(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
What do we call happiness? A possible answer is to accumulate days that you can say “I did everything I could today” “I have no regret for today.” “I won over myself today” To say “I did it”, we should live our lives with as much effort as we can make. The accumulation of such days will lead you to the true victory of your lives. It sounds too simple, but this is the royal road of life.”
(the guidance of Ikeda sensei )
The happiness of human being, or everything starts from a small single step, a single step in front.
Courage to step forward, action and pray to step forward, those accumulation is the driving force to make your dream and ideal come true!
One lives the life of a pioneer who creates history.
One lives for friendship as a brilliant youth.
One lives for fostering her child into a brilliant youth as a great mother.
Any lives of the ones requires every single day’s effort to win over theirselves with no regret each day, which will lead them to the true victory of their lives as human being.
Fulfill your mission just the way you are!
To live your life with no regret, make days that you can say to your mentor within your heart “I won today!”
Don’t forget that it is you, who make an effort to step forward every day, and that will establish the Soka Gakkai, which Ikeda sensei think is ideal!
On November 2010, it was decided that Noguchi would be transferred to Shikoku region. The day was February 2011. As a result, the four, who had not signed the written pledge, disappeared from the headquarters of the Soka Gakkai, and only Takigawa was left in his homeland, Kanagawa prefecture. Later, Takigawa would become aware of his mission, as knowing that members were treated more and more unfairly. Two years before, one of the top leaders in Kanagawa prefecture, Mr. Fukui listened to the reason why we could not sign the written pledge, and he said to us “You are 100 percent right.” In spite of that, the executives of Soka Gakkai in Kanagawa forced us to sign the written pledge, saying “It is the decision of the headquarters.” They gave the discipline of the suspension to us (including the extension of it later on), and removed our titles and positions. They ad decided and notified the disciplines to us three times on each occasion. Some executives of Soka Gakkai in Kanagawa knew we were not wrong. However, ultimately, they made judgement that the members were wrong from the reason that we did not obey the judgement of the Soka Gakkai headquarters regardless of the process. There was deceptive decision of the executives who thought “The official body of the Soka Gakkai made the judgement, so you had to obey it” This was the one of the root cause of the bureaucracy, which devouring the Soka Gakkai.
“The struggle of mine is to talk about the fact of the members! Who will talk about it except me!”Takigawa saw and heard that the members were labeled and treated unfairly after their titles and positions had been removed in 2009.
One member, Mr. Hyogo heard that “Because Mr. Hyogo do not follow the decisions of the Soka Gakkai, the leaders and the members must not encourage, foster, even talk to him.” Such an instruction was given to the members in his district. As time goes by, people tend to forget problems, considering them as the things happened in the past unconsciously.
People who nobody does not contact with, and who do not attend meetings will be forgotten gradually. Then, the memory of the scapegoated members will be faded away from the organization.
“If the misunderstanding remains as it is, “the truth” will be shrouded in darkness. Leaving misunderstanding in the air means the death of “justice.””
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
Takigawa thought he should consult with vice president Kochi, a top leader, about the members who were treated unfairly even after they had been punished. It seemed that the reason was they had not signed the written pledge. (When the members were notified of suspension and its extension, and the removal of their titles and positions, on each occasion the disciplinary committee said the same thing to the members that, in the Soka Gakkai, the weight of the title of president is almost equal to that of a top regional leader.) Takigawa thought “There was no path but to move forward, doing what I can do.”
