Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

by James C. Stephens


October 6, 1975


Life. Live. Breathe. Feel. Destiny. Easygoing. Or. Struggling Decision? Expression. Depressed. Or. Depths of human life. To share. NOW! My Best of Friends is no longer around. A brother he was. Died a death I shall never forget. A person. A honorary Bodhisattva in my book. He did not begrudge his life for a moment. An old lady being beaten by who knows who. His action of Jihi. To help. A stabbing, not New York. MAPPO. Senseless waste of a gallant YMD. My brother I pledge to take care of your,  nay our family. Francis, Dick and Sister Karen.

Paul was a strong Christian that I grew up with in Polson, Montana. His mother Francis is Chinese American from San Francisco. She treated me like one of her sons. I spent many joyful hours as a young boy, playing with spud guns, learning how to play California Canasta, Monopoly, Life and other board games. We sledded down the driveway and played army in the ditches. We attended the local Presbyterian Church Sunday School across the street from Lincoln elementary school.

I recall one day, we shot a sparrow with a slingshot and tried to nurse it back to health. Paul’s father Dick was very angry and said, “Never shot anything unless you plan on eating it.”  We ended  up burying it in a shoebox. It was a sad, but important lesson.

The terrible crime took place at Gonzaga University.


by James C. Stephens

Sunday, November 18, 1973

Kosenrufu Gongyo with M. Kikumura

Year of Society 1974

“Let’s go skating. Means let’s go do Shakubuku. That’s Mr. William’s spirit. New people think praying for World Peace, hell my family throwing alimony around and new member thinks hell what about my family?

Hancho up type. When Mr. Williams says go skating go do Shakubuku.

Sometime hard to make determination, but make up your mind and live courageous enough to walk out if you are going to onshitsu.

If you only chant Christian way, save the people, chant for world peace, you are leaving your true reason for determination behind.

I’m sure Mr. Williams will give us many targets before the end of 1974. Just like school need targets. To get something done big through minor goals. Then after many years you reach ultimate goal. Target he gave us of skating, I hope you just go to roller skating rink as an excuse.

Healthy goal, fat housewife worries about weight. Husband change. Otherwise without goals monorhythm of life. Daily practice of studying. Society pays you for what you have learned.

If you practice NSA and society disrespects you. Then something wrong with you or the Gohonzon. (Laughs) The something wrong with you.

Year of Society—good in school. Follow your Senior leaders. Start seeking and searching more than ever. And for those who have already made determination, start again. Train leaders. More benefits, more Shakubuku.’

by James C. Stephens

Tuesday, November 14, 1973

Lately, I have been reflecting a lot on myself and my future. Sunday I got 3 people to receive their Gohonzon. It was definitely a good feeling. It seems like whenever I start such campaigns I definitely start to go through human revolution and this time is no exception.

Saturday, after work I went to our Chapter Kickoff meeting and boy was I on a strange trip. I wouldn’t smile especially after my Chikubucho (district chief) took away my members. I was definitely going through some H.R.! After the meeting and members had left for the Hdqtrs I went into Shibucho’s (Chapter chief) room. He was talking on the phone with Mr. Hall (the Headquarter’s Chief). Then my Chikubucho (Mike Lisagor) came into the room and shut the door. It was like I thought it would happen. I was really determined to get what I had on my chest out. So many times I had held, what I thought to be a stupid complaint, inside for months.

Then I told my Shibucho in from of my C what I thought my C was, a Jewish asshole. I told him I was human and that unity I felt could not be fabricated if I felt such an attitude towards him. He told me humanism is towards everyone.

Anyway, my Chikubucho left and my Shibucho (Guy McCloskey) and I sat down and talked for a long while. He really listens. I told him many complaints I had and the problems I have been going through. One problem was a personality conflict between hancho and Chikubucho. He said it is my responsibility on my end of the line to really learn to follow. He told me his district chief used to Jump up on the table and proclaimed his mission to destroy Christianity and it made his members titan. It was not until he realized he just should support him and his guests would join. For some reason they would take it some way different. The training I got was maybe the way, not to run a district, or the way not to treat my members. You should really chant for a seeking mind and then these petty things would pass you by and you would pick up on the things your Chikubucho or leaders are trying to tell you.

Another thing is your ability to make a good report. And don’t forget a good report is not just good news but bad news too. Your problem is giving a report and telling a person one thing and leaving out another so as to please their ear. Well, tell IT LIKE IT IS!!

