No.4 The Fact That Our Letter Was Not Delivered to Ikeda Sensei Even from the Sons of Ikeda Sensei．（May 2008-March 2010）
Even now, I always talk with Toda sensei within myself, and lead for World Kosen-rufu. I would like everyone to follow the path of “the mentor and disciple”straight to the end and lead the victorious lives. You! Take on your struggle to fulfill your vow!” (The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
In order to live the lives of “mentor and disciple”, the disciples talks with the mentors within. In the world full of suffering, the disciples have carried on struggling, always talking with their mentors within. Therefore, my friends! Is our mentor in the headquarter? No, he is in your heart, but within yourself! In the age of chaos, believe in the justice within yourself, and raise your voices with your whole being. “Wrong is wrong. Keep the words of your mentor” Your mentor is always watching you. He is always watching the hearts of his disciples. We do not want things such as positions, properties and fames. All I want is the sprits of fulfilling the eternal vow with our mentor, inscribed in my hearts. I will never forget it!
We, who had not signed the written pledge, were seen as the problematic persons who had not obeyed the directions of the headquarter. In July 25 2008, the personnel department of the headquarter delivered to us the judgement about the suspension from the activities of Soka Gakkai in our districts. They ordered us never to contact with our fellow members, and we were not allowed to participate in the activities of the Male Youth Division, much less not to meet Ikeda sensei in General Headquarter Meetings. The members, who we had spent time together in the same local district, they were told about us like“They (Kodaira, Takigawa, and Noguchi) were sick”“They were very busy”. In this way, the headquarter kept us away from the community of district systematically. We could still tolerate the treatment against us. However, it was more than we could bare that the innocent members were suspended from Soka Gakkai activities and kept in a difficult situation. For the members who struggle disparately in a rough society every day, fighting in Soka Gakkai with Ikeda sensei in their hearts is the meaning of their lives. However, they were taken away. The suffering of the members were beyond imagination. Because of this, we had written letters three times toward President Harada:“Could you possibly take time for us to talk and hear our story?” “Could you possibly hear our story?” “Would you please conduct a re-inquiry?” However, all the requests were flatly refused. Moreover, the suspension period was extended until March 31 2009. The days continued that we were not allowed to participate in the General Headquarter Meetings (broadcasted by satellite).We had sought for the guidance of Ikeda sensei, and devoured Seikyo News Paper every day. Seeing that we had not signed the written pledge despite of the extension of the suspension period, the committee of the personnel department of the headquarter decided to remove us from all the positions in Soka Gakkai. (Position means, for example, District Leader) Additionally, we were forced to graduate from Gajyou-kai and Soka-han. Moreover, the local district, where the members belonged, treated the members more severely and severely; the local district did not tell them even the schedules of meetings. The false rumor circulated and they were called sarcastically “Nikken and Yamatomo”, and the members were losing trusting relationship with their follow members. Worse, among the members, there were ones who were to be blamed and criticized by their families.
In order to protect and maintain the graceful Soka Gakkai, and develop it eternally as Ikeda sensei envisioned, we have to report to Ikeda sensei about the nature of the headquarter, which is to hide the scandals of its staff (employees), and about the current relationship between the staff, “no equal dialogue allowed between them (mainly depending on positions)”, and about being made scapegoats of the pure members. However, the top leaders in management positions such as President Harada and Hasegawa Soka Gakkai vice-administrator had no intention to talk and hear our story even once.
We wanted to report the current nature of Soka Gakkai to Ikeda sensei no matter what. “Is there someone who could report this to Ikeda sensei?” Praying earnestly, we thought of Miyagi vice-president, a son of Ikeda sensei. However, we knew that Miyagi vice-president was close to Ikeda sensei and very busy. We were not sure that he could take time to talk and hear our story. Even so, we wrote the letter with the strong hope that he would. It said “We never think that we were totally right.” “If you find us something wrong, we will change ourselves.” We just wanted to do right things. We wanted to live the lives as Ikeda sensei taught us.
In December 28 2009, I went to the desk of Miyagi vice-president. Although my heart were beating by nervousness, I mustered up courage and asked him. “I have important things we have to report you, and brought a letter with me. Could you possibly read this letter?” Then I handed it to him. “Alright. Good job.” He answered with smile. My heart throbbed with hope.
Since then, we had been waiting for his reply. We chanted continuously with the desire that he would take time to talk with us. However, there was no response from him. We wondered that he would be thinking over how he should do about our sudden request. We continued to chant.
