Posts Tagged ‘Sho Hondo’

by James C. Stephens


Thursday, January 30, 1978 –30 days

Up 5:45. Made calls for daimoku campaign. Raining moderately.

Last night I could not write about my experience, because it was so fresh in my life, so I decided to wait til today.

Before I go into it though, I called Tom Brittingham in Las Vegas. He is going through a lot of human revolution and says he is seriously thinking of coming back to Los Angeles. I will hear from him at 10 this morning.

One of my inner struggles is vanity. As I was reading Pres. Ikeda’s Youthful Diary I was encouraged by one paragraph in his–Thursday, June 2 diary,

“Men thirst after vanity, even I myself. Future life, future leader, must have unshakable power. Never forget the spirit of pathfinders and forerunners–especially in youth. Day after day, age progresses. Wish to make myself catch up with progress, and become its pioneer.”

I feel the same. We have to truly realize we are the pioneers, the sons of liberty, the sons of the American Revolution of this age. If we don’t, if I don’t grasp this fact, I feel I have missed the point of my life.

Foundation in study.

Speed reading–I read too slowly to read all that I wish, no, that I need to read to grasp and face the harsh realities of the intellectual society. All mankind must reach for enlightenment. Must tap power and mercy deep within.

Sunday, February 12, 1978

For the past couple of weeks it has been raining off and on again. We have already far surpassed seasonal norms. Catalina came off their water rationing program. They now can take regular baths again. I bet husbands and wife’s are really happy for that…The rains have not however brought only good, they have brought much grief to many people in Los Angeles. Tornado’s swept El Segundo. Flash Floods, mud slides have left hundreds homeless, and even wiped out one entire mountain community.

It is most Tragic. It is truly as in the Rissho Ankoku Ron*. Water drought, rationing, fires, floods, spiritual famine. People are at a loss.

1978 is definitely a very significant year for my own personal development. This month we are studying through Ho’on Sho which is a Gosho of extreme importance. It deals with the Three Great Secret Laws*, and appreciation. We are studying the section dealing with appreciation. This is truly my human revolution. I realize honestly that I don’t appreciate Pres. Ikeda or the Gohonzon nearly enough. This is extremely important to do however! Bruce, Jerry, Liz and I started a group reading the Human Revolution–all ten volumes. With this campaign as a start it is my determination to develop this appreciation of Pres. Ikeda and become a true disciple. I am little more than a follower now. However! It is my determination to receive extensive training from Pres. Ikeda when he comes to the United States. Until then each moment, I must prepare for that step. I am so distant. Last night at my Chapter Gosho discussion I felt so limited to move or encourage Pres. Ikeda’s YMD. I made a determination from that meeting to develop a pure seeking mind and an appreciative, most appreciative life toward Pres. Ikeda. I voiced my determination at the meeting to fulfill this vow and for all present to become the kind of persons that would get and give the most when Pres. Ikeda comes to the U.S. But it begins not just physically, but to spiritually prepare, when the master is not physically present.

My 1,000,000 daimoku target is nearing. I am 22 hours from completion. My goal is to be finished by Thurs. 2 days prior to our wedding. Friday night, 2/10 I chanted 10 hours. It definitely was an experience. I was tired yet I feel it was worth it.

Did 5 hours today. Happy YMD Senior Leaders meeting today. Much more real unity. Sleep is my campaign now, so, goodnite.


*Rissho Ankoku Ron: Treatise written by Nichiren Daishonin to the Shogun calling for the Pacification of the Land through the Establishment of the True Religion. Nichiren the Buddhist prophet states:

“I have pondered the matter carefully with what limited resources I possess, and have looked a little at the scriptures for an answer. The people of today all turn their backs upon what is right; to a person, they give their allegiance to evil. This is the reason that the benevolent deities have abandoned the nation and departed together, that sages leave and do not return. And in their stead devils and demons come, and disasters and calamities occur. I cannot keep silent on this matter. I cannot suppress my fears.”

https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/2

The core of the Three Great Secret Laws*: The Gohonzon, or the object of devotion of the essential teaching, is the core of the Three Great Secret Laws in Nichiren’s doctrine that represent the purpose of his life. The Three Great Secret Laws are the object of devotion of the essential teaching, the invocation, or daimoku, of the essential teaching, and the sanctuary of the essential teaching.

The Sho Hondo: https://youtu.be/dXS5MwdLW7o

The Dai Gohonzon being inscribed in sumi ink by Nichiren Daishonin.

Inscription of the Dai Gohonzon

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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


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


 

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


October 9, 1973

Soka University

George M. Williams, “Over 120 dignitaries all over the US sent messages to our student Congress. What we set forth today will the determine the future. Abraham Lincoln said in August 1858, “We the people…life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.”