I also asked him about marriage. He said I should really build up my fortune and maybe get married in five years, when I’m 27. He said don’t cash in your chips too early, because you may be really unhappy with what you get like some people I know.

I asked him about just having the company of a girl like going out to eat or to an art show. Sure if you can find the time.

I really feel far away from people in the district, is that because I am so far away from Chikubucho. Yes but don’t worry, others have been complaining of the same thing. It will change. It is good to complain really. I don’t know everything and you are my eyes into these areas. Please let me know at all times what it going on.

We have kicked your name around as a district chief, but I don’t know if you as yet can pick yourself up by your own bootstraps. You are an old member and you have got to learn to do this.

It’s time to go home, I’m tired.

Note: Please don’t despair about my comment about Mike. I love the Jews, my wife is Jewish and many of my former members were Jewish. My kids are Jewish. So, don’t take everything so seriously and you’ll live a lot longer, or at least when you’re alive you’ll be much happier. Oh and by the way, I don’t think the guy that jumped up and down on the table was related to Tom Cruise, and I never did meet the guy. I think his mission failed.


by James C. Stephens

August 5, 1973

Kosenrufu Gongyo with Mr. Kikumura

Gosho-A Reply to Myoshinama-Gozen.

‘Everytime when we have Gosho study, I’m sure new members wonder what in the hell is this all about? Whoever the letter is written to from Nichiren, think of this as yourself.

Try to imagine, 700 years ago, it was quite different. Because philosophy came from Asiatic country, you feel like twitching a little bit. U.S. does not have true religion of its own. If you want to study depth of Christian religion you have to study Latin, etc. If you want to understand Nichiren Daishonin’s philosophy you have to study and try to understand Japan or Oriental way to understand Nichiren Daishonin.

The reason why I explain this is that for new members I don’t want the Gosho to become a joke!

Because of confusion of different terms, let’s think of it like letter for me. That way it is more easy to understand key point of Gosho. In GMW letter it explains prime point. If you embrace the Gohonzon without doubt and strong faith then the Sho-ten zenjin will protect you at all times. Seven years ago people used to say, “Buddhist gods tap me on my back.” I don’t doubt maybe some it has happened to. To individual maybe a fact, but for everybody maybe it doesn’t happen.

What is Buddhist god? When you chant daimoku, do your Gongyo, then everything within your environment gives you a constructive support or destructive support to your daily life. According to you everything does job of Buddhist god. Everything is dependent on you. If you are onshitsuing, maybe piture fall on someone. When you chant daimoku, maybe red, but on time for work. But if you onshitsu, maybe green light and someone run through red and get you.

Many of you experience long green lights. Cup of water can do anything–death-life–divorce.

If you chant many daimoku everything will turn out constructive for daily life. If you think somebody is going to hold hand then that that’s your Christian nature. If you see man walking around Buddhist god okay, but let’s not condemn other people for what they can’t see.

I see many people not in Brass Band or Koteketai. But its’ okay. I know many people young members may go home with a doubt. Many of you that has physical, financial problems.

If everyone stood up and told problems, everyone would cry. But why we join NSA is because we can change problems.

Some of you practice for a year may not think it works. Many of you think because you get fired from job you want to quit. Just because you are behind 3 months on car payment, you doubt Gohonzon. That’s why I ask who still doubt Gohonzon for a year. Ask what your practice is like. If you have problem of that you can come down and talk to me. If you get fired, look, wouldn’t you fire a person for calling in sick every other day?

File1344Many Brass Band and Koteketai wonder, what is my future? You realize many things have changed. Many younger people if you look at your future 30 r 40 years-you look at it in titan Christian nature. If you can’t do anything. If you can’t pay for shoes why do you want a Cadillac. A religion who gives a man a Cadillac who has no job, gives him the problem of stealing for gas. What a rotten god!

People you associate with different they don’t talk about kosenrufu on just a Sunday. What will happen in 4 years you probably can’t imagine. Because your karma we face may ugly obstacles. Instead of talking against your leaders, this is the time to chant more daimoku. We must have faith to realize protection of Buddhist gods.

