by James C. Stephens


Thursday, January 30, 1978 –30 days

Up 5:45. Made calls for daimoku campaign. Raining moderately.

Last night I could not write about my experience, because it was so fresh in my life, so I decided to wait til today.

Before I go into it though, I called Tom Brittingham in Las Vegas. He is going through a lot of human revolution and says he is seriously thinking of coming back to Los Angeles. I will hear from him at 10 this morning.

One of my inner struggles is vanity. As I was reading Pres. Ikeda’s Youthful Diary I was encouraged by one paragraph in his–Thursday, June 2 diary,

“Men thirst after vanity, even I myself. Future life, future leader, must have unshakable power. Never forget the spirit of pathfinders and forerunners–especially in youth. Day after day, age progresses. Wish to make myself catch up with progress, and become its pioneer.”

I feel the same. We have to truly realize we are the pioneers, the sons of liberty, the sons of the American Revolution of this age. If we don’t, if I don’t grasp this fact, I feel I have missed the point of my life.

Foundation in study.

Speed reading–I read too slowly to read all that I wish, no, that I need to read to grasp and face the harsh realities of the intellectual society. All mankind must reach for enlightenment. Must tap power and mercy deep within.

Sunday, February 12, 1978

For the past couple of weeks it has been raining off and on again. We have already far surpassed seasonal norms. Catalina came off their water rationing program. They now can take regular baths again. I bet husbands and wife’s are really happy for that…The rains have not however brought only good, they have brought much grief to many people in Los Angeles. Tornado’s swept El Segundo. Flash Floods, mud slides have left hundreds homeless, and even wiped out one entire mountain community.

It is most Tragic. It is truly as in the Rissho Ankoku Ron*. Water drought, rationing, fires, floods, spiritual famine. People are at a loss.

1978 is definitely a very significant year for my own personal development. This month we are studying through Ho’on Sho which is a Gosho of extreme importance. It deals with the Three Great Secret Laws*, and appreciation. We are studying the section dealing with appreciation. This is truly my human revolution. I realize honestly that I don’t appreciate Pres. Ikeda or the Gohonzon nearly enough. This is extremely important to do however! Bruce, Jerry, Liz and I started a group reading the Human Revolution–all ten volumes. With this campaign as a start it is my determination to develop this appreciation of Pres. Ikeda and become a true disciple. I am little more than a follower now. However! It is my determination to receive extensive training from Pres. Ikeda when he comes to the United States. Until then each moment, I must prepare for that step. I am so distant. Last night at my Chapter Gosho discussion I felt so limited to move or encourage Pres. Ikeda’s YMD. I made a determination from that meeting to develop a pure seeking mind and an appreciative, most appreciative life toward Pres. Ikeda. I voiced my determination at the meeting to fulfill this vow and for all present to become the kind of persons that would get and give the most when Pres. Ikeda comes to the U.S. But it begins not just physically, but to spiritually prepare, when the master is not physically present.

My 1,000,000 daimoku target is nearing. I am 22 hours from completion. My goal is to be finished by Thurs. 2 days prior to our wedding. Friday night, 2/10 I chanted 10 hours. It definitely was an experience. I was tired yet I feel it was worth it.

Did 5 hours today. Happy YMD Senior Leaders meeting today. Much more real unity. Sleep is my campaign now, so, goodnite.


*Rissho Ankoku Ron: Treatise written by Nichiren Daishonin to the Shogun calling for the Pacification of the Land through the Establishment of the True Religion. Nichiren the Buddhist prophet states:

“I have pondered the matter carefully with what limited resources I possess, and have looked a little at the scriptures for an answer. The people of today all turn their backs upon what is right; to a person, they give their allegiance to evil. This is the reason that the benevolent deities have abandoned the nation and departed together, that sages leave and do not return. And in their stead devils and demons come, and disasters and calamities occur. I cannot keep silent on this matter. I cannot suppress my fears.”

https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/2

The core of the Three Great Secret Laws*: The Gohonzon, or the object of devotion of the essential teaching, is the core of the Three Great Secret Laws in Nichiren’s doctrine that represent the purpose of his life. The Three Great Secret Laws are the object of devotion of the essential teaching, the invocation, or daimoku, of the essential teaching, and the sanctuary of the essential teaching.

The Sho Hondo: https://youtu.be/dXS5MwdLW7o

The Dai Gohonzon being inscribed in sumi ink by Nichiren Daishonin.

Inscription of the Dai Gohonzon

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by James C. Stephens


Monday, December 19, 1977

Played ping pong for several hours with Danny, Brent (Wilson), Koichi and I. Attended Christmas party til late at Vicki Pierce’s. Liz ill, caught my flu.

Talked to Jeff Silver. He called. We talked for about an hour. I was really encouraged and so happy to hear his improvement in his faith. He really brought me out of a dark lonely spot that evening.

Tuesday, December 20, 1977

Danny (Nagashima) ill-caught same flu as I. Attended West L.A. planning meeting. I was so elated and surprised at the change in the spirit of their district in the past 3 months.

Talked to Terry Steinhardt about Jason and YMD in general.

Wednesday, December 21, 1977

Woke up at 10:50 to rain. Benefit. Library committee. Bruce and I met at Liz’s. Listened to tape. Left at 10:30PM picked up Bill Evans and visited Ira Zahler in the valley. I feel among the three of us, we left him in an encouraged state. One by one!

Thursday, December 22, 1977

YMD planned January schedule and new goals for 1978.

Friday, December 23, 1977

Rain. Liz and I visited Scott and had take out Chinese dinner with him. Very nice evening.

Saturday, December 24, 1977

File2929

My Mother Alice and her cousin Tony Dow at traditional Christmas Eve Party

Family Xmas eve. Tony, Carol, Dion, Juice, Muriel, Johnny Dow, Mom, Sully, Liz and I. Nice evening.

Sunday, December 25, 1977

Xmas Day.

