Part 6. Rock-Piercing Raindrops

Nikken Is Disturbed by Jiyu’s Revelations

Without any notice, a document was faxed to each local temple of Nichiren Shoshu throughout Japan on the evening of January 1, 1991. It was the first issue of the fax newsletter, Jiyu. It included greetings from its editor, Yu Fuwa, to commemorate its first issue.

As mentioned in the foreword to Selected Works of Jiyu, its editorial staff was already aware of the existence of Operation C that Nikken Abe and his friends had secretly created.

The third issue of Jiyu was faxed on January 3rd and it touched on the secret meeting that Nikken had with Kojyun Takahashi, Isao Dan, Jiro Oshiki, and one more individual on December 25th. The Jiyu article revealed that their meeting was intended to discuss the upcoming attacks on the Soka Gakkai.

This revelation profoundly shocked Nikken and the top administration of Nichiren Shoshu. They were astonished that their extremely confidential information had leaked. And they suspected that somebody at the top had leaked secret information to outsiders. Nichiren Shoshu regarded this lack of security surrounding its top secret information as a major obstacle to launching a campaign to break up the Soka Gakkai.

As mentioned in the previous chapter, the Soka Gakkai lost no time in uniting leaders with Honorary President Ikeda to understand and deal with this new round of the temple issue. The united power of the Soka Gakkai must have seemed ominous to Nikken and his priesthood, who were counting on surprise attacks to break up the Soka Gakkai organization.

How much Nikken had been disturbed became clear in his speech at a nationwide teachers’ meeting held at Taiseki-ji on January 6th. He said: “I believe we are in for severe situations and tremendous hardships. But I am determined. I think the Daishonin said to the effect that, ’After all, I am destined to wander in Japan all by myself’ (Gosho Zenshu, p. 964). When I read this passage, I could not hold back my tears … [Nikken here sobs] … I’ve got the same determination … [Nikken continues to sob] … So, please give me your support … [Nikken is still sobbing] … I will protect (Nichiren Shoshu) even if I am alone.” (Jiyu #71, excerpted from Selected Works of Jiyu)

Nikken had been planning since the previous summer to put Operation C into effect, to make a surprise attack against the Soka Gakkai. He had been waiting for good timing to launch his attacks. Then, just when events were underway, he stumbled at the onset and got disturbed to the point where he had to shed tears in front of Nichiren Shoshu teacher priests, who had gathered at the head temple from across the country. Many of the priests present at the meeting, swayed by the tears that Nikken shed, chose to become his tools.

Nikken did not shed tears because he was purely concerned about the future of Nichiren Shoshu. Like almost all priests of Nichiren Shoshu, Nikken had a deep sense of discrimination toward lay believers. He was simply jealous of a great lay believer, whose achievements for kosen-rufu were unparalleled in the history of Nichiren Buddhism. Because of the priests’ lowly life-condition, Nikken’s tears were able to easily deceive them.

An Outline of Operation C as Reported in Jiyu

No. 15 of Jiyu (published on January 15, 1991) reports: “How will Operation C be executed? A source discloses the entirety of the plan. The primary purpose of Operation C is to dismiss Soka Gakkai Honorary President Ikeda from the position of the head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay societies. Its secondary purpose is to separate the Soka Gakkai from Nichiren Shoshu, making clear that they have nothing to do with each other.”

The same issue of the Jiyu continues: “The execution of this operation will be done according to the following procedure: Dismiss Honorary President Ikeda from the position of the head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay societies.

“And give the Soka Gakkai the following demands:

Half of the officers of the religious corporation of the Soka Gakkai shall be composed of selected members of Nichiren Shoshu priesthood.

No power is to be conferred upon Honorary President Ikeda. His position is no more than an honorary title.

Honorary President Ikeda must stay at home for penitence.

The Seikyo Press can’t publish Honorary President Ikeda’s speeches or writings. No report should be made on his activities.

His secretariat, Daiichi Shomu, shall be disbanded.

“If Honorary President Ikeda does not accept these conditions, he shall be excommunicated from Nichiren Shoshu. Nichiren Shoshu will make clear through the means of TV, radio, or magazines that it has nothing to do with the Soka Gakkai any more.

“Nichiren Shoshu will publish an announcement in the AsahiShimbun, the MainichiShimbun and the Yomiuri Shimbun saying that it has severed its ties with the Soka Gakkai. The budget for this announcement shall be 120 million yen.

“After separating the Soka Gakkai from Nichiren Shoshu, it is up to each member of the Soka Gakkai whether he or she will continue to belong to the Soka Gakkai or will become Nichiren Shoshu members.

“This is the entire contents of Operation C that was adopted by the Administration of Nichiren Shoshu. The Soka Gakkai might have suffered a fatal blow if this operation had been suddenly put into action last August, for the Gakkai would not been ready to cope with it.

“The plan of Operation C is still alive. Based upon its outline as disclosed here, it is still being implemented, but slightly more tactically. Allowing for some adjustments, this operation will soon get into the second phase of its implementation. Closing down the Sho-Hondo is now under serious discussion among the top management of the priesthood.”

A shockwave, created by Jiyu’s revelation of the outline of Operation C, spread throughout the priesthood and laity of Nichiren Shoshu. In fact, Jiyu was faxed to every local temple of Nichiren Shoshu every single day during the year of 1991. Beginning in 1992, the Jiyu was published periodically, until it ended its life with its 901st issue dated February 16, 1996.

In his postscript to Selected Works of Jiyu, its editor, Yu Fuwa wrote:

“My existence is just a grain of sand that sprawls far on the sunlit beach. The editorial staff of Jiyu was just three amateurs including myself. As we continued the publication of Jiyu, so many people, whether they were lay believers or priests, gave us their sincere support, enabling us to collect precious data and information. We especially appreciate those who, while staying within Nichiren Shoshu, continuously secured for us precious tapes, despite the danger of internal persecutions that could have befallen them. We also appreciate those who promptly took the trouble to deliver such tapes to us. The victory we scored was grounded in our unity of faith, although even today we can’t disclose every aspect of our sources and routes of information and data.”

Incidentally, the two editorial staff who worked with Yu Fuwa, were a young men’s division vice chapter leader and a young men’s division district leader from one area.