A Gift of Rice - One Who Dedicates Oneself to Kosen-Rufu Will Receive Protection Without Fail

In a time of famine, offering the food that is the only means for sustaining one’s life that day to the Buddha is offering one’s life to the Buddha.

(Passage from “The Three Kinds of Treasure”, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin-1, 1,125)

The addressee and the date of the composition of this letter are unknown. The title, “The Gift of Rice”, derived from the opening passage of the letter, in which Nichiren Daishonin gave thanks for the offerings made. 

 In this passage we are studying this month, the Daishonin stated that giving what sustains or is of value to one’s life is equivalent to offering one’s life to the Buddha. In this way, the Daishonin extended his highest praise to the sincere offerings made by his disciple. Thereafter, the Daishonin said in the same letter that “earnest resolve” is the key for ordinary beings to attain Buddhahood. 

 SGI President once said in his guidance: “One cannot fathom how noble it is to sincerely devote oneself to the Mystic Law and the realization of kosen-rufu. The benefit such an individual enjoys is truly immeasurable. Such an individual will be protected at the crucial and the family will prosper. Such an individual is able to realize his or her human revolution. The children, grandchildren and future generations will all be embraced in abundant good fortune. There is no doubt about this. Such an individual will enjoy a life state of the world’s foremost champion.” 


My family took up faith in 1955. We belonged to the Adachi chapter and offered our home in Ibaragi Prefecture as a venue for Soka Gakkai activities. However, when I was in primary 4, my father was left with a huge debt when he became a loan guarantor to his friend. Eventually, we had to let go of our house. On the day that we moved out of our house, I heard our neighbors whispering: “It must have been due to that dubious religion they are practicing.” I was greatly upset and clenched my fist in vexation. 

When I was in the first year of high school, my father died of heart attack. On that occasion again, I heard my relatives and neighbors talking amongst themselves: “All who become members of the Soka Gakkai will suffer misfortune.” 

 I was left with my mother and younger sister. Although my mother was weak in health and often fell sick, she worked hard to raise us and exerted herself in Gakkai activities at the same time. Though I was poor, I had great pride in being a member of the High School Division. I challenged and engaged myself joyfully in activities. 

As I did not have enough money to take the bus, I rode my bicycle over uneven paths to visit members of the High School Division and encouraged them as best as I could. Three months after my father’s passing, I became a member of the second batch of the Tokyo Hosu Group (a special training group in the High School Division established by President Ikeda). My mother worked hard to save enough money for me to travel to Tokyo from Ibaragi twice a month to attend the Hosu Group Meeting at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters. 

 At the Hosu Group Meeting, President Ikeda told us, “There will come a day when you are in your 50s and 60s and tell yourselves that you are indeed so glad that you have striven in the Soka Gakkai. Therefore, you must continue to hold up high the banner as a Soka Gakkai member and never bring it down.” 

 Through my encounters with President Ikeda, I consolidated my vow to live out my life together with the Soka Gakkai and my mentor till the very end. After my marriage, I brought along my two young children to all the Gakkai activities that I attended. I have never stopped nor looked back till today. 

Now, I drive around the whole of Ibaragi Prefecture in my car, attending meetings and giving personal guidance. I travel an average of 100 km a day. At times, I travel more than 150 km in a day. Over these decades, I have literally devoted myself to kosen-rufu without begrudging my time or money with the resolve to offer my life to the Law. 

 Today, my husband is now the president of our town council, having received nominations from 1250 families in this area. He is striving to his utmost to expand the circle of friendship and understanding towards the Soka Gakkai. I also joyfully participate in various community activities, by cooking food for the participants, organizing performances and songs to enable all participants to enjoy themselves. 

Through our sincere efforts, I have been able to earn the trust of the people in my community. They say, “We feel assured whenever Mrs Asano is around,” and come to me to discuss various issues that they are facing in life and the community. 

 Just as President Ikeda said, I now enjoy the luxury of being able to lead a life that is completely dedicated to the betterment of others without having to worry about anything else. I am truly indebted to my mentor and fellow members. 


Mrs Okazaki, a fellow WD member living in Shimotsuma city in Ibaragi, also lived out her life in accord with the Gosho passage we are studying this month. 

Together with her husband who was transferred to Ibaragi by his company, Mrs Okazaki moved to the city, a completely strange land. Her only source of hope and trust was fellow Soka Gakkai members. 

Bringing along her three young children, she exerted herself in Gakkai activities without retreating a single step. She continued striving as a district leader, then as a chapter leader and later as a zone leader, single-mindedly working for the happiness of fellow members. 

Mrs Okazaki’s greatest concern was the future of her eldest son, who had speech impairment. 

Her house was one of the three houses in Ibaragi affected by ground liquefaction due to the 11 March Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. Half of her house was destroyed and no longer livable. “Why is this happening to me even though I am practicing faith?” For a split second, this thought crossed her mind. 

However, she recalled President Ikeda’s guidance: “Your karma is actually your mission.” 

With this guidance, she blew away all negative thoughts and renewed her vow to devote her life to kosen-rufu. With intense and powerful prayers, Mrs Okazaki visited every family who were victims of the earthquake, one by one, to offer wholehearted encouragement. 

Two months after the disaster, she was able to buy over a house that was about 10 years old and unaffected by the earthquake at a bargain. The new house was 2.5 times larger than her previous house. She decided to use the first floor of her home and as a venue for Gakkai activities and rent out the second floor. 

With this arrangement, she would have a regular income and no longer had to worry about the future livelihood of her eldest son. 

Furthermore, her eldest son volunteered to take over his parents’ task of delivering the Seikyo Shimbun. His parents had been delivering the paper for 20 years. Her prayers that her eldest son would grow into a person who can contribute to kosen-rufu were also answered. 

Having practiced President Ikeda’s guidance and advanced together with the Soka Gakkai both in good and bad times, Mrs Okazaki prevailed over her karma and now enjoys a remarkable life state. 

 We have now entered into a new era of kosen-rufu. 

Let us be deeply grateful for having the great good fortune to be able to live in this wonderful age and continue to strive to our utmost best and live a victorious life. 

Written by Hideko Asano, General WD Prefectural Chief of Ibaragi. Translated and adapted from the October 2013 issue of The Daibyakurange, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.