“I have carried on practicing what my mentor said with my whole being as it was. “The relationship between the mentor and the disciples was embodied by such an attitude, “to put what my mentor said into practice as it was.”
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
Once you decided to live the life of “the relationship between the mentor and disciples”, put into practice what Ikeda sensei said as it was!
Stand up sternly on your own as Ikeda sensei said even if the hypocrite, who cheat himself with excuses and lies, sneers and ridicules you!
My comrades! However heavy walls confronts us, pave the way for the future of Soka Gakkai by raising your voice “nothing stronger than the relationship between the mentor and disciples” “The relationship between the mentor and the disciples is embodied by the lion.” The Struggle of Kodaira in Kyushu
On April 1 2010, Kodaira was transferred to the office of Kyushu Cultural Center in Kyushu, where Kodaira had no connection. Kodaira had no friends and relatives there. In the first daily meeting conducted in the morning, Kodaira was given time to introduce himself. Kodaira said “I will give my all to work for Soka Gakkai members.” Then, Kodaira made a resolve not to be beaten no matter what difficulties would confront him. After that, Kodaira met with the top leader of the Kyushu male youth division the first time. Kodaira conveyed his determination to him, saying “I will fight with my whole being in Kyushu.” Then, Kodaira informed him that all his positions in the male youth division were removed. The top leader said “I heard everything about you.” Kodaira did not know what and how the leader was told about Kodaira. However, Kodaira thought Kodaira would like the leader to know the process accurately. Kodaira said “Could you possibly talk and listen to me once, sir?” The leader responded “The important thing is your life and work. It must take time but be the person who are trustworthy.” Kodaira could not make an appointment to have a dialogue with the leader. Additionally, the leaders in a district where Kodaira belonged in Kyushu told Kodaira “I heard from a chapter leader in Kyushu about you.” “Join only zadankai (monthly district meetings) and satellite general meetings.” “Work hard.” What they said implied that Kodaira were not allowed to join the male youth division’s activities. It was nothing different from suspension. Although it was the first time for Kodaira to meet them, Kodaira had not been given any chances to talk and listen to Kodaira. To make matters worse, they prejudged Kodaira.
“Do not judge a thing (a person )without acknowledging it”
(The guidance of Makiguchi sensei)
Kodaira felt that Soka Gakkai Kyushu had the same bad structure as the headquarters had: “judge a thing (a person) without acknowledging it” In his daily work, Kodaira started learning a new job. Kodaira’s task was to purchase equipments in the cultural center, and manage the inventory. Kodaira did not know the names of places and roads in Kyushu, but Kodaira drove around in his car among 20 cultural centers. When working time was over, Kodaira’s colleagues headed for their organizations’ activities. However, Kodaira was not allowed to join. Kodaira felt extremely painful about the fact that Kodaira could not do anything for his organization though he was Soka Gakkai staff (employee). Kodaira, whose positions had been removed, worked over 22:00 every working day, and went back home. Recalling the members and the comrades in his hometown, Kodaira chanted daimoku until the midnights.
Nevertheless, the innocent members just pondered over and over on one thing “what and how Ikeda sensei would do in this situation”, and they could not agree with the manipulated conclusion, which would end up in hiding the corruption of Soka Gakkai staff, and labeling them as rebellions. To make matters worse, the members were treated unfairly, and they were not informed of the schedules of meetings because of this. In spite of the harsh situation, the members chanted daimoku earnestly and had been struggling desperately with the prejudice and misunderstanding with the determination to act as Ikeda sensei said. They did shakubuku (the propagation of the mystic law.) Kodaira said to himself “I want to prove the innocence of the genuine members. If I fail to do it, there will be no meaning for me to be staff of Soka Gakkai any longer. I have to report this matter to Ikeda sensei, and prove the justice of the members as soon as possible.” Just before moving to Kyushu, Kodaira met with Ms. Saitama whose mother was close to Ikeda sensei. Then, Kodaira asked Ms. Saitama that Kodaira would like to let Mrs. Yamanashi listen to the recorded tape of the threatening inquiry, and to consult her about the inquiry, about the conclusion of the Audit Committee hiding the injustice of Senior Soka gakkai staff, and about the top leaders who avoided reporting the problem to Ikeda sensei. Ms. Saitama told Kodaira “Yes, I will. Whatever her response is, I will let you know about the result.” Kodaira had been waiting for her call. However, there was no response from her.
