No.2 The Response of the Soka Gakkai Headquarter to the Soka Gakkai Memberes Who Did Not Sign the Written Pledge. (May 2008-December 2008)
The true seed of the vow will bloom into flower without fail. The important factor is your strong determination of “never give up” and the spirits of keeping pressing forward to win the fight. (The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
To win is never to give up. The fighting sprits like flame more and more burning against a violent gale will open the way for the triumph. (The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
The true nature of the headquarter of Soka Gakkai - our report has not reached Ikeda sensei. Never ever should we allow Soka Gakkai to be like that. More than that, knowing the truth of the headquarter of Soka Gakkai. we can’t never allow us to break our vow and give up,
Weak spirits created the current headquarter of Soka Gakkai. We ourselves created it. Therefore, we can never be defeated. We can never ever be defeated. For the brilliant future of Soka Gakkai. you have to change ourselves. Face up. It is you who can transform the current Soka Gakkai into the ideal one as Ikeda sensei describes. For the justice of Soka Gakkai, the justice of the mentor and disciple. We will raise our voices as long as we live.
On the spot of the notification of the result of the inquiry conducted by the audit committee (which is established with the purpose to deal with the problems happening within the community of Soka Gakkai not within the corporation), the five including three of us, denied signing up for the written pledge. Mr. Iwate, the central person of the committee, is close to President Harada. He worked on our bosses to persuade us to sign the pledge. However, actually, it is the problem which happened in a local community of Soka Gakkai, not the problem which happened within the corporation . So, it was not relevant to the colleagues of us. We were ready for any punishment, but it was heart-aching that our bosses, for who we were indebted, persuaded us to sign the written pledge. Mr. Akita was the one of the five who did not sign the written pledge. He used to be determined not to do it at first. However, with one after another persuading him, he gave in to sign after all. We ( Kodaira, Takigawa and Noguchi) had resisted oppression by the headquarter to sign the pledge, which became stronger and stronger.
On July 22 2008, at the meeting where all Soka Gakkai staff (employees) at headquarter attended except Ikeda sensei, President Harada warned every staff as follows.“These days, there are Soka Gakkai staff who have not followed the guidance of the central person of Soka Gakkai in a district, neither followed the advice from their bosses in their working place. Far from it, they have claimed their justice. Plus, they have disobeyed the rules of “adhering to the guidance of Soka Gakkai and maintaining the organizational order”. What they are doing is totally unacceptable as Soka Gakkai staff. To make matters worse, they have quoted the guidance of Ikeda sensei to make it work to their advantage and justify their movement. I will tell you they are just taking advantage of Ikeda sensei.”
After the meeting, Takigawa was stopped by his boss. He denounced Takigawa as follows; “President Harada was talking about you, the three.” The days after the meeting, Takigawa was called by his boss (common bosses of Takigawa) to come to a single room. In the room, there were not only his boss but also the leader of the local district of Soka Gakkai where Takigawa belonged. On the next day of the meeting, July 23rd, Takigawa had been persuaded to sign the written pledge since the morning. Six hours had passed with no lunch time given to Takigawa. Takigawa said to them “I can’t sign the written pledge, because I don’t think it was right. “ His boss replied “It doesn’t matter whether or not it is right. The problem is you do not sign the written pledge which President Harada imposed on you.” Takigawa said “if the audit committee heard our story and then judged, we could understand and would sign. However, the inquiry was far from it. Then, I asked for re-inquiry. I am sorry but I can not sign the pledge.” His boss told him “Anyway, if you do not sign by tomorrow, bring your resignation!”
Without chanting daimoku, we could not go to work. We wondered “Ikeda sensei would be glad if we signed up for the written pledge.” “I don’t think so, because no matter how much we tried to explain, our bosses insisted that the important thing is not the fact or the process of the problem, but whether or not we obey what the headquarter decided.”
The next day, July 24th, Takigawa was called to come when he had just started working. His boss said” “it is certain that we can’t keep you here any longer. It’s impossible to have you in Shinano-machi and even in Kanagawa.”The only way left is to work for Hokkaido Nihon Tosho.which is an affiliate of Soka Gakkai, whose job is mainly to deliver newspaper. Although we can’t fire you now, we can do to this extent (transfer) lawfully. It has already been decided that you can’t stay here. Moreover, he added “ if you can’t follow what I am telling you, you should quit this job. Don’t say childish things.” “If you can’t follow what I and the president of this office are telling you, you must quit this job. We, too, are very strict.”
The same day, Kodaira, who worked in the same office as Takigawa, was also called by his boss. He told Kodaira “Sign the written pledge,or you should bring resignation and quit this job upon your decision. Their bosses kept persuading Takigawa and Kodaira. It was not something we could call “persuasion”. However, In the time of severer difficulties, Ikeda sansei’s messages or guidance appeared in Seikyo Newspaper, which were really encouraging and heart-warming.
“Life is all struggle. The righter lives you live, the more obstacles will confronts you, and you will have to fight continuously. Point is whether or not you can stick to your faith and carry on your missionary fight until the end. Here is a battle as a human. (The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
Tears welled up in my eyes. “How happy I am” I said to myself “Sensei, sensei” again and again. “My heart is not strong enough. However, I am a disciple of Ikeda sensei. Then, I can’t be defeated.”
Mr. Fukushima was Komeito staff (an employee) and did not sign the written pledge. As they did to us, Mr. Fukushima’s boss continued to persuade him to sign. Tapping his shoulder, his boss called him to come to a single room one day and another. There, his boss told him “We were scolded by the Soka Gakkai” “We will make you sign the written pledge.” “If not, I will by force” In November 28 2008, His boss had persuaded Mr. Fukushima even for an hour and half. However, didn’t sign. Then, his boss took him to his parents’s home without appointment. His boss told his parents “I came here to do “Shakubuku” to ask you to persuade your son to sign the written pledge. Let’s do it together for your son.” It was new to his parents that even the president Harada knew this matter. His mother was shocked and screamed, and his mother became unable to breathe. Mr. Fukushima was looking at his mother. Then, his boss said “ I will do this until you sign.”In the end, he gave in to sign. You can choose to sign. Of course, you can choose not to sign.
It should depend on our will whether or not we sign. However, What the audit committee gave us was only one choice- to sign the written pledge.
Finally, after two weeks, in December 15 2008, the Staff Disciplinary Committee (Syokuin Kiritsu Iinkai) was set in motion to make a decision on whether or not they would punish us as Soka Gakkai staff (employees). The person who took the initiative was Aomori vice-president. He claimed what we had done would infringe Soka Gakkai staff rules. As a result of their warning, we had to submit a statement about the reasons why we had not signed up for the written pledge. The chairman of the Staff Disciplinary Committee was Hasegawa vice-administrator (the current Soka Gakkai administrator), who was a contact person to Ikeda sensei.
We had already made up our mind. “We will do what we believe is right, and behave sincerely and devote ourselves whole-heartedly. Then, even if we would be punished, we will be willing to accept any punishment.”
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