It was on January 26, 1975, that Soka Gakkai International (SGI) was inaugurated at the First World Peace Conference on the island of Guam–the site of fierce fighting between American and Japanese military forces and of countless deaths of innocent civilians during World War II. read more….
March 16 is a symbolic day for Soka Gakkai and SGI members, commemorating the occasion on March 16, 1958, when Josei Toda, second president of the Soka Gakkai, then in frail health, made an impassioned speech to 6,000 Soka Gakkai youth, entrusting them with the responsibility for the future of the Soka Gakkai and its efforts to contribute to the creation of a peaceful world and promote understanding of the humanistic philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism.
Nichiren first chanted the title of the Lotus Sutra Nam-myoho-renge-kyo on April 28, 1253, and later inscribed the mandala of the Gohonzon (the physical object of devotion for all humanity).
April 28th marks the anniversary of the establishment of Nichiren Buddhism on April 28, 1253.
The Japanese monk Nichiren first invoked the chant “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (literally “I devote myself to the wonderful law of the Lotus Sutra”) on April 28, 1253, at Seichoji Temple in what is today Chiba Prefecture, where he had first studied Buddhism as a young boy.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda comments:
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the sound that awakens the Buddha nature of all humankind. It is the great teaching of supreme hope. Nichiren proclaimed his teaching for the first time in the image hall of his teacher Dozen-bo’s quarters at Seicho-ji temple, at around noon. It was out of his profound sense of gratitude to Dozen-bo, whom he wished to lead to the truth, that he decided to first expound his teaching at the place where he had studied as a youth.
May 3 is known as “Soka Gakkai Day” within SGI. It was on May 3, 1951, that Josei Toda was inaugurated as the second president of Soka Gakkai, and on May 3, 1960, that Daisaku Ikeda became the third president. May 3 is also “Soka Gakkai Mother’s Day,” symbolizing the vital role that women play within the organization.
For more than two decades, SGI-USA members have used this historically significant time of year to challenge their limitations and transform their lives by making a special offering in honor of the Soka Gakkai’s May 3rd inaugurations of presidents Toda (1951) and Ikeda (1960), and to commemorate April 28, 1253, the day Nichiren Daishonin first chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
What is the significance of offerings in Buddhism?
Many of the letters Nichiren Daishonin wrote to his believers begin with expressions of gratitude for their sincere offerings. He praises them for their support of his activities to share the humanistic teachings of Buddhism. Making sincere offerings to further the work of the SGI-USA is also a profoundly significant and important act, because it supports the activities of SGI-USA members and our efforts to share the values and practice of Nichiren Buddhism in our communities. It is a cause to help to build a more peaceful world, in which every person’s life is viewed as precious, while increasing our own happiness and good fortune as well.
As Nichiren Daishonin writes:
Significance of June 10th – Women’s Division Founded (1951)
5 Eternal Guidelines for Women’s Division
Everything begins with prayer
Advance harmoniously with our families
Foster young successors
Cherish our communities and societies
Joyfully share our experiences in faith
- June 6th: Tsunesaburo Makiguchi’s Birthday (1871)
- June 10th: Women’s Division Founded (1951)
- June 30th: Student Division Founded (1957)
On July 16, 1260, Nichiren presented his treatise entitled Rissho Ankoku Ron, literally “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land
August 24th – SGI-USA Men’s Division Day
August 24th: Daisaku Ikeda Joins the Soka Gakkai (1947)
October 2 is celebrated within the SGI as World Peace Day, marking a key milestone in the international development of Nichiren Buddhism, with its goal of contributing to building lasting peace throughout the world.
Against the backdrop of the Cold War and an escalating nuclear arms race, then Soka Gakkai president Daisaku Ikeda left Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on October 2, 1960….
November 18 is the anniversary of the establishment of the Soka Gakkai.
Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, first president of the Soka Gakkai, and his disciple Josei Toda (second president) published the first in a series of writings outlining the system of soka, or value-creating pedagogy, on November 18, 1930, and this date marks the founding of the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai–the Society for Value-Creating Education. The word “soka,” which was coined by Toda and Makiguchi, is a combination of Chinese characters meaning “create” and “value.”