One month had passed. In May 5 2010, Kodaira decided to write to her about his honest feelings:”I think Ikeda sensei has been watching and waiting for a true disciple to raise his/her voice in order to champion every single Soka Gakkai member. I am sure that mustering up courage, raising a voice, and reporting Ikeda sensei about the fact as it is, will definitely please Ikeda sensei.” Kodaira knew that writing a letter and asking Ms. Saitama about the issue not directly related to her was bothering her very much. It was not the problem easy to be solved. Kodaira felt very sorry to ask her to leave message to Mrs. Yamanashi. Soka Gakkai used to be the sacred place established by Ikeda sensei and unknown ordinary members. Nevertheless, Kodaira saw and knew the reality of the current Soka Gakkai, where Soka Gakkai staff made its ordinary members suffer, and shelved the fact, without reporting it to Ikeda sensei. Kodaira was determined again to let Ikeda sensei know about the truth.
Kodaira said to himself “We need painstaking and lifelong efforts to establish, but we could lose it with a blinking eye. If this situation goes on, the Soka Gakkai embodied by the relationships between the mentor and disciples will be destroyed.
If I am able to let Ikeda sensei know about this problem, I will endure any ill-treatment against me.” Kodaira thought to himself “Looking at me seriously, Ms. Saitama said “Whatever her response is, I will let you know about the result.” I do not think she will not tell her mother about it at all. I have no choice but to believe she will give me response.”
Another month had passed. Still, there was no response from her. These days, Ikeda sensei made a following comment and had absence from the general meeting, “You can find true victory when you take actions in unison with the spirits of “not sparing your life. Then, today I will take an absence from the general meeting.” I thought Ikeda sensei took absence from the meeting on purpose and was taking a lead sternly for each disciple to take all the responsibility of the struggle of Kosenrufu and won victory in their lives. Then, he had been waiting for disciples who are be able to stand up by themselves under any circumstances. “Keep struggling for what I believe is right as Ikeda sensei taught us. I will not compromise to the current situation and gave up. I will never give up!” Kodaira said to himself. Consultation to Vice-President Tottori, who Is Close to Ikeda Sensei
On August 2010, four months had passed since Kodaira was transferred to Kyushu. Still, there was no response from Ms. Saitama, and only time passed by and our hope to report via Mrs. Yamanashi to Ikeda sensei was still unfulfilled. In the headquarters in Tokyo, where Noguchi were solely left, however, no matter how many times he had tried to ask for the dialogue with President Harada, but President Harada kicked out him, and even did not receive letters. In the case of Takigawa, to make matters worse, President Harada just shouted “Go back to your work!” many times, and held him in a full nelson, and booted him out from the office. “Is there anybody who would tell to Ikeda sensei what is going on inside the Soka Gakkai headquarters?” The four, Kodaira, Takigawa, Noguchi, and Ibaraki prayed, pondered, and had inner struggle. Then, discussing with each other, they thought of the Vice-president Tottori, who was trustworthy and worked in the First Secretary Department. Vice-president Tottori was a very busy person who always worked at Ikeda sensei’s side. In spite of the busy schedule, he talked to students and young Soka Gakkai staff, and had meals with them, listening to their story empathetically when finding his spare time. He was regarded as a great senior staff. There were many people who respect him, and it was said that he was one of the most important person for the future of Soka Gakkai, and the staff in Soka Gakkai headquarters also acknowledged his greatness. Noguchi, who used to be engaged in manual labor, were often encouraged by him since Noguchi began to work for Soka Gakkai. One day, when he had a meal with Noguchi, he knew that Noguchi’s mother was under the weather, and made an arrangement to give him an amulet. Noguchi really appreciated, felt close to him, and put trust on him. Noguchi thought vice-president Tottori would see through the root of the problem without bias, and he would understand our concerns about the problem which we had experienced. We wrote letters to vice-president Tottori, saying “We felt that what the disciplinary committee want to protect with the written pledge was not a single Soka Gakkai member but Soka Gakkai staff(employee), who covered up scandals. Signing the written pledge means we would give blind eyes on the corruptions of the staff, and gave an end to our mission as Soka Gakkai staff. We added “We do not think we are right in every way. However, we have tried to think “what Ikeda sensei would do in this situation”, pray earnestly, and take actions.” “Could you possibly listen to our story? We are determined to fight for Soka Gakkai.”