Lazy holiday. ug. Liz, Mom, Adrianne and I saw movie Choirboys and had pleasant dinner at Benihana’s Japanese Restaurant. Had fun. Liz and I had a couple small differences, but were able to discuss them.

Monday, December 26, 1977

Merry Christmas Scrabble

Lazy holiday. Watched football, played Scrabble, enjoyed each other’s company. 6 pm met Tracy regarding invitations for wedding. 7-8 pm got names for invites from No. Hollywood and Valley.

Tuesday, December 27, 1977

Raining. Stayed at Liz’s, washed dishes, poor feeling inside, somewhat disconnected. Must renew my determination! Called Danny, Mrs. Bell. I called Russ Dilando tonight re: Wedding best man. I received a strange feeling from him. I sincerely am worried about his practice. I felt very lonely as if I carried a great responsibility.

It’s raining hard. I feel 1978 is bringing with it a winter of struggle, but with the promise of great growth and victory. Fresh start. Never forget. Honnin’myo!

Wednesday, December 28, 1977

My life is so hard to get going! But to start a train with many cars requires great effort. I must try harder, only victory, only suffering, only human revolution. I’m discovering weaknesses which until now I have avoided.

ATTACK!

Friday, December 30, 1977

Raining. Determined to chant six hours today. Only chanted four.

Saturday, December 31, 1977

Yesterday I figured I would have to chant four hours per day to reach a million daimoku by February 18, the date of my wedding. Only chanted one and a half today.

Wednesday after discussion meeting I had volunteered to help clean the World Culture Center on New Year’s Evening Day, today. I arrived a few minutes late. Mr. Williams had done a special ABC Gongyo with the cleaners. He gave us a special name. He called us the “Gold Mine Group.” He elaborated on the principles of helping clean the center and said we should carry the same spirit with us everywhere. After you clean here, let’s make our home shine, too. Honnin’myo. Consistent from beginning to end.

Our group was in charge of cleaning basement and outside. We are foundation group (we called ourself). After we did the outside windows, I worked for awhile cleaning up the garden indoors.

Liz and I had a small disagreement and both went through several changes after I had decided to clean my house in correspondence with Mr. Williams’ guidance.

She left me off at home. I felt regretful of my attitude. I determined to never again be so selfish, and to be considerate. I should be strong. This is my human revolution!

We did evening gongyo together and went to two parties for New Year’s, West Hollywood Chapter.

by James C. Stephens


December 18, 1977

Notes from George Williams continue:

“You’ll be the Saviors of the world that’s why! You’ll save the whole people of the world. Historically name to save mankind.

Rich people can become congressman. Senators same thing, Government same thing, they’re cheap. Use money that’s why. School cheap knowledge that’s why, but you’re going to use Gohonzon. That’s why great. You’re going to use Gohonzon as center. That’s why President Ikeda say, “general’s strategy.” You’re going to become general of generals. Gohonzon center that’s why you’re great. You’re going to be great leader. Think of that. Use money and become leader, it’s cheap. Don’t you think?

“Hai!”

Cheat other people and become leader, it’s cheap also. Using money, they destroyed by money, looking for fame destroyed by fame again, we are not looking for such a fame. We look for nothing, but response to President Ikeda’s request, that’s all. He’s not asking us either just only aside that’s all. He’s not telling us who going to be leader of the future. Those with deep response trying to understand what he expects, what he wants, that is a leader of the future. Not trying to tell me whole strategy. You go back to kindergarten teacher tell you what to do. Clap your hands. Come to here, stand up, sit down, say hi. That’s kindergarten way. Tell nothing. But find out way, that is general’s strategy, the general’s way. You got it?

“Hai!”

There is no answer. Only question. Come-that’s all. Assignments only. No clear explanations that is the most difficult thing. No help. Help yourself. SY–sometimes paid nothing. You know Pres. Toda’s business 1950 collapse–everyone doubt Pres. Toda. Quit company, only SY remain to support Pres. Toda. Stick to Pres. Toda. Such a tremendous life to life response. That way no doubt whoever criticize Pres. Toda. SY stuck to Pres. Toda. This is only life condition from now into the future of Soka Gakkai and will be criticized, but together with Gohonzon, stick with Pres. Ikeda, that’s the way. That’s really the real leader of the future. That’s shitei funi (oneness of master and disciple) spiritual status.

Always campaign Pres. Ikeda say, “Before all other, employ the strategy of the Lotus Sutra. Shin-nichi now thoroughly realized that the only things he could count on were the Gohonzon and the Gosho (letters from Nichiren Daishonin).”

pg. 15. “Shin’nichi began by determining to win the victory and then traced the process backwards to decide on the first step to be taken in the campaign.”

Gohonzon’s great! Pres. Ikeda say at Osaka. Gohonzon say we win already and then trace backwards. Impossible situation, but he started out with no other way that’s why. Answer is Gohonzon in other words. Your answer, your future in Gohonzon. Only one thing you understand, you’re great already. Nothing greater than Gohonzon. Gohonzon so great that’s why you’ll be great with Gohonzon that kind of way. You try to secure your money. Money great you say. On that occasion in the future money will destroy you. But with Gohonzon that occasion never destroy you. Gohonzon will only build you up.

Second, Gohonzon is only answer, only key to win.

USSN Saratoga Aircraft Carrier

USS Saratoga (CV/CVA/CVB-60), was the second of four Forrestal-class supercarriers built for the United States Navy in the 1950s. Saratoga was the sixth U.S. Navy ship, and the second aircraft carrier, to be named for the Battles of Saratoga in the American Revolutionary War.

