Posts Tagged ‘Daisaku Ikeda’

by James C. Stephens


May 3, 1976

The following rough notes correspond to General Director George M. Williams’ 16th anniversary recollection of the Inauguration process of Daisaku Ikeda as the third President of the Soka Gakkai.Inauguration of President Ikeda Third President of Soka Gakkai photo

GMW heard of Pres. Ikeda’s inauguration by phone in Washington, D.C. when he was doing his graduate work.

In 1960, 50 or 60 membership. Somu-Administrator general-title of President Ikeda. Two years there was no President of the Soka Gakkai. 1958-May 3. No President. April 2, 1958 President Today passed away.

7th Bell President Ikeda on March 3 gave members vision for Kosenrufu.

2 Bell President Today.

April 14th-Third President accepted. Board of Directors asked President Ikeda many times to accept.

March 30. Kai Izumi-asked President Ikeda personally to accept position of President of the Soka Gakkai. Wouldn’t accept.

First official second approach. April 9th Board of Directors unanimous.

April 9th- Saturday, beautiful day 97 degrees after 5PM President Toda’s ceremony.

Stopped at , went to Honbu late hours Board of Director’s meeting. They informed me. Support President Ikeda to be President of the Soka Gakkai.

Cordially I refuse. Carma came through my whole body. Huge mission. Must be the great karma. Strong and strict and severely.

I’m age 32 still young. That age Nikko Shonin accepted Nichiren Daishonin. Anybody take over President I’m so tired. Anybody–nobody able to talk. My human thinking. My wife watch over me. April 10, April 11, April 11-Monday. Sunny sky, 3:30 in the afternoon.  Special Conference emerged of Board of Directors to nominate third President of the Soka Gakkai. Maybe I’m carrying great mission. Who knows. I refused many times in the past. I have to make up my mind. Dai Gohonzon will make me suffer. Dai Gohonzon is as great as universe and eternal forever existence. Have to ask Dai Gohonzon and maybe take leadership of campaign.

I’m a youth and a man, vigorous and abundantly I have to forge on. Our huge wave, mountains, and desert. Physical conditions are bad. April 11. Number one goal. From May put all my effort into the study of the Soka Gakkai; number two, Zadankai (discussion meetings come first; third, Gongyo will be the prime point of all campaigns.

April 12. Tuesday. Cloudy. Third time keep asking President Ikeda. Director Harashima asked this time and I refused again. In my mind I know the mission. But I can’t answer in two minds. It should be the seventh anniversary of President Toda. He never attended any of the Board of Director’s meetings. He could feel everyone’s suffering. He understood, but he was sorry.  Felt lonely.

April 14. Thursday. Rain after clear. morning. Rainfall stay clear. Broadcast saying it will rain all day. 8:30 left home. Heavy step. Again Director conference. General Director and three Directors asked strongly. Everyone asks strongly. 10:10AM. He was nodding, seemed accepting, but how is my fate going to be. Everyone is jumping in Honbu. Rejicho and President Toda’s family waiting his answer. April 14. This day may a great turning point of my life. Can not help it, can not help, only remembering President Toda. Made a strong determination alone. Next day President Ikeda.

April 15. Thinking to make next campaign strategy toward 7 year anniversary of my master. Now depart. of ______victorious four years continued.

1964. April 2, May 3. I’d like to make a great victory campaign (America send 10 charter jets) completion of Dai Kyakudan. Strong word is follow is this. I am the direct disciple of President Toda. Being trained and trained, not afraid. Now is the time to repay master. Now is time to create history of Japan and history of the world.

Just like sutra. Bodhisattva asked three times and refused. Explained the request four times. Such a campaign as a man, no greater honor than that. Toda Sensei, Disciple Ikeda Daisaku.

May 3. Decided on date. Son of a fisherman Ikeda Daisaku. Father in seaweed manufacturing. Finally stand at head of campaign for Kosenrufu.

Shotenzenjin-Buddha’s of the three world’s and ten directions come to protect such a job. Buddha function movement never think this time, so important this practice is to the world. Am I afraid?

April 16. No matter, my mission protect Dai Gohonzon. Strong faith is key in everything. Such tremendous strength of Buddhism.

May 3. New Constitution of Japan. First Amendment-pursuit of happiness.

Tuesday, May 3, 1960. Fair, sunny day. I’m inagurated the Third President of the Soka Gakkai at Nihon University at 12:00 noon.

Nichiren Daishonin at 32 years 1253, April 12:00 noon. Lecture on True Buddhism.

