Posts Tagged ‘George M. Williams’

by James C. Stephens


Friday, December 28, 1979

On Thursday I stopped by the World Culture Center and did Gongyo at about 9:15. During Gongyo–Mr. Williams stepped into the third floor room and there I made an appointment with him for Friday morning at 10:00.

Ikeda_Williams

Clipping from a World Tribune of Daisaku Ikeda and George Williams visiting the University of Chicago in January 1975. 

Friday morning I ran into Gary Curtis, Danny Nagashima, and Cheryl Bell, all of whom I had been attempting to contact. Afterwards Ann Hagihara ushered me into GMW’s office. At first he greeted me and bluntly asked me what items I wanted to talk about. I heard what he said, but inside refused to be led down such a path. I told him I had just ran into Danny Nagashima and he changed gears a bit and asked if I had gone to his wedding. No, I said, but I had sent congratulations via a tape recorded message. He asked if I had gone to school with him. No, I replied, but we practiced together in the same district for awhile. Then I proceeded to show him a book he had recommended to me from

Honoring Vietnam Veterans Nov 11 1979 stamp

In my journal’s I occasionally posted a stamp or two. Here’s one on this page honoring the Vietnam Veterans on November 11, 1979

Cheryl Bell in 1977 and I told him I enjoyed it tremendously and that on several occasions I had been moved to tears by the book. He glanced at the book’s pictures and seemed to relax a bit more and so did I.

Daddy Long Legs Book Cover Jean Webster

What I came here for was basically to communicate with you and let you know what is going on with me. It has been 10 years I have been in this organization and this is the first time we have communicated person to person. 

“I know,” he said, “and still I’ve seen you so much, TCD, brass band, youth division activities and i feel I know you in my heart.

And I said, I feel too I know you like this diary here I have 10 others, many filled with experiences with you at special meetings and brass band. I have many notes of all these activities and I feel close to you in this sense.

However, the reason I came here was to also communicate with you the feelings that I have developed in the past year. 1979 was definitely a rough year, painful, but I know I grew a lot and am not in the least regretful. The beginning of the year I constructively criticized the organization and I also grew resentful of you. In my diary I recounted you talking of being with President Ikeda so much, massaging his back, sharing time with him. I thought to myself, why don’t we get to do the same now with you, you have so much experience and yet you are getting older and we are young. Many of my friends including myself ask you to let us have access to your experience.

He replied that he was close to President Ikeda before he was President because he was a member in the same district as Mrs. Ikeda, and that they had meetings at Mrs. Ikeda’s house at times. Even before he was President or the Shin’ichi Yamamoto that people talked about, I felt that he was my master in life, Mr. Williams said. In Phase I we were really busy and there wasn’t much time to talk. He said he knew maybe Phase I was pretty militaristic, but it was what we experienced. 

 

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I talked of my experience with my father in parallel with my experience with the organization. The organization has been much like a father to many of us and I personally have learned a lot. In my relationship with my father I experienced a period of rebellion and outright criticism, both warranted and unwarranted; followed by a period of separation, during which I learned what I had learned from my father, what I had to learn and still benefit from, and I felt appreciation towards and a loss of negativity towards and a new awakening of the significance of our relationship, followed by a reunification of our relationship and this is what takes work and courage. It is here where not only does the child realize he can learn from his parent, but also the parent must realize he can learn from the child. If the parent does not also open himself up, it ends in conflict and incredible frustration for the child. Mainly because the parent does not allow the child to grow up. I think now we are in a very creative space in NSA which demands cooperation and communication. I grew up in part because of my father’s near death (which I explained to him GMW). But a lot of my friends, Russ Dilando and Jim Jay have still not confronted this situation and are very resentful towards you (GMW). I feel there is a definite lack of communication in NSA.

He talked about the politics between NSIC and NSA. I said I didn’t like the theory going around that President Ikeda would come over here and straighten out NSA. Earlier GMW and I had established in the conversation that NSA is in a very touchy state, many problems. He explained that NSIC tried to run our organization and he was out of the picture and the members asked NSIC more not him. I said much like the parent-son relationship in adolescence.

