March 11, 2011. Several youth members shared their experience of losing loved ones on that fateful day and how they have been able to expand their hearts to empathize and care more for others through having suffered hardships themselves.

In his message to participants, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda conveyed his deepest respect to the youth of Fukushima who have made painstaking efforts day by day to overcome various struggles following the March 11 tragedy. A passage from the "Light of Happiness" chapter of Mr. Ikeda's The New Human Revolution--a novelized account of the history of Soka Gakkai--was shared:

My friends!

Transform sadness into courage.

Transform karma into mission.

The festival included taiko drumming, fife-and-drum performances and songs.  

Koriyama CityAt the Soka Gakkai Fukushima Culture Center in Koriyama City

On April 8, a “Phoenix” general meeting for members in Fukushima was held at the Soka Gakkai Fukushima Culture Center in Koriyama City.

In a message, Mr. Ikeda encouraged participants to continue to encourage one another and never be defeated.

Several members shared their experience of overcoming hardships following the March 11 earthquake and how their Buddhist practice helped them not to give up hope.

Soka Gakkai Fukushima leader Masahiko Endo commended the people of Fukushima for their steady efforts to rebuild their lives and for helping others do the same.

Soka Gakkai General Director Masaaki Masaki shared his hope that each and every person in Fukushima will become truly happy and live a fulfilled life based on the mentor and disciple spirit.

[Adapted from articles in the April 2 and 10, 2012, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]