Diary. General Meeting began. Still tired from last nigh. I can feel my master’s joy and can imagine in closing my eyes. My lifelong one in a lifetime campaign of Myoho going to begin. Beyond life and death. I’m glad my fellow members deeply rejoice with me. Act like leader, but like human being. Act like youth, no matter what must take the lead. Today on my Hosshaku Kempon (Nichiren Daishonin Tatsunokuchi). At moment heavy carma change into true appearance. Show as human being, but act as True Buddhia. Changed provisional life, make true appearance of advent to this world.  I’m 32 years old. May 3-16 years. May 3-25 years ago-President Toda Inaugurated.

On Inauguration speech. Like President Toda in 1951. Several thousand members and within seven years like to reach 750,000 families. 1960-nine years later there were one million families before President Toda passed away.

On April 2, 1958 President Toda passed his target. My goal is to reach three million families within four years. Number two-Build the Dai Kyakuden according to President Toda’s will. President Ikeda went to Redwoods October 5 and also procurred Canadian cedars and other raw materials from Norway, Budapest, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. Third goal is the reformation of religion of Japan. The press said that after President Toda passed away the Soka Gakkai would be corrupt.

Now the Soka Gakkai is fifteen million strong in 80 nations. Many old religious mountains are now just tourist items.

President Toda said after Dai Kyakuden build the Sho Hondo and remodel all kaikans.

His first letter to America. On May 20, George Williams went back to Japan for the third memorial of his father’s death. May 19, LA Times.

President Ikeda received Kaimoku Sho.

Although the Shotenzenjin did not protect.


by James C. Stephens


November 23, 1975

Ikeda at Malibu Training Center

Such disappointment, I experienced yesterday.

I tried so hard, but yet no result it seemed.

Obstacles always propose to me a test of my character.

I am but a child. I resent though being treated as such.

I feel on the verge of a breakthrough from adolescence to adulthood.

What do I see in the difference? Basically attitude. When one has problems do they control his existence or does one carry on with confidence in his heart and a smile in his eyes? I have as of yet failed to reached this point. I still at times let out a foul attitude towards certain people.

I must learn from people. I have too little time and too great a mission to play such small games. This arrogance I must Resist and Overcome.

Just because I don’t get something I desire must I throw a temper tantrum like a spoiled child?

Now I resolve to myself, it is time to breed into myself the true Gakkai spirit. To become a young man constructing a foundation not just my own foundation, but one for my country and for the world. I have put nearly six years of my trust into the Gohonzon, now is the time for a new breeze of freshness in my life. A change in my lifestyle.

Breathe deep

A new dawn

become a son of the Gakkai.

Search, because I am knowledgeable as yet what a true son is.

Keep struggling because without sweat on your brow

How can you know, the real joy of construction.

Cause and effect is the foundation of my life.

Sometimes things happen to me it seems, why?

A whole lot of bad things. Why?

To build my character? Maybe.

To reveal my true nature? Possibly.

To become in rhythm with the universe this is the fundamental law. To understand the nature of time; of cause and effect.

Jim, don’t be impatient. Strive to perfect your character.

Each day, clean and sharp. This is an important cause.

Each day Gongyo vibrant and straightforward.

A bus ride to Malibu Training Center. A talk, a warm talk with a nice young lady who moved from Massachusetts. Dropped off at Malibu. I walked in a warm breeze unseasonal. Breathe deep, fresh spirit.

Malibu shows me hope. Fresh, gleaming white fortress.

My battle is to gain new vitality fresh as a Malibu breeze. Deeep ast th great blue ocean, powerful as her waves; and meaningful as the sparkling universe.

Fight on! Day by day in the way I know.

The Malibu Training Center includes a meeting hall and the West Coast residence of the Soka Gakkai President Daisaku Ikeda. He held special leader’s meeting here when he visited the US. As a member of the Young Men’s Division Soka Group/TCD (Traffic Control Division) /Toban (guard) we were tasked with watching the property at least once a month. We would sleep in a the “Toban shack” which overlooked the beach. As volunteers, we helped build the entire estate over a number of years.  Mr. and Mrs. Inabe were permanent caretakers of the property. They were a very kind couple.

by James C. Stephens

April 1, 1974

Ikeda at UCLA 1974

Daisaku Ikeda, President of the Soka Gakkai greeting Nichiren Shoshu Academy members after his address “Toward the 21st Century”  at UCLA. 

How fortunate a youth I am to be able to attend such a lecture with our master President Ikeda. The auditorium was totally packed and 2 of my Shakubuku who have Gohonzon were there! Marsha Bingham and Gary Shelton. Strangely almost all of Sepulveda ended up on the floor in front of the front row of chairs to listen to President Ikeda talk with us. He looked at all of us. His humanism permeated the room. Some of the points which deeply impressed me were “If you have a motto, but don’t practice it, it is nothing but a joke. Arnold Toynbee (the English historian) and his wife get up every morning at 6:00. Our fight is to become human beings from animals. I’ll post the clipping of the speech in here, that will give the accurate speech.

