No.5 The True Nature of Soka Gakkai Headquarter; No Dialogues(February 2010-March 2010)

The stagnation of dialogues and that of the freedom of speech will lead to the stagnation of the development of Soka Gakkai. The important thing is to raise your voice claiming “ justice is justice and truth is truth.” You do not need to be silent. You do not need to be afraid, neither. Your strong singleminded determination and the gale of actions will dispel the clouds appearing in the dark sky, and the victory of the sun will rise and shine. Regardless of how people react or how the temporary circumstances are, it will go down in history as the fact that you have raised the voice of justice.
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)

Our mentor claimed
“The stagnation of dialogues is the stagnation of Kousen-rufu (the propagation of the Mystic Law).
“The stagnation of dialogues is the stagnation of the development of Soka Gakkai.”
“ Therefore, The dialogues are the justice and you can find the essence of the relationship between the mentor and the disciples in dialogues.
Dialogues represent Soka Gakkai, and represent courages.”

Therefore, you! You should not give up whatever!
Based on the guidance and the messages of Ikeda sensei, build the future of Soka Gakkai, with the true and sincere dialogues.

Even when we were fooled and kicked up by ones with extreme envy, raise the banner of dialogue high with courage.
Believe in the hearts of people and their potential, and put your heart and soul into courageous dialogues.
Where there is a dialogue, there is the development of Soka Gakkai.
Where there is a dialogue, there is the development of Kosen-Rufu.
Therefore, you!
Please do not forget that it is when we take on the challenges of having “dialogues” that the history of relationship between the mentor and the disciples were engraved in our hearts.

In February 25 2010 in the staff general meeting, it was announced that Kodaira would be transferred to Fukuoka prefecture in Kyushu as of April. He was ready to stand any difficulty. However, in the local district, there were members who were treated unfairly because he had raised the voices of justice against the corruption of the staff sent from the headquarter. He had to report the fact with whatever it took before he left for Kyushu. There was little time left. Kodaira continued to chant desperately.
The next week, March 1, Mr. Ibaragi was able to hand to Miyagi vice-president our letter addressed to Ikeda sensei. However, just after that, Kodaira was suddenly called to come to a single room by the manager of his office, who was the boss of Kodaira. He said “I was told by Aomori Vice President “Kodaira, staff in your office, came to hand a letter to Miyagi vice-president (one of sons of Ikeda sensei as Aomori vice-president). Give him warnings about it.” Aomori vice-president was the top supervisor of Kodaira’s office, so he was the boss of the office manager.

Kodaira asked the office manager honestly “Why is it not allowed to hand a letter to Miyagi vice-president?” “Why should I am given warnings from you and Aomori vice-president sir?”

If I did something wrong on my jobs, I should be punished. I can understand it. Handing a letter to Aomori vice-president to consult about the corruption of the headquarter staff was a different story, I thought. Taking their working time into consideration, we went to hand the letters, before the starting time of work.

Asked by Kodaira, the office manager kept silent as if he was at a loss for an answer. It seemed that he did not know and could not explain why it was not good to hand the letter to Miyagi vice-president to consult. The silence continued. Then, Kodaira asked “If you could not explain about the reason, could I possibly hear it straight from Aomori vice-president?” The office manager answered “Alright, I will ask him.”

The next day, March 2, Kodaira asked the office manager if he asked Aomori vice-president about the reason. He said “Aomori vice-president said “It’s impossible (to talk).” Kodaira explained desperately: “Because Aomori vice-president and other top leaders did not speak and listen to us, we could not help but handing a letter to Miyagi vice-president.” “I can not understand why I must not hand a letter to Miyagi vice-president. I can not promise not to hand a letter to Miyagi vice-president to consult.” Then, the office manager told Kodaira “Alright, you can not make a promise. I will report what you said as it was!” “Because of this, you might be called for punishment by the staff disciplinary committee.” The office manager said in a clogged voice. Kodaira could not understand by any means why the act of handing a letter to Miyagi vice-president itself would be a subject to punishment. (However, it became a subject to punishment later on.)Still, Kodaira did not explained to the office manager in details about the issues which he had experienced. So, Kodaira felt all the more that he would like the office manager to know the truth, through his own ears and eyes. We had to face and challenge the rooted submissive disposition of Soka Gakkai staff to follow the orders from his boss without considering the contents.