Also pg. 15. At first Shin’nichi sank into despair. Although he told not a one, he was in constant torment, day in and day out. “So actually Pres. Ikeda himself really suffered. Many members came from Osaka last October reading this article saying, “Gee, first time we understood SY suffered himself so much. Everyone thought a very joyful campaign. I still remember Osaka headquarters like aircraft carrier so many leaders, Mr. Wada, Yaoi, Mr. Starick, Yano, and all leaders of today from Osaka that time like one plane in and out like Osaka aircraft center. Whole building shaking. Like Saratoga carrier. Like Midway campaign in/out coming back with empty gas tanks to mother boat to refuel and go to another shakubuku campaign.

NSA headquarters going to become like that going to become strong. Come in and fill up confident go again. Fill up confident members, come back again. Just like bombing of confidence when lose all confidence come back recharge again (laughter). So that kind of way that kind of campaign take over in 1979. That kind of mother boat. Then whoever in-out people become Vice Pres. or Pres. of the future. So actually everyone at that occasion take your command and really try to commadere cockpit, flight crew, you’re the one who lead the whole future of Soka Gakkai. That kind of way train yourself, no other special answer A) Question A) Answer. There no such answer that’s the problem. Answer you find out yourself, that’s the saying “Lotus Sutra” is the only answer key to win strategy whole thing.

Ikeda in campaign mode in 1950

Daisaku Ikeda in campaign mode in 1950’s.

Pg. 16. He could not allow the campaign to end in failure for 2 reasons. This is very important two reasons. How SY response to Pres. Toda. First, the defeat would frustrate one of Pres. Toda’s plans. Second it would mean that Shin’nichi would have lost his first full scale battle for Kosenrufu. It would be a tremendous setback in his life, a life dedicated to a supreme mission. He must win by all means. 1979 will be here. Wait til our situation clears up. Joshibu, Fujimbu, Men’s division, but YMD is only organization department division President Ikeda can rely on. Then 1979-pow. Make easy. This is really reason first defeat would frustrate Pres. Ikeda’s plan. Got it?

“Hai!”

Second. Your’s, nay, you would of lost your first full scale battle for Kosenrufu. Think about it. Pres. Ikeda wrote this to SY, but just switch your name there. Read with your name and each time Shin’nichi Y name comes read your name. Then you understand whole thing..If you just read it with SY own name you don’t understand it. You read your own name over SY. Then whole thing makes sense to you.

Pg. 17. “A life filled with suffering is a life truly lived., Shin.” You, your name here. Okay read your name here substitute. A life filled with suffering is a life truly live your name, Shin. what’s your name? (laughter) Shin is somebody, name. Everybody shout your name. What’s your name?

(“Jim, John, Gary, Les, Bruce, etc.” loudly all at once).

A life filled with suffering is a life truly lived Jim. That’s your name. See everytime you read your name in it then you understand. Pres. Toda, Pres. Ikeda talking to you, I’m speaking to you now. Your name, don’t read SY’s name, or somebody’s name. Your name here. Makes whole thing make sense. Then reason because Pres. Toda says pg. 16 central part. “I’m eagerly but patiently to the day when you spread your wings and take to the air.” That everybody today chick today. You’re chicken. Kentucky fried chicken. No wings, no feathers, can’t fly even. If you fly you’ll fall down I know. That’s why you take this work for your future exactly what Pres. Toda telling you I eagerly but patiently looking forward to the day when you will spread your wings and take to the air.”

Pres. Ikeda says to YMD of NSA. None of us is full time priest. Nobody priest. We are all destined to display our full power in whatever field our missions call for. There can’t be a single exception. Others whine it won’t really be Kosenrufu. So your mission will be many many ways. Some of you Congressmen, Senators, Governors, small city of Santa Monica mayor. Anybody can be that in the future.

Dr., profs, and many top leaders of Los Angeles area. Police Chief, Fire Chief, Hospital chief, headmaster, only never professional Homencho. Your profession different. That kind of way everybody has a mission. Please understand this point. Then Pres. Ikeda’s response to develop all members of Osaka future leader, is really happening today. We can say sometimes most of the top leaders of Soka Gakkai Headquarters is from Osaka, too strangely. Mr. Ogehara, Mr. Vic Pres Wada and many top Komeito leaders. Osaka always win, even when Tokyo lose. Osaka never defeat. NSA so far never defeated in campaign. Last year we step back only one year, I’m glad, two years going to be too late I thought. Thanks to all of you in one year we stopped. 2nd year coming August, September, October I feel all were coming back this I really feel! to all of you. Going towards long journey one year is good rest. I think you experienced everything. But that one year is over. Please understand. Honeymoon is over (laughter). Back to work!! One year is long holidays. Never let you have such holiday again, for your future, that’s why. If only for my sake I stop kosenrufu. For you that’s why I have to keep asking lots of things. On behalf of Pres. Ikeda I’ll ask you to do many things. You’ll do it for me?

“Hai!”

Let’s do together for answer for Pres. Ikeda. I can die anytime for him. I tried on time in 1973-1974. Many times. But my life for you until you’ve grown up. I make foundation for you to fly. I’ll be aircraft carrier for you. You command future of NSA. That’s why someday you’ll take over but until then receive training. Could you?

“Hai!”

So this you have to be courageous, more courageous. Just like Edmund. pg. 17. Be Bold, be Bold and everywhere be bold! Pres. Ikeda using Edmund Spencer’s* words. Courage Young men’s division you need courage. If you lose courage you’re chicken. Don’t be coward YMD. YMD should be courageous. Of which Pres. Ikeda can be real proud.  Courageous Young Men’s Division. Courage and Confidence. So anyway today I hope you read again and again this part, this Human Revolution., talk about nothing but your future campaign. If you understand this, understand your future at the same time. Read each time SY your name in it. When you understand Pres. Ikeda wrote to you for your future text. So many guidance you received today. But this is original point., such consistency from beginning to end. As long as your roots are deep enough you can develop your branches, flowers and fruits. You don’t look for next second roots. You are already enough trunk, and you have roots in Osaka campaign. Osaka campaign is roots, don’t look for another roots. I wish you good luck to continue action in 1978. 1978 is really our NSA year then enter 1979 campaign for 700 year Dai Gohonzon ceremony Pres. Ikeda named Los Angeles. Don’t you think this is a great honor?