I mentioned Nagata who Liz and I met with and had told Liz to shut up, GMW said, he was sorry and I told him I understood in a way about Japanese culture, Zuiho-bini is harder than they think. He said yes, and he had many complaints and hard feelings were spawned by Nagata. Nagata had been practicing only 8 years and because he was able to be physically close to President Ikeda though he had much power. He was quite authoritarian. (GMW continued) I felt I was in winter from 1976. We needed a couple more years of Phase I. In fact we hadn’t even got there. We were more likely in the preface.

Fortunately the control has been returned to me and the leaders now in NSIC are much more experienced and closer to President Ikeda’s spirit. He talked of the new head of the NSIC and how he had been practicing 18 years and was so warm, genuine and sincere. They came to help us and learn, before they didn’t ask me anything, just toured on their own. Mr. Yutami (?), did much shakubuku through actual proof. GMW told me, Mr. Yutami’s experience of his wife’s cancer. No hope, doing activities, gongyo in the cancer ward, Mrs. becoming like a light to these people, chanting, sneaking in food, sneaking out to do Gongyo, guidance to operate, Doctor’s referral, her lips swelled when she doubted guidance, was she on the right track. Mrs. alone fought to do Gongyo 6 hours. He returned after after activities. She lived through the operation. Success, shakubuku excelled. Fought to do Gongyo 5-6 hours-will to live, battled cancer.

Mr. Williams said he was tired of criticism. NSA’s weak and her low energy, financial situation is actually better off. 

Talked of Peace Center-too small, would be laughed at. Too few people, not enough power. 1 person doing ten different activities, better to consolidate and do shakubuku. Disappointed re: letter to Youth Division. 

Youth movement conversation. Important to develop good healthy district discussion meetings. Shakubuku campaign.

We talked about Actualizations, EST briefly~value of their expressing a small part of Buddhism~good salesman, whereas we have whole philosophy or religion. Need to learn how to express in terms Americans can understand~very difficult task. 

Need of better communication in NSA. Talked about John Mitchell in Sacramento.

He (GMW) told me he sees the horizon, the bleak winter is over and to tell Jim and Russ this and hope they understand.

Will Rogers 1979 Stamp

The famous cowboy actor Will Rogers who said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” 

Gongyo and daimoku key. Problems were my karma, that’s why I was here early every day before anyone, chanting daimoku during the crisis.

He also talked of room for information center not being used. Territory meeting at LA#1 Headquarters.

Showed him my landscape drawings. Told me of UCLA garden~President Ikeda’s name on Founder’s wall.  

Encouraged me to keep up diary-good or bad times, like “rings of a tree.” 

I told him I would like to compile meetings we had with him.

