Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Confers Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy upon Daisaku Ikeda
On May 20, 2023, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) in Seoul, one of South Korea’s top private universities, conferred an honorary doctorate of philosophy upon Daisaku Ikeda in recognition of his commitment to the ideals of peace founded on human dignity, the cultivation of the ethics of global citizenship and the promotion of friendship between Japan and South Korea.
The conferral ceremony was attended by HUFS President Park Jeong-woon, Graduate School Dean Roh Taek Seon, who read the recommendation, and former South Korean Prime Minister Lee Soo-sung, who delivered a congratulatory address. Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada accepted the award for Mr. Ikeda and read an acceptance message on his behalf.
The conferral took place in the university’s Obama Hall, named in commemoration of a speech given there by the American president in 2012.
In his conferral address, President Park listed several of Mr. Ikeda’s laudable accomplishments and stated that the primary reason he has come to respect Mr. Ikeda is for the courage he has displayed in acting on his convictions. He spoke particularly of Mr. Ikeda’s efforts to confront the legacy of Japan’s colonial past and build friendship with the countries it had occupied.
Former Prime Minister Lee similarly spoke of the efforts of Mr. Ikeda, as well as those of his predecessor second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, to build ties of peace and friendship with South Korea.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Ikeda recalled
the deep emotion he had felt on learning of the struggles Dr. Kim Heung-bae,
the university’s founder, underwent to establish an educational institution
that could help restore the country following the devastation of the Korean
War. The university became the cradle of foreign language education in South Korea
and, today, has some 2,500 international students from 108 countries and
carries out exchange programs with over 600 educational institutions around the
Referring to the words of the writer Edith
Wharton, “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror
that reflects it,” Mr. Ikeda remarked that when we bring the light of wisdom,
courage and compassion to shine in our lives, it will be reflected by others
around us, causing the “great light of value creation” to spread limitlessly.
The honorary doctorate from HUFS is the 20th academic honor Mr. Ikeda has received from a South Korean university.
[Adapted from an article in the May 21, 2023, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]