“Hai!”

Los Angeles he named World Culture Festival. Our city chosen many years ago. 700 years Dai Gohonzon year in L.A. Don’t you think so great honor?

“Hai!”

That’s why I hope you all be straight up. 78 become perfect union, perfect unite. Itai Doshin, Danketsu, ready for whatever his plan going to be. I’m co-ordinator of all such a movement, and you’ll be the whole things to carry on. I’m Yusohan Chief of Pres. Ikeda’s movement. All programs are Pres. Ikeda’s programs. All of us just carry on whatever he says. Going to do it?

“Hai!”

Let’s do it 1979. Dai Gohonzon, 700 year anniversary in America, in California, in Los Angeles, in Santa Monica. How’s that?

“Hai!”

That’s why you’re so great, so honorable and everything is taht way. I wish you good luch and hope 1978 will be your meaningful year and from my heart I thank all of you. You done many things, but 78 will be a more meaningful year for everyone. So enjoy lots of campaign together, okay?

“Hai!”

So thank you very much.

Sancho Daimoku.

Sang song of Human Revolution.

 


http://biography.yourdictionary.com/edmund-spenser

Who was Edmund Spenser?
“Edmund Spenser was a man of his times, and his work reflects the religious and humanistic ideals as well as the intense but critical patriotism of Elizabethan England. His contributions to English literature—in the form of a heightened and enlarged poetic vocabulary, a charming and flexible verse style, and a rich fusing of the philosophic and literary currents of the English Renaissance—entitle him to a rank not far removed from that of William Shakespeare and John Milton.”
 “The philosophy underlying Spenser’s epic combines three strands. Platonism, which (as seen through the eyes of Renaissance commentators) stressed the harmony between love and beauty on the human and divine levels, is blended with the less imaginative and more concrete Aristotelianism of the scholastic tradition, with its disciplined analysis and careful reflection on the moral life, which Spenser had probably learned in school. These two elements are penetrated by a strong Calvinistic Christianity, stressing man’s weakness, his need for a strict moral life, and the total dependence of humanity on the atonement of Christ. Thus the work itself is a fine example of an attempted synthesis between the traditions of Christianity and those of classical antiquity that characterizes all the best productions of the Renaissance.”
World Tribune evidently put out a piece on the Kansai Campaign in 2001. Here’s the link.

by James C. Stephens


December 18, 1977

JCS Note: The following are verbatim notes as I took them down in a Toban meeting with General Director Williams and are not embellished. I will break the long post into two parts. The following will cover page 1-5, the second from pg. 16-29. My notes include phrases which Williams would use which were not always phrased in proper English. However, I think they provide an accurate historical and linguistic eyewitness insider account of what actually transpired during the 17 year old movement. This is probably one of the longest entries I had written up to this point in my journal. It also paints a picture of the early relationship of George M. Williams with the young Ikeda who was serving under President Toda. I will include explanatory notes in brackets integrated into the post rather than at the end because of the length of the post. All mistakes are not Williams, but sometimes my notetaking was as not quite as quick as a particular series of exhortations when he rattled off many terms. But you do get the general flow.

Begin entry. Williams begins:

“Wow. Good morning. How are you?”

“Fine.”

As you heard about this President Ikeda’s H.R. Volume X, it covers a tendency of campaign details of, what he done actually. The beginning of this study pg. 14 Josei Toda assessed the situation in Kansai for exactly what it was..almost hopeless. So actually this hopeless campaign President Toda send Sen’nichi Yamamoto [Daisaku Ikeda’s pseudonym in the multi volume collection of the Human Revolution which I then abbreviate throughout my notes] this campaign Pres. Ikeda first time he write about his own campaign. In other words, his maiden campaign, his first campaign for himself, so actually remain in history. P.I. [President Ikeda] was behind the scene more likely previously. Previous H.R. Pres. Toda is the center. This Vol. X as you heard, his camp, his reply to his master Pres. Toda. Actually, Vol. 9 is ended last Sept. 1976 and this Vol. X start year after Sept. 3, 1977. Previously he start writing of the HR, he really founder and his self. because this is his campaign and also he replying to Pres. Toda. Therefore in one of his essays in Book essays on HR they appear in Seikyo Shimbum in which HR book you know can’t cover whole things. The essay covers up between the lines. Pres Ikeda says in Essays in H.R., ‘that it is really difficult to write, not because of his inability to write, but because of his intensive Ichinen so diff. to write because Vol. X covers Pres. Toda’s last 2 1/2 years of campaign and SY his campaign his reply, how he dedicated. So actually writing about himself is not easy. Writing about someone else, Pres. Toda is easy. every detail he could write. Of course, once in awhile he couldn’t write every detail sometimes. Now before Sept this year, for one year he really consider how to write about Pres Toda’s last two and half year campaign which cover Vol. X and S.Y. own campaign. But, finally one of the morning Aug 27, 77, Morning he came to Honbu and said, “Now I’m going to write S.Y. march campaign. Then he start writing Sept. 3, 1st article Seikyo Shimbun appeared. Because Kansai campaign is the most important campaign of all. We heard of many people talk about Kansai campaign or spirit of Kansai. So easy we heard about, and many people still remember the wonderful campaign, but how Shin’nichi Yamamoto suffered himself to make victory of Kansai campaign. Because the campaign’s prime point of the Soka Gakkai for the future. You know honmatsu kukyo to? Consistancy form beg. to end? Recently many people looking for new guidance, any from Pres Ikeda. Some members return from Japan always, “did he say something new guidances?” no such a new guidances! Principal the same! Have you ever heard about same tree, but another roots? Same tree, but same roots more deeper in ground that is tree. Some tree looking for another roots, that is strange question. This is roots of Soka Gakkai today. If you understand this point clearly. If you understand roots of the Kansai campaign you can understand future, what kind of lower what kind of fruits its going to bear. That much Osaka campaign is very important to all those who S.Y. of today. That time Osaka a terrible situation like NSA many people not well trained members even group chiefs is 1 or 2 years of faith. Just like NSA. not easy. Many members go to Japan astonished and surprised. Gee Japan wonderful. Of course! 47 years. NSA only 17 years. To compare is impossible from the very beginning. That why we have lots of future. Don’t you think so?