In March 13, Kodaira asked the office manager to take time to listen to him, and explained the series of events he had experienced, for two hours and a half. The office manager was just nodding. Then, Kodaira asked him to ask to Aomori vice-president and to make sure the reason why it was not allowed to hand a letter to Miyagi vice-president.

Against this, Aomori vice-president ordered the office manager to stop Kodaira from handing the letter to Miyagi vice-president. He also proposed to the Staff disciplinary committee that we had infringed the staff codes, and continued to criticize us indirectly. We thought if Aomori vice-president was mistaken about us, we had to solve the misunderstanding. There was no way for us but to talk with Aomori vice-president.

One week before Kodaira move to Kyushu, March 25 2010, Kodaira went to the desk of Aomori vice-president before the start of the work day. Kodaira asked “Could you possibly tell me the reason why it is wrong to hand a letter to Miyagi vice-president?” Then, Aomori vice-president told him: “Miyagi vice-president is an important person. So, don’t bother him.” “You can understand if you put in his position!” “You are making trouble! You are troubling the First General Affairs Division, too!”

The reason why I must not hand a letter was the same as the one which the staff in the First General Affairs Division told Kodaira: “Mr. Miyagi is an important person.” “He is bothered by being asked to receive your letter.” Kodaira said to Aomori vice-president “Mr. Miyagi received a letter willingly.” “Why do you think he was bothered by it? Did Mr. Miyagi actually say so?” asked Kodaira. “I don’t need to tell you about that!” Aomori vice-president replied evasively. After a moment, he added “You are visiting him without appointment, aren’t you! You are very rude! Normally, we make an appointments to do it. You don’t have sociality! You don’t have a common sense!” He raised his voice and said. According to Aomori vice-president, the reason why Kodaira must not hand a letter to Miyagi vice-president was that Kodaira did it without appointment. In addition, Aomori vice-president told Kodaira “Even now, you are visiting me without appointment! You are killing my working time! I have a schedule at 8:30. Don’t you think you are doing wrong things? you do whatever to achieve what you need, don’t you!
Kodaira apologized and said “I’m sorry if it wasted your time” “I wonder if you would possibly hear our stories once.”
I did not have any intention at all to disturb their work, and I just would like to make appoints with him.

However, Aomori vice-president continued “You are obstructing my work. You are obstructing the work of Soka Gakkai! You are going in the direction where you will interrupt Soka Gakkai’s work more and more.” “Don’t you feel sorry for interrupting our jobs?”Aomori vice-president raised his voice.” Kodaira’s voice was lost in the roar of his angry shouts. Kodira responded desperately “I don’t think so.” “Then, apologize profusely!” “I’m sorry for visiting without appointment.” Kodaira said, bowing deeply.
“I would like to make appointment later not to disturb your work, and then would like to visit you.” However, Aomori vice-president pointed Kodaira’s face with a finger and told him over and over “Get out of here! Get out of here!” Kodaira had no choice but to leave.

Kodaira was worried and suffered from the reaction of Aomori vice-president: he did not have intention to listen to Kodaira at all. Also, Kodaira pled to make appointment with him on a later day, in thought that he was mistaken about Kodaira. However, he refused flatly saying “I’m telling you “No” like thousand times. Get out of here! Get out of here!” Kodaira thought if he explained a reason why it was wrong to hand a letter for consulting about the scandals of the headquarter staff, Kodaira had to accept his order. Nevertheless, the reason Kodaira was told was: Mr. Miyagi was an important person. → He was bothered by Kodaiora.→ Kodaira visited him without appointment.
The reasons he explained were vague. Plus, Kodaira had been given different reasons in each time. Kodaira thought they were not sufficient reasons to warn me with authority against handing a letter to Miyagi vice-president.

