January 26, 1975 – this was the day that the Soka Gakkai International was founded at a meeting on Guam, that beautiful island of lush tropical green and exotic blooms floating in the blue coral sea. There were no presidents, no ministers, no reporters there that day. But ordinary citizens. These ordinary men and women were actually great pioneers who had pledged to dedicate their lives to the mission of propagating Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism and bringing peace to the world.
Soka Gakkai literally means “Society for the creation of value”. In 1975, in response to the needs of an increasingly international membership, the Soka Gakkai International was formed with Dr. Daisaku Ikeda as our third existing President.
On that day, Ikeda Sensei said to the members present:
“The sun of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism has begun to rise on the horizon. Rather than seek after your own praise or glory, I hope that you will dedicate your whole lives to sowing the seeds of the Mystic Law for the sake of peace throughout the entire world. I shall do the same.”
In the service of its members and society at large, SGI centers its activities on developing the positive human potentials for individual happiness and global peace and prosperity. The members of SGI share a profound commitment to the value of peace, culture and education.
Since 1983, Daisaku Ikeda has written an annual proposal on issues of peace and human security. These are released on January 26, commemorating the founding of the SGI in 1975.
Today, through the courageous and compassionate efforts of pioneer members exerting themselves with spirited tenacity and determination, we now have some 12 million members in around 190 countries and regions, including Japan.
So let us continue our journey of courage and hope into this New Year, joyfully and intrepidly.