Honestly, there was a time when I could not accept the reality and pondered “Why did such a thing happened?” “Is it me who is wrong?”
Our mentor gave us guidance “Dialogues is the lifeline of Soka Gakkai”, but actually,among Soka Gakkai headquarters staff, I can say, we, the headquarters staff, were not allowed to have dialogues with each other. I faced to the fact and was deeply concerned about it. While struggling to figure it out, we encountered senior staff who refused to have dialogues with us, and attempted to conceal the scandals which we had tried to report to Ikeda sensei. Still, we continued to ask them to take time and have dialogues with us. However, as a result of asking for dialogues, we were administered punishments such as suspension, dismissal from the positions in Soka Gakkai, relegation to the local center, punitive dismissal, and even excommunication from Soka Gakkai. And now I am neither Soka Gakkai staff nor a member of Soka Gakkai.
Since I was born, I grew up in Soka Gakkai, and I encountered Ikeda sensei, who is the mentor of my life. For me, Soka Gakkai is the meaning of my life, and dedication to Soka Gakkai where my mentor established is my living hope. This is the honest feelings why I had applied for staff of Soka Gakkai. However, after being dismissed and excommunicated from Soka Gakkai, I lost almost all the valuable meanings of living my life. Instead, I gained the most important and valuable thing, which was the enlightenment that Soka Gakkai is the world of the bonds between the mentor and disciples, in other words, between the mentor and its members. Nobody can not interfere the relationship among them. As other many members do, I also came to realize the principle. When I became fully aware of being one of the disciple of Ikeda sensei, I sensed it strongly. I felt strongly that I would like to share my experience and thoughts with other Soka Gakkai members and work together on making Soka Gakkai better. Then, I decided to write all the experience I had encountered. After thinking over and over, we made our mind to start this blog, making our names public. After setting out this blog, we received massages of encouragement and slander from people who had read this blog. However, no matter how severe messages I received, I felt that I had to keep my vow with Ikeda sensei, which is to transform Soka Gakkai. Besides, we received some frank messages, which said “What do you think about the Security Bills?” “What is your future plan?” We just appreciate these messages and are very happy to know many people have interests in us and our struggling. We would like to make this episode as the one which shares our thoughts on the Security Bills. I have to apologize to those who have been waiting for the update of new episode. Regarding to the Episode, scheduled to be updated this time, we would like to resume writing and to share it after sharing our thoughts on “Security Bills.”
As we mentioned the first part of this blog, in this episode, we would like to write about our opinions about the Security Bills, where Soka Gakkai was deeply involved, and we would like to point out problems in them.
The Movement of the Headquarters which is against the Guidance of Ikeda sensei, our Mentor.
Currently, the ruling coalition party which New Komeito joins push forward with the legislation of the Security Bills, which accepts Japan being involved in war in more direct way. In September 9 2015, the ruling coalition party of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito forced through the Security Bills and legislate them even though many scholars made statements that the Security Bills violates the Article 9 of the Japanese constitution. Actually, the Security Bills accepts the right of collective self-defense, and make it possible that Japan dispatch the security defense force to battlefields. It means the Security Bills approves Japan taking part in war. Director-General of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau, a former Chief justice of the Supreme Court, a former Supreme Court justice, and 52 lawyers in Japan Federation of Bar Associations, all of who states that the Security Bills are unconstitutional. From this, it is obvious that the the legislation of the Security Bills is the violation of Japanese Constitution. Even so, New Komeito supported the Security Bills as a wing of the ruling coalition party, and played a key role in passing the Security Bills.
New Komeito is the party, which our mentor gave his all to establishing and developing. Nevertheless, New Komeito supported passing the Security Bills, and disgraced the history of three Soka Gakkai Presidents: the first Soka Gakkai president Makiguchi was arrested and passed away in a prison, resisting the military Government in the stance where he was definitely against any wars, which suffer people severely. The second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda got out of the jail with a strong determination that he would avenge the death of his mentor, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi. Although he was heavily sick, he passed down to the younger generation the legacy of teaching “the statements of anti-nuclear bomb”, which appealed to the world for anti-nuclear and abolishment of wars. The third Soka Gakkai president Daisaku Ikeda have dedicated his life for the fight to realize the world peace and the happiness of all human being and not to let World WarⅢ ever happen, by visiting the United States, Soviet Unions, and China constantly and taking on the challenges of having dialogues with the most politically influential persons during the Cold War era. To realize the peaceful world, in Japan he established New Komeito whose motto is to talk with people, fight with people, and die with people. However, we can not help thinking that New Komeito has lost the principle. Instead, what they stated were “It is constitutional.” “It is within the purpose of self defense.” New Komeito defended itself by making these statements, which shows that Komeito did away with the motto of New Komeito “The party for peace.”
We can not help feeling that what they did was the act of breaking down the castle of the definite pacifism, which the three presidents devoted their lives to establish and develop.
