“The top leaders! Bring back to the principles of the three presidents immediately! Otherwise, resign the positions!”
“Fight to repeal the Security policy and the Conspiracy Law, which could Japan to the war!”
“Disclose the suspicion of the monetary corruption by the Soka Gakkai staff!”
“Do not punish members who raises their voice!”
Now, top leaders takes advantage of the situation where Ikeda sensei is uncapable to make difficult decisions and go against the principles of the three founders of the Soka Gakkai. They have changed in a sloppy way the fundamental principles of the faith into the one, which is not consistent with the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, three years straight. The Buddhism is “Body” and the world is “the Shadow.” Therefore, the distortion of “Body” influences the world, and the distortion came to the surface of the world. The New Komeito, which the Soka Gakkai supports and backs up, carries the Liberal Democratic Party’s water, and approved of the exercise of the collective self-defense, and helped the Liberal Democratic Party passed the Security policy. Then, the policy of Japan such as “the eternal peace” and “constitutionalism” were broken, and stipulated implicitly that Japan is a country which approves of wars. Also, the New Komeito passed Conspiracy Law forcibly as a junior coalition party. The Law is so called the modern version of Security Autonomy Law. The Conspiracy Law is a horrible law which enables the nation to judge people as criminals just when people conspires. If such power is given to an authority, it will also enable the nation to oppress groups which are against the nation. Besides, the New Komeito exclaimed that they reduced the number of the crimes subject to Conspiracy Law from 676 to 277. They announced it as if they were acting as the “brake” on the Liberal Democratic Party, which run out of control. However, actually, they just bluffed their way. In fact, until then, the Conspiracy Law had been scraped three times. Plus, in 2007, the number of crimes subject to the law had been reduced to 128 in the draft of the small committee of the Liberal Democratic Party. However, now, the number of the crimes increased more than two-fold (128 to 277.) We say the Security Policy and the Conspiracy Law are laws which were created with a feeling of distrust to people. Distrust creates another distrust, and it resulted in a vicious circle of distrust. If we say we are the disciples of Ikeda sensei, we should not allow the humanism and the pacifism of Ikeda sensei to be destroyed any more. We should raise our voice to stop the Soka Gakkai and the New Komeito to go in a wrong direction any further.
On this day, many members gathered in Shinanomachi station in Tokyo vigorously with the feeling “We, every single member who joins this silent protest, is the Soka Gakkai itself and now is the time to take an action as Ikeda sensei told us.” When we arrived in the station, A youth male member from Kyushu, Mr. A was already there, dragging a suitcase with one hand. He came to Tokyo with the first airplane on the day. We had already met with him in the meeting in Kumamoto in Kyushu. Four days before the silent protest, Takigawa talked with Mr. A on the phone, then Mr. A said “I cannot keep silent, seeing the Soka Gakkai become like this! Even if alone, I will stand on my own!” Mr. A told Takigawa his passionate and indignant feelings. Delighted to see again, we shook our hands firmly. After a while, Mr. B arrived there with great awareness. We had met Mr. B in the meeting in Kumamoto, too. Mr. B pondered if he should join the silent protest or not. Then, she chanted daimoku earnestly, and at the eve of the silent protest, he sent an email to us, saying “I’m not sure if I will have an opportunity again to fight near the house of Ikeda sensei with comrades who struggles to put the Soka Gakkai on the right track. So, I’ve made a determination. I do not care about being excommunicated. Thinking about the insane law (Conspiracy Law), I feel a little worried. But, I will stand for Ikeda sensei and those who are worried and cannot take an action. I will do this because I want them to well up their courage by themselves.”
We had read the emails many times, respecting and seeing him as a true disciple of Ikeda sensei. Mr. B flushed with pleasure and said “I thought I cannot pass through this time (now) that Ikeda sensei is alive, and we shook hands firmly. One member and another from all over Japan gathered in Shinanomachi station. There were elderly members. Although we had not announced the time that the silent protest started this time, they had participated in the second-time silent protest. We had stood in front of the headquarters together. Actually, they had been watching the New Komeito carefully. They said “Seeing your struggle, I thought we can bring back the Soka Gakkai, which Ikeda sensei had established. Now I see a light in the end of the tunnel. I will join this silent protest, too.” The participants had not known each other. However, everyone had the same determination to take an action without regret to create the Soka Gakkai as Ikeda sensei envisioned. We saw blossoms of dialogue in Shinanomachi station for a while.
At 1 p.m. we started the silent protest together with fellow members who we were able to meet each other thanks to Ikeda sensei, holding up the prepared banners in front of the cathedral of the Soka Gakkai. Noguchi held tightly the prepared handmade placards, which said “Go back to the Soka Gakkai of Ikeda sensei!”
When holding up the placard over his head, Mr. C said “I am overcome with emotion” with tears in his eyes. He added with deep thought over the silent protest “I am very happy to stand with fellow members like this in front of the headquarters, in which Ikeda sensei might be. I came here today with the feeling, “I have to do what I can do now.” I feel Ikeda sensei is watching us!” Left next to Mr.C, standing was Mr. D, who was holding up the three-colored flag. Mr. D said “After joining the silent protest, leaders in my district called me to come to the cultural center twice, and questioned me. They told me “Don’t make a contact with the three former Soka Gakkai staff members, and do not join silent protests.” Then, I said “I do not do this since somebody told me. I join the silent protest with my thought that the executives, such as President Harada are wrong. What is wrong with this?”” Mr. D continued “Then, surprisingly, the leaders asked my parents and brothers to come to the center and persuaded them to stop me, saying “No time is left.” They implied “(If this situation continues,) your son (brother) will be excommunicated from the Soka Gakkai.” They are just threatening! Why on earth dis they call my parents or my brother in no relation to the silent protest instead of me!”
