The One Hundred and Six Comparisons - Propagation Efforts Entail Personal Contacts and Dialogues

The Law does not spread by itself. Because people propagate it, both the people and the Law are respectworthy.

(Gosho Zenshu, p856)

This letter is considered as one of the transfer documents that Nichiren Daishonin handed to his successor, Nikko Shonin, in January 1280 when the Daishonin was 59 years old.

The Daishonin taught in this passage that those who propagate Buddhism are the driving force of the kosen-rufu movement and that those who propagate the Mystic Law are of utmost nobility.

Buddhism is a great teaching that benefits all people. However, if there is no one to transmit its teachings correctly, it will not spread anywhere nor benefit anyone. If we all remain silent and not take any actions, our kosen-rufu movement will not advance – not even by one millimeter.

For this reason, all SGI members who are exerting themselves in propagation activities, working for the betterment of others are most respectworthy.

It was more than 50 years ago in October 1956 that SGI President Ikeda first set foot on the soils of Shimono-seki City in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Although Yamaguchi was the cradle in the creation of contemporary Japanese history, giving birth to many prime ministers, the Soka Gakkai membership was much backward when compared to other local areas of Japan.

Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda was extremely concerned about this delayed development of the kosen-rufu movement in Yamaguchi and immediately dispatched the youthful President Ikeda to secure an important foothold in this area. This marked the beginning of the historic “Yamaguchi campaign”.

The Yamaguchi campaign unfolded over a three-month period with President Ikeda physically taking the lead there for only 22 days. Just within the short span of three months, the membership in Yamaguchi increased tenfold to more than 4,000 households.

During the campaign, President Ikeda demonstrated through his action, a role model on how to take leadership in our propagation movement. This was what he did – he met directly with members and spoke to them; personally visited with members and listened to their problems; personally reached out to members and encouraged them; met up with members and gave them guidance; met with members and chanted together with them and studied the Gosho. This was how President achieved this remarkable development in Yamaguchi in such a short span in time. This achievement in turn became an impetus for the entire Soka Gakkai to achieve a breakthrough in propagation efforts to realize the 750,000 member households, a goal set by President Toda, one year later.

Through the Yamaguchi campaign, President Ikeda taught us the importance of aligning our hearts with our mentor’s.

In addition, with regards to our propagation efforts, President Ikeda said the following in his guidance: “Assert the validity of Buddhism with courage and confidence. Don’t be overly concern or sensitive to the kind of response expressed by the person you are speaking to. The important thing here is to help establish a connection between his or her life and the Mystic Law.

“First and foremost, you must destroy the cowardice, the weakness within your own life. Only after doing so will you be able to conduct a dialogue of Buddhism with courage, composure and joy.

“As long as you speak with compassion, tenacity, courage and earnest resolve that ‘No matter what, I’m going to lead this person to happiness’, anyone will be deeply touched by your sincerity. There is no doubt about that.”


Mrs Sadako Nakamura a WD assistant zone leader in Shimono-seki City, is one who has been living out her life in the spirit of propagation.

Mrs Nakamura was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism in 1960 by a relative who took up faith during the Yamaguchi campaign. The first benefit she received was being able to go back to work as a nurse, thus stabilizing her livelihood.

However, shortly after starting work, her husband, Kazuma met with a traffic accident and was seriously injured. He was in a coma for a period of time due to brain contusion and his life was in danger. However, with the strong support and encouragement from fellow members, Mrs Nakamura chanted daimoku with the single-minded resolve that “I’m going to make sure that my husband recovers.” Subsequently, her husband’s condition began to improve gradually and he was discharged after three months. He did not suffer any side-effects and was given a clean bill of health by the doctor.

Through this experience, Mrs Nakamura deepened her coniction in the immense power of the Mystic Law and with a profound sense of gratitude; she threw her entire being into propagation activities. Her propagation efforts continue today and the total number of households she had converted single-handedly has surpassed 50. Mrs Nakamura regards this as her greatest pride and treasure in her life.

Together with her husband, Mrs Nakamura actively contributes her part for the betterment of her community. Her husband has been serving as the chairman of the residential committee for years and together with Mrs Nakamura, he also serves as a committee member in the town’s health promotion committee.

In the course of serving the people in her community, Mrs Nakamura often shares Buddhism with fellow residents. She even managed to convert a Men Division member who was deeply troubled over his bed-ridden mother through tenacious encouragement.

According to Mrs Nakamura, sharing Buddhism with others has become such a natural part of her life that she can speak to anyone, anywhere, whenever she hears how troubled that individual is.

In the summer of 2007, Mrs Nakamura’s resolve was further enhanced when she learnt how hard President and Mrs Ikeda have been working ceaselessly despite the scorching summer heat to encourage fellow members through the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily paper.

She told herself, “The only thing I can do for my mentor is to propagate this wonderful teaching of Buddhism. My victories in propagation efforts will certainly be the source of greatest joy for President and Mrs Ikeda.” Since then, she listed out the names of all her unconverted friends and initiated a personal daimoku campaign to chant at least three hours of daimoku everyday.

Mrs Nakamura then shared the Daishonin’s teachings with the wife of her former patient whom she had been keeping in contact over the past 30 years. She was deeply touched by Mrs Nakamura’s unchanging sincerity and warmth and finally decided to take up faith that year.

Over the last three years, Mrs Nakamura successfully converted 10 of her friends and brought back six friends who had gone astray back to the correct path of faith.

President Ikeda said, “The SGI is a noble body of believers who are thriving in propagation activities. The flowers of fulfillment and happiness blossoms in one’s life in proportion to one’s efforts in engaging in sincere and courageous dialogues on Buddhism.”

Today, Mrs Nakamura is already 79 years old. She continues to enjoy excellent health and drives around everyday to do her kosen-rufu activities. She is enjoying life to the fullest now. She is also a correspondent student of the Soka University Faculty of Education and continues in her effort to pursue lifelong learning.

Mrs Nakamura’s greatest joy is to be able to contribute her home as a venue for kosen-rufu activities in her community and to receive fellow members in high spirits everyday.

Cherishing great pride as disciples of the essential phase of kosen-rufu, let us double and triple our efforts to share the great teachings of Buddhism with as many people as possible.

Key points of the Gosho passage:
1. The Mystic Law or the Gohonzon is truly great. But no matter how great it is, it cannot spread by itself. Therefore, if we do not introduce Nichiren Buddhism to others, the great power of the Gohonzon cannot help people overcome their suffering or become happy. If we know people who are suffering, but we choose to remain silent, then it is as good as if we are stopping that person from becoming happy.

2. If we do not take actions to propagate Nichiren Buddhism, kosen-rufu (peace and happiness for all people) will not advance.

3. That is why Nichiren Daishonin said that the people who propagate the Law are most respectworthy. Because they help others overcome sufferings and gain happiness, people who propagate Nichiren Buddhism are able to receive great benefits in their own lives. This is in accord with the principle that every good cause creates a good effect.

Translated and adapted from an article written by Kumiko Furukawa, Women Division Study Chief for Yamaguchi Prefecture, published on the December 2007 issue of The Daibyakurange, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.