Toward the 21st Century Drawing by JCS UCLA 1974 inverted

JCS. Research note 2016. In 1974, I didn’t find a copy of his speech, although it may have been printed, but did find a listing of his addresses  and was surprised to find UCLA at the top of the list as his first University lecture abroad.  Some of the transcripts are included.



by James C. Stephens

Saturday, May 22, 1971


Pres. Ikeda said, “Don’t worry people that look happy now, that don’t practice are on their way downhill; People that don’t appear happy in Nichiren Shoshu that practice are going uphill. One day all your causes will appear simultaneously in enlightenment.”

The last few days have been very strange. Tuesday while I was out promoting World Tribune my parents and brother had a big argument. It ended with my Mom and brother splitting.

Wednesday we did not hear from them and found that Ron had not gone to school. We were a bit worried and I stayed home from the meeting to do a little studying. I studied but also went out with my Dad to find out what was up. We discovered nothing. Thursday, my dad heard from my mom and arranged to talk with her Friday at four. During the evening Ken, Nancy, Jason, Rich, and I promoted World Tribune. I got on unexpectedly from Mike Rosenberg. It was the first time I had ever met him. After I came home I went over to Nancy’s and gave her my term paper to type.

Thursday night—my aunt got arrested for drunk driving, it seems everything has exploded.

Friday, I was again really wasted, went to school and completely blew my Man’s Religion Test. Later I turned in my History paper and shakubukued my History Professor.

After school I split home and awhile I was hitchhiking I reshakubuked an old titan member. He, I think was encouraged. As I was walking further my mom and brother picked me up. They seemed very tense, but Ron was excited about moving to Mammoth. They were very questioning and seemed perplexed by my calm attitude. So they came home and packed and we then all ate dinner together. I went to Nancy’s and she gave me a ride to the Toso. My brother split and I felt like crying, but did not. Nancy and I promoted but did not accomplish much.

Human Revolution by Daisaku IkedaWe then went to the Honbu and I chanted for a while and talked to Shibucho for a few minutes. We then split for the Valley. We talked about many things including our relationship and she dropped me off. She forget to pick up her Human Revolution and so came into my room. Well the probable happened. We played with the clarinet and then kissed. Walked outside of the front door and we got involved. Afterwards, I think we realized something and really got something out of it. We knew we really dug what we did, but realized that unless we cut it we would end up like other members that have that type of relationship. Either one goes titan, or both, or their practice stagnates. So we agreed that we must help each other and develop our true relationship, we must completely cut our old relationship. We agreed that it would be hard not to do it, but if we help each other we could accomplish it…I guess one calls it, Standing Alone.

We both resolved that such an experience could be changed into elixir and could be for our growth.

After she left I chanted for a half hour to really change the relationship.

We agreed not to become guilt ridden or tense about our relation, but to develop an even more beautiful and constructive relationship.

(Saturday) The meeting with Soshibucho tonight was very spirited. I freaked out, but still gave an experience. It is hard sometimes, you know. My Dad showed up late and after the meeting I introduced him to Gary Curtis.

My Dad has really freaked out. I really see he needs the Gohonzon.

Well, Nancy brought me home and we talked and discussed our problems. It was revealing. I guess Gohonzon has really given me an opportunity to grow.


Human Revolution: The story of Daisaku Ikeda under the pseudonym of Shin’ichi Yamamoto which chronicles his days as a follower of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism, e.g., Kansai campaign, time with Josei Toda.


by James Stephens

Thursday, April 29, 1971


File2977After my political science class, I sat in the cafeteria and studied there till 1:30. After that I talked to a friend and this girl for sometime. We had a rally good rap and I ended up walking this girl to the administration and talking to her about Buddhism…I promoted Min-on tickets to a Japanese class, but met with no success except seeing where they were at and where I was at…Then when I was walking down the hall I saw Jack Sterk (a good friend my old debate coach) teaching a speech class, so he motioned me to come on in…I really think he’s a fantastic person.


Jack and I share common goals. We talked of value creation education and he talked of his views on education. He hit it right on the nail. Education is in a sad dehumanized state. I told him that one day he’ll probably teach at Soka University or High School in the United States. I really feel he will one day chant. It just looks like he is now under Gohonzon’s pull. He is sick of school, can’t find a job, and in general is very frustrated with the state of things…