On the morning of November 30 2010, Takigawa made a phone call to vice-president Kochi and asked on the phone “Could you possibly make time to talk? I have something that I would like to consult with you, cir. Then, he answered “Alright”, and he accepted Takigawa’s offer willingly. He arranged schedule to have a conversation at the Kanagawa cultural center on December 17 at 2 p.m. Then, on the morning when Takigawa would have conversation with vice-president Kochi, Takigawa received a phone call from him. He said “About today’s conversation, if you would like to talk about the disciplinary committee, we have to ask you to leave as soon as we know the intention of yours.” No sooner he told it than he hanged up the phone, so Takigawa could not answer at all. Takigawa was very shocked, holding the receiver tightly. Takigawa could not have a chance tell him what Takigawa wanted to consult about in details. Takigawa could not understand why they were so cautious about the inquiry of the disciplinary committee before having a conversation. Takigawa was disappointed to know that vice-president Kochi was so cautious about me before talking. After a while, Takigawa went to the office on the second floor in the Kanagawa cultural center, and headed for the desk of vice-president Kochi. He took him to a table in the center of the office. Takigawa explained the members’ situation; “In their district, nobody has not informed them of the schedule of meetings, and some members were told by leaders that “Don’t talk to the members.” , Hearing that, vice-president Kochi said “Absolutely! Members were just scared and could not tell them about the schedule of meetings because they were the people whose titles and positions head been removed. That is natural!” Takigawa could not believe his own ears and shivered with angry. The reason why Tagkigawa got angry was when the disciplinary committee notified about the removal of titles and position, vice-president Kochi said to the members as following; “as a single member, work hard on the activities in your district.” What the vice-president said in the conversation was totally opposite to the words which he had said before. Takigawa thought although his position was vice-president, he had no mercy and was so irresponsible. So, Takigawa asked “Have you ever listened to the members’ side of the story from them? No, you have not. Vice-president Kochi, it was you who decided to remove their titles and positions.”He answered “No, it is not me who did. The headquarters did.” Takigawa said to himself “The person who notified about the removal is avoiding his responsibility. I have been fighting against such thoughts and the structure of the organization.” Takigawa looked at his eyes and told “When you notified, as far as I can remember, you started with the following words “I had the same power as the president”, and then you said “We will remove your titles and positions.” Vice-president Kochi told to Takigawa “It was not me who had made a judgement. It was the members of personnel committee who had done, and the headquarters accepted the judgement. I did in accordance with the rules of the headquarters.” Takigawa mustered his courage and asked “You had never listened to our side of the story, but why did you made the judgement? What would Ikeda sensei say if he knew that you had made a decision without listening as the one in charge of the task?”Vice-present Kochi answered instantly “He would say I am right.” Takigawa was puzzled by his words lacking feeling and emotion. However, Takigawa welled his courage and started talking “I do not think so. There are members who were made scapegoats because of the corruption of the staff. As long as the problem was not solved, I think that the act of removing the positions and titles were wrong.” Then, the face of vice-president Kochi changed. He raised his voice and said “Get out of here! This is an administrative order. Go back to your job!” Then, the conversation ended. In a local district, there were members who were treated unfairly because of the punishment of the suspension without listening to their side of story. They were angry but accepted the punishment. However, even after that, they had still been being unfairly treated. The attitude of vice-president was totally irresponsible and with no mercy, and that was something that should not be. Takigawa’s eyes were filled with tears with the anger at vice-president Kochi, who ended conversation in excitement, and Takigawa was also filled with anger at himself, who were not capable enough to save the members.
“Persons who were irresponsible were worse than enemies.” “If the number of irresponsible bystanders and arrogant bureaucrats increases, the Soka Gakkai will be destroyed from within.”
(the guidance of Ikeda sensei)
When leaders were questioned the responsibility, they said “It was the headquarters, which made the decision” “It was the committee, who made the decision” As a result, where responsibility for the leaders reside were obscured. They did not feel pang of conscience as they said so. What they said implied that they were just following the decision of the organization, so they were right. Such organizational structure was deeply rooted in the Soka Gakkai. “I want to transform the Soka Gakkai. I have to. If not I could as soon as possible, more members will become scapegoats .” Takigawa became keenly aware that he could not solve the problem of the Soka Gakkai until he has dialogue with President Harada.
The Reply about the Appointment of Dialogue with President Harada.
Also, we had waited for the reply about the appointment of dialogue with President Harada, which we had made on November 16 2010. We had done as President Harada said. Although three weeks had passed, there was no response. Then, on the afternoon of December 6, Kodaira made a phone call to Director Tokushima, and was going to confirm the date of the appointment with President Harada. Tokushima said “I tried to fit in his schedule, but his schedule is full around the end of thyear, so it is difficult to have dialogue with him. We would like you to make appointment again.” Kodaira explained that President Harada had told him that he should go to the Staff Room, and make an appointment. Kodaira asked Director Tokushima desperately to have a dialogue with President Harada before the New Year’s Day. Nevertheless, Director Tokushima said “As you asked, I tried to fit in his schedule, but I could not.” Then, he suggested “If there is an urgent problem to deal with, what about writing a letter to President Harada directly？ Kodaira asked “Should I mail to his address?” “Could you possibly hand the letter to President Harada directly?” Director Tokushima answered “No problem. When you write to me, I will hand it to President Harada directly.” His schedule was full. It could not be helped.” Takigawa suppressed his strong desire to talk with President Harada as soon as possible. Takigawa thought there is time to face many challenges and to stay patient, but it could be the representation of courage. “I want to realize the dialogue with President Harada. I will ask for dialogue after the New Year’s Day.” Takigawa made a strong determination. Takigawa thought to himself “I cannot stop. If it seems as if I stop, there is no way but to do what I should do now in front.”