It was wrong that the executives ignored staff in lower positions and members without listening to them. Plus. the executives warned them without listening to them even once. Then, they threatened the staff and the members saying “You will be a subject to punishment.” The headquarter felt Kodaira as if in the headquarter the staff were not allowed to have dialogues.

“Dialogue is the Golden Rules and the lifeline of religions.”
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)

“As spreading the humanism which is based on the Buddhism, we should not get down the banners of “Dialogue is the Golden Rule of humanism” no matter what obstacles confronts us such as self-righteousness and Fanaticism.”
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)

 To Contact with the chief executive of the Women’s Devision close to Ikeda sensei.

We have to report the true nature of the headquarter and transform Soka Gakkai to the one which our mentor describes, with whatever we took. We made contacts with anyone who we had thought of; Hasegawa Soka Gakkai vice-administrator (the current Soka Gakkai administrator), Miyagi vice-president, Tochigi Soka Gakkai vice-administrator. However, all of them refused to report the scandals and the problem to Ikeda sensei. If we were wrong, we have to restart our faith and learn from scratch. Nonetheless, we were not allowed to have dialogues with them.
From April, I(Kodaira) had to go Kyushu. Physically, I would be being more than 1000 km away from the headquarter, but I could not give in. Even at that moment, the courageous members, who raised their voices against the corruption, had been treated unfairly. I had to report this problems to Ikeda sensei as soon as possible.

Kodaira chanted desperately, and thought over and over. Then, he thought of Ms. Yamanashi, the chief executive of Women’s Devision. He knew her because as he was a Soka University student, he worked as volunteering in the headquarter, and she was often with Ikeda sensei and supported him. Also, Kodaira was acquainted with her daughter, who was the former Soka Gakkai staff and whose husband was Kodaira's friend.
Kodaira was resolved to do whatever he could do as long as there was a slight possibility.

Kodaira chanted desperately. In March 30 2010 just before he moved to Fukuoka prefecture in Kyushu, he was able to meet Mrs. Saitama in Gin-mai center in Shinano-machi. Kodaira let Mrs Saitama listen to the recording tape of the oppressive inquiry by the headquarter audit committee. Mrs. Saitama’s brow darkened, and he tilted his head. Mrs. Saitama said “I see. I will tell this to my mother. I will call and let you know no matter what kinds of response she has.

Kodaira was very happy. Tears welled up in his eyes. The letter might be handed to Ikeda sensei from Ms. Yamanashi.

Kodaira went to the Haneda airport with slight hope in his mind. In the boarding gate, there were his comrades, and the members and their wives who were labeled as rebels. Kodaira told them “Thanks a lot! Here is the beginning of struggle.There were tears in their eyes. Kodaira vowed not to let the sincere members shed tears of vexation again. Until the very last moment, the members waved their hands, which made Kodaira determined to report to Ikeda sensei what the headquarter is being like. Then Kodaira left his hometown where he grew up and had lived for 33 years, for Kyushu.





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.




No.3 The Response of Soka Gakkai Headquarter to the Soka Gakkai Members Who Did Not Sign the Written Pledge (October 2008-December 2009)

“We always have to raise our voices courageously for the happiness of people and peace. Voices the words of wisdom. Anyway, the point is actions. To live is to struggle.”
(The guidance of Ikeda sensei)

No one is perfect.
Because we are imperfect, the faith exists.
Because we are imperfect, we struggle.
Because we are imperfect, we have a mentor.
Because we are imperfect, the value of lives are created.

This is the same as the organization.
Because it is imperfect, the struggle of the three presidents (Makiguchi sensei, Toda sensei, and Ikeda sensei) have taken place.
Because it is imperfect, it developed.