On August 11 2010, before the starting time of work, Noguchi attended the morning Gongyo meeting held on the fifth floor, and talked to vice-president Tottori. “I guess you have heard that my positions in Soka Gakkai were removed. Now, I work and fight as a single member. Still, the members, who raised their voice against the scandals and corruptions of Soka Gakkai senior staff, have been ignored, and it was as if bullying. I can not be a bystander. Could you possibly listen to me? Then, vice-president Tottori looked away and said “Next time. I had to prepare for today's job.” After that, he was about to leave the place. I knew he was very busy, and it was difficult to talk at the place. So, Noguchi hold out the letters to vice-president Tottori, and said “I knew you are very busy. Could you possibly receive this letter , sir? We wrote down our honest feelings why we would like you to listen to our story”. Then, he raised his voice, and told Noguchi, changing his attitude in a sudden “I cannot receive this letter. The way you do is not fair. You are breaking the unity of members!” Noguchi could not imagine that vice-president Tottori, who were kind and gentle, behaved in such a way. Vice-president Tottori had no intention to listen to our story about the problems that the disciplinary committee dealt with. Noguchi could not understand why he criticized and called Noguchi “the person who are breaking the unity of members.” Noguchi’s mind went blank. Noguchi asked to vice-president Tottori desperately “Please tell me why do you think it is not fair. I would like to know what action of mine is breaking the unity of members, so could you possibly listen to my story?” Nevertheless, vice-president Tottori responded as following. “No way! You are breaking the unity of members! You are against Ikeda sensei!” He said repeatedly. “You are against Ikeda sensei.” Ikeda sensei is the core of Noguchi’s faith. So, Noguchi could not put up with the words even by vice-president Tottori. Noguchi said desperately “What do you mean by “you are breaking the unity of members?” “I just would like you listen to my story about the misunderstanding of the disciplinary committee on the inquiry.” vice-president Tottori said “they did not misunderstand! You are breaking the unity of members! I feel really disappointed that you have been doing such things!” Then, he was about to go down the steps. Noguchi thought to himself “I cannot end like this!” Steeping down, Noguchi called out desperately “Vice-president Tottori, please read our letter! Please! Please receive this letter, sir!” However, arriving on the second floor, vice-president Tottori just said “I cannot. That’s it!” Then, he headed to the First Secretary Department office room. It was not the situation where Noguchi can talk to him any more. Grasping the letter tightly, and vowing to vice-president Tottori, Noguchi called out “Mr. Tottori, please next time, sir!” Noguchi thought “I don’t care how much I could be criticized. However, I think they should tell me the reasons why “I am breaking the unity of members.” and “I am against Ikeda sensei.” “I have to accept the criticism and reflect on myself if their criticism is accurate and gets to points.”However, if their criticism is wrong, I would like them to have dialogue and see us in a different light. The problem is I cannot have dialogue with them. In recent Soka Gakkai headquarters, the staff can hardly have open conversation. When I say “I cannot understand. Could you possibly explain?”, we will be told “You don’t follow our instructions” I think such a way of thinking of the staff made the headquarters more rigid organizations.”