The Response of the Top Leader of Kyushu, Vice-President of the Soka Gakkai, Ehime
On December 2010, eight months had passed since Kodaira moved to Kyushu. Kodaira had to come to Kyushu because vice-president Aomori told Kodaira that the transfer of Kodaira to Kyushu was based on the personnel exchange project with local regions which had been carefully researched and discussed. The aim of the project was to improve personal business skills. However, Kodaira was told by a chapter leader that “I heard about you in details.” “Above all, you have to work hard on your work and to improve your life. It will take time, but be a person who is trustworthy.” The way he treated Kodaira was actually nothing but suspension. Kodaira cannot help feeling that the way the people in Kyushu behaved to Kodaira was totally different from what the leaders in the headquarters had said. In order to gain trust, Kodaira exerted himself for his job, but Kodaira was concerned about the fact that Kodaira could not participate in the Soka Gakkai activities. So. Kodaira was anxious about what and how the leaders in the headquarters talking about Kodaira. Kodaira thought the top leader of the Kyushu, a vice-administrator of the Soka Gakkai, Mr. Ehime might be unknown about the series of the problems which Kodaira had experienced. Then, Kodaira thought, if he was mistaken about Kodaira, Kodaira had to solve his misunderstanding.
On December 9 2010, Kodaira asked for dialogue with Mr. Ehime, and on December 15 Kodaira received an answer from him “I can have dialogue with you on December 15 at 10 am. On December 15 before 10 am, Kodaira got to the meeting room on the second floor in Kyushu cultural center. Kodaira waited for Mr. Ehime to arrive at the room. After a while, Mr. Ehime appeared with a leader in Kyushu. Kodaira bowed and said “I did not have a chance to greet, so I thought I would like to do. Thank you for making time for me.” Kodaira greeted politely. Then Kodaira asked candidly “I have been wondering what and how you heard about me (from the headquarters).”Mr. Ehime said “Frankly speaking, I heard about you and the process of the problems involving you. I heard that you were on the subject of the Disciplinary Committee, and I also heard about the several years that you had been the chapter leader of the Student Division in your district.” Mr. Ehime continued “Besides, I thought you are one of youths who has a future, so I said I would accept you here and would see you with no bias only if you would work as the staff of the Soka Gakkai in Kyushu and only if you would have an will to restart here.” Kodaira could not believe his words. What he said was totally different from the words of vice-President Aomori on the occasions of the notification and of the announcement of the personnel shift in the headquarters. In the headquarters, vice-president Aomori explained “This is the transfer for the personnel exchange and business exchange based on the strategic personnel project. After that, Kodaira was told that the personnel shift was in no relation to the series of the problems which Kodaira was related to. However, hearing and judging from Mr. Ehime, it seemed that there were reasons that Kodaira had to restart in Kyushu, and according to Mr. Ehime, it was Kodaira who hoped to restart. So the Soka Gakkai in Kyushu accepted Kodaira being transferred there. Actually, Kodaira was treated as if he were an exile. Vice-president Aomori had mentioned before that the transfer was a part of exchange project with local regions to improve personal business skills.” However, it was just a superficial reason added afterwards. In fact, the personnel shift was conducted for discipline. Mr. Ehime continued “Rather, I want to hear from you about the process.” I have never heard from you.” Kodaira explained desperately about it. Nevertheless, Kodaira could not make himself understood. Kodaira could not help feeling that Mr. Ehime upheld preconceived ideas about Kodaira. After that, Mr. Ehime said he had a visitor, so he had to end the dialogue. He added if Kodaira wrote down his feelings on letters, he would take a look at them. Kodaira said “I see. I will write letters. Could you possibly make time to have dialogue with me, again?” Mr. Ehime answered “I could. Let’s have dialogue again. You do not need to rush.”
Kodaira went back home, and recalled the dialogue with Mr. Ehime. Kodaira found the Soka Gakkai organizational structure where the local regions (leaders) accepts everything on faith about the ideas and opinions of the headquarters (top leaders.) That is why open discussion is important. There is no way but to have a heart to heart dialogue to pave the way.