Therefore,
You!
Without criticizing or complaining,
Initiate the actions to transform imperfection to perfection.
Take actions for what you believe is right.
As long as the disciples carry on the struggles,
Soka is justice.
As long as the disciples carry on the struggles,
imperfection itself can be perfection.
Therefore,
You!
It is in your inner self that Soka Gakkai exists.
You yourself are Soka Gakkai.
Transforming yourself, itself, is to lead to developing Soka Gakkai,
Do not forget it even for a moment.

Even though the problem happened within Soka Gakkai community of a local district, the corporate body of Soka Gakkai were about to investigate it. From this, I felt that they would do whatever they could to make us sign the written pledge.
The submission of the statement which was requested by the Staff Disciplinary Committee-
Wrong is wrong. we had already made a strong determination. Let’s behave sincerely with all our hearts, and we made a vow to say everything which we thought is right. Then, we put our heart and soul into creating the statement for our reasoning and submitted to the Staff Disciplinary Committee. I don’t think we are totally right. Rather, I have many weak points, and also make many mistakes. Then, I do not have any intention to say it was not my fault at all. However, it is important to know what is wrong with me all the more in order to improve the bad points. Otherwise, it is impossible to reflect on ourselves throughly and earnestly. However, in the inquiry conducted by the audit committee, they did not tell us of what the youth leaders accused us and what were their arguments, which was really important for us to know. There were no documents which were handed to us from the audit committee, and we did not know even what was approved and disapproved by them.
Moreover, the conclusion of the audit committee was that the both sides must sign the written pledge and receive equal punishment over the problem. The punishment to the side who slandered and harmed the members was just to sigh the written pledge, whereas the members who were harmed seriously were demanded unfair self-reflection, and the audit committee attempted to end this issue just with the both side signing the written pledge. It also said that the both sides never brought up this again.
The side, who suffered the most from the problems, was not the Soka Gakkai staff who had connection with the top leaders, but the members who did not. The conclusion of the audit committee was the indulgence for the Soka Gakkai staff who had a connection, and also it was a notice to the Soka Gakkai members to accept the conclusion meekly and silently.
The judgement was totally unacceptable. especially in Soka Gakkai where put its members first. Actually, a leader of Soka Gakkai staff of the Youth Member’s Devision, who was considered to have self-reflected and apologized for the issue, claimed in the community of the local district afterwards “It will come to light which is right and wrong soon.” “They are just putting on a bold front.” “They are not strong enough, and will come to apologize to us.” The leader continued to blame and slander us. The judgement of the audit committee did not lead to the settlement of the issue. Moreover, what the audit committee inquired and found out was kept secret and withheld from us. They attempted to end the inquiry, making us to obey their decision with silence.

What we had experienced in the corporative body of Soka Gakkai was the same as this. Even when one cause a serious problem, the one will be forgiven as long as the one follow what the one’s boss told, and the one will be protected as a result. In contrast, if one does not follow even if the one’s argument is right, the one will be kept away from the organization. Therefore, saying their opinions to the one’s bosses itself is regarded as causing a problem.

However, right is right, and wrong is wrong. we wrote down our true feelings and thoughts, and submitted to the Staff Disciplinary Committee. I thought we did not have any regrets no matter what punishment I would receive.
In April 15 2009, the result of the investigation by the Staff Disciplinary Committee was notified to us. It said “No problem with us as Soka Gakkai staff (employees)” The judgement of the Staff disciplinary was opposite to the one of audit committee.
“Good circumstance is unusual. Bad circumstance is usual.” We were very happy from the bottom of our hearts.

 The True Nature of Soka Gakkai Headquarter, Where Our Report Have Not Reached Ikeda Sensei.

