Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Conclusion: Toward the Future [2]

2 Determinations for the Future into the 23rd Century

President Ikeda shares his hopes and vision for the movement for kosen-rufu from the 21st century onward into the 22nd and 23rd centuries. He explains that they are not “prophecies,” but personal determinations toward realizing a world where respect for the dignity of life and lasting peace prevail.

Our sights are set on the 21st century, the 22nd century, the 23rd century, and on the eternal future of the Latter Day of the Law.

The first half of the 21st century will mark the second series of Seven Bells.1 I envisage this being a time for consolidating the groundwork for peace in Asia and throughout the world.

Looking further ahead to the latter half of the 21st century—with our aim of making it a “century of life”—I trust that respect for the dignity of life will be established as the underlying spirit of the age and of the world.

Now, feeling that I have a pretty clear vision of how kosen-rufu will develop in the 21st century, I am turning my attention toward the 22nd. During the first half of the 22nd century, I expect that an indestructible foundation for lasting world peace will be laid. And on that foundation, in the latter half of the century, I picture a brilliant flowering of human culture.

The midpoint of the 23rd century, meanwhile, will mark the millennial anniversary of Nichiren Buddhism [2253]. I conceive this as signaling the start of a brilliant new phase in our movement.

These are, of course, not “prophesies.” Rather, they are my determinations for the future arising from my wholehearted prayers for peace.

Because working for kosen-rufu is a long-term undertaking spanning the eternal future of the Latter Day of the Law, the correct way for us to proceed is to strive to win in the present, while also maintaining a longer perspective of 50- or 100-year periods. I am taking various steps now for the sake of the distant future.

What will the future be like? No one knows the answer to that question. All we know is that the effects that will appear in the future are all contained in the causes we make in the present. The important thing, therefore, is that we stand up with a lofty purpose in our hearts, unswayed by our short-term circumstances.

All of us who are now striving for kosen-rufu with unshakable conviction are, in reality, creating the 21st, 22nd, 23rd centuries. Moreover, we are engraving in our lives the causes that will enable us to rejoin the struggle for kosen-rufu at that time.

From a speech at a Kansai representatives conference, Osaka, May 17, 1997.

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

  • *1Seven Bells: The first series of Seven Bells are seven consecutive seven-year periods in the Soka Gakkai’s development from its founding in 1930 through 1979. On May 3, 1958, shortly after President Toda’s death (on April 2), President Ikeda, then Soka Gakkai youth division chief of staff, introduced this idea and announced targets for subsequent seven-year periods. On May 3, 1966, President Ikeda spoke of a new series of Seven Bells that he envisaged unfolding in the 21st century. Also, in 1978, just before the end of the first series of Seven Bells, he elaborated further on this second series of Seven Bells, stating that it would begin from May 3, 2001 and continue through 2050. He also announced a series of four five-year goals for the organization’s development during the 20-year period from 1980 through 2000.