Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 30: The Future Division—The Treasure of the Soka Gakkai [30.1]

30.1 Aiming toward the Soka Gakkai’s Centennial with the Future Division

Fostering the Future Division1 members is vital for the ongoing development of the Soka Gakkai and kosen-rufu. Young people who embrace the life-affirming principles of Nichiren Buddhism and grow into future leaders of society are a source of great hope for humankind. This chapter features guidance on fostering the Future Division members, the treasure of the Soka Gakkai—on how we should interact with and nurture them.

In this first selection, President Ikeda stresses how important this undertaking is for the future of kosen-rufu and calls for all members to support the effort of nurturing and empowering successors.

The Soka Gakkai is now advancing dynamically toward its centennial [in 2030]. The future of every organization and society depends on capable individuals. Fostering the Future Division members, in that respect, is critical in securing the development of the Soka Gakkai. Indeed, it holds the key to the very future of kosen-rufu, and represents the hope for the fulfillment of humanity’s earnest wish for an age of peace.


The human revolution we aspire to achieve can also be called a revolution to open the way for the happiness of all children now and in the future.

“No cause, no war is worth depriving children of their natural right to happiness.”2 These were the impassioned words of the Polish pediatrician and educator Janusz Korczak. Refusing to be intimidated by the Nazi invaders during World War II, he strove to shield and protect the children under his care to the very end, ultimately dying with them in a concentration camp.

Around the same time, in Japan, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, the founder of Soka education who likened the life of each child to a “cluster of unsurpassed jewels” (cf. LSOC4, 124), died in prison for his opposition to the nation’s militarist authorities.


Mr. Makiguchi said of the approach required for humanistic education: “Teachers should come down from the throne where they are ensconced as the object of veneration, to become public servants who instruct those seeking to ascend the throne of learning. They should not be masters who offer themselves as paragons, but companions who guide the way toward the ideal.”3

It is important that we afford children the highest respect as individuals in their own right. Helping children grow requires total commitment on our part. There is a fine adult inside every child. We need to direct our voices to that inner adult. We must never treat children in a dismissive or condescending manner, assuming they won’t understand and thinking it’s okay not to fully explain things.

We must believe in children’s immense potential and strive to develop their innate capacities as well as our own. The more we broaden our own minds, the more we can inspire and foster others. That is why our own growth is indispensable to our efforts to help others grow.


Second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda often encouraged us to raise our children in the “garden of the Soka Gakkai.”

The “sun” of a culture of peace and the rich “earth” that nourishes the growth of socially engaged individuals are both found in the Soka family. The warmth of the local members and their compassionate concern for the happiness of others cause the buds of peace, hope, and justice to blossom naturally in the hearts of our Future Division members.


My wife, Kaneko, used to take our sons along with her to Soka Gakkai activities when they were young. She would sit with them in front of the Gohonzon and tell them: “Today’s meeting is very important.” Seeing this, a fellow member once asked whether children that young could really understand what she was telling them. My wife replied: “Yes, they do, without a doubt, because I speak from my heart to their hearts.”

The sight of people striving joyfully for the happiness of others and for the welfare of society is engraved unconsciously in the young lives of our Future Division members. Though they may not fully appreciate its significance at the time, they are certain to do so when they get older.

When it comes to child-raising, I’m sure many parents find that things don’t always go the way they hope. But don’t worry too much and just warmly support and accept your children. Look into their eyes and tell these young “emissaries from the future” that you care about them and trust them.

Believe in your children. Trust them no matter what. That will be an immeasurable source of support and encouragement for them.


In August 1970, as the Soka Gakkai was facing a maelstrom of criticism and abuse,4 I said to a gathering of high school division representatives: “No matter what difficulties come my way, I feel immense pride in my life and consider myself the most fortunate person because I have you—capable people who will ensure the eternal perpetuation of the Law and serve as the successors of the Soka Gakkai.”

We then read a passage from one of Nichiren Daishonin’s writings together:

“Strengthen your resolve more than ever. Ice is made of water, but it is colder than water. Blue dye comes from indigo, but when something is repeatedly dyed in it, the color is better than that of the indigo plant” (WND-1, 615).

I said to my young disciples in the Future Division who were destined to become “bluer than the indigo,” their achievements certain to exceed my own: “In accord with the principle outlined in this passage, I hope all of you, as successors of the Soka Gakkai, will develop splendidly and surpass our generation. Please demonstrate to the world the validity of the noble Buddhist teachings and principles upheld by the Soka Gakkai, which is the foremost ally of those who are suffering.”


By 2030, when today’s Future Division members are serving as the core leaders of our movement, birth rates worldwide are predicted to be in steady decline. In that sense, the efforts all of you are making today at the local level to foster immensely capable individuals will contribute to opening a more secure future for the world as a whole as well.

In my travels around the globe, I have always taken every spare moment I could to meet with and encourage Future Division members, many of whom have gone on to become youth division leaders in their respective countries. There is nothing I look forward to more than hearing about the activities of Future Division members who continue to grow and advance vibrantly around the world.

My heart fills with excitement when I imagine what it will be like in 2030—when today’s Future Division members will be striving for world peace as proud heirs to the Soka Gakkai spirit, sharing the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people everywhere, and doing their utmost to encourage and support them.

Envisaging that brilliant future, I will continue my efforts to encourage the Future Division members and pray for their happiness alongside the sincere members who, sharing my spirit as their own, are earnestly working to nurture these precious young treasures.

From an essay series “Our Brilliant Path to Victory,” published in Japanese in the Seikyo Shimbun, August 21 and 22, 2012.

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

  • *1President Ikeda established the high school division on June 7, 1964; the junior high school division, on January 15, 1965; and the boys and girls division, on September 23, 1965. These three groups are also collectively referred to as the Future Division.
  • *2Janusz Korczak, A Voice for the Child: The Inspirational Words of Janusz Korczak, edited by Sandra Joseph (London: Thorsons, 1999), p. 151.
  • *3Translated from Japanese. Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Soka kyoikugaku taikei (The System of Value-Creating Education), in Makiguchi Tsunesaburo zenshu (Collected Writings of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi), vol. 6 (Tokyo: Daisanbunmei-sha, 1983), p. 289.
  • *4This refers to the Freedom of Speech Incident, the name given to a controversy that arose in 1970 when the Soka Gakkai defended itself against libelous claims. For further details, see the “Fierce Winds” chapter of The New Human Revolution, vol. 14.