“Hai!”

Josei Toda and Makaguchi

Josei Toda (standing) the second President of the Soka Gakkai and Tsuneburo Makiguchi (seated), the first President of the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai in 1930. 

Only 17 years don’t compare to 47 years, give me another 30 years and another 30 years on top of that, then see what happens. Today fantastic Japan. Of course! 47 years Pres. Makiguchi started. President Toda completed foundation. Pres I. built on top of that. We going to be foundation first, for future NSA don’t you think so?

“Hai!”

That why I’m asking all you Shin’nichi Yamamoto’s. Now you are SY for future NSA. 47 years after say you are tremendous organization. We are Soka Gakkai but we are 17 years young Gakkai like Kansai. Shin’nichi Yamamoto who campaigned with young members, not easy, if you think of that. If your age is 28 please understand this situation. Hopeless situation in NSA! If all of you 20 years in NSA I can ask you many things. But you are really just young members, how can I ask you” You are just babies looking for milk. What I can give you is steak. Develop yourself first. Prepare your own tooth, sharpen enough. Then ask steak. Go through middle food first. Pres. Toda knew how difficult Kansai campaign was. That time in 1956, that time SY only 9 year member. He joined in 1947. This year is 30 years. August 24. Not easy to launch campaign. Why he ask SY? Reason is he like to know how SY reply in Osaka in impossible situation. Membership less than 30,000. Most of them newly joined members. And also Osaka Chapter Chief Sheracki, his name here Haruki, his real name Geichiro Sheracki, used to be Tokyo Flyer Pro Ball Pitcher. He was well know, but not a good candidate name for election for House of Counselor’s-like Senate in America. And target to win election was 200,000 votes, have to have that and membership, you, not age, but young in faith, not well trained in other words. Go do anything kind of members is fine. Like many of you who joined recently and doing Toban. Sometimes don’t know the reason is for Toban. Your senior leader assigned you that’s why you doing. Inside sometimes complaining feeling you have. You don’t know how much years after you will be able to talk about what you are doing today. Osaka members just like that, less than 30,000. Even hancho today equivalent today to chapter chief, shibucho is top in Osaka. No Honbucho is top, next is Chikubucho, next is Hancho today homencho, hancho ..Chikabucho is one year member-Han meetings more likely today. Now today’s hancho more likely 10 years members..Just young member is equivalent today that time Chapter chief, Shibucho is top in Osaka right. No Honbucho or anything, remember? So Chapter chief is top next is Chikabucho. Then next is hancho, so today you know you have Homencho. Homencho next Honbucho right? Chikabucho, Honbucho is Chikabucho appearing right here right? Hancho. What do you know? Chikabucho is today. Such Chikubucho is one year so you can understand how situation is difficult in Osaka.

(….Some inserted explanation for my readers

[Are you confused yet? Williams was talking about how fast the Soka Gakkai was growing and talking about the leadership ranking. Here’s a short and simplified breakdown from the bottom up. And do remember each of the leadership levels also was broken down into four divisions. Young women’s, young men’s, women’s and men’s.

Junior hancho– small group which formed the foundation of the Soka Gakkai usuall composed of 3 to 8 or so members.

Hancho-group leader over several junior hanchos. There could be several hanchos in district depending on the size of the district.

Chikabucho-District leader. There were often many districts in a chapter.

Shibucho-Chapter leader-There could be several chapters in a General Chapter.

Soshibucho-General chapter leader. There could be several General Chapter chiefs in a headquarters.

Honbucho-Headquarters leader. There was one headquarters in Santa Monica composed of several general chapters.

Sogohonbucho-Leader over multiple headquarters in a region. I’m a bit unclear to this day what the difference between a Homencho and a Sogohonbucho is. At one time we called Mr. Williams, Sogohonbucho.

Homencho– Territory leader. There were several Headquarters in a region and one Territory leader, e.g., Santa Monica Headquarters, North Hollywood Headquarters, East Los Angeles, Santa Ana.

Rejicho-National leader. George M. Williams was over all the territory leaders in the US and associated territories. He was headquartered in Santa Monica on 525 Wilshire Blvd and other buildings nearby. Known as the North American Headquarters.

….Post based on notes continues below

Young Ikeda and President Toda 1955 Seikyo Shimbun

The young Daisaku Ikeda seated next  Second President Josei Toda with trademark glasses holding a cigarette in 1955.

Han meetings, they could meet in today’s hand meetings more likely, but today you know homencho most likely 10 year member in NSA, but that time such Honbucho, Shibucho only 1 year, then training to fight for 200,000 target! Pres. Toda almost cruel mission given to SY. And Osaka itself is really terrible member who were very poor. Sick. I still remember that time Soka Gakkai 1956, I came to United States in 1957. Next year. So I remember clearly this time of Pres. Toda’s situation. I was eye witness. 1956 January, I was at President Ikeda’s home. This time I’m the one after he returned from Osaka who rubbed down his shoulders. SY skinny., eyes only so sharp. Scary. I became disciple to Pres. Ikeda in 1953. The first time I met him person 1955. One year after, before Jan. 3, I became disciple of President Ikeda from my side, my Ichinen and determination. Although Pres. Today alive, but I decide I like to become disciple to him Pres Ikeda SY one year before 1955.