“Courage!” “Talk everything with courage!” Kodaira started working on writing to Mr. Ehime. “I have to let Mr Ehime know about the truth!” Kodaira went through the paper and the letters which the three had submitted before, and exerted himself to write every single night. Kodaira wrote down the process of the problem and his true feelings on the letters: “I have no regret about the removal of my positions and titles. Since the beginning of the problem, the Mythic Low and my mentor have protected me for nine years. So, I have nothing but appreciation. Still, there are members who are innocent but have been treated as rebels, and are made scapegoats. Ikeda sensei said “To safeguard your mentor is, to put it clearly, to safeguard members.”Suffering innocent members is something that should not be happened no matter what. No matter how bigger the Soka Gakkai become, as long as we safeguard one single member, we can safeguard the Soka Gakkai. I think devoting to members is the mission of Soka Gakkai staff.” At night of January 11 2011, Kodaira visited the office room on the second floor in Kyushu cultural center and handed the letters to Mr. Ehime. Mr. Ehime received and looked through them. After a while, Mr. Ehime looked away, and took out two pieces of paper from his desk, saying “I do not want to hear anything but an objective story.”
The paper said “The inquiry was conducted fairly and properly, but there were people who did not accept the judgment and did not sign the written pledge. Afterwards, we gave guidance to them, but they did not accept it, so they were imposed suspension. So, we gave warnings to them twice, but they still did not accept. Therefore, they were disciplined, and their positions and titles were removed.”
According to the paper, the information was communicated just when Kodaira was transferred to Kyushu cultural center. Kodaira was discouraged and upset about the paper. Kodaira thought “If they had done the inquiry fairly and properly, the members would have signed the written pledge, and the problem would have been solved peacefully. However, the members refused to sign and chose to be punished. For what did they make a compelling decision! For what did they face the punishment with tears in their eyes!” Although Kodaira was upset, after looking through the paper and returning it to Mr. Ehime, Kodaira said, bowing “Please have dialogue again with me, after I submit letters on another occasion.” Then, Kodaira left the place.
The two pieces of paper which was written on assumption that the judgement of the headquarters was right. Kodaira said to himself “I have to let Mr. Ehime know the truth no matter what. I have to write letters again, let him read them, and have dialogue with him! About who are right and who are Ikeda sensei’s disciples, I want to write. The Soka Gakkai exists for its members!” Kodaira had waited for the response from Mr. Ehime.
The Transfer of Noguchi to Shikoku
On December 15 2010, Noguchi heard from Kodaira about the dialogue between Kodaira and Mr. Ehime. Noguchi thought it was certain that Noguchi’s transfer to Shikoku was conducted with the aim to give discipline to Noguchi. Noguchi thought “The headquarters would not get me back until I obeyed its decision. However, I will not escape from the problems which I encountered. I cannot betray the members who have been treated unfairly even if I may lose my life.” Noguchi could not help feeling that if he had not raised his voice bigger, the problems which Noguchi had experienced would have be forgotten as time went by without their voice reaching Ikeda sensei. Noguchi thought the only way to contact with Ikeda sensei was Mr. Yamanashi. Although Noguchi wrote the second letters to her on December 12 2010, there was no response from her. Noguchi prayed and waited for her reply. One week passed, and two weeks. Still, Noguchi did not receive reply from her. In the letters, Noguchi wrote about the issue of Soka Gakkai staff, about corruption of the the headquarters, which covering up the problem of the staff, and about the top leaders in the headquarters who had not listened to the members’ side of the story. Noguchi felt that she pondered over how she should react to them. On the end of December 2010, Noguchi consulted with Kodaira, Takigawa, and Ibaraki. Noguchi shared his idea “As we can see from the dialogue between Kodaira and Mr. Ehime, It is clear that our transfer to local regions is done with the aim to give discipline to us. If so, in order to pave the way to report to Ikeda sensei as soon as possible, we should tell the plotted transfer to Mr. Yamanashi. Noguchi’s comrades agreed with it. After praying desperately, Noguchi started writing the third letters.
“Living a life is struggle. People who never give up, never stop, and keep running no matter what happens will gain victory. People with undaunted tenacity will gain victory. In the third letters, Noguchi wrote as following. “There are members who suffer. The members who pointed out the attitude of Soka Gakkai staff are not wrong. I think the Soka Gakkai exists for its members. I wonder why they have tried to make the problem ended without listening to the members’ side of the story though the members still have suffered. Could you possibly give me reply to our letters, cir? If impossible, I would like to know the answer. I think our mentor watches how each disciple acts, patiently. Ms. Yamanashi, we are grateful if you understand our feelings. I appreciate it.”
