Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 30: The Future Division—The Treasure of the Soka Gakkai [30.2]

30.2 Treasuring the “Emissaries from the Future”

Citing guidance from President Toda, President Ikeda emphasizes that fostering capable individuals is the way to secure the ongoing development of kosen-rufu, and also a noble undertaking to bring peace to society.

The Soka Gakkai began as the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai (Value-Creating Education Society) under the leadership of two highly principled educators, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda. All of its endeavors begin and end with the aim of fostering people, especially young people. That is why the members of the youth division and, above of all, the Future Division are the hope, the focus, and the very heart of the Soka Gakkai.

“Children are the treasures of the future,” Mr. Toda said of the children who would shoulder the future of not only the Soka Gakkai, but humanity as a whole. “Think of them as emissaries from the future, and take the very best care of them.”

All children without exception are precious, possessing infinite potential. They are treasures who will shape the future. This is why the name Future Division is so significant.

Mr. Toda stressed that we should always strive to inspire children with high ideals. Children are pure-hearted. If they have great ideals or dreams they can aspire to, they will grow and develop without bound.

Mr. Toda also said:

“Always respect children as full-fledged individuals. Even if, for instance, they may not understand what’s going on at a meeting, later on they’ll remember they were there. It’s important for them to see things with their own eyes, hear things with their own ears, and experience things for themselves.”


Fostering capable successors is absolutely paramount for any kind of organization or institution. No matter how large an organization grows, it will not endure unless it fosters new capable individuals. It may possess many fine buildings, but without a steady stream of successors, it will quickly fall into decline.

This is also true for the Soka Gakkai. It is vital that we renew our efforts in earnest to identify, train, and foster capable individuals.

In the home as well, it’s important to teach children how wonderful it is to practice Nichiren Buddhism. Please chant wholeheartedly and interact with your children with the firm resolve to foster them into outstanding successors in faith.

That said, there may be times when your children are reluctant or unable to participate in Soka Gakkai activities for various reasons. Everyone’s situation and circumstances are different; but your prayers and sincere actions as a parent are certain to reach their hearts. The time is sure to come when they will stand up on their own.

It’s important to remember that the reason we seek to communicate our Buddhist faith to our children and encourage them to practice is for the sake of their happiness and for the eternal prosperity of our families.

In a letter known as “The Span of One Kalpa,” Nichiren Daishonin cites the following famous Buddhist story: “Long ago, the boy called Virtue Victorious fashioned a mud pie and offered it as alms to Shakyamuni Buddha, and later he was reborn as King Ashoka, ruler of [the continent of] Jambudvipa and in the end became a Buddha” (WND-2, 653).

The Daishonin frequently refers to this account in his letters to his disciples [for example, “The Drum at the Gate of Thunder” and “The Person and the Law”]. The point of this story is to demonstrate the immense benefit acquired by making offerings to the Law. From another perspective, I feel it’s also deeply significant that this boy, having formed a connection with Buddhism, later became a great leader. In the same way, the members of the Future Division will mature to become great humanistic leaders. They are noble individuals who have encountered the profound principle of the Mystic Law and will go on to accumulate great good fortune as a result.

Those in charge of supporting the Future Division, having taken my spirit as their own, are at the forefront of our endeavors to foster these treasures of the future, and I would like to thank them sincerely for their dedicated efforts.

Our daily activities, valuing each and every individual, are the ultimate expression of humanistic education.

There is no more sacred undertaking than our activities to impart hope to people and build peace in our societies. Please advance with confidence and pride.

From a speech at a representative leaders training session, Nagano, August 26, 2007.

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