After that’s why almost every night I visited his home to do something for him, rub down, or talking, or listening. So I know the behind the scenes story of this so clear vision that still comes up in my mind. I’m so fortunate at that time. 1956 Jan. 3, before he go to Osaka. So anyway, SY at that time so physically weak, and Osaka members, nothing but poor and miserable people. Members of SG bad. So you feel ashamed to belong to SG at that time. Everybody say, “Oh, some bunch of poor people. Whole bunch of sick people.” Whole bunch of not good name. Maybe another 20 yrs, 30 yrs, NSA will be the really slick SG of Japan type of big organization.

Everyone of the leaders millions of leaders behind you. But today just like SG or NSA is still small organization only through convention people know, “Oh, NSA”, but still not in so-called tremendous impression. But wisdom so far, so far. That’s why the name knowing NSA. But Osaka worse than that. Just like an org. of hippys, organization of poor people that is 1956. Jan. situation. Pres. Toda knew SY physical condition so weak. I remember, he was so weak. Always high temperature. Always skinny, not round face like mine, skinny, bronchial pneumonia all the time. Therefore Pres. Toda his clear mission give to SY, if we understand today. Why Pres. Toda did it? But Pres. Toda know how Pres. Ikeda would do it. Pres. Toda knowing not that in 2 1/2 years he would die. Pres. Toda have to know how SY sould reply and future of Soka Gakkai will response. That same today. Therefore, Pres. Toda Ichinen like King of Beasts, Lion, Lion King. Kick lion cub down hill, cliff. How lion cub can climb up cliff to succeed crown. If you’re lion cub take such a challenge. It’s not easy at that time, moment you are assigned so many things and gee why does this happen to me? Sorry you gotta have! If you’re honorable NSA YMD! You gotta have. Enjoy your mission, to do impossible things. Constantly, I’m going to ask you to do it especially 1979. I’ve never expected to have response like terrible year past. That is disqualification of NSA of YMD. That kind of attitude is no qualify you to be leader of 1979 up. Your response was terrible of that time. From now on, if you really try to understand SY-his spirit of Osaka, better do your best. Don’t response of terrible way. Please leave such YMD. We do not want to have such YMD in NSA. Because if you are NSA of the future. Do it. Take care of own property, own things…Don’t feel like you’re doing it for somebody else. Do for your own sake, that’s why SY did it. That’s why SY felt this decisive campaign is for himself. Win or not is for his future. 14 pg. 4 lines from right column.

“For the past 10 years SY had never once protested against Toda’s requests whether they were explicit or implicit.”  It’s easy not easy never question. Remember the Impossible Dream what we dedicated at the Sho Hondo Convention? Such a spirit of Sancho Panza. It’s like really impossible dream. Without question or pause to be willing to march into Hell for a heavenly cause. That exactly Pres. Toda asked SY and he reply to that. Osaka was hell, please remember that from the very beginning then you understand the whole article. Osaka was hell for SY, but he went for Hell. To Hell for Heavenly cause, now third President of the Soka Gakka International. You’ve got to understand this point-that was a campaign of Hell. You have guts to go to hell for a Heavenly cause-that’s SY. And Pres. Toda asked SY to go to Hell. Kicked cub down the cliff. Do you think its a clear thing? No! If you are future Rejicho’s of NSA got to do it. You will be my successor. I’m the 1st NSA Rejicho of America. So fortunately Pres. Iked appointed me that way. But some of you going to be 2nd Rejicho for the future. When you hesitate to do it you disqualify yourself. You’re the one really willing to do even job like Hell. Within hell for a heavenly cause. That’s the one SY did it for Pres. Toda. You know master and disciple Pres. Toda and SY. Pres. Ikeda asking us whole thing is hell sometime. Not only smiling NSA YMD “Oh you’re wonderful. He might say if you’re baby face, maybe. Faith if young he might say that. But when he really start training you, it’s not easy training for you. That make you great that’s why. Please understand that kind of way. P. Ikeda his expectation for you, is who going to become future leader of NSA? Who going to be willing to do for that? Therefore, Pres. Ikeda, SY accept everything without question. And worry inside, but with question he response everything he accept. Shitei Funi-you all call Pres. Ikeda master, easy to call him, but how many of you going to act as disciple? Disciple, not follower, only the Rolling Stones or Beatles fans they go any place give flowers, clap hands, easy! Many of you are fan for Pres. Ikeda. But disciple has really got to do it behind the scene. Like Hell. Job like Hell. So you sometime protect this building you say. But what kind of Ichinen do you protect the building? You’re RSG, you’re called. Reception, Security Group. But actually should be same spirit SY to protect this bldg. for Pres. Ikeda.  Whoever come to reception, this is opportunity to be future leader, please undertake this. If anything happens you take responsibility with your life. Die for it. To protect NSA. Devote yourself to NSA with your life. That kind of way is really spirit of SY. Impossible request from Pres. Toda. Never answer back, that is a disciple. Push down the hill, rolling down, climb up, try to answer the request. Up on hill, master looking down, see club climbing with nails coming off, blood all over but still going up the cliff. That the lion cub. Finally up to the top. Lion King looking down and really chanting for the disciple. Or Pres. Toda’s ichinen taht time. Pres. Today not clear, but Pres. Toda expecting how SY reply to Pres. Toda. And SY did among 6 candidates, 3 lost in good chances. Tokayo candidates Mr. Harashima’s father, those people they failed. But impossible Osaka won, the two of them. One district level area of Kansai Shakubuku target. Pres. Toda did not say 1000 shakubuku per month. But SY did it because he knew result of campaign, faith of Guidance, Gosho, Gohonzon first. Whole thing SY did to members of Osaka 1 by 1 to really develop 1 become like general of 1000 soldiers. It’s easy to become general of soldiers. But all of you YMD be future leaders you are Honbucho’s of future, you are the General Director’s of the future. Therefore your mission not going to be easy. General of generals that’s why. You go to Pentagon you can tell General of General 4 stars, 5 star generals, he has to lead other generals-1 to 2 stars. That General of soldiers. Soldiers are really, I don’t say stupid, but really soldiers they just surprised general know everything. but knowing many things and become General of Generals and Professor of Professors, Doctor of Doctors. You know what I mean. Philosopher of philosophers, Professor of Professors that is not easy. This is campaign President Ikeda did in SY. That’s why it’s a tremendous, harsh campaign, you’re reading now.