On January 19 2011, Noguchi posted the letters addressed to Ms. Yamanashi. Along with writing letters to Ms. Yamanashi, we wanted to make an appointment of dialogue with President Harada. The first time, we could not realize it in the end of the year because of his tight schedule.
Noguchi started filing the form of appointment. Noguchi thought until February 1 when Noguchi left for Shikoku, Noguchi would hand the form of appointment to Mr. Tokushima. “The headquarters, where we hardly see dialogue currently, fall into the rigid organization, easily. I want to safeguard the Soka Gakkai, which Ikeda sensei established, have dialogue with President Harada, and solve his misunderstanding. I want to tell the innocence of the members who have been treated unfairly.
Noguchi started writing a letter with honest feelings as follows : “All we have asked for is just to listen to our side of the story. I would like you to listen only once. I think it cannot be helped if you judge us as “I cannot listen to the persons who just says his opinions.”after talking. However, it is not understandable for me to be judged as “I cannot have dialogue” without talking.” “Praying earnestly and reflecting on what I did, I found things which I felt angry at myself, but I do not think it is wrong to ask for dialogue about the problem which I have experienced. I do not think it is wrong to ask for dialogue in order to let you listen to our side of the story about the members whose positions and titles were removed in the community of Soka Gakkai, whose purpose is the happiness of its members, originally.” In the end of the letters, Noguchi wrote: “President Harada, could you possibly listen to the story with no bias, cir? Could you possibly tell me what should I reflect on, cir? I think Ikeda sensei is watching how each disciple acts, patiently.”
January 28 2011 was the last day for Noguchi to go to the headquarters for work. With the letters Noguchi headed for the staff room in the building detached from the headquarters. Mr. Tokushima appeared soon in the reception room on the first floor. Sitting in chairs, Noguchi said “This is the last day for me to come to the headquarters for work.” “I will be transferred to Shikoku, so I came here to ask your favor, cir.” I would like you to hand this to President Harada.” Then, Noguchi submitted the letters. Mr. Tokushima said “I see. I will hand this letter to President Harada.” Mr. Tokushima promised. “Thank you, cir. I will fight for the Soka Gakkai after I am moved to Shikoku!” After that, Noguchi saw Mr. Tokushima off at the elevator.
Backing to his job, Noguchi finished his task and packed his staff in cardboards. Then, Noguchi went around to say farewell to his colleagues and his bosses. One of his female colleagues said “You have just got married. Why on earth are you transferred?” Also, his old colleague said “Why did Vice-president Aomori do such a thing? It is totally unacceptable!” Everyone knew in their hearts. However, they could not raise their voice. Noguchi thought “I should just continue what I believe is right.” “I am alright as long as my mentor is pleased, as long as he understands me.” On the last day to come to work to the headquarters, looking at the headquarters from his office, where Ikeda sensei stayed, Noguchi reflected on many things. “Win for justice!” They were words which Ikeda sensei gave to Noguchi, and came up in his mind then.” When Noguchi thought of the heart of Ikeda sensei which had encouraged and supported Noguchi in difficult and tough situations, tears well up in his eyes. With deep appreciation to Ikeda sensei, tears did not stop. Noguchi said to himself with determination “I will carry through what I believe is right!” Then, Noguchi left Shinano-machi.
At night of January 30 2011, Noguchi headed for Haneda Airport. Noguchi’s comrades appeared to see him off. There were tears in the eyes of Noguchi’s comrades with anger.
Appreciating it that they saw the problem as if it is theirs, the tears filled Noguchi’s eyes. Noguchi told them “I will not be defeated, definitely! I will come back here with victory, after reporting to Ikeda sensei about what the current headquarters is like!” Then, Noguchi headed for the boarding gate. They had waved their hands. There were members who cried. “Thank you very much! I just appreciate it!” Noguchi was overwhelmed with appreciation. Noguchi was determined and thought to himself “Thanks to my comrades, I can live my life now. I will move forward to safeguard the Soka Gakkai, which Ikeda sensei established and to prove the innocence of the members!” Noguchi received the words “Win for justice” from Ikeda sensei when Noguchi was in the Student Division, and had suffered from the unfair personnel shift by the Soka Gakkai staff. Making the message of Ikeda sensei his determination, the Noguchi left his homeland, Kanagawa prefecture, for Shikoku.