July 2021 marks 40 years since Ikeda Sensei was declared a poet laureate by the World Academy of Arts and Culture in 1981. The following is an excerpt of Sensei’s June 2005 poem titled “Hold High the Proud Banner of July 3!” This excerpt was republished in the July 3, 2021, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun.

Many are the trials
that have beset me to this day,
but I have serenely
triumphed over all.…

Buffeting winds howl fiercely.
If people wish to hate me,
let them hate away.
If they wish to laugh at me,
let them laugh away.
If they wish to jeer at me,
let them jeer away.
Empty slurs and criticisms
are beneath my notice.

The sun in my heart
always shines brightly;
it is never defeated
by any oppressive onslaught
or formidable foe.…

Stay true to your integrity
and ideals.
In other words, to your faith
in the Mystic Law—
the supreme and ultimate Law of life.

July 3, 1945—
on that day, my mentor, second Soka Gakkai
President Josei Toda,
was released from prison,
in a victory over the persecution
of the militarist authorities.

And on July 3, 1957,
I, his disciple,
was jailed on false charges.

President Toda had of course
been completely innocent.
And I, too, was fully exonerated
of all charges against me.

I say to you:
“Let us celebrate July 3,
mentor and disciple striving
together as one!”

My friends,
hold high the proud banner of July 3
and charge ahead!
Forever make this day
a historic one!

My friends,
crown your youth with victory!
Celebrate July 3,
birthday of victory,
with another brilliant triumph!