No.10 The Soka Gakkai Headquarters, Which conducted Personnel Shuffles for Discipline

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The first step encompasses a thousand miles. When you go on the next step and the next, you will be getting closer and closer to your dream. You can find important things at your feet, and you should keep going.
(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.
You!
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.

No.9 The Instruction of President Harada “Make an appointment in the staff room

“You may think it is easy to live your lives and practice Buddhism in a vacuum form(with no difficulties and obstacles),but in that case, you will not be able to sour up into the sky. Actually, when an airplane is flying forward and forward in the sky, the air around the plane will help it to keep flying. Moving forward and forward—Kosen—rufu (the propagation of the mythic law) also will convert difficulties into the power to sour up as long as Kosen-rufu continues to develop vigorously.”
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)

“You may face oppression. Then, you will struggle to break the wall. It is when your energy will be expanded. Also, it is the time that you will grow up as a person, and make an advance. In that sense, oppression itself will offer you a potential for your growth. The growth which is achieved because of oppression- that’s the law of life.”
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)

The life without difficulties and hardship can be called the happiest?
The life without troubles and difficulties can be called the true victory of your life?

No. Rather, the headwind confronting you will help you grow and improve .
yourself, and when you break the wall of oppression, you will grow as humans.
If you strive for your self-growth and a rich state of your life, obstructions will never fail to confront you.
However, that is the proof that you go along with Ikeda sensei, and the proof that you go on “the path of the life.”
Then, the obstructions is the proof of your rightness, and the proof of your justice!
My fellow members!
Move forward courageously!
Go ahead without hesitation!
Break through with delight!
The obstruction is not the one which hinder you.
The evil of obstructions is not the one which hinder you.
That is the just door to the future of delight for high leap.

On the Sunday of September 26 2010, Kodaira, who came back from Kyushu, headed for the headquarters with Ibaraki, who also came back from Hiroshima. They went to the desk of President Harada on the second floor of an office, holding letters to make an appointment to talk. There, a few staff worked, and they found President Harada at his desk. Kodaira and Ibaraki walked toward his desk, and talked to President Harada, mustering up their courage.

“Excuse me. Good morning, cir. I came from Kyushu.” President Harada seemed to be surprised at the moment, and asked “Your job? Did you take a holiday?” Kodaira answered “It is Sunday today, so I am off, cir. I’m sorry, but could you possibly make time to talk to me, cir?” Kodaira asked candidly. Then, President Harada said without stop.
“Did you make an appointment? Coming without an appointment means you do not have social common sense.” “You came from Kyushu all the way, but I can’t talk to you. Make an appointment at the staff room. That’s it.” Several months before, Noguchi and Takigawa had visited President Harada. At that time, he had not even received letters but just had shouted at them. Considering that fact, Kodaira thought they made an advance this time because President Harada instructed clearly, saying “Make an appointment at the staff room.” Then, Kodaira answered to President Harada, while bowing “I see. I will make an appointment at the staff room, cir.” Kodaira walked toward the exit, and then vice-president Aomori, who sat two desks-next to President Harada, stood up. He came toward Kodaira and Ibaraki, and told them, pointing at the exit door of the office room “I am in charge of this room.” “Get out of here! Get out of here!” Kodaira said “Mr. Aomori, please calm down, cir. Please don’t be excited, cir.” However, vice-president Aomori did, and kept on pointing at the exit and told “I don’t get excited at all! Get out of here! Get out of here! Get out of here!” He said repeatedly. Vice-president had treated Kodaira oppressively, and said to Kodaira, glaring at him “Behave yourself!” Kodaira and Ibaraki went out of the room quickly since they had done what they had to do. Outside of the room, Mr. Yamaguchi, a secretary of President Harada, walked after them. Mr. Yamaguchi was the older brother of Kodaira’s high school classmate, so they knew each other. Mr. Yamaguchi seemed to be surprised and asked what was going on, saying “I have never seen vice-president Aomori being so angry. What happened?” Kodaira started to explain briefly how it brought about. Then, Kodaira asked to Mr. Yamaguchi “How could I make an appointment with President Harada?” Mr. Yamaguchi told Kodaira in a polite way “That's the job of Mr. Tokushima. So please contact with him directly, It is usual to hand in paper to explain the reason why you need to meet president Harada. Then, please submit in paper. Kodaira saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and he felt that he would get a chance to talk to President Harada and let him hear their story. He just wanted to make appointment with president Harada and let him hear his story to clear up his misunderstanding and prove the innocence of the members. After that, Kodaira, Noguchi, Takigawa, and Ibaraki had a discussion about the application form to meet President Harada with the purpose to gain a chance to talk with president Harada.