One month had passed since then. There was still no reply from him. Nonetheless, we could not give up, because there were members who were treated unfairly. I made a vow with Ikeda sensei.
Then, we decided to write to Miyagi vice-president again. In February 8 2010, I went into the office where Miyagi vice-president usually worked. Then, his assistant prevented my way. “What? What for did you come here? Miyagi vice-president is not here. Not here now!” Then, he got us out of the office by force. He told us “Do not bother Ikeda family about the problem within the organization (Soka Gakkai).” “Mr. Miyagi is a special person. Don’t bother him.”
I could understand what he wanted to say. Actually, it was really heart-aching for me to ask Miyagi vice-president, who was really busy. However, in the local districts, there were members who had been treated as if they were rebels. I could swear with Ikeda sensei that there were no guilty and nothing to blame for on the members. We had to do something to break through the wall and to step forward.
As a disciple of Ikeda sensei, I was sure that it was important to respect the family of Ikeda sensei, who devotes themselves to support Ikeda sensei. However, it is certain that Soka Gakkai exists for people (its members), and our mentor have fought for them and their happiness. He taught us that it is people (its ordinary members) who are the protagonists. In fact, the innocent ordinary members were in most difficult situation. Then, there was no way for us but to continue to struggle to report this to Ikeda sensei. We thought that it was the meaning of being Soka Gakkai staff.
“If Soka Gakkai have privileged classes, they will exercise authority and the organization will go corrupted. The leaders of Soka Gakkai are not special, but equal to everyone. It is impossible that Soka Gakkai will move forward in solidarity toward achieving lofty goals, if we have privileged or loyal classes anyway. ” (The guidance of Ikeda sensei) “Everyone is equal, with no exception. I do not treat my family, who are related by birth, in a special way.” (The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
My mentor, Ikeda sensei have had equal dialogues with people no matter what positions they had, such as nameless members, leading national figures. He treated them equally as a person. That is the true history of Soka Gakkai. “Because he is a member of Ikeda’s family or because he is a special person, we should not bother him.” We did not think Ikeda sensei allow this notion by no means.
In the morning of February 15 2010, during the free chanting time in a large room in the headquarter, Kodaira sat next to Miyagi vice-president and spoke to him to hand the letter to him. “Miyagi vice-president” Then, in a sudden, two staff held Kodaira by under the arms, and pulled him back. At the moment, Kodaira did not recognize what was happening. Next moment, they got Kodaira out of the room by force.
It is wrong! I just want to hand this letter to him! Why did they prevent it even with violence?
Anger welled up in Kodaira’s heart. Since then, Kodaira was put under surveillance, and he was watched more and more closely day by day. In February 22, after the regular morning meeting, Kodaira was about to speak to Miyagi vice-president. Then, one staff tackled with his shoulder.
Kodaira said “Please wait. Why are you doing this? I would just like to hand this letter to him.”Then, the staff seemed to recover his senses. Kodaira spoke to Miyagi vice-president again. Miyagi vice-president talked to the staff around him “It’s ok. That letter is addressed to me, isn’t it?” Then, he reached for the letter. I was very pleased. On the other hand, the staff frowned on the scene.
After handing the letter to the vice-president, Kodaira went back to work as usual . After a while, Kodaira was called by the chief executive of the office. What he told to Kodaira was that Kodaira would be transferred and the details of the transfer would be notified later on. In the spot of the notification in the evening, B vice-president stated “Kodaira is going to be transferred to Kyushu Cultural Center.” The reason was that to improve individual working skills in accordance with the human resources personnel strategic project, which the headquarter had been undertaking.” The transfer from the headquarter in Shinano-amachi in Tokyo to Fukuoka prefecture in Kyushu, with which he had no connection- Kodaira was ready but his mind went blank. On the same day, it was also decided that G, who had not signed the written pledge like us, would be transferred to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Center. The reason was as the same as Kodaira. Superficially, the aim was to exchange staff with ones in local regions in accordance with the project”
■ The Response from the Sons of Ikeda Sensei
The staff close to Miyagi vice–president told us“Our job is to protect Ikeda’s family.” When they tried to prevent us from contacting with the vice-president even by force. Miyagi vice-president interfered between me and the staff, and received the letter from us. I was very happy as much as tears welled up in my eyes. We thought that he would hand our letter to Ikeda sensei, and would take time to talk and hear our story.