On that day, hearing the exchange between Noguchi and vice-president Tottori, Ibaraki and Takigawa felt there is something wrong with vice-president Tottori, who had criticized Noguchi without listening to Noguchi’s story, saying “You are breaking the unity of members.” “You are against Ikeda sensei.” Again, we cannot help feeling that the staff of Soka Gakkai had a tendency to judge without acknowledging (without listening at all) Ibaraki and Takigawa thought they had to talk to vice-president Tottori, who told Noguchi without listening “You are breaking the unity of members.” “The way you do is not fair.” They thought they had to listen to him to confirm the truth.
On August 20 2010, before the starting time of work, Ibaraki and Takigawa grasped letters, and headed to Kousen-Kaikan (a room for chanting)on the fifth floor. After the morning gongyo meeting, they talked to vice-president Tottori, who were about to walk away. However, vice-president Tottori turned his face away, and told them “I won’t listen to your story.” “Go to see President Harada! That is the problem of the top leaders.” Then, he started going down the steps. Ibaraki said “Do you think the problem of the top leaders is yours, too?” Then, vice-president Tottori said “It’s not mine!” “Anyway, there is nothing to deal with me!” After that, he dashed down the steps. Ibaraki told him “Vice-president Tottori, could you possibly receive this lettter, sir?” Vice-president Tottori answered “No, I won’t.” He got more excited, and said in a angry face which had never shown to us, “You are disturbing, and breaking the unity of Soka Gakkai!” To the vice-president Tottori, who had never listened, Ibaraki asked “Why could you say such a thing without listening to our story?” Vice-president Tottori said “I did! I have heard from others!” Ibaraki said “I think you have not listened to our story directly from us at all.” Vice-president Tottori answered “I don’t have to. I won’t!” Ibaraki asked again “Why can you regard us as the persons who are disturbing and breaking the unity of Soka Gakkai? Vice-president Tottori stopped walking when getting on the next floor, and turned around, and after a moment of silence, he pointed at Takigawa in a sudden and said without answering to the question of Ibaraki, “I trusted you, Takigawa! I had high expectation on you since you were in the student division.” He criticized Takigawa. Takigawa would like to solve his misunderstanding. Then, Takigawa said “Vice-president Tottori, please, sir. Please listen to our story once!” Vice-president Tottori responded “I won’t! Get out of here! Stay away from me!” Then, he went into the room of the First Secretary Department. Takigawa could not help feeling that he just do not want to have connection with us, strongly.Kodaira’s Visit to Vice-President Tottori
Kodaira heard from Noguchi, Takigawa, and Ibaraki that vice-president Tottori had refused to listen to our story, receive our letter, and even slandered us, saying “You are breaking the unity of Soka Gakkai.” “You are against Ikeda sensei.” However, Kodaira found impossible to believe that vice-president Tottori refused to listen to their story. Kodaira thought he had to confirm the fact in person by himself. Kodaira belonged to a Soka Gakkai group, which is called “Ikeda Gakkou(Ikeda School)”, and Kodaira got to know vice-president Tottori. He always encouraged Kodaira when he saw Kodaira, and before Kodaira had gone to study abroad for a short term, he gave money to Kodaira to support, personally as a token of his best wish.
After Kodaira became staff of Soka Gakkai, Kodaira’s father got sick. Then, Kodaira went to the Soka Gakkai headquarters with his mother and sister to tell Ikeda sensei about it. Then, vice-president Tottori treated them nicely and kindly as the staff of the First Secretary Department. Even though he was very busy, he took them to Kosen-Kaikan(a room which opens for members to chant daimoku), and chanted daimoku together and made an arrangement to give them an amulet for their sick father. Kodaira had had such a relationship with vice-president Tottori for over 10 years. So, Kodaira thought he would tell Kodaira what he actually had meant by talking to Noguchi in such a manner.