 

~~~

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by James C. Stephens


June 20, 1975

 

nsa-pre-bicentinneal-convention-1975-button-snippet-from-have-a-gohonzon

1975 Pre-Bicentennial Convention in Hawaii featuring a floating stage in Waikiki Bay. A live performance for 50,000 spectators watching from the beach and from their hotel balconies.

Aloha!

Well, it’s getting closer. Only 36 more days. Tonight we’re going to be watching Mr. Murray and Mr. Rachey on a T.V. talk show. They’re being interviewed by a guy named Zooloo, like Johnny Carson Mainland style. I understand that it was a super successful interview and it lasted well into the allotted time. In fact Zooloo said this movement needs more publicity. It’s so interesting. This was not arranged PR, but rather this guy’s seeking mind about this Buddhism. Really groovy.

File1319

The floating stage was an amazing engineering challenge as fireworks were shot off from the volcano, there was a rear projection screen and hundreds of performers were shuttled by boat at night to perform on stage. It was quite an amazing production to say the least. To bring a floating stage in required the EPA’s and Hawaiian Government’s approval. 

 

Many people I understand have been shakubukued by our warehouse. One heavyweight was really impressed, so impressed that he’s given us free laundry service. Daily no less. Delivers in one day. Other people have donated 88 construction helmets that normally run $7 a piece. Then there’s the bamboo. The Ranger is really amazing. Calls Rejicho, George.

File1318

What you see is a Polynesian Village we constructed in the warehouse and moved in the middle of the night from the old Dole Pineapple warehouse to Fort DeRussy in downtown Waikiki. I was in charge of procuring the plants and was loaned over $500,000 worth of plants for the convention, which we returned of course. So kind of the locals. I helped Mike Strawbringer and other gifted carpenters, but was pulled off and assigned to do what I did best, raise money and ask for donations! Lol.

The Polynesian Village requires one hell of a lot of bamboo. I’m sure we’ve used well into 14,000 pieces of bamboo. Well, the Ranger let’s us cut in the bamboo forest reserve. They wouldn’t even let the Boy Scouts cut any during the big Jamboree. He’s the grooviest Ranger I ever met. Dresses in an aloha shirt. One morning he brought us 15 pineapples. Boy were they were delicious. After one bamboo run, he took us to they say one of the most beautiful places in Hawaii. It was definitely far out. Beautiful waterfalls and a refreshing dip in the pool of water at the bottom did me in. Of course no one else is allowed to trespass here. But the ranger really stuck his neck out and let us swim here. Unbelievable.

The construction of the convention is progressing on schedule, really beautiful. Everyday though we are getting more projects which is far out. The warehouse is really being used by Rejicho for Shakubuku. People can’t believe what is happening.

File1317

Our Hawaiian “Aunt” and our little sister who dove for the puka shells and made us a lovely necklace which I later gave to my wife Elizabeth. Such good people.

The neighbors bring their friends by to check it out all the time. Beautiful grass huts. Just wait. You’ll cry when you come here. The Hawaiian members and our crew are becoming really close, just like brothers and sisters. One women’s division Lizzy made me cry when she brought me some beautiful puka shells she collected and strung herself. Invaluable.

The Human Revolution is very intense over here. I personally have never gone through such a period. Definitely a Summer Training Course of the highest magnitude. It’s about 10 times more intense in a strange way than a Brass Band practice. 88 guys you can imagine. Did you know there were 88 guys in the US Continental Congress? Myoho!

Pupukea is really beautiful, wow. The Hawaiian members have really put their whole life into that project.

hawaii-outrigger-canoe

Oh the water is definitely far out over here. Really clear and blue and warm. I and Mike were fortunate to go with 15 guys to do Gongyo with Rejicho and then go outrigger canoeing and surfing with Rejicho. I learned a lot that day to say the least.

So much to say but so little time now.

Awaiting everyone’s arrival!

Imua,

Jim

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

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


Tuesday, May 10, 1977

Monday raining outside. As I lay in bed I picked up Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster and started reading (I believe I told you earlier that Mr. Williams had pulled this book from his library and told you it was one of President Ikeda’s favorite books.) Well, it has become one of my favorite books in fact. I couldn’t put it down except to do morning gongyo and what a perfect stormy day to be able to read through such a wonderful book.

