Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 28: The Three Founding Presidents and the Path of Mentor and Disciple [28.17]

28.17 An Indomitable Struggle for Human Rights

After his arrest on groundless charges, President Ikeda won an indisputable victory by proving his innocence following a four-and-a-half-year legal battle. Looking back on that struggle for human rights in his novel The Human Revolution, he recounts the triumphant story of mentor and disciple fighting fearlessly against the devilish workings of authority.

From early in the morning on July 17, Soka Gakkai members dressed in light summer clothes could be seen standing around the entrance to the Osaka Detention Center.

Their faces conveyed a mix of emotions—hope at the prospect of seeing Shin’ichi released and the matter settled for now mingled with indignation at the unjust actions of the prosecutor’s office.

Small groups of Soka Gakkai members could also be seen near the Nakanoshima Civic Hall across the river from the detention center, even though the Osaka Rally1 [which had been called to protest Shin’ichi’s arrest] was not scheduled to start there till evening.

At around 10 minutes past noon, a sudden stir rippled through the crowd assembled outside the gate. Shin’ichi Yamamoto, clad in a casual shirt, emerged from the detention center entrance. Cheers and applause erupted.

Shin’ichi smiled as he acknowledged the waiting members.

“Thank you! I apologize for the worry I’ve caused you. As you can see, I’m okay!” he reassured them.

The members spontaneously united in a victory cheer. Their voices resounded strongly. Tears glistened in their eyes, reflecting the golden sunlight.

Hearing that Josei Toda would soon be arriving at Itami Airport in Osaka, Shin’ichi immediately set off to meet him.

Toda saw Shin’ichi and smiled. It was then that Shin’ichi noticed that Toda had grown even more gaunt in the two weeks since he had last seen him. His heart ached at the sight.

“Sensei, I’m sorry to have caused you so much worry.”

“More important, how is your health?”

Knowing Shin’ichi wasn’t physically strong, Toda could not help being anxious about his well-being.

“Yes, I’m fine.” Shin’ichi held back the tears that sprang to his eyes at his frail mentor’s deep concern for him. “I am not beaten. After all, wasn’t the day I was detained the same date you were released from prison?”

Toda nodded silently, his eyes gleaming.

“Shin’ichi, the real battle still lies ahead of us. Everything is understood by the Gohonzon. The outcome of this battle will be decided in court. The chief justice ought to understand. If we can get him to understand the truth, then it’ll be fine.”

He said this as if he knew all that was in Shin’ichi’s heart.

At 6:00 p.m., the start of the Osaka Rally was announced.

Outside, the sky suddenly grew dark, and within minutes of the first few raindrops a torrential downpour ensued, the wind blowing in great gusts. Lightning slashed the dark clouds, and thunder roared with earthshaking intensity.

Though exposed to the violent thunderstorm, not a single person in the crowd outside made a move to leave.

Shin’ichi’s words were charged with the unshakable conviction that blazed in his heart: “Let us rise to this challenge with the conviction that final victory belongs to those who strive tenaciously in faith, to those who steadfastly embrace the Gohonzon, and to the correct teaching of Nichiren Buddhism!”

Many members had tears in their eyes. Some stifled sobs, while others cried unabashedly. These were not tears of sorrow or grief, but an outpouring of the profound emotion inspired by Shin’ichi’s dauntless spirit and determination to challenge the devilish workings of authority.

From The Human Revolution, vol. 11, “Osaka” chapter.


[The court case in relation to the Osaka Incident dragged on for four and a half years. Shin’ichi’s defense attorney had originally told him that it would be difficult to win a not guilty verdict.]

On January 25, 1962, the 84th and final session of the trial began at 9:30 a.m. in the Osaka District Court. Everyone waited anxiously for Judge Yusuke Tagami to deliver the verdict.

“The court finds the defendant, Shin’ichi Yamamoto, not guilty.”2

Both the Soka Gakkai’s integrity and Shin’ichi’s innocence had finally been proven; the truth had triumphed over the insidious machinations of authority.

Shin’ichi recalled how Toda had told him that realizing kosen-rufu would necessitate a fierce struggle against the devilish nature of authority.

Tsunesaburo Makiguchi had died in prison, and Josei Toda had spent two years behind bars. Shin’ichi, too, had been jailed, albeit only for two weeks, and the ensuing trial had lasted four and a half years. Thinking of these things, he was struck by a powerful realization that it was the Soka Gakkai’s inescapable destiny to battle against the devilish nature of authority.

At this time, unknown to others, Shin’ichi Yamamoto’s unbreakable resolve to struggle for human rights as long as he lived began to form in his heart.

From The Human Revolution, vol. 11, “Trial” chapter.

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.

  • *1Osaka Rally: A Soka Gakkai rally held to protest the unjust detention of President Ikeda, then Soka Gakkai youth division chief of staff, by the Osaka District Prosecutor’s Office in connection with the Osaka Incident. It was convened at the Nakanoshima Civic Hall in Osaka on July 17, 1957, the day of President Ikeda’s release after two weeks of interrogation by the authorities.
  • *2Following the ruling, the prosecution declined to appeal and the Osaka District Court’s verdict was final.