Just at the same time, the members, whose titles and positions were removed because they had not submitted the written pledge, were treated more and more unfairly. In the mid of September 2010, Hyogo received an envelop at his house. The sender was a previous senior member of Kodaira’s in the youth male division. He was transferred recently to the old men’s group. In the envelop, there were an application form for funding, a stamped addressed envelop, and a memo noting “If you would like to offer monetary support, please send back the stamped addressed envelop with the filled application form by 11th” Usually, Hyogo did the monetary support in person, because a chapter leader’s house is within 5 minutes by bicycle from Hyogo’s house. Also, Hyogo knew his phone number as well. Nevertheless, the paper said “by post mail.” We could see their prejudice against Hyogo from this, clearly. In another case, one member, Mr. Kimoto was notified of the penalty and then his titles and positions were removed. A top leader in Kanagawa told him “Participate in Soka Gakkai activity more neatly as a single member from this time on.” However, in his local district, Mr. Kimoto was told “We would not like you to come to our meetings where each member share their ideas.” “We would not like you to come Zadankai.”
“As a disciple of Ikeda sensei, I cannot just sit without doing anything, knowing the members’ situations. I would like President Harada to make time to have a dialogue with us, and let him know the fact that there are members who were treated unfairly and wrongfully.”
Kodaira wrote down on the application form about the dialogue appointment with President Harada as following: “We are Soka Gakkai staff, so we are alright whatever happens to us. However, the innocent members (Mr. Kimoto, Simane, Kyoto, and Hyogo) have been treated unfairly: all the titles which they had had were removed, and they are labeled as “rebels”, and even the local organizations where they belong stopped having a contact with them. Then, we added in the letter “We do not think we are totally right, cir. If we have aspects to be corrected, we just hope you would let us know what are they. In that case, we will change ourselves whatever it takes. We appreciate your consideration.” All we wanted was that President Harada listened to our story once.

To Write a Letter to Mrs. Yamanashi for the First Time

September came in 2010, while filing the application form, Kodaira, who came back to Kyushu, were concerned that Mrs. Yamanashi, who was close to Ikeda sensei, had not responded to his offer. A half year had passed since he made a promise with Mr. Saitama. Kodaira thought to himself “I have written letters to Ms. Saitama several times in order to get her reply. However, there is no response from her. I have believed her, but there might be few chance to receive a reply. Then, it occurred to Kodaira that he should write to Mrs. Yamanashi directly. However, he went back to the thought “Writing a letter to Mrs. Yamanashi could mean I do not believe Ms. Saitama. Such an act would betray Mr. Saitama, who said, “I will reply to you without fail.” Kodaira pondered over and over. However,in reality, little time left to Kodaira. In his hometown, the innocent members had still been being treated unfairly. He felt that if this situation was going on, more and more people would label them as “rebels”, and that will be something that could never be undone.”

“Do not turn a blind eye on an evil deed which suffer our fellow members, even a trivial thing. If we leave it hanging in air, the poison which was caused by the evil will circulate the whole organization, and eradicate the sacred world of the unity”
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)

“If we missed the appropriate time, things will not turn out to be well never again. The painstaking efforts and struggle will straight down the drain.”
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)

Kodaira consulted to Noguchi in the headquarters, Takigawa in Kanagawa prefecture, and Ibaraki in Hiroshima prefecture about whether or not he should write to Mrs. Yamanashi. Then, his comrades said “Our mentor told us sternly we had to report to him if we found evil or corrupt staff. If we give up now despite that we saw the corruption of Soka Gakkai staff, we will turn out to be the disciples who have betrayed our mentor for self-protection. We cannot be like that, whatsoever.” “I think we have to take an action, not just waiting for her reply.” “I think it is right for us to write to Mrs. Yamanashi in order to resolve the mistreatment against the innocent members.” Then, we decided to write a letter to Mrs. Yamanashi under joint signature. We started describing chronologically in the letter the series of events we had experienced, such as “the injustice of the senior Soka Gakkai staff”, “the structure of the headquarters where the corruption of staff was covered up, and where sincere members are made scapegoats.” Also, we emphasized the root cause of covering up the corruption, which is the unjustness of Soka Gakkai staff. Actually, corruption or scandals occurred in Soka Gakkai, such as womanizing by Mr. Mie, the top youth male division and embezzlement by Seikyo Newspaper staff. The reason which we thought of was the organizational structure, where the leaders makes an excuse and deceives Ikeda sensei, saying “Do not worry Ikeda sensei.” In fact, they were just trying not to let Ikeda sensei know about the negative and inconvenient information. In the end of the letter, we wrote as following, “Mrs. Yamanashi, We do not think we are totally right, but we felt that what we have experienced for eight years must not be repeated again in Soka Gakkai. Ikeda sensei entrusted Soka Gakkai to his disciples, saying “There is no way but to entrust Soka Gakkai to you.” Additionally, we wrote to Mrs. Yamanashi as following.“Could you possibly meet and listen to our story once in person?” “We appreciate your consideration.” In September 19 2010, on behalf of the four, Ibaraki made a fair copy of the letter and posted it at the Hiroshima post office. “Time is definite. We cannot give up and cannot be beaten!”