What a dirty way! The headquarters dislike the actions of members who has the spirit of “Standing up by oneself” and take a way to use their parents or siblings when they did not stop the actions. I feel indignant with the unreasonable ways of the headquarters!
In the same way, in the district of Mr. E, leaders lobbied the president of Mr. E’s office to convince Mr. E. Is it ok to take such a way! It seemed that they told the president, who is a member of the Soka Gakkai, “Mr. E works on activities against the current top leaders” “Connecting with those who are excommunicated is evil, so you should stop Mr. E.” The leaders made us the enemies of Buddha. Actually, the president was very worried that the leaders had no mercy and said that they had to punish Mr. E. However, after that, Mr. E persuaded the president, saying that he loves the Soka Gakkai wholeheartedly, and he worked on the activities in accordance with Gosho and the guidance of Ikeda sensei, so he was not wrong. Plus, Mr. E told the president that the top leaders are against Ikeda sensei. As a result, the president approved of his heart of justice. Nevertheless, the leaders did not stop. They called Mr. E to come to the center and said “We cannot allow the person, who is against the top leaders.” Then, they notified Mr. E that they would remove the positions of Mr. E. It is easy to judge who is right if they have dialogue. However, they did not have the opportunities of dialogue but punished Mr. E. We have never seen or heard such punishment when Ikeda sensei was fine. Plus, even before this silent protest, they called Mr. E to come to the center and confirmed if Mr. E would participate in it. Then, Mr. E answered “Yes, I will!” The leader told Mr. E “I will report this to the top leader of this region.” I feel really indignant with their despicable organized oppression against Mr. E! In spite of that, Mr. E is undaunted whatever punishment or inquiry confronted him. Mr. E exclaimed “I am not criticizing the Soka Gakkai. But I want to say wrong is wrong in accordance with the guidance of the three mentors. It is wrong that they make the actions subject to punishment. Who on earth are the disciples of the mentors! Who on earth are the true disciples of the mentors! I would like to declare that a true disciple is this unknown member, who raises his voice and joins the silent protest, standing bravely in front of the headquarters.
In front of the cathedral, standing was Ms. F with tears in her eyes. When we met her in the meeting in Nagoya in May for the first time, she told us “If the silent protest is held after noon, I can go there by Shinkansen.” It seemed that she had had wanted to join silent protest for long time. Finally, her hope was realized. To Ms. F, who held up the placard bravely, a man of the press asked some questions “I think this is the only place in Japan where I can see activities to protest against the Soka Gakkai. So, you came from Kansai to join?” “That’s right. When the security policy was on heated debate in society, I declared to leaders in my district “I will be opposed to the security policy!” I thought something is wrong when the security bills was passed in the diet. Then, I researched throughly by myself, and I found the bills were totally not based on and against the guidance of Ikeda sensei. So, I thought the top leaders are wrong.” She pointed out the causes of the change of the current Soka Gakkai. Ms. F started to share her experience of the faith. “I feel that everyone around me in my district keeps away from me after I announced my stance of opposition against the security policy. But I used to go along with members in my district, so we exchanges greetings when we see even now. They are really nice and too trusting, so many of them do not say their own ideas clearly. But when Ikeda sensei was fine, every member could say anything. Hearing what Ms. F talked, the journalist said with surprise “Learning of the current Soka Gakkai, it may be inappropriate to say, but it is like “during the war.” The organization, in which people cannot share their feelings and cannot point out problems, is not the Soka Gakkai. If we are forced to keep silent against the Soka Gakkai and New Komei party, which go in a wrong direction, the authoritarianism in the headquarters will be much stronger.
Beside Ms. F, there was a banner which read “The most tragic thing is for human being is not the violence of the evil but the indifference and the silence of the good.” The members who brought and held up the banner with the powerful saying of Martin Luther King Jr, a person who struggled to champion human right, were Mr. and Mrs. G. Mr. G started taking about his strong feeling for the saying, which he wrote with a thick brush. “I think that in his saying we can find the worst thing in the Soka Gakkai, which is silence. We do not have strong self enough to stand by themselves in the organization with the system of downward communication. Now, the spirit of questioning themselves, thinking by themselves, and putting them into actions were totally lost. The spirit of non-violence, which Martin Luther King Jr. appealed to and Gandhi inherited was something that we could find in the spirit of Makiguchi sensei and each member. However, now the spirit is totally lost.
Is it evil to keep silent against the headquarters, which obeys the power of the nation? If we face and are true to our own sincere minds, we should raise brave voice like “what the headquarters do is not in accordance with the guidance of the three founders of the Soka Gakkai!” That is the action for safeguarding the Soka Gakkai and the missionary fight for each member who lives in the time “the disciples raise their voice.”
Some people who walked by us watched our silent protest with vigor with warm smile, other people stopped to take photos of our struggling figures, and the other people to read the banners. We also found a group who used to be classmates of Takigawa in the Soka University. They looked over a line of people who gathered for the silent protest. When they found Takigawa, they waved their hands with smile. Takigawa was pleased to see it. He really was.
When ordinary people continue to struggle to raise their voices of truth, the Soka Gakkai will definitely be changed. We will put the Soka Gakkai on the right track, and the true disciples of Ikeda sensei will definitely transform the Soka Gakkai into the one whose protagonists are ordinary people!