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November 18, 2021

Newly Revised Soka Gakkai Edition of Nichiren Daishonin Gosho Zenshu Released

New revision of Collected Writings of Nichiren Daishonin published
Newly Revised Soka Gakkai edition of Nichiren Daishonin gosho zenshu (The Collected Writings of Nichiren Daishonin)

A newly revised edition of Nichiren Daishonin gosho zenshu (The Collected Writings of Nichiren Daishonin) was released on November 18, 2021, commemorating the Soka Gakkai’s founding day and celebrating the 800th anniversary of Nichiren’s birth in February of this year (based on the traditional Japanese system of calculation, putting a person’s age upon birth at one year old). Daisaku Ikeda supervised the publication and contributed the foreword .

In it, he enjoins Soka Gakkai members to forever base their faith and practice on the teachings of Nichiren contained in his writings. Nichiren’s letters and other writings, he observes, reveal a deep trust in the vast potential of human life—the inherent strength and wisdom of ordinary people, their ability to create warm and beautiful relationships and thriving communities.

Winter cherry blooming in October in Tokyo, October 2021
Winter cherry blooming in the vicinity of the Soka Gakkai Headquarters complex (Shinanomachi, Tokyo, October 2021)

President Ikeda also states that Nichiren’s writings emphasize the importance of respecting the dignity, unique beauty and diversity of all people and of working together in harmony in a way that harnesses and enhances this diversity. They serve as a guidepost to the establishment of happiness and security for all people and the peaceful coexistence of global society; they are a source of infinite wisdom for tackling global issues such as warfare, poverty and climate change.

The new edition of the Gosho zenshu presents the original classical Japanese script but uses a larger font, includes more line breaks and punctuation, and some of the adopted Chinese characters are identified using hiragana—Japanese syllabic characters—alongside, for ease of reading by contemporary readers. In addition, 32 writings by Nichiren that have been discovered since the publication of the original Gosho zenshu have been included.

The writings have been grouped to make them more easily accessible. Ten of Nichiren’s treatises, later designated as his most important writings by his disciple and successor Nikko (1246–1333), appear first. Writings are also grouped into those elucidating fundamental Buddhist doctrines and principles, those comparing the teachings of different Buddhist schools, those offering analyses of other writings and scriptures, abstracts and lectures, and those including charts and diagrams. His letters to lay followers are grouped according to the region in which the recipients lived.

The first edition of the Gosho zenshu was published in April 1952, after having been proposed the previous year by Josei Toda, following his inauguration as second Soka Gakkai president. As a young man, Mr. Ikeda supervised the publication of this first comprehensive collection of Nichiren’s works under the mentorship of Mr. Toda.

Nichiren’s writings have been translated into various languages including English, Chinese, Spanish, Korean, French, German, Italian and Portuguese.

[Adapted from articles in the November 17, 19, and 20, 2021, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]

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