The Unofficial Announcement of Noguchi’s Transfer to Shikoku, Kagawa Prefecture

On November 12 2010, Kodaira completed the application form for the appointment to talk with President Harada. One month and a half had passed since President Harada told Kodaira “Make an appointment to talk to me in the staff room(Yakuin-shitsu).”
Kodaira made a phone call to Mr. Yamaguchi, and said that Noguchi, who worked in the headquarters, would hand in the letter. Yamaguchi accepted our offer willingly, saying “I see. It is better (that)Noguchi will bring it to us in person.” “I will tell the director of the staff room, Mr. Tokushima about it, so Noguchi can hand the letter to anybody in the staff room. On November 16, before the start of working time, Noguchi went to the staff room and handed the application form to Mr. Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi received it politely. Finally, they received the application form for making an appointment to talk to President Harada. Until then, they had rejected to receive our letters for the last half year, but it finally bore fruits. Getting outside of the staff room, Noguchi went back to his job, praying that he would gain chance to talk to president Harada even for short time.
On November 22 2010, six days after the submission of the application form, Noguchi’s boss asked Noguchi on the phone to come to his place at 12 p.m. When Noguchi arrived at the office, its president told Noguchi “Go to the staff room at 12:30 p.m. You will get a notification of transfer to another area.” Noguchi felt as if times had stopped. The faces of Noguchi’s comrades, such as Kodaira, Takigawa, and Ibaraki rose in his mind. Noguchi went to the staff room as he was told. When getting to the room, Noguchi was guided to a meeting room, and Noguchi’s transfer was announced unofficially in the meeting room. Vice-president Aomori told “Noguchi, it is decided that we will transfer you to Shikoku-Ikeda cultural center on January 1 2011.”
“Lastly, they ordered me to be transferred.” Noguchi thought. It was the transfer from Shinano-machi in Tokyo to Kagawa prefecture in Shikoku, where Noguchi had no connection. Noguchi had imagined over and over the time when he would be transferred to another area. Needless to say, he was determined wherever he would go, he would fight for Ikeda sensei and Soka, which he loves. However, when the time came, actually it was really painful to tell his wife about the transfer because they just filed their marriage paper four days ago. His wife became a Soka Gakkai member a half year before. They had their marriage registered on November 18, four days before the notification of the transfer. Plus, they had the wedding ceremony coming up on December 25. It meant that for his wife, just only one week after their marriage, her husband had to move to Shikoku.
On that day, He told his wife about the notification of the transfer to Kagawa prefecture in Shikoku. Her eyes were red in tears. He told his true feelings. His wife was listening to him, while suppressing her worry desperately. “I cannot sign the written pledge, by which the disciplinary committee made scapegoats the members who voiced against the corruption of Soka Gakkai staff. Even if tougher difficulties may confront me in Shikoku, I will not give up, definitely. I will report everything to Ikeda sensei, and prove the truth and the justice of the courageous members. I will fulfill my mission in Shikoku, and come back to my local district here. So, I’m thinking I will go to Shikoku by myself. I would like you ask my favor on this.”

His wife nodded in silent. “I am convinced that you and our comrades, who taught me the greatness of Soka Gakkai, are not wrong, definitely. My mentor taught me what is a truly happy life. I will fight with you for what I believe is right as Ikeda sensei teaches me.” Her warm and strong heart made him in tears. His wife said “When you do a right thing, the headwind will confront you, naturally. That’s the faith you taught me. Don't worry.” His wife told him her determination in smile.
Six month after becoming a member of Soka Gakkai, His wife struggled to live as Ikeda sensei taught. He was just appreciating her heart. Even in Shikoku, where he was unfamiliar with, he made a resolve again, that he would fight for Ikeda sensei at the cost of his life.

