On Oct. 28, 2021, ahead of the Soka Gakkai’s founding month, Ikeda Sensei and his wife, Kaneko, visited the Soka Gakkai Headquarters in Tokyo and recited gongyo.
The significant month of November marks 40 years since Sensei began his all-out efforts to encourage the members as a counteroffensive following the first priesthood issue, carrying out the vow he made as the third Soka Gakkai president to achieve the Soka Gakkai’s mission of worldwide kosen-rufu. This month also marks 30 years since the Soka Gakkai achieved spiritual independence from the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood.
Sensei and Mrs. Ikeda offered heartfelt prayers for the great victory, health, happiness and good fortune of all of the members throughout Japan and around the world who are resolutely scaling the vast mountain of kosen-rufu with all their might.
Just a week prior, on Oct. 20, Sensei and Mrs. Ikeda encouraged Kansai Soka Elementary School sixth-graders, who were on a field trip in Shinanomachi, Tokyo.
The students expressed their appreciation to Sensei and Mrs. Ikeda, greeting them brightly with “Hello! Thank you very much Sensei!”
Sensei wholeheartedly welcomed each of these treasured students and sent heartfelt encouragement to them, saying: “I am happy you are all here! Please give my very best regards to your mothers and fathers, and everyone in Kansai.”
Filled with inspiration from their encounter with Sensei, the students held a meeting in Shinjuku, expressing their determination to grow into people of courage, hope and justice who brighten the world.
—Adapted from the Oct. 21 and 29, 2021 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun.
- The first priesthood issue: Nichiren Shoshu priests conspired with a corrupt Soka Gakkai lawyer to attack Ikeda Sensei and the Soka Gakkai’s members, seeking to gain control over the organization’s assets. On April 24, 1979, Sensei stepped down as Soka Gakkai president to protect the members from further persecution.
- Spiritual Independence: On Nov. 28, 1991, the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood sent an excommunication notice to Sensei and the Soka Gakkai’s members, marking the Soka Gakkai’s formal disassociation from Nichiren Shoshu. SGI members throughout the world have since celebrated Nov. 28 as our Day of Spiritual Independence.