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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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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