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November 17, 2023

Founder Daisaku Ikeda Sends Message to Soka Schools “Wisdom Day” Celebrations

Founder Daisaku Ikeda Sends Message to Soka Schools “Wisdom Day” Celebrations
Kansai Junior and Senior High School students’ Wisdom Day event was themed “Be the wellspring of luminous wisdom”

On November 17, 2023, “Wisdom Day” gatherings were held at Soka Schools in Japan to commemorate November 18—Soka Schools Founding Day. Tokyo and Kansai Soka Elementary, Junior and Senior High Schools and Sapporo Soka Kindergarten in Hokkaido all held Wisdom Day celebrations.

Founder Daisaku Ikeda sent a congratulatory message addressed to all the students, together with three poems he composed for those graduating at the end of the academic year. He prepared these before he passed away on November 15. At the request of Mr. Ikeda’s family, the news of his passing was not announced until November 18 so that commemorative events such as the Wisdom Day gatherings could be held as planned.

In his message, Mr. Ikeda referred to his dialogue with Indian agronomist and agricultural scientist, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, that was published as Green Revolution and Human Revolution. Recalling their discussions on how to combat the inhumanity of our times, Mr. Ikeda remarked that one conclusion they reached was that capable people who can demonstrate both a seeking spirit for truth and the courage to take action for the happiness of others are essential in times such as these. He shared that Dr. Swaminathan found in Soka education a model for the nurturing of global citizens with just these qualities.

In the three poems that Mr. Ikeda penned for the students graduating in spring 2024, he expressed his high hopes for them in their endeavors to work for the happiness of all in the future.

To the graduating classes of Soka Junior and Senior High Schools:

Each of you possesses the most exquisite diamond within your life.
Learn and shine with pride!
Through training and solidarity infused with an indomitable spirit,
light the path to happiness and peace for global citizens everywhere!!

To the graduating classes of Soka Elementary Schools:

You yourselves are a treasure.
Today, as always, take on challenges courageously!
Forming a joyful solidarity of friendship,
embark on a grand adventure of wisdom to unfurl the future!

To the graduating class of Sapporo Soka Kindergarten:

To the princes and princesses of hope and courage—
Challenge yourselves with the never-give-up spirit!
Be strong, true and cheerful!

Upon hearing the news the following day of Mr. Ikeda’s passing, one Kansai Soka Senior High School student expressed her gratitude for the founder’s consistent encouragement, saying that she would carry on his spirit by cherishing his guiding principle—that it is impossible to build personal happiness on the suffering of others.

[Adapted from an article in the November 20, 2023, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]

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