Student division–discussion of democracy. It is our mission to provide happiness of all mankind. Life most precious treasure.

Spiritual Quest. Nichiren Daishonin was able to express. Buddha is life itself, the true aspect of life.

Goals to accomplish. Develop broad-minded international outlook-not narrow minded scope.

H.G. Wells in Outline of History said, “Our true nationality is mankind.”

We are all brothers and sisters. Hippy to Happy Movement. F to A movement.  Mr. Hell or Mr. Heaven. Challenge yourself with Human Revolution. It’s your responsibility to become outstanding bright youth. Always take the side of the people. Men of action, not students of theory.

President Ikeda said, “You should be wise enough to grasp today’s reality with a persistant vision of kosenrufu. Percieve importance of the storm ahead.

Always carry President Ikeda’s guidance close to heart. Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask not what the world can do for you, but what you can do for the freedom and happiness of all mankind.

The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. Brilliantly carry out every activity.


 

Comment on the preceding notes: I’ve included these rough notes of Williams speech in Japan as this was an historical event as over 3,000 Buddhists from America made a pilgrimage to Japan to commemorate the first anniversary of the completion of the Sho Hondo.

by James C. Stephens


August 21, 1973

I realize I haven’t written in my diary for awhile, but sometimes it’s difficult to write of your experiences. The Sho-Hondo convention is getting closer everyday. It seems like yesterday it was 200 days until the Convention, now it is just 53 or so days.

About three weeks ago, I was struggling to get my money in for Tozon, now I am really struggling to get the right spirit for reporting to the Dai-Gohonzon and President Ikeda. I have really been chanting for 3 goals I have in front of my Gohonzon. 1) 3 Gojukai by October 1; 2) To play for President Ikeda; 3) To develop a seeking mind and fighting Abutsubo spirit.

I have been getting really incredible benefits. At my one job Benson Jones I got alot of responsibility and developed alot at that job. Remember I was thrown into jail for traffic warrants? Well, I really chanted to do Hendoku-Iyaku on that problem. Just last week I was laid off my job because I wasn’t a fast enough typist. My feeling was fantastic because I was chanting for a way out of that job, because they wanted me to work for a year full time and I wanted to go back to school. Anyway, when my boss laid me off he told me to forget the $122 he’d loaned me to bail me out of jail and on top of that he paid me my regular wages for a weeks work just to look for a new job. Incredible!!!

While I was working at Benson-Jones I took on a second job, which I received guidance from my assistant Chapter Chief Russ Dilando to do. For two weeks I worked two jobs. Sometimes working for 24 hours in a row. It was an experience I will never forget. Those two weeks seem like they lasted for 2 months. It is really strange. On Thursday morning I would get up early, do Gongyo and go to work at 9:00, get off at 6:00, catch a bite to eat on the way to Santa Monica for Band practice, leave at 10:30 to be at work at 11:00. Then at Alphy’s Restaurant I would work my rear off washing dishes continuously for 8 hours. What Human Revolution! Come home between 7 and 8:00, do Morning Gongyo and go to work from 9 to 6:00. Get home from work and hit the sack. Get up at 9:30 or 10:00 do evening Gongyo and go to work at 11:00. After work on Saturday nite I would go to Band and after Band on Sunday go to work again and then the next morning back to work again at my regular job. Some Gongyos were really strange.

One morning I remember chanting and then falling over. I couldn’t help but laugh. Driving to work was a strange experience. One morning I literally had to pull off the road and take a 15 minute nap to be able to make it to work. Even then it was a terrible struggle. I would have definitely continued to work like this for my tozon money, if it hadn’t been for my district chief Mike Lisagor. As I was heading out the door to go to work on a Friday nite, he met me at the door of my car and told me to call in sick. So I didn’t go to work and was consequently fired. Mike told me to depend on the Gohonzon.

I definitely feel that the guidance I followed was the cause to get such a large settlement from the accident my dad and I had last December. I got $800 which paid off my tozon of $650 and also the $450 for my VW.

My health was definitely not too good as a result of all those hours.


 

Sho Hondo: The Grand Main Temple near Mt. Fuji housing the main object of worship of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism.

Dai-Gohonzon: The large wooden object of worship which Nichiren Daishonin carved and inscribed with his name that was enshrined in the Sho-Hondo.

Tozon: Making a pilgrimage to worship the Dai-Gohonzon at the Head Temple Daisekiji, near Fujinomiya, Japan.

Hendoku Iyaku: The practice of “turning poison into medicine,” or obstacles into benefits.

 

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.

File1246

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. http://www.hosshakukempon.com/from-a-stormy-beginning-to-a-golden-life-with-no-regrets.html