by James C. Stephens

Monday, October 11, 1971


Saturday night we had 12 Shakubuku sign Gohonzon applications. At 11:15 we chanted at the #1 Headquarters the same time Sogohonbucho and American members saw Dai-Gohonzon. What can I say?

Sunday my Shakubuku Dave Whitman received Gohonzon at Myohoji. We also did Kosen-rufu Gongyo[1].

Saturday night we also achieved our goal of 1000 Shakubuku. I will never forget this campaign. It will be a great memory.

When Dave received his Gohonzon, it was a happy moment for me. When he was driving me home he said, “I overheard what Nancy said about a good friend taking her to a meeting and then quitting. My sister did the same thing. When other people Shakubukued me my bad nature really came out. They tried to get me to buy World Tribune. But when you Shakubukued me it was different. You gave me a Seikyo Times; you gave me stuff. That blew my mind.”

Now I know the sayings true: right time, right place, right circumstances.

Tonight we had our Sho-Hondo ceremony with Pres. Ikeda in Japan. After Gongyo during daimoku a film of last year’s ceremony was shown. I really felt like I was at the ceremony.

Soshibucho Gary Curtis said that the Sho-Hondo was the greatest importance in our practice. It’s completion is not symbolic, but it is as real as the Great Secret Laws of Daimoku and Dai-Gohonzon.

Up until October 12, 1972 you might say Dai-Gohonzon has been exclusive property of Nichiren Shoshu. But Nichiren said the Dai-Gohonzon was property of Ichinen Budai or the universe. So as of October 12, 1972 the Dai-Gohonzon is for all mankind. In fact Pres. Ikeda is going to invite all World Leaders to chant or see and chant to the Dai-Gohonzon for World Peace. Then Kosen-rufu…

One girl had a Shakubuku experience I must record. She was to be a hostess at the Biltmore for a McGovern rally or dinner. She wanted instead to do Shakubuku that day for the meeting. Well, she couldn’t, so chanted hard to show the power of the Gohonzon. Once she arrived there were 40 other hostesses she said who looked like they had been in the business 500 years. But for some reason the head lady pointed to her and said you are the leader.

So she had to organize 40 ladies who were on-shitsuing[2] her to death.  But she directed them and they did a good job for so little training. They really followed. The hall she said she decorated like a welcome she’d done for Japanese students. When McGovern walked in he exclaimed how beautiful it was. But she said you haven’t heard the benefit. ..They had an hour break in which they usually talk about Harriet’s marriage, her new boyfriend, etc. Well, she started chanting daimoku in another room. Later, all 40 hostesses chanted the rest of the hour with her. The next hour was to mingle with the guests. She shakubukued Paul Newman for 1 ½ hours. Also McGovern. Next McGovern was allotted an hour to speak. He spoke ten minutes and looked to Nancy and said, “Now a word from Nancy.” Nancy had no idea. She just remembered what Sogohonbucho had said to people.

She told them how great Pres. Ikeda was and how so Sogohonbucho. How great America was and will be. Seattle, etc. At the end everyone was in tears including McGovern.

“For once they had hope,” she said. It really changed from a situation of well here we go again for election time~ to one of hope.

Remember the boy who gave Ethel Kennedy the cross? Well, he’s really Christian right? Well he came up with tears and asked to come to a meeting.”



[1] Kosen-rufu Gongyo are prayers for World Peace that are chanted once a month by members around the world. The final silent prayer in Gongyo reads, “I SINCERELY PRAY FOR THE REALIZATION OF WORLD PEACE AND HAPPINESS, THROUGH THE GOHONZON’S BESTOWAL EQUAL BENEFITS UPON THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE AND THE WHOLE WORLD.”

[2] On shitsu basically means slandering.

Myohoji Temple: The first Nichiren Shoshu temple in America which was originally located in Etiwanda, California. Their duties included gojukai, a Buddhist type baptism which is required when receiving the Gohonzon in which the new devotee bows and is tapped on the head by a rolled up Gohonzon. The priest also conducts marriage ceremonies and funerals as well as New Year’s Gongyo and other lectures.

“In the Gojukai Ceremony, the recipient vows to sincerely believe Nichiren Daishonin’s teachings and to practice and uphold the Gohonzon of the Three Great Secret Laws, thus abandoning incorrect religions and all that is against the true Law. Therefore, a person who receives Gojukai should have the pure determination to practice true Buddhism wholeheartedly and to discard objects of prior religious attachments.”

“The Lotus Sutra states:

It is difficult to keep this sutra. I shall be glad to see anyone who keeps it even for a while. So will all the other Buddhas. He will be praised by the Buddhas. He will be a man of valor, a man of endeavor. He should be considered to have already observed the precepts.

(Hokekyo, p. 419)”

A short video of the ceremony. Gojukai Ceremony


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