A half year after the Staff Disciplinary Committee reached the judgement, “no problems with us as Soka Gakkai staff (employee)”, the top leaders of the Soka Gakkai headquarter began to criticize us. In October 29 2009, Aomori vice-president took part in a meeting for Soka Gakkai young staff, and he commented as following “These days, among your young staff, there are ones who are dissatisfied with the decision made by the headquarter and have raised their voices. They have not followed our guidance. This is totally unacceptable.” In his words there was vaguely suggested criticism of us. We had to clear up their misunderstandings. With my tremulous feet, I visited Aomori vice-president. “Could you possibly take time for me to talk and hear my story?” Then, he responded “No way to meet you” “You should be careful of the way you act!” He refused our request flatly. Moreover, after several days, Masaki Soka Gakkai administrator made vaguely suggested criticism of us in a meeting. “There is one common thing among problems I have dealt with in every division. That is they always misunderstand that they understand Ikeda sensei the most, and criticize leaders, citing the guidance of Ikeda sensei.”
Criticism in public- We have not criticized the leaders but only would like them to know the truth. I thought we had to solve their misunderstandings. I had to ask for a dialogue and had to know the reasons why they criticize us. Then, I chanted daimoku with my whole being and visited the administrator. “I speak to the whole, but I don’t talk individually.” “No way! ,No way!” he told me just like that and left the place.
I did not understand why every top leader had denied talking and hearing our story. They had avoided even talking with me though they went on criticizing us publicly. My colleagues also kept away from me.

This is wrong, definitely.

The Staff Disciplinary Committee had made a judgement that we had nothing to blame on as Soka Gakkai staff. However, apparently,we were avoided by even the colleagues with who we have had a close relation before, probably because they thought it was dangerous to talk with us.
I was almost defeated. All I could do is to chant daimoku during commuting to and from work and during working. Then, the words of Ikeda sensei came up on my mind.

“If there should be something wrong, visit Hasegawa Soka Gakkai vice-administrator. Then, he will report it to me. I will look into the problem throughly. However, if I found your report something false, I have to punish you. Otherwise, it is not fair.”

I made a determination that I would devote ourselves to report to Ikeda sensei about the problem of the inquiry and top leaders, who had avoided talking with me and hearing my story. In December 14 2009, I visited Hasegawa Soka Gakkai vice-administrator. Looking at my tremulous feet, I thought I was not strong enough. There, I asked to Hasegawa Soka Gakkai vice-administrator whether or not he could read the letter which I brought with me, and hear my story about it.
However, he told me “Don’t use Ikeda sensei.” He refused my request. Obviously, it was against Ikeda sensei’s direction.

It was unacceptable. It was totally unacceptable. The true relationship of the mentor and disciple is to keep the promises with the mentor whatever happened with our whole being. There is no more serious sin than breaking them. My body shook with anger. Tears welled up in my eyes. I will never ever give up. “What should we do to report this to Ikeda sensei?” I chanted earnestly.

President Harada, Masaki Soka Gakkai administrator, and Aomori vice-president criticized us in the meetings, and when each of us pleaded them to take time for talking and hearing our story, they refused it. Even Hasegawa Soka Gakkai vice-administrator refused, who was appointed by Ikeda sensei as the contact person to Ikeda sensei. Even so, I can not help thinking that in order to report this to Ikeda sensei I had to ask leaders close to Ikeda sensei. Then I decided to visit Miyagi vice-president, a son of Ikeda sensei. I were neither sure if he would meet me nor talking with me and hearing my story. Nevertheless, there was no way but to keep going. Even if it causes more misunderstandings about me and us, the important thing, I thought, was to do what I can do then. Other than that, I could not think of the right way.





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.”



No.1 The True Nature of the Headquarter of Soka Gakkai, Where Report Does Not Reach Ikeda Sensei. (June 2002-October 2012)

Now, there are Soka Gakkai members who struggle desperately and raise their voices to champion the spirits of “mentor and disciple”. The response of the headquarter of Soka Gakkai to the movement was as following:“We have not permitted the movement of Soka Gakkai members holding meetings against the Security Bills.”and “We feel extremely regrettable that they use the name of Soka Gakkai and the symbol of Soka Gakkai, the three colors.” We think,however,that it is ordinary Soka Gakkai members who fought with Ikeda sensei in heart that supported and made it possible that the current Komei lawmakers were to be elected.

