by James C. Stephens

Monday, July 5, 1971


While I was working at the apartment a very strange thing happened. It was my first encounter with a member of the Hokeko Association of Japan. The Hokkeko member practice everything, but Shakubuku. But withouth Shakubuku they are not able to change their destiny or evil nature. I could really tell in Itsue (Sam) because he seemed prejudice against Soka Gakkai. He called the members low-class. But I really Shakubukued him and told him that they were human beings also and this woke him a little. I said I was a student and he said, good. I think his impression of Nichiren Shoshu is changing much. How about that! He had a small Gohonzon around his neck and he showed it to me. I guess such a Gohonzon should be opened once a year.

I don’t think Itsue knows what Gongyo is although he has had Gohonzon for 33 years (his age also).  I really see why Nichiren Shoshu as an Organization is so important to carry out our human revolution.

After the Garage sale it doesn’t seem like Dad and I got much accomplished. One Friday he had off seemed completely wasted looking for an apartment. That morning we chanted together for ½ an hour. It really must have been the start of heavy Family Revolution, because ever since, my bad nature has been coming out around my dad. Whenever it does I feel very bad for making him feel miserable instead of encouraging him. However I am now slowly changing that attitude little by little.

My first pay check $131 I gave to my dad to help pay rent. I got the $131 before Seattle so I could be paid Seattle with my earned money, which is a good feeling. But the $140 (my Gov’t. tax refund was due me from my dad so he helped me out.

We have not yet sold the horses or dogs. But I am confident that soon we will see good fortune enter our lives. But, oh those head trips, wow. They are extremely ugly and confusing. At Band practice on Sunday July 4th I felt close to going crazy. I am serious of that. I feel on the edge. At times I feel like throwing the towel in, but for some reason, I don’t know what, I am still pushing.

I am completely cutting out Sansho Goma for Nancy Whitman by trying harder on YMD activities. Russ separated us fortunately for both of us. I am a YMD not an aspiring MD. It is still hard to avoid Sansho Goma however, but it sure feels good to be off that trip.

We arrived at the Headquarters at 6:30 and Vice President Morita did not arrive until 9:30, so I chanted 3 hours and 10 minutes daimoku to the Joju Gohonzon. After Gongyo, V.P. Morita related Pres. Ikeda’s message to American members to carry faith because we have such an important mission, each one of us.

Everytime I see Vice President Morita I really go through a lot of hell. He’s really a benefit! I can’t imagine what Tozon will be like. I can’t wait!!


Tozon is the term for making a spiritual pilgrimage to the Head Temple Daisekiji to chant before the Dai Gohonzon, which is the chief object of worship of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists worldwide.

Sancho Goma: Roughly, it was a term given to conquering the three devils of sexual attraction that keeps one away from enlightenment. I could not locate the term in the Soka Gakkai Dictionary on Buddhism.

Morita was the Vice President of the Soka Gakkai in Japan at the time.



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