On April 24, 1979, Soka Gakkai third President Daisaku Ikeda expressed his will to resign from its presidency.
On May 5, right after his resignation, Honorary President Ikeda wrote the word “justice” in sumi ink at the Kanagawa Culture Center of the Soka Gakkai. He poured his eternal spirit into these large Chinese characters “Justice.”
In the era that is dealt with in this book, the justice that were continuously embodied by the successive presidents of the Soka Gakkai, the justice that Soka Gakkai members regarded as the source of their pride in their existence, and the justice that was proof of unity of mentor and disciple were on the brink of being covered by the dark clouds of injustice. Why did such a gloomy situation start surrounding the Soka Gakkai?
Yes, it started because the high priest who stood at the top of priesthood was deceived by the manipulations of a betrayer of the Soka Gakkai who was its chief legal counselor. And because he became his puppet.
In writing about “Masatomo Yamazaki and the temple issue,” I needed to refer not only Nikken, whose evaluation is now all set as “insane high priest” but to Nittatsu Hosoi, former chief administrator and 66th high priest of Nichiren Shoshu. Reference to Chief Administrator Hosoi was unavoidable because he was the high priest of Nichiren Shoshu when President Ikeda had to resign from the presidency of the Soka Gakkai. It is foreseeable, however, even before I started writing this book, that writing about Chief Administrator Hosoi entails a great measure of difficulties, for what I was going to write about was the domain that had been scarcely touched upon in dealing with the first temple issue.
Even Masatomo Yamazaki, at first, had some faith in Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism. However, money and women corrupted his faith. Why did a great individual who held the position of the chief administrator and high priest of Nichiren Shoshu get deceived by the manipulations of such a corrupted man?
Yamazaki succeeded in manipulating Chief Administrator Hosoi because the chief administrator had a particular frame of mind, or “looseness in his mind of faith,” which was common to the clergy of Nichiren Shoshu.
When a lay person who served as “general of propagation” accomplishes a huge success abroad and received incredible recognition from many foreign countries, High Priest Nittatsu, who sat at the apex of priesthood, started developing a sprout of doubt in his heart. This happened to Nikken’s mind, too. And eventually, the high priest started thinking that this lay leader would jeopardize his holy position within Nichiren Shoshu.
In the thirteen chapter of the Lotus Sutra, a number of persecutions that will befall the votary of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law are cited.
And one of them is the persecution in which the votary of the Lotus Sutra is forced to be distanced from the temple. Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, suffered from this persecution. On April 28, the day when he established true Buddhism, he was almost killed and actually chased away from Seichoji-temple. Afterwards, Nichiren Daishonin was secluded from every major temples.
Soka Gakkai First President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Second President Josei Toda both were banned from visiting Taiseki-ji and expelled from the temple membership during the time of religious persecutions in wartime Japan. And President Makiguchi died his martyrdom in prison as a person dispelled from Nichiren Shoshu.
In 1952, President Toda, while Nichiren Shoshu allowed the fabrication of a document that enabled an expelled priest, Jimon Ogasawa, to return to Nichiren Shoshu, was banned again from visiting the head temple and released from the position of director of all Nichiren Shoshu lay societies through the resolution of the Nichiren Shoshu Council.
In April 1979, Soka Gakkai third President Daisaku Ikeda was forced to resign from the presidency of the Soka Gakkai because of the fallacyof Chief Administrator Hosoi, the insanity of conceited priests, the manipulations by Masatomo Yamazaki, who agitated these priests and presented a typical example of a castle man’s destroying the castle, and the clamor created by manipulating mass media. And what I resent most is the fact that arose within the Soka Gakkai, that is, the absolute sanctity of oneness of mentor and disciple in Buddhism almost came to be taken as a relative, not absolute, value. Hence, we as disciples must engrave in our hearts, and never forget, the vexation and chagrin that our mentor felt at that time.
On November 28, 1991, the insane Nikken excommunicated the Soka Gakkai. This indicated that the Soka Gakkai members were honored to receive the persecution of “being distanced from their temples.”
As I view what is happening today to Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai, what is obvious is the decline and insanity of Nichiren Shoshu where the high priest is worshipped as absolute, living Buddha. What is also conspicuous is the increasing rise of the Soka Gakkai where we can witness the splendor of the spirit of the first, second and third presidents of the Soka Gakkai. Enveloped by their infinite fortune and virtue, Soka Gakkai members continue to contribute to society. Through this remarkable difference between the two entities, we can clearly tell where the lifeblood of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism is pulsating today.
I believe that the justice and injustice that has not been made clear till today are finally now clear through this book.
Signed by the author