Soka Gakkai members are raising their voices with courage. It is totally heartless to ignore them. It seemed that the spirits of Ikeda sensei was gone far away. It’s not true, I believe. Ikeda sensei is watching us, now, and also in the future. He is watching how we do justice, and the way we struggle, eternally. I will fight, fight to fulfill the vow with Ikeda sensei.

The most serious problem was that we could not reach Ikeda sensei (we were not be able to report the truth of the scandal to Ikeda sensei). In June 26 2002, Ikeda sensi provided all Soka Gakkai staff with guidance: “Please let me know if there is a corrupted staff.” Also he mentioned that now work in Soka Gakkai became mechanical and routine. Another guidance of his was “Female youth devision members should say critical opinions.” “Send me letters, which is based on truth. If I found the report something false, I don’t trust it.” In addition, in regard to corruptions of Soka Gakkai staff, he told us “If there was something wrong, please visit the vice-administrator, Mr. Hasegawa. Then, he will report the matter to me. I will look into the problem. However, if I found the report false, I have to punish you severely, because, otherwise, it is not fair.” Then, we saw Mr. Hasegawa on the stage, who was assigned the important task, rising to his feet and saying “Yes!” Ikeda sensei worried about its organizational management structure, where, the executives might hide important information or reports from him.Because of this, Ikeda sensei told every staff to report him if a scandal unfolded or a problem occurred.(In reality, as Ikeda sensei was anxious, the flaw of the organizational management structure came out when an executive in the headquarter caused a scandal and was dismissed owing to the relationship with a woman.) Then, Ikeda sensei created a post to report an internal problem or scandal to him. However, as Ikeda sensei warned us, reporting a scandal or internal problem to Mr. Hasegawa was something we could not do without giving our lives for it.
We came across a serious internal problem of Soka Gakkai, on which we could not turn blind eyes. Reporting to Ikeda sensei was dogged by sleepless internal struggle to make decision to report the matter to Mr. Hasegawa. We were almost overwhelmed by the pressure. Nevertheless, we thought that if we turned blind eyes on the issue, it meant that we broke the vow of disciples with Ikeda sensei. We chanted Daimoku earnestly and like endlessly. Then, we came to the decision to tell the truth to Mr. Hasegawa. We, with tremulous feet, visited Mr. Hasegawa. However, what he told us was“Don’t take advantage of Ikeda sensei” “What if somebody saw me and you talking?” “Now, I can have a chat like this with you because Mr. B vise-president and the president are not here. However, if they were here, I could not talk even like this.” He just tried to protect his position, and turned down the report. Giving up means we go for death. Then, we took actions to report the scandal of executives and the internal problem of Soka Gakkai to Ikeda sensei. However, the audit committee of Soka Gakkai regarded the movement of reporting to Ikeda sensei as the reasons to dismiss us.

 The Contents of the Report to Ikeda Sensei Which We Had Attempted to Make.

What we attempted to report to Ikeda sensei was the true nature of the disciplinary inquiry which we had came to know, by the audit committee (Kansa Iinkai) of Soka Gakkai which the president Harada was in charge of.(The audit committee is supposed to deal with the problems happening within the community of Soka Gakkai not within the corporation of Soka Gakkai.)The inquiries took place in April 29 2008 (the day for inquiring) and May 22-24 2008(The days for the notification of the result of the inquiry.)