Mr. Williams 17 years ago was one man. He’s our example. When we can’t see tommorrow, President Ikeda sent him letters of encouragement. Because of your problems you onshitsu, but in General Director William’s case, no members, why didn’t he become a hood? Because he had absolute faith in the Gohonzon to look ahead 1-2-3 or 4 years. If you try with the feeling that Mr. Williams and others have proved the Gohonzon you will really have a great future. If you have a big obstacle, like people getting a doctor’s diploma, who worked hard for it. People are proud of you and you are proud. No work-no value.


My wife Elizabeth marching in the Koteketai drill team.

Isn’t it great when mother or father see you overcome sancho shima? Instead of leaving with doubt, it’s hard, but to overcome doubt NSA designed so you can go to various activities for young people Brass Band and Koteketai to overcome problems and doubt. General Director Williams prime point. If you embrace Gohonzon with strong faith, Buddhist gods will be protective. Mr. Williams is really concerned about how all of you are. Chant daimoku and become a member he doesn’t have to worry about and become a member that can make Sho-Hondo a success!



Mike Kikimura was a very interesting leader who was quite the unpolished rough guy who was one of the founding leaders of Nichiren Shoshu/Soka Gakkai in the US. He was quite interesting to listen to. His rhetoric was definitely fascinating. Whether or not you liked him or not, he was unique. I just read a bit about his background which provides a bit more understanding about who he was. He was interred in one of the Japanese Internment camps during WWII and also fought in the Korea war.

Here’s a link to his interesting background.


by James C. Stephens

Tuesday, August 17, 1971


Jr. Hancho Meeting


Goals of Sogohonbucho.


  1. You are the meeting. Relate how Gohonzon changed you.
  2. Bring guests.
  3. Should call and see if they (district leader) need anything.
  4. Condition of Chiku.[1]
  5. Forget about what you are. Concentrate on what are you’re doing. What you’re doing shapes the future.


Monday, August 23, 1971


Summer is going by so fast, it really is a mind boggler[2]. Friday night I got guidance from Guy McCloskey my Shibucho and it straightened out a lot of thing in my practice. It was really a benefit to be able to talk to him. One day last week I went taitan[3] in my head and refused to do Gongyo, but ended up doing it at 1:30. I really felt good after I did it. Gongyo is far out.


One day I encountered a “Jesus freak.” He knew Nichiren Shoshu because he had been a member for 2 ½ years and burned his Gohonzon. I will never forget the terrible condition of his life. I could tell he was in hell, before he even said a word. His head was like they say split into 7 pieces. Very strange, I really see the terrible condition and effects of Christianity today.


I did a lot of Shakubuku this week, but am determined to do much more! I’ve really been encountering a lot of Christian heavies, but man am I cutting that karma.


My brother came down last week and it brought a big argument and he split. I really felt bad about it because my Dad’s nature comes out on Ron in a bad way. I hadn’t done morning Gongyo yet, but did after he left. I really chanted hard for Hendoku Iyaku “changing poison into medicine.”


Immediately after Gongyo I could not stay awake, so my Dad and I went to sleep and woke at 1:30, saying we’ve got to get out of this rut. So I said I want to look at some butsudon’s, so I ended up putting $10 down on a nice cabinet I’m going to make into a butsudon. It is definitely a benefit. So after we went out and ate and for some reason stopped at the Builder’s Emporium. We had already passed it but turned back and went in.


After looking around for about 10 minutes we ran into Rick Richards and I introduced him to my Dad. My Dad was hit very strongly by Rick’s Shakubuku.  My Dad attended his first meeting on Saturday Aug. 21, 1971, a day I will not forget.


I had one experience last week which I must write down because it is a very important benefit to my practice. One night, Rudy, my member stayed over. Because of that a girl he met, Linda, came over here, after being kicked out, to get Rudy’s #.  I let her stay here. It was a bad slander to Buddhism to let someone us my home as a crash pad, but I though it would be a good Shakubuku. It was the worst! You are a Bodhisattva not a Christian, practice like me. More mercy, better Shakubuku to not let them take advantage of you.

The girl ate our food without asking and never really thanked us. Never again!


[1] Chiku is a district meeting place. A men’s district leader is called a chikubucho.

[2] “Mind boggler,” slang for a situation or series of events that happen so fast that your mind can’t   correctly evaluate the situation because there are so many elements involved.  Liken it to attempting to rake up a pile of autumn leaves and a gust of wind comes along and blows them in circles.

[3] Taitan is the term for quitting one’s practice of Buddhism.