Ikeda sensei told us sternly “If you (Soka Gakkai staff) find corrupted staff, tell me about it. However, if I find something false on what you said, I will not trust you.” We thought we should entrust the letter to Miyagi vice-president. Along with the letter to Miyagi vice-president, into the same envelop we put the letter which we had written to Ikeda sensei.
In March 1 2010, Ibaraki visited Miyagi vice-president to hand our letter to Miyagi vice-president. He received the letter, but he said “Because you are doing things like this, you are thought to be against Soka Gakkai.” In March 8, Noguchi asked to Miyagi vice-president “Have you possibly handed the letter to Ikeda sensei?” Then, he answered “It’s impossible.” “Because you are doing staff like this, you are considered to be rebels.”
Honestly, it was very tough. We did not think that we were totally right. However, they did not hear the voices of members, the true voices of theirs. Why could they reach a judgement without listening? We could not understand.
Even Ikeda sensei’s sons avoided handing out letter to Ikeda sensei. Why have every leaders never heard our story, even once! In the first place, we experienced the enquiry, which was unfair. However, we received the punishment such as the suspension, the extension of the suspension, and dismissal from positions in Soka Gakkai. Then, we wrote over 50 pages and explained to Staff Disciplinary Committee why we could not sign the written pledge. As the result, we received the judgement, “no problem with us as staff.” However, President Harada, Masaki Soka Gakkai administrator, and B vice-president continued to criticize us in staff meetings. Even Hasegawa Soka Gakkai vice-administrator, a contact person to Ikeda sensei, refused to make a report to Ikeda sensei against his order. That is why we came to ask his sons in paper to report the problem to Ikeda sensei. Why could this considered to be against Soka Gakkai, and to be rebels?
The important thing is the sprits of “never being defeated when you hit the wall, which seems too high to overcome. Once you have raised the voices of justice, then keep on it until your feelings reach the persons.” (The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
We will be never defeated! Never ever be defeated! We prayed desperately with our whole being. Then, we remembered that Ikeda sensei sternly disciplined another son of his, Tochigi Soka Gakkai vice-administrator, in the general staff meeting in February. We thought we had to visit Tochigi Soka Gakkai vice-administrator, on who Ikeda sensei put trust.
In March 17 2010, Noguchi visited Tochigi Soka Gakkai vice-administrator. We had lived as the staff of Soka Gakkai for a long time. We knew that what we were doing was beyond the common sense as Soka Gakkai staff. However, the common sense which we thought the most important and we had to keep is that Soka Gakkai staff, the headquarter, and Soka Gakkai exists for its members. Noguchi handed our letter to Tochigi Soka Gakkai vice- administrator and pled him to report to Ikeda sensei. We could not get response soon from him. However, we believed that he was thinking seriously if he should report about it.
You can find the essence of humanism of Buddhism in that you believe in people and have dialogues, and continue the dialogues up to the agreements. (The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
In March 29 of the same year,Noguchi visited Tochigi Soka Gakkai vice-administrator. Noguchi asked him “Did you possibly hand our letter to Ikeda sensei?” However, his response was “It’s impossible to hand the letter to Ikeda sensei from me.” “I handed it to the first general affairs division (The secretary section for Ikeda sensei)”
We knew that it is impossible to reach Ikeda sensei from the division. Actually, we had mentioned the fact in the letter to Tochigi Soka Gakkai vice-administrator. We also had explained in the letter the process until we came to plead to Tochigi Soka Gakkai vice-administrator, though we knew it was very rude to ask him :the other day, Kodaira had sent a report to the First General Affairs Division in order to tell Ikeda sensei his determination to fight continuously though all his positions in Soka Gakkai had been removed. However, one of the chief executives in the division, I vice-president, refused to receive the report, saying “How rude are you to tell Ikeda sensei about the dismissal from your positions in Soka Gakkai!” Plus, not only I vice-president but also Hasegawa Soka Gakkai vice-administrator and Miyagi vice-president, who were also the chief executives of the First General Affairs Division, had already refused to hand our letter to Ikeda sensei. In the letter to Tochigi Soka Gakkai vice-administrator, Kodaira had written about the nature of the First General Affairs Division. Even so, why on earth did he say to Noguchi he handed it to the First General Affairs Division? Noguchi was stunned and looked at the back of Tochigi Soka Gakkai vice-administrator, who were walking away.
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