The committee inquired us about the core problem of Soka Gakkai which was revealed by the scandal of the youth executives in the community of our district. After the daily work, we worked with our computers until the midnight to make documents to submit to the audit committee. Then, they scheduled the day for the inquiry, and we thought the purpose of the inquiry is to hear our story based on the document we handed in. We expected that they listened to our story fairly without any bias and, we brought into the inquiry. They called us to come to the inquiry room one by one, and in my case, four executives, including a vice-president, took seats, facing to me. I was treated as if I were a criminal. Each inquiry began with our greetings. I squeezed out trembling voices. However, when I started to explain the issue in details, one of the executives interrupted and said” Here is not the place where we hear your story!” He added “We have just fired a central person who caused another scandal” Obviously, he threatened dismissal.
On the inquiry of another Soka Gakkai member, five enquirers, including even a vice president and a lawyer, faced to the Soka Gakkai member, and confirmed if he had connection with Ikeda sensei. As soon as they knew he did not, they accused him “It’s you that caused a problem, right?” He and we were shocked by the inquiry, which was conducted with bias and pre-determined conclusion.

On the day of the notification of the result of the disciplinary inquiry, Kodaira attempted to explain for their accurate understanding and right judgement, one of the inquirers said “We don’t hear any excuse.” “We are just asking if you have a will to sign. This is what the headquarter have concluded. “You don’t obey and sign, don’t you?” “That’s it. We judged that you don’t obey our conclusion””We understand” Also, they told us “Take it seriously” “We, the audit committee, have such authority. Understand?” “ If you deny our guidance, we have to impose sufficient punishment on you.” “ Get out of here”

To Takigawa they told “The notification of the result of inquiry means that it just depends on whether or not you accept the judgement we reached.” “To who you are complaining?” “what do you mean “please listen to our story”?” “Admit, in the first place!” “Here is not the place to hear your story” “We are just notifying you the result of the inquiry” Additionally, they said to Takigawa “If you keep going, you will make a faction and rebel against Soka Gakkai.”Takigawa answered “We will never do!” They told “You are rebelling right now” “We aren’t rebelling!” told Takigawa. “Understand. Then, just sign the written pledge.” Lastly, they concluded “If you don’t accept our guidance, you can’t be the members of Soka Gakkai, also. Considering it, then make up your last decision.”

The judgement of the audit committee was that we must sign and submit the letter of a written pledge which was approved by the president and other executives. The content of the letter of a written pledge was we must not bring up the problem again. We thought that the problem would be hidden forever, and it meant we would betray Ikeda sensei. Of course, we had an internal struggle to reach the decision not to obey the judgement of the official organization which the headquarter of Soka Gakkai belong to. Also, we knew if we did not sign, we would be punished or excommunicated from Soka Gakkai. Only anxieties we had.
It was toughest decision for each of us to make, and it required us for the strong determination to give our lives for our belief. Honestly, it was easy for us to sign. We felt like being released from the overwhelming pressure and being easy. However, the more we chant, the stronger our determination became not to turn a blind eye on the true nature of the inquiry: They slandered and threatened us severe disciplines and excommunication from Soka Gakkai, and forced us to sign the written pledge, with the core problem unresolved.

The core problem which the headquarter of Soka Gakkai had to solve has not been resolved yet, and has effects on our and the members’local districts as well. The inquiry was just superficial and I can say it took place with pre-determined judgement: They attempted to solve the problem merely by forcing us to sign and submit the written pledge of us” Signing up the written pledge means “ escape” from the problem we had encountered.

There is a Japanese saying "Seidaku Awase Nomu". (Sei means "good or holly" and daku means "evill or poison". Awase means "both". Nomu means "drink") The meaning of this saying is that we should be tolerant enough to accept (drink) both good and evil"
However, Ikeda sensei told us that this saying is not applicable in this faith we practice. We must not accept evil like injustice or corruption. If we do, our faith will be corrupted. (The guidance of Ikeda sensei)

Even though we were excommunicated from Soka Gakkai, fooled, and laughed at, we didn’t want to lie to ourselves and to Ikeda sensei. With inner struggle, we made up our mind not to sign the written pledge no matter how severe punishment we might receive.

There were 10 members who did not sign the written pledge on the spot of the notification.
After that, by the oppression to our community of the Soka Gakkai district, our family, and our working place, we were forced and signed the written pledge one by one.



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The Three Former Soka Gakkai Staff

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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