Hello everyone! We had an amazing second day of our training course together with Sensei!
Throughout the day, we could feel how Sensei was watching over our gatherings and thinking about how to encourage us at every step of the way.
For our afternoon activities, we travelled to Soka International Friendship Center located two train stops away from the hotel. First, we participated in the Opening Ceremony, which was followed by question and answer and guidance by Soka Gakkai President Harada and Soka Gakkai Vice General Director Hasegawa.
The Opening Ceremony began with Sensei’s message to the training course participants. A few points that Sensei made in his message were:
1) We are bodhisattvas of the earth and were born to fulfill this vow of the bodhisattva.
2) Together, with one heart, let’s refresh our vow for worldwide kosen-rufu.
3) The determination of one person to fight for kosen-rufu is itself the embodiment of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo.
4) We cannot achieve kosen-rufu without the SGI. The SGI is the will and decree of the Buddha.
Sensei emphasized that mentor and disciple share the same heart and are therefore always together.
For the remainder of the opening ceremony, the new SGI YWD, YMD, Student Division and Youth Leaders were introduced and each shared words of determination. Then, we heard very encouraging reports from representatives from Ghana and Peru.
Over and over, the youth leaders shared Sensei’s guidance that our time has come! Sensei has been urging us to create the “Youth Soka Gakkai”. In other words, Sensei is challenging us to raise disciples even more youthful and more capable than ourselves to secure the future of worldwide kosen-rufu.
Q & A with President Harada
Next Mr. Harada shared Sensei’s guidance that we need to enjoy our struggles as youth! As long as we take our struggles, pain, and hardships to the Gohonzon, they will become our treasures.
Question from Cote D’Ivoire: What is the heart of Sensei?
Mr. Harada shared a story about Sensei to illustrate that the spirit of the mentor is in cherishing and giving our all to encourage the person in front of us.
41 years ago when Sensei was in Kyoto, he was driving around to observe the conditions of the city, and how the people live. In the middle of his ride, two High School Division YMD on bicycles saw Sensei in the car and yelled, “Sensei!” One of the leaders encouraged the YMD not to call out to Sensei. However, Sensei asked one of his staff members to find these two High School Dision YMD who called out to him. Finally, they found the two young men, and Sensei took time to encourage these two young men. Sensei also gave them a book. These two young men created their prime point with Sensei that day, and to this day have never forgotten that episode.
Guidance Session with Mr. Hasegawa
Mr. Hasegawa shared Sensei’s recent guidance to the leaders of Japan:
The time has come for the disciples to stand up! Become lions and fight!
Youth have the mission to give hope and happiness to others.
Fight with the same heart as me for the sake of the people.
I trust you the most. I want to entrust everything to you!
A report from the YWD regarding today’s historic International Ikeda Kayo-kai meeting:
Today, the YWD were able to attend a World Ikeda Kayo-kai meeting.
It was truly historic as we celebrated the gathering of Ikeda Kayo-kai members from all over the world during this auspicious year commemorating the 50th and 80th anniversaries. The meeting began with a beautiful kotekitai and color guard performance as they played the “Vow of Ikeda Kayo-kai”. Sensei sent a wonderful message and we felt that he was with us in the meeting. In the message he shared that Mrs. Ikeda is our senior Kayo-kai member as she was part of the first class of Kayo-kai that President Toda created. Sensei shared that she gave her whole life to spend her days as a young women to reply to her mentor and continues to live true to her vow as a Kayo-kai member. Sensei shared that he wanted to do something for those attending today’s meeting, and revealed a calligraphy that has not been shown in 25 years. The calligraphy read, “Angel”. He also wanted another calligraphy for “Vow” as well as a poem he had written to Kayo-kai members 25 years ago to be presented at the meeting.
Mr. Hiromasa Ikeda who was in attendance at today’s Kayo-kai meeting explained that the calligraphy for “Angel” and the poem to Kayo-kai were originally meant for those women’s division who fought in their days of youth as Kayo-kai members who stayed true to their vow with President Toda. However, the meaning of him presenting this calligraphy to us now at our meeting was for the current Ikeda Kayo-kai members to learn from this example and to stay true to our vow for the future. There were also activity reports from YWD leaders of the UK, Phillipines and Canada reporting how each of their countries are actualizing the spirit of Ikeda Kayo-kai in their organizations and communities.
We closed the meeting singing the “Vow of Ikeda Kayo-kai” in unison and taking a commemorative photo to celebrate this auspicious occasion. The Ikeda Kayo-kai of America are determined more than ever to advance kosen-rufu in America in response to Sensei!
Keiko Kubo, SGI-USA YWD Secretariat Chief on behalf of SGI-USA YWD Leader Vinessa Shaw