Toda and Ikeda

The young leader Daisaku Ikeda walking alongside his master Second President Josei Toda. I believe this was taken at the head temple on pilgrimage to the Dai Gohonzon before Toda’s death.  I don’t read Japanese, so if you do could you interpret the side bar written in Japanese into English? Thank you.

It’s really harsh and also so much severe, but so much affection from Toda to SY as experience for the future General of generals and SY suffered, but then finally Gokaihi ceremony January 2nd he found Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Gohonzon is really General’s strategy. To win whole campaign you use Gohonzon. This Gohonzon is one. President Ikeda say it is key to win your future. Everyone I don’t know who from this room is to become future general of generals. Dr. of Doctors, Prof. of Professors. Leader of leaders. Honbucho of Honbucho’s is Sogohonbucho. Rejicho of Rejicho’s, you’re going to be Rejicho of Rejicho’s, President of Presidents. To compare that Jimmy Carter, cheap, Senators nothing, Congressmen pussies. (laughter) Leaders of human being that is more great don’t you think?

Hai! (pg. 16)

 

 

 

 

by James C. Stephens


Friday, December 9, 1977

Saturday, Liz and I looked for a hall for wedding reception. Nice place for wedding at Ambassador, but too expensive. We later find out we got a misquoted price. Oh well. We got a better place on Tuesday in the Pacific Palisades, about $3,000 cheaper-$140 for the hall and kitchen and $30 for the clean-up fee. Liz and I are much more excited about this. More reasonable too. The lady Irma is a doll. She’s so helpful and so nice.

Saturday night we celebrated Hanukkah with Liz’s family (not parents, but mother’s sister). We had a great time. Danced til 12:00. Boy am I sore though, it took a lot of energy! Aunt Doris was there from Israel, Rebecca and her husband Jerry, a friend of theirs, Sharon and Ruthie played the piano and clarinet respectively. Ruthie is 16 and very good on clarinet. She wants to be in the philharmonic one day. We talked about an Aaron Copeland concert we had both attended and heard a fantastic woman clarinetist play.

Star Wars poster

Sunday the 11th, did gongyo with Mr. Williams with the Young Women’s Division while I was on Toban*. After meeting, set up 2nd floor for Junior Pioneers*  recital based upon the “Star Wars” theme. Was really fun and there were a couple of tears at times thinking of the future of these children. Rekindled again my sense of mission.

Tired after meeting! Took lots of energy.

After meeting had dinner at Liz’s and then Toban at L.A. #1 headquarters.

 Monday.

Difficult day-depressed. Deal at Ambassador Hotel too expensive. Something grabbing my life-don’t know what it is. A terrible lonely feeling. Called many of my old friends last nite. Good talk with Tom, Scott, Mike Hutchins…

December 17. 

Saw “Close Encounters” with Jerry Wilhelm and Brent Wilson. Raining. Nice change of weather.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

 


*Toban: Japanese term used in the Soka Gakkai for someone who guards the headquarters, community centers, temple, training center, opens doors, answers phones, acts as a gatekeeper of sorts to make sure the center is safe for the members and secure after they leave. We would also vacuum the entire facility at night before retiring. We would stay there over night to protect it and answer phones. Higher level youth division leaders and men’s division leaders usually were given this responsibility. We also opened the doors of the Butsudon for meetings and also made sure they were closed and locked afterwards. We were taught to protect the building and members.

Junior Pioneers: In the Soka Gakkai, a youth organization for kindergarten and elementary school age children of Soka Gakkai parents.

by James C. Stephens


December 5, 1977

Over the weekend I attended a Marina District Meeting. Only one Young Men’s Division is there now besides myself. I realize that I must raise more members, YMD. Tonight I talked with Honbucho Mr. Curtis and he said I need to talk more to Mr. Sugano. He said he learned when he was young that youth is time to tell your feelings to shut up, to cover up, ignore them. Unless they come from the world of enlightenment you can’t trust them. They will destroy you. We live in a human society you have to live with people. To get along with people is important. Your feelings are so strong they will ruin you. You don’t have to get rid of them, just control them. It can change very fast.

On the subject of daimoku. Ask yourself when is your favorite time of day to chant. Honbucho said nite bores him. That’s for beer and other things like being a father. I have to be a father til 10:30 after that I have so little time. I chant a lot when I’m happy, very little when I’m not. I get up early before everyone else and chant in the morning about 45 minutes. I chanted a lot when I was a new member. When you have a lot of problems Jim, I don’t think 40 minutes is enough, especially when you’re not in control of the situation.

20141117_085329_LLSTalked with Steven Parker. Wow, we sure had a nice talk compared to days when we were TCD (Traffic Control Division) together in New York. Told him I would send him book called Martin Eden. He’s a writer for Auto magazines. Showed Honbucho my diary. He said I hope there’s a significant change in Volume 9!..Talk to me when you have any problems.

During Gongyo tonight, I really thought about our wedding. With so many people invited it may be unwise. Possibly we should cut it down, since we are going to Israel. Financially it could put us into debt for a long while.

Thursday, December 8, 1977

Tuesday night I was home visited by Mr. Sugano who is our Territory I YMD Chief with Mr. Nagashima. From his visit, I really determined to begin anew! I must fight! Challenge myself! I can do 30 visits a month. Do it! Less theory more action. Encourage your parents in NSA and family by your strong action. You are future of NSA of the world. Human Revolution. Marriage–don’t become domesticated. Trust, President Ikeda and Mr. Williams that’s enough. We are all doing gongyo–human revolution. Have stronger life force–more compassion than others. Less controlled by outside. I took it be be more a true General based on the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

December 6, 1977 is a date I shall make a new beginning from. It is a prime point. During Gongyo I felt rotten, like what are they doing here? But I challenged that attitude and resolved that this could signal a totally new beginning.