Additionally, the headquarters of Soka Gakkai stated “We understand that New Komeito made efforts to maintain the pacifism of Article 9.”*1 “The cabinet decision on the security policy made in the last year was based on the the pacifism of Article 9 and exclusively defensive security policy, and we recognize that the validity of the decision is now officially under discussion.”*2 Those statements which the Komaito made indicates that New Komeito showed their approval toward the Security Bills. However, the history of Soka Gakkai, which the three president had established was the history of all-out struggling for the definite pacifism and anti-war.
Ikeda sensei stated clearly “We have carried through the attitude of protecting the permanent pacifism embodied in Article 9. This is not simply for the peace of Japan, but for the world peace, I believe. The path toward the permanent peace is to engrave the ideal and the spirits of the notion of peaceful constitution in the hearts of everyone in every country, and spread humanism of the abolition of wars.” “I have to say that it is anachronistic to stick to the way of securing one’s country by forming a natural community with a common destiny and showing off the military might of its own country.”
In addition, Ikeda sensei declared clearly in the interview conducted by the Mainichi Newspaper on September 25 2001:“I think that we definitely should not change Article 9.”
I can not help thinking that the actions of New Komeito for the security policy is to overturn and ruin the ideology of the definite pacifism and the history of actions which the three president have established. I have to say that the movement of New Komeito will lead to devastating them.
Recently, Soka Gakkai members started joining demonstrations with the three colors’ flags, holding study meetings, and collecting signatures, seeking for withdrawing the Security Bills from the viewpoint that the stance of New Komeito is against the guidance of Ikeda sensei. However, the Soka Gakkai Public Relations Department responded “We acknowledge that the legislation of the Security Bills is now under discussion based on the pacifism and the exclusively defensive security policy originated from the Article 9. We do not acknowledge the movement of Soka Gakkai members over the Security Bills and do not approve it. It is really regrettable that they use our three color’s flags for such political purposes.”*3 Additionally, on September 9 2014 on the TBS news TV program, “Hodo Tokusyu”, it was broadcasted “We (New Komeito) acknowledge that the members are acting in individual positions. The cabinet decision of the last year was based on the the notion of pacifism and exclusively Self-Defense which is originated from the Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, and then the legislation of the Security Bills is now under discussion. If people judge our actions without acknowledging that points and are against us, we feel disappointed.”
Hearing that New Komeito regarded the courageous actions of the members as something bothering, I felt really indignant. The current headquarters of Soka Gakkai is definitely wrong. I can not help but feeling like it.
I think it is natural that the members who experienced the wars and who even have not experienced the wars but learned it from the guidance of the Soka Gakkai three presidents, will wonder why New Komeito have approved the Security Bills. I can not imagine how much courage and faith the members required to join the demonstrations or else, holding the three colors’s flags high. I felt really painful when I think that how much each member pondered over how they should do and made agonizing choices to stage demonstration. We also joined the demonstration in front of the Diet Building, and we were given tremendous courage by the members who raised their voices even by oneself. It was as if I saw a hope. Even, it was possible that if they raised their voices, they could be looked on with a prejudiced eye in their Soka Gakkai community. As a result of the members’ faithful actions, the Soka Gakkai headquarters took the following stance: they made a critical statement which indicate they would cut off the members.
The Present State of Affairs of the Soka Gakkai Headquarters which is against the Heart (Thought) of Ikeda Sensei
Stepping down from the frontline, our mentor entrust everything to his disciples in order to train us since he was absent at the General Soka Gakkai Headquarters Meeting on June 2010. However, as if betraying the heart of our mentor, the headquarters is promoting the Security Bills behind his back, which could overturn the pacifism which the Soka Gakkai three presidents devoted their whole beings to establishing. I can not help feeling that the top leaders of the Soka Gakkai headquarters are against the guidance of Ikeda sensei.
That headquarters stated in the Seikyo Newspaper that they reached the decision with the permission of Ikeda sensei to replace some sentences in the Gongyo rulebook with new ones. We thought that because those things such as the teachings of the Buddhism and the way of the practice of the Buddhism are relevant to the eternal mentor residing in our hearts, I think the top leaders decided to report and consult about the replacement of the sentences in the Gongyo rulebook, and reach the conclusion to do so. However, in the case of the promotion of the Security Bills, which is one of the most important matters for Soka Gakkai, the headquarters has never mentioned that they got the permission to promote it from Ikeda sensei. The affairs of Security Bills is the matter of life and death for all the citizens in Japan, and moreover it could ruin the pacifism which the three Soka Gakkai presidents, who are our eternal mentors, have given their all to establishing and spreading. We think what the most of Soka Gakkai members were concerned about deeply is that the headquarters has been promoting the Security Bills without telling the members whether or not it is right or wrong in accordance with the teachings of the three presidents. To put it simply, what the disciples would like to know the most is that Ikeda sensei think it is right to promote the Security Bills or not. Also, we suppose that disciples think “We can not understand difficult things, but it is totally unacceptable if the headquarters and New Komeito are promoting the Security Bills without the permission from Ikeda sensei to support the Security Bills. Many Soka Gakkai members opposed to the Security Bills, but the headquarters have not made public whether or not Ikeda sensei approved of the Security Bills. It is obviously strange and wrong, I think.
