SGI Significant Dates
The Establishment of Nichiren Buddhism
Soka Gakkai Day
Celebrating the History of Soka Gakkai's Antinuclear Movement
SGI World Peace Day
Inscription of the Dai-Gohonzon
Soka Gakkai Founding Day
October 2 - SGI World Peace Day
Mentor and disciple are inseparable. With the mentor’s heart in mind, President Ikeda embarked on his first humanistic mission for worldwide kosen-rufu on Oct 2, 1960, a journey that marked a key milestone in the international development of Nichiren Buddhism, with its goal of contributing to building lasting peace throughout the world.
Beginning with the capital city of Hawaii, Honolulu, President Ikeda and the rest of the five senior leaders travelled to nine cities across three countries in the American continents. He was just inaugurated as the 3rd President of Soka Gakkai in May that year at the age of 32.
This day, the second day of month, was chosen by President Ikeda to commemorate the passing of 2nd Soka Gakkai President, Josei Toda on Apr 2, 1958. Furthermore, the year 1960 marked the 700th anniversary of Nichiren Daishonin’s treatise, Rissho Ankoku-Ron, which sparked the initial flame towards the realization of lasting peace.
The trip signifies President Ikeda’s departure to lay the foundation for realizing worldwide kosen-rufu after the passing of President Toda. President Ikeda still vividly remembered the words of his mentor just prior to his death:
They were all waiting. Everyone was waiting. They were all seeking Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism. I want to go – to travel the world on a journey for kosen-rufu. Shin’ichi, the world is your challenge; it is your true stage. It is a vast world.
[NHR Vol.1, Sunrise]
President Toda’s words was an urgent appeal for the happiness of humanity by a Buddhist leader who keenly discerned the state of the world in the midst of Cold War and an escalating nuclear arms race.
After sowing the golden seeds of kosen-rufu in North and South America, President Ikeda immediately made plans to visit Asia. As President Ikeda declared, “We must do our best to bring the brilliant light of peace and happiness to shine on Asia, just as Sensei (Toda) hoped.” [NHR Vol.1, Pioneers]
Throughout his 41 years of overseas propagation, President Ikeda had travelled to more than 50 countries on every continent, building the foundation of a truly international movement which could contribute to building peace through the spread of a philosophy which taught the supreme value and dignity of human life. Other than encouraging members practicing in these countries, President Ikeda also held dialogues with diplomats and culture and intellectual figures to increase mutual understanding and strengthen the foundations for peace. He was always encouraged by the impassioned cry of his mentor for world peace by keeping a photograph of his mentor by his side.
Mr. Toda initiated a struggle to transform the tragic destiny of humanity. He boldly declared his wish to eradicate misery from our planet... When I set out on my journey for worldwide kosen-rufu, I was determined to put an end to war and create a century of peace. The only way to do this, I was convinced, was to tell others about the life-affirming teachings of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism and develop our movement on a global scale.
[The Path to Peace for All Humanity, Oct 2009]
With this strong vow at the start of this outward journey based on the shared commitment of mentor and disciple, practitioners from as many as 192 countries and territories are able to transform their lives by bringing forth the inherent human potential within their life and contribute to peace in their own community.
To commemorate this significant date as the beginning of the return to the original spirit of Nichiren Buddhism to establish peace, October 2 was named World Peace Day to symbolize the shared commitment of SGI members around the world in creating a wave of positive change in society through promoting nonviolence and working for the happiness of all humanity.