Already I’m experiencing new great benefits. Possible landscape job for President of A & M Records. $700 job for one of Rick Coleman’s projects. A new customer next door to Rick’s. A clean up job for Ira Pelofsky, a clean up job for Chuck James partner. All since I made that resolution. Even an unprocurable book in the U.S. book in the U.S.–Dialogue on Life #1–I got from a friend last night. Visited Tony Schmidt last night after library committee.  He got back from Tozan* a new man, what a light bulb. He’s really felt the Kechimyaku and reality of Kosenrufu. He’s brimming over with determination. We have a transfer member from Hong Kong we gave Tony since he got back from Tozan.

Tonight we had a Bucho meeting with Mr. Sugano. Same as my home visit except I could give my determination. He really confessed privately tonight that he felt Beverly Hills YMD really possess something different. Really sharp! We initiated Ode to Youth study three months ago. No one else has yet to do. But Mr. Hall will start beginning of 1978. Mr. Sugano said we all graduated from college. So sharp. However he feels we lack on thing. We lack backing in action. Sort of give up half-way. But so many clever ideas and you all take notes. No other headquarters did I see this! I’m sure you pass this on. But must use this potential develop–carry through 100%!

Tonight felt that Kechimyaku, a mission of Kosenrufu. Immediately afterwards Danny and I went next door to our Chapter YMD’s daimoku toso. We chanted and planned lecture tomorrow night. Goal: to apply Buddhist terms concretely to daily life. Everyone to participate.

Afterwards Hiroshi and I went out. I ate, he had coffee. We had a nice talk and afterwards I dropped him off.

After I got home, I talked to Liz-she seemed depressed, misses me, I of course miss her, but campaign will determine our happiness as mates. I love her deeply. I felt unhappy for her feelings. Chanted one hour to end campaign today. Must write in diary daily.

Goodnite!

 

by James C. Stephens


July 16, 1977

July 16, 1260 was the date Nichiren Daishonin remonstrated with the Kamakura regime through his treatise entitled, The Rissho Ankoku Ron. July 16, 1975 I was in Hawaii for the Pre-Bicentennial Convention. That morning we did Gongyo with Mr. Williams and heard a lecture on the Rissho Ankoku Ron.

In my last entry you remember I maintained that I would not seek a mate until I first struggled with the innate darkness in my life. In other words, I felt what Mr. Williams said, don’t chase happiness, let it chase you, made sense for the first time in my practice. Guess what happened after I sincerely made this commitment?

File1331

Liz Lascar and her Uncle Mose.

 

Well, there is a girl who loaned me the first volume of the Human Revolution to xerox and I kept neglecting to return it. I was trying to follow guidance of Mr. Black had given me to read Vol. I of the Human Revolution. Finally, I decided I had better return it to this persistent joshibu (young women’s division) before I caused some problems. So on June 14, 1977 at 11:00 PM I decided to return it to Liz Lascar. I had never really noticed Liz except in passing. She invited me in for coffee.

Once while I was sick I remember having a really nice conversation with her about a variety of things. She later told me she had never opened up about these things to anyone else before. She invited me to a picnic on a Sunday, but I declined as I was still a bit sick. The long and short of it is I think I love her. I tell you its difficult for me to say that but it’s not an intellectual head trip like before, but damn I’m afraid I am in love. I tried to avoid these things, but I hope and feel I’ve found my partner. The chemistry, the time, and all those crazy things people said about your soul mate seem to be happening to me. Today she left for Japan to see the Dai Gohonzon. I even sort of miss her. I try not to, but I am feeling we are together-sort of Abutsu-bo and Sennichi*. I sent a letter to the Dai Gohonzon with Liz. I am going through major changes believe me. But I look on them as a tool to develop my faith. I really do, and to develop my understanding of my life.

We also made a decision beside waiting a year and see what happens between us, that we would try living together two months to see if we are compatible. I will be moving in shortly. We talked it over with her chapter chief Don Mentzer and he saw nothing wrong with the arrangement.

She should be at about 7:30 p.m. in Japan, Sunday. I hope she is safe and happy.

Good nite Liz.

 


 

Abutsu-bo and Sennichi*: “Also known as Abutsu-bō Nittoku. A lay follower of Nichiren who lived in the province of Sado, an island in the Sea of Japan. His secular name was Endō Tamemori. Tradition has it that Abutsu-bō was once a samurai who served the Retired Emperor Juntoku in Kyoto and accompanied him to Sado Island when Juntoku was banished there after an abortive attempt by the imperial court to overthrow the Kamakura shogunate in what is known as the Jōkyū Disturbance of 1221. According to recent studies, however, it seems more probable that he was actually a native of Sado. When Nichiren was exiled to Sado in late 1271, Abutsu-bō, an ardent Pure Land believer, visited him at Tsukahara to confront him in debate. Bested in debate by Nichiren, who refuted the Pure Land teachings, Abutsu-bō converted to Nichiren’s teachings together with his wife, the lay nun Sennichi. The couple sincerely assisted Nichiren during his exile, supplying him with food and other necessities for more than two years until he was pardoned and left the island in 1274. After Nichiren went to live at the foot of Mount Minobu, Abutsu-bō, despite his advanced age, made at least three journeys to visit him with offerings. Abutsu-bō is said to have died on the twenty-first day of the third month, 1279, at age ninety-one. In 1279 his son, Tōkurō Moritsuna, traveled to Minobu with Abutsu-bō’s ashes and there laid them to rest. Moritsuna continued to uphold Nichiren’s teachings, and his grandson, known by his priestly name Nyojaku Nichiman, went as a child to Fuji where he became a disciple of Nikkō, Nichiren’s immediate successor.”