From the viewpoint of “the separation of state and religion, it is unrealistic to think New Komeito support promoting the Security Bills, ignoring the intension of the headquarters or without the permission from the headquarters. I think this is something every Soka Gakkai members will agree with. If they do not consult Ikeda sensei about this matter in this truly serious phase, the way of the top leaders leading Soka Gakkai is not in accordance with the guidance and the teaching of Ikeda sensei. If not so, we can not say that the way of their running Soka Gakkai is not based on the spirits of “the eternal mentors, the three presidents.”
I can not help but feeling that the top leaders of the headquarters run Soka Gakkai to their own advantage. There are other reasons why I say like this: the way of the headquarters responding to us so far was not based on the teaching and the guidance of Ikeda sensei, but to their own advantage.
In January 30 2012, a female Soka Gakkai member, Ms. Takako Kobayashi, who lived with her fiancé with marriage in mind, asked a senior Soka Gakkai member, Mr. Mito, if she could decrease a copy of the subscriptions of Seikyo Newspaper, from two to one, for economic reasons. However, Mr. Mito refused her request, without asking her about her economical situation. He told her “You are faithless. That is why you can not build fortunes.” Actually, Mr. Mito, who made such a comment disapproving her faith, was one member, who was related to the fifteen Soka Gakkai staff, who were suspected to have caused embezzlement scandal. In spite of the monetary corruption, the punishment against Mr. Mito was just transferring him from the headquarters to the local district. Ms, Takako Kimoto raised her voice against Mito’s comment of denying her faith. Nevertheless, any senior members in her district had never listened to her, and unbelievably made a judgement “Ms. Takako Kimoto is prohibited to contact with Mr. Mito”, which decision was surely intended to protect Mr. Mito. Ms. Takako Kimoto could not yield to the judgement and continued to raise her voice. As a consequence, she was excommunicated from Soka Gakkai. We felt that the way of the senior members handling the problem was obviously not right, so we have tried to contact with the senior leaders in the headquarters by phone, letter, and email. However, in almost all the cases they changed the mode of their phones and have blocked communications from our phone numbers. (We would like to explain this event on a later day. )
In the current Soka Gakkai, those who commit crimes socially unacceptable are forgiven and protected. In contrast, to those who raise their voice against corruption or scandal, senior members have never listened to them, and even give the penalty of excommunication from Soka Gakkai.
We can not help feeling that the headquarters judges a matter, not based on whether or not it is right or not in accordance with the teaching and the guidance of Ikeda sensei, but based on whether or not members obey the headquarters, or the authority.
The Act of Seeking for the Headquarterss’ Explanation whether or not It Promotes the Security Bills with the Permission of Ikeda Sensei
When the Soka Gakkai renewed sentences in the new Gongyo rule book, they stated Ikeda sensei permitted the amendment. However, in the case of the Security Bills, they have not referred to the permission from Ikeda sensei. We think that the Security Bills is a problem which could topple the foundation of Soka Gakkai that Ikeda sensei has established. So, we resolve that as the disciples of Ikeda sensei, we have to confirm if the Soka Gakkai headquarters have got the permission about the promotion of the Security Bills from the Soka’s eternal mentor”, Ikeda sensei, who has devoted his life to spreading the pacifism. If the headquarters is promoting the Securuty Bills on their own authority, without the permission from Ikeda sensei, we definitely have to raise our voice. Although I was excommunicated from Soka Gakkai, I will carry on the struggle to support New Komeito. However, I do not think it is right to support New Komeito without making sure whether or not the headquarters got the permission to promote the Security Bills from Ikeda sensei. If Ikeda sensei did not approve of promoting the Security Bills, which could threat the lives of all the Japanese citizens, it will bring disgrace on Ikeda sensei without us knowing it, I think.
This means that the act of Soka Gakkai’s members supporting New Komeito earnestly could disgrace Ikeda sensei without knowing it.
The struggle of members- obeying the orders from leaders loyally, and meeting friends and acquaintances and claiming the rightness of New Komeito, without confirming if Ikeda sensei permitted the advocation of the Security Bills.
we do not think that Ikeda sensei would not like his disciples to carry on such struggle.
We, the three, are neither the staff of Soka Gakkai, nor its members now. However, we are determined that we are the disciples of Ikeda sensei. We also resolve that we have to raise our voice against the movement of Soka Gakkai which is the opposite of the guidance of Ikeda sensei, while chanting and struggling against the inner self-weakness.
*1 The Asahi. Morning Paper. July 2 2014. Print
*2 Hodo Tokusyu, TBS, Tokyo, September 5 2015, Television.
*3 The Tokyo. Morning Paper. August 30 2015. Print.