Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 30: The Future Division—The Treasure of the Soka Gakkai [30.7]

30.7 Passing On Faith to the Next Generation

In this excerpt, President Ikeda describes how he and his wife, Kaneko, passed on their faith to their sons when they were young.

Our children learned the basics of faith in the meetings of what is now known as the Future Division.

I was serving as acting chapter leader of Bunkyo Chapter in Tokyo, so my three sons joined in activities there and received kind support and care from the Bunkyo members. When my eldest son was in elementary and junior high school, he often used to go from our home in Ota Ward to meetings in Bunkyo Ward with his two younger brothers in tow.

There were times, however, when they didn’t want to take part in Soka Gakkai activities. When that happened, my wife used to say to them: “However much fun you have when you are playing, you have nothing to show for it afterward. But it’s different with Soka Gakkai meetings. You may not want to go at the time, but afterward you’re happy that you did.” It seems our children came to understand that point as time went by.


In 1970, when my sons were 17, 15, and 12, I was being fiercely attacked and insulted from all sides.1 In fact, my life has been defined by this kind of persecution, which always arises when one works for kosen-rufu; it’s something I was prepared for. The only thing that troubled me was the effect it might have on my family, but my wife was always very calm and composed. “If you live according to the writings of Nichiren Daishonin,” she would say, “persecution is only to be expected.” She never lost her smile.

Apparently, my sons often encountered negative comments about the Soka Gakkai at school. I said to them: “People who try to live true to their convictions and accomplish great things in life invariably encounter criticism and attack. Don’t be defeated by such adversity.” I always tried to show them, through my own example, what it meant to lead a life of conviction.


Kosen-rufu extends “horizontally” through growing networks of friends and “vertically” through the transmission of faith from parent to child, from one generation to the next. The only way forward is to entrust the future to the younger generation.

From an essay series “Thoughts on The New Human Revolution,” published in Japanese in the Seikyo Shimbun, January 6, 1998.

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

  • *1This 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.