Since Mr. Makiguchi was recognized as an able teacher known for his warmth and consideration, he strove to introduce a more humanistic, student-centered approach to education. He fiercely opposed corrupt educational practices and his uncompromising attitude towards the authorities resulted in his frequent transfers from one school to another. After moving to Tokyo, he served as principal in a succession of six primary schools, from 1913 to 1932.
In 1928, both Mr. Makiguchi and Mr. Jōsei Toda were converted to Nichiren Buddhism. Mr. Makiguchi's encounter with this school of Buddhist thought took his life into an even deeper and broader dimension, resulting in the establishment of the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai (Value-Creation Education Society), the predecessor to today's Sōka Gakkai. It is a known fact that Mr. Makiguchi created and developed a grassroots movement as the foundation of a lasting peace, an objective he perceived at the very heart of Nichiren Buddhism.
During World War II, he opposed Japan's military government's attempts to impose the doctrine of State Shintō through strict control of religions and thoughts inimical to its war effort. In 1943, due to his refusal to accept the Shinto talisman and support the war, he was arrested and imprisoned as a "thought criminal" for violating the Peace Preservation Law revised in 1941 and under which tens of thousands were arrested. Yet, in spite of being subjected to harsh interrogations, he never retreated from his beliefs, the 72-year-old former principal continued to assert the value of freedom of religion as a fundamental human rights. On November 18, 1944, he breathed his last breath in prison due to extreme malnutrition.
Mr. Makiguchi's spirit and values are practiced by million of members of SGI to this day. His unrelenting spirit in the face of authorities, demonstrated to his future successors his towering state of life to withstand all kind of persecutions befalling him. His immediate and subsequent successors, Mr. Toda and Mr. Ikeda valiantly uphold his majestic spirit and values, reconstructed the Soka Gakkai from the post war Japan and propagated Nichiren's Buddhism to 192 countries and regions in the midst of tumultuous waves of obstacles. Without the relentless struggles of our 3 Founding Presidents especially President Ikeda, the practitioners under the network of SGI countries will fail to savor the tremendous joy derived from this Buddhist practice.
As shared by Mr. Morinaka in 'The World of Nichiren Daishonin's Writing', "In commenting on a passage in The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind, 26th high priest Nichikan Shonin says that the Daishonin's actions in establishing the entity of the Law for propagation in the Latter Day - Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws - along with his practice of refuting the provisional teachings espoused by the other Buddhist schools of his time correspond to 'shakubuku of the entity of the law'. In contrast, he says that widely propagating the Gohonzon in society through our behavior as human beings and enabling one person after another to embrace faith in it represents 'shakubuku of substantiation'. [WNDW - Vol.3, Pg125]
It was clearly illustrated in history that since the establishment of the Nichiren's Buddhism, none in the Fuji school carried out the practice of 'shakubuku of substantiation' for the past 750 years, not even Nikken Abe. It is solely the members of the Soka Gakkai and SGI who accomplished it and advanced the global spread of kosen-rufu under the leadership and guidance of President Ikeda.
Questionably, is the spirit of 'shakubuku of substantiation' still upheld by the top leadership of SSA?
Recently, we have a spate of incidents which sparked a controversy on the danto issue. Quite a number of our members in SSA were besieged by the danto members and a handful of SSA members had pledged allegiance to Nikken Abe after undergoing rounds of brainwashing sessions, conducted by the danto members. In the end, they returned Nichikan Shonin transcribed Gohonzon in replace of Nikken' transcribed Gohonzon. Undoubtedly, the top leadership are quick in pointing finger at the social media, namely the Facebook, which aided the danto's assaults.
In the first place, what is the cause of the outbreak of danto issue in SSA today?
It is the abandonment in the practice of Soka spirit in Singapore. In year 2010, when SGI's office requested SSA repeatedly to present on the development of danto in Singapore, ex-GD Ong BC turned a deaf ear to them. Subsequently, for the purpose of avoiding SGI's office, he tasked VGD Loh SK to liaise with SGI's office. When VGD Loh presented the Soka Spirit plan to benefit the members of SSA to ex-GD Ong BC, the entire plan was dispose of, fearing which the Soka spirit movement will pose a directional distraction to the goal of 20k Great Discussion Meeting.
Following that, to draw a veil over the blunder of abandoning the practice of Soka Spirit in Singapore, ex-GD Ong BC declared victory over the danto which in actuality, they did not. In the Young Men Division Vanguard meeting held on 31 July 2011, ex-GD Ong BC declared, "We have unofficially won over the danto in Singapore." Consecutively in 8.4 Commemorative Meeting, held on 4 August 2011 at SSA Headquarter, he again declared, "For the last 20 years, we have been battling Singapore local Ichinen Sanzen(group) as well as Nichiren Shoshu and we have won in year 2010."
Could this hideous act of delivering such lies create, in the heart of the general leadership, a sense of complacency that the battle against the devilish forces of Nikken was over? The aftermath is, of course, the lack of preparation and alertness on the part of our general leadership to react when the danto lay siege to our castle. Incidentally, we received report of a SSA senior leader when was questioned by the danto member on the reason of why SGI members are idolizing President Ikeda, he was stunned and dumbfounded. If Soka Spirit was not abolished by our dear ex-GD in year 2010, majority of our leadership will still stay in vigilance to prepare for assault that may arise at any moment.
If the top leadership could not even protect our mentor by bearing the brunt of attack by the deviates, not to even mention proclaiming his greatness, what make us think that we can protect our own fortress of kosen-rufu from the danto? Indeed IS members should be thankful to President Ikeda for his endeavors in expanding Nichiren's Buddhism worldwide, if they still harbor gratitude as human beings in tracing the root of their encounter with Nichiren's Buddhism in Singapore. Without President Ikeda embarked on the journey of Westward Transmission 51 years ago, Nichiren's Buddhism will still be contained within Japan as another ordinary Buddhism sect.
While President Ikeda toils and sweats in the field of shakubuku of substantiation, endeavoring himself to spread Nichiren' Buddhism to every parts of the world, Nikken Abe continually indulges himself in extravagant pleasure seeking. Nikken is merely riding on the victory of SGI and savoring the fruits sowed by President Ikeda. In actuality, the danto movement in other SGI countries is dying off or at near extinction, but in the case of Singapore, the flame of the evil danto movement is glowing stronger each day. It is our greatest hope that our top leadership can be awaken to the reality and attribute our past successes of SSA to President Ikeda and continue to advance kosen-rufu in Singapore, not to forget that attack is the best defense.
To serve as a constant reminder to our dearest top leadership of SSA, we would like to present these precious words of Sensei to you:
"There is a saying that starting and undertaking is easy but maintaining it is difficult. Human beings tend to lose the robust spirit to keep challenging themselves once a solid foundation has been established. Instead, they move into the defensive, growing conservative and self-protective. But it is precisely when the foundation has been laid that the real struggle, the real challenge, begins. No matter how ideal or comfortable the circumstances we may find ourselves in, we must never lose our vibrant, pioneering spirit and passion for challenging new horizons. We must stay on the offensive, always striving to take fresh initiative and to keep advancing."
[26 Nov 2000 at SSA-SGI Australia Executive Conference held in Singapore - Singapore, Where the Crown of Humanity Shines]