On May 3, 1979, SGI President Ikeda penned with lionhearted strokes the calligraphy “Great Mountain.”
At the bottom, he wrote, “To my friends, I pray that your faith remains unwavering amid any storm.”
On April 24, President Ikeda had stepped down as the third Soka Gakkai president to protect the members from the machinations of the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood, which had colluded with corrupt former Soka Gakkai members to wrest control of the organization and bring about his downfall.
On May 3, after the solemn announcement of his resignation, President Ikeda went directly to the Kanagawa Culture Center in Yokohama, where the port serves as a gateway to the world. There, he made a powerful determination to stand alone and spread Nichiren Buddhism throughout the world. Nearly 40 years later, 12 million people in 192 countries and territories now practice the life-empowering philosophy of SGI Nichiren Buddhism.
At the start of this New Year, the Seikyo Shimbun carried the first installment of “Great Mountain,” the first chapter of volume 30 of The New Human Revolution.
Its publication was deeply significant as it represents the start of the final volume of SGI President Ikeda’s epic, novelized account of the Soka Gakkai.
When President Ikeda began writing The New Human Revolution in 1993, he shared that he expected the ongoing novel to comprise 30 volumes, representing his life’s work.
“It will certainly be a supreme challenge to finish writing it within my lifetime,” he said. “Nevertheless, only by fulfilling our mission in this life do we truly live” (vol. 1, p. xi).
The novel records the history of the progress of the Soka Gakkai following Daisaku Ikeda’s inauguration in 1960 as its third president, and serves as a record of the modern development of the Soka Gakkai and the SGI. It also contains practical guidance for how to further expand our movement for kosen-rufu. President Ikeda appears in the novel as Shin’ichi Yamamoto.