“If vice-president Tottori thought we had things to reflect on and to change, I hope that he will tell us what they are. If he mistakes us, I want to clear up his misunderstanding whatever it takes. And, above all, I would like him to give us a chance to consult him about the innocent members who has been suffering from the scandals and the corruption of the senior Soka Gakkai staff.
On the Saturday of August 28, 2010, Kodaira came back to Tokyo, and went to “Jyoshu-shitsu”( a open room for chanting) on the basement floor in the Soka Gakkai headquarters in order to make an appointment to talk with vice-president Tottori. After a while, vice-president Tottori showed up in the room. Kodaira chanted daimoku together in a distance in the room with vice-president Tottori, and when he was leaving, Kodaira talked to his back, and bowed to him outside the room.
Kodaira said “It’s been a while, vice-president Tottori, sir. I came back from Kyushu because I have an really important thing to consult you. Could you possibly make time to listen to my story, sir?” However, vice-president Tottori pointed at Kodaira and started to talk as if he had made his mind.
“I won’t talk and listen to your story. I have already heard from many people. You had better obey the conclusion which the headquarters made. I’m just saying you should obey the conclusion!”
At the moment, Kodaira lost his words since he was just saying repeatedly “Obey the conclusion” without listening at all. Kodaira told him desperately “I do not think so. Please listen to me, sir! I can swear to Ikeda sensei that I didn’t do wrong things!” Then, vice-president Tottori said “Yeah. You are the disciple of Ikeda sensei, and you are the staff of Soka Gakkai headquarter, right? Then, follow the guidance of the headquarters! Why have not you obeyed the conclusion? It’s not the act of the disciple of Ikeda sensei! You are the staff of Soka Gakkai headquarters, aren’t you!”
Kodaira thought it is totally opposite. Ikeda sensei told us, it is important that if you are a disciple of Ikeda sensei, we have to raise our voice when the headquarters made a wrong judgement even if we are alone. If the top leaders of the headquarters do not listen to the voice of members at all, use Ikeda sensei to their advantages, and subordinate members, the headquarters will turn out to become corrupt and a rigid organization.
Kodaira asked him desperately “I am doing like this because I am a disciple of Ikeda sensei and staff of Soka Gakkai headquarters. Ikeda sensei tells us that we, Soka Gakkai staff (employees) exist for its members.” Vice-president Tottori responded “That’s wrong! The right thing is to obey the conclusion of the headquarters if you are the disciple of Ikeda sensei!” Kodaira said “I don’t think so. I think Ikeda sensei will tell us that we have to raise our voice even against the headquarters when it have made a wrong judgement.” “Don’t bother and worry Ikeda sensei as his disciple!” said Vice-president Tottori. It’s needless to say!” Why you can’t understand that!” Hearing that, Kodaira felt that it has not been informed to Ikeda sensei that some Soka Gakkai members had been treated unfairly after they pointed out the corruption and injustice of senior Soka Gakkai staff. Kodaira asked to vice-president Tottori, candidly “Don’t Ikeda sensei know about this matter?” Then, vice-president Tottori answered instantly “Of course, not! It is insane of you to report such a thing to Ikeda sensei! I did not think you would become insane like this! You are against Ikeda sensei!” Plus, vice-president Tottori said “You betrayed me! Go to see President Harada! It has nothing to deal with me!” “ I won’t hear you! Go to talk to President as many times as you could!” Then, he started to go up the steps leading to the room for the First Secretary Department. “Here is the place for the First Secretary Department. Keep away from here! Get out of here!” Shouting in an angry tone, vice-president Tottori walked away to the floor of the First Secretary Department.