Tuesday morning. Did or trying to do more relaxed Gongyo’s; I have felt, too nervous in the past, trying to become more relaxed and patient. Did rhythmical relaxed Gongyo. Decided at last moment, Dad and I should go do the route together. At Howard Johnson’s I had a very pleasant surprise. Isabel was there, came out and greeted me. We talked while I worked and made a plan to drop off Daddy Long Legs to her place tonite at 8:00.

8:10 p.m.-After relaxed Gongyo stopped by Isabels and had a very relaxed and enjoyable conversation. Shared dreams and frustrations till about 10:30. “Gee, I’m going to have to get back to work, Jim.”

“Okay, I have to get home and read 50 more pages of Dostoevsky’s Idiot. Sunday at 11:30?”

“Okay.” She looked so relaxed. Dressed in a robe. Most sexy, but all I could imagine was her and I at home together relaxed, her writing in the study. I moved over and kissed her goodnight, very light kiss, although I wished more, it was so innocent. On the way home I smiled to myself. I would have it no other way. I trust her so much more this way than one who would have had more immediate motives as sex.

Here I was moved sexually, but more emotionally. I felt that I wanted to take her into my arms.

I loaned her a Jazz album of mine and also Brahm’s Fourth. She exclaimed! “Oh, It’s my favorite of Brahms. Thanks!”

What can I say? I would write the experience word for word if I could, but I realize its just the longing I have to be with such a person. I told you I had many conflicts inside about starting a relationship with a non-member. But I made a commitment to Gohonzon that I would follow this through and would stand by Isabel with true love which is true mercy and with strong faith in the Gohonzon hold on to my mission ever more dearly. If in fact this relationship is meant to be.

 

Does fortune have it

I should travel,

Should run into so many

different

people, places

and one day meet my wife

over coffee in a restaurant

Maybe I am crazy

Or a romantic

Or a bit of both.

But I have a feeling

From the depths of my life

Isabel is a such a beautiful name.

She is eloquent

But she has a certain shyness

Maybe they call it a feminine mystique.

Two of her upper front teeth overlap

her lip-she tries to hide it

But that’s what makes her so attractive.

She has luscious moderate lips

Brown eyes, not flirting

But with depth

That I know I could love.

Dark hair that frames her face

Like a full moon.

Not thin, but healthy

Lovely.

A life like a puppy dog

You want to hug,

Although it is shy at first.

We communicated tonight many times

Without talking and

We realized it.

Hope and confidence!

 

TO ISABEL

Please understand

My heart is pure

I too am not only in

Search of a romantic diversion

Dear

Only in search of someone I

Can share and grow with.

Someone I can see the

Stars through their eyes

And not be lost without

Faith and hope

Someone who can tell me

A sweater is not my color

or

Gosh, tears

I hope you could love me

I so wish to share my life

Closely with someone.

I hope that can be you.

Goodnite I must rest

My thoughts.

Love is too trite a word

to give to you.

 

by James C. Stephens


January 25, 1977

[I am just including a few notes culled from pages of random notes taken at a meeting in Santa Monica on the Second Anniversary of International Buddhist League Day.]

George M. Williams lecture.

 

‘On October 5, 1960,  President Ikeda stood at Coit Tower in San Francisco looking at the statue of Christopher Columbus and said, “Although today seems like no significant day, 20 years or another 50 years to come, this day will be more significant than when Columbus discovered the continent.”

‘You can already see this as NSA was the only organization recognized to celebrate America’s birthday ( referring to NSA’s New York’s Bi-Centennial Parade on July 4, 1976 down the Avenue of the America’s). The goal of President Ikeda has awakened.

You are to practice Nyo setsu shu gyo– exactly as master taught. The disciple carries on the master’s teaching. The teaching can not be carried on without disciple.

Shin’nichi Yamamoto (Daisaku Ikeda’s pseudonym in the Human Revolution) carried on master’s will. Soka Gakkai was just a handful of small groups. Everyone against Toda. Who remained? President Ikeda tried to carry on master’s confidence toward Kosenrufu. Year 1951.

Most  crucial time-he tried to back master, but carried on mission as disciple of master.

April 2, 1957-President Toda died amidst criticism-everyone said Soka Gakkai will collapse within a few years. But Ikeda  as General Administrator behind the scenes developed the Soka Gakkai. Then up to 750,000 households.

May 3, 1960 rapid growth under Ikeda. Whole Soka Gakkai sincere dedication. Sho Hondo housing the Dai Gohonzon, the true sanctuary, Nichiren Daishonin’s will was completed on October 12, 1972. Besides the Sho Hondo, President Ikeda also was behind the reconstruction of the General Lecture Hall, Sobo’s (lodging halls on the grounds of Taisekeji) and several 100 temples throughout Japan.