“The person, who live one’s life for Kosenrufu (the propagation of the Mythic Law)has the flame of delight in their hearts. No matter how strong wind may blow against the flame, it can not be put down. Rather, the more strongly wind blow, the more strongly the flame will burn. “
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)

On the afternoon of November 24 2010, the personnel shuffle was announced in the general staff meeting. “Yusuke Noguchi is appointed as a sub-leader of the Shikoku office service bureau. It will be on effect on January 1 2011.” After the meeting, many of his colleagues talked to him, saying “Does your wife’s parents live in Shikoku?” “It’s too early to leave your current post. Just one and a month has passed.” “Now, we have the busiest time for the construction work around the headquarters. Why do you have to be transferred?” From the viewpoint of his colleagues, it seemed unnatural and fishy. (A few days later, he applied for the extension of the date of transfer with the reason that the dates of his wedding ceremony and the move to Shikoku were overlapped. Then his application was accepted.) Only about two months left when he could work in the headquarters. He often worked at the construction site. Then, he thought the chance to meet Ikeda sensei might come unexpectedly. So, the letters addressed to Ikeda sensei was always in the pocket on his shirt, and he was praying that he would meet Ikeda sensei and handed the letters to Ikeda sensei. “I will never ever give up! I can work in the headquarters right now. I will do everything I can do for Ikeda sensei and Soka Gakkai.”

To Write Letters to Mrs. Yamanashi Again

Even when walking and chanting within his heart on trains, he was imagining the time that he met with Ikeda sensei. He was determined to hand letters to Ikeda sensei within two months. Noguchi thought to himself “To make it happen, I have to do everything I could think of.” “What can I do to receive a reply from Mrs. Yamanashi?” On November 2009, Takigawa had been transferred to Kanagawa, a half year later Kodaira to Kyushu, then Ibaraki had been transferred to Hiroshima, and it was decided that Noguchi had been transferred to Shikoku. Just for a year, we, the four, who had not signed the written pledge, were sent to the countries. The reality was totally unnatural and strange however hard they thought in any ways. We could not help feeling that the intentions of the top leaders were to transfer us to the local cultural centers in the countries, where were far from the headquarters, and were to cover up the series of the issues.
December came. Almost one month and a half had already passed since we wrote letters to Mrs. Yamanashi for the first time. We had chanted earnestly and waited, but still, there was no response from her . We knew that she was very busy, but time was limited. “I want to talk with her by the time I leave the headquarters.”Then, Noguchi thought. He wrote to her once again.
“I know I have been bothering you though you are very busy at working for Ikeda sensei every day. You might tell me off, saying“If you have problems about the organization, consult to the executives or the president” However, I just would like to protect Soka. I just would like to live my life as Ikeda sensei taught us. I think we have to make an organization which protects every single member.” “Even though we have asked for dialogue sincerely, the top leaders scold us not allowing us to explain, refused to have a dialogue, and even transferred us to the countries siting the reason that we did not obey their orders. We thought because such a thing happened in Soka Gakkai in reality, we have to have a sincere dialogue with leaders who have that kind of mindset. I thought doing so is to carry through the teaching of Ikeda sensei.” In the end of the letters, we wrote, “After listening to our story, if you find something wrong, please tell us candidly.”
On December 12 2010, we posted the letter addressed to Mrs. Yamanashi while praying. All we could do was to pray desperately and to wait with strong belief. If we could let Mrs. Yamanashi understand the truth, we could get an opportunity to report to Ikeda sensei. Then, it was the the time that we could let Ikeda sensei know the series of the events and ask him to give us the opportunity to have dialogue with President Harada. We do not think we let Ikeda sensei solve the problems. We think it is required that his disciples have to unite based on his guidance and teaching, and solve the problems.

“You, young people, have to raise your voice against the persons who have done wrong things regardless of their titles and positions.“What are you doing?” “It is against the guidance of Ikeda sensei!” You have to say clearly like this.”
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei”

“I cannot down “the banner of dialogue” which I held up once, whatever. Having dialogue with President Harada and revealing the truth is the mission given to me, who experienced the series of the problems. I cannot be a disciple who is dependent on Ikeda sensei.” One month and a half were left by the time Noguchi moved to Shikoku. He prayed more and more strongly to realize the dialogue with President Harada.

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The Three Former Soka Gakkai Staff

Author:The Three Former Soka Gakkai Staff
Shuichi Kodaira; graduated from Soka high school in March 1995
graduated from Soka University in March 1999
started working for Soka Gakkai in April 1999
dismissed by Soka Gakkai in October 2012
excommunicated from Soka Gakkai in June 2014

Kiyoshi Takigawa; graduated from Soka University in March 2000
started working for Soka Gakkai in April 2000
dismissed by Soka Gakkai in October 2012
excommunicated from Soka Gakkai in June 2014

Yusuke Noguch; graduated from Tokai University in March 2002
started working for Soka Gakkai in April 2002
dismissed by Soka Gakkai in October 2012
excommunicated from Soka Gakkai in June 2014

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Notes

For privacy reasons, we wrote this blog under pseudonym except for the Soka Gakkai president, and the Soka Gakkai administrator. The names of places in Japan such as provinces are used for pseudonym.

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