As we thought, no ones had reported to Ikeda sensei about the matter, and Ikeda sensei did not know about it at all. On June 26 2002, in the meeting for the whole staff, Ikeda sensei told us “For the coming next 100 years, report to me if you find corrupt staff or ones who caused scandals.” “Write a letter to me, a letter without lying. But, If I find it something false, I won’t trust you.” Vice-president Tottori certainly knew the guidance of the Ikeda sensei. Despite the guidance, vice-president Tottori had not reported to the Ikeda sensei the problem and corruptions which the leaders of Soka Gakkai youth had caused. “Such a man truly deserves the secretary of Ikeda sensei?”, Kodaira wondered
“Leaders definitely should not cover up the problem which someone has reported. Such organizational structure is the most dangerous.”
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
Naturally, the guidance is applicable to the First Secretary Division, which role is to bridge between Ikeda sensei and members. If vice-president Tottori, the leader of the department, received a letter about the corruption and injustice of Soka Gakkai staff, it is natural for him to report it to Ikeda sensei. However, he evens did not accept the report. What Ikeda sensei is most concerned about is that Soka gakkai fall into the organizational structure that staff covers up scandals and corruption. The top leaders of the headquarters and their close aids have not reported the corruption of Soka Gakkai staff which the Disciplinary Committee hid. Also, they have not reported the fact that the innocent members have been treated unfairly. We do not think Ikeda sensei tell us the act of the top leaders and their aids is right. Rather, Ikeda sensei will become furious if he knows about it.
Every top leader said “You should not bother and worry Ikeda sensei.” They said so as if they were concerned about Ikeda sensei. The fact is that they were just covering up the problem for which they took responsibility! Kodaira thought “I have seen what Soka Gakkai is like so far. I have to report it to Ikeda sensei even though I am in Kyushu now. Then, I have to resolve the problem of Soka Gakkai. I will pave the way for dialogue! Otherwise, how can I call me a disciple of Ikeda sensei?”Kodaira’s Visit to President Harada
After vice-president Tottori told Kodaira “This is the problem of the executives.” “Go to see President Harada as many times as you could!”, Kodaira wondered if he should go to see President Harada, while he was chanting earnestly. President Harada had refused to listen to our story when Noguchi and Takigawa went to see President Harada to ask him for dialogue. Even worse, he shouted them and refused to receive the letters, saying “Reflect on yourself!” “Bring your written apology!” Kodaira thought “If I went to see President Harada, he would refuse to talk and communicate with me.” “However, even though there were few possibilities to meet and talk, I mastered up courage and have made contacts with people who we thought we should meet. I have done this with the belief that Soka Gakkai will make an advance as much as I gather courage and take an action. I have carried on even when I failed once, twice, and even three times.” Kodaira thought to himself.
“Makiguchi sensei told us “Those who are in lower positions should make influence and change people who are in upper positions.” You should say your opinions to leaders more, and if you find something wrong with them, you should point it out. Of course, you should not do this because of your temporary feeling or out of your selfishness. The organization where people share constructive ideas and opinions will develop. If the leaders refuse to listen or have not changed, you should tell them twice or three times. It’s neither “fight” nor “rebel against the leaders.”
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
Kodaira said to himself “If I was able to talk with President Harada once, I could resolve President Harada’s misunderstanding. Then, I could tell him about the weak points of Soka Gakkai to improve and about the corruption of Soka Gakkai staff, which will be the first step to solve the roots of the problem of Soka Gakkai. Not doing what we can do is the act of “against Ikeda sensei.” Vice Prtesident Tottori said “Go to see President Harada as many times as you could!” What he said was the implication of the Mystic Law, pointing me in a right direction. What I need is the courage! Even if I was refused, slandered, I should endure and take actions which I believe is right, twice or even three times. The strongest enemy is my weakness to incline to give up.I want to make an appointment with President Harada no matter what it takes.”
Kodaira headed for the Fukuoka airport to visit President Harada in the headquarters in Tokyo.