Slow growth after the Second World War, but after the death of Toda the organization grew from 750,000 households to 91 nations. People looked down on such miserable members, but only Soka Gakkai established such history.’

 

by James C. Stephens


January 7, 1977

File1202

I finally got a hold of Judy Gold (she had left a message about 2 weeks previous she was trying to get a hold of me) and she suggested I come by and see her that night. Well it worked out she wanted to meet me at the Saloon around 9:30. Right! 9:40, 9:50, she didn’t show. But proof of my human revolution I did not get bummed out needless to say. Rather I had a beer, sat down and no sooner had I sat down when a girl asked if I had a light. Hold it, I’ll get you one. So I sat down at her table and Virdette (as I later found out) had another friend sit down. Her name was Adrian. Well the long and short of it was Virdette knew some people from Outdoor Sports Inc that I did and me being penniless they bought me six beers and we all became a bit high. Adrian and I hit off quite well and I think we might be going out in the near future. She’s going to Northridge CSUN as a Sociology major I believe and her mother is a psychiatrist, father divorced and in Germany, stepfather is a psychologist. So the evening turned out okay!

Left a message at her folks answering service today. Haven’t talked to her as of yet though.

On December 31, New Year’s Eve Day. As you might be aware of I and my father have been searching for an apartment. And New Year’s Eve was no exception. No Luck! But wait! I called Judy and she said come on down in about forty minutes. So looking at Dad, I said, “You don’t mind do you?”

He responded, “No. It’s okay. I’ll look for an apartment.” He didn’t look so happy. So I said, “I’ll make a couple more calls.”

One apartment I looked at a week before the landlord said was $250 a month. We could not afford it. So I didn’t call him back until the 31st. He said, “I’ll be over there in 1/2 hour meet me there.”

So Dad and I scurried over there and found out that an apartment over the garage was also for rent. What we didn’t know was that we had a contender. So the landlord came over and we looked at the $250 one and it was okay, but we were sold on the $150 one. Then the girl came up to look at it. While she was looking at it, the landlord and my Dad and I made a deal on the grounds maintenance for $50 a month off the rent. The girl came out and she said, “Too small.”  We rented it. $100 a month, $50 off for gardening. Not only that but we got a small shed for storing our equipment and behind the garages there was some room for a small vegetable garden, a side of the garage for storing 5 gallon plant containers, a washer and dryer below. It was a perfect apartment for the two of us. More than I ever expected.

The events leading up to this were frustrating, maybe proof of my lack of faith in the Gohonzon. But I keep telling Dad when a place fell through. Obviously it wasn’t meant for us-don’t worry.

Let me tell you Dad was really excited when we got this place! SO WAS I!

Last few days have been raining no maintenance, but you better believe I’ve been busy inside doing painting, etc. Two tobans this week.

Gary Curtis

Gary Curtis

Wednesday night I had my first Toban at the World Culture Center. Mr. Curtis was Chief Toban. About 10:00 PM, Mr. Williams came down. I walked him to his car, opened the door, shut door in the rain and TCD’d him out onto the street. He rolled his window down and said, “Thank you. Goodnight.” I responded, “Take care.”

Words do not do justice to the feeling I got from that experience.

On Thursday, I did Toban at L.A. #1 Headquarters.

January 1st we had an incredible meeting with Rejicho (Mr. Williams) at the World Culture Center. I was a TCD. Russ (Dilando) was in charge. I came late since I found out we needed TCD about 11PM. Didn’t want to ask same guys as night before so I seized the benefit.

New Year’s Eve Gongyo we did at LA #1 with Mr. (Frank) Hotchkiss leading. Saw a film recap of the “Top that Tune” contest. Hilarious!

File1411

From the top of the stairs at 1314 1/2 14th st in Santa Monica, California, Darlene Benson, Zadith Fresquez, Gayle Hammer, Kathy Schindler and Liz Lascar.

Afterwards I was just planning to go home not go out. But Kurt Triffet needed a ride to a party his chapter was throwing for Don Mentzer’s Birthday and New Year’s. So I got invited. What a trip! Met a girl named Gayle. Beautiful experience with the Gohonzon. We became good friends. She’s very nice. (I recall telling her that I had started a study group with Bruce Barnes and we were reading through Daisaku Ikeda’s Human Revolution, but that I was missing one volume. She mentioned that Liz Lascar had a total library and that she would see if she could get her to loan her copy to me).

Human Revolution by Daisaku Ikeda

Will have a phone installed on Thursday. AAO! Communication has been really poor this week. But things are definitely going better.

Adios!