Seikyo Shimbunâ€”Banner of Joy and Inspiration
In 1951, just ahead of his inauguration as second Soka Gakkai president, my mentor, Josei Toda, began preparing for the publication of the first issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s newspaper. He demonstrated bold, dynamic leadership to create a newspaper that would bring joy and inspiration to its readers.
Amid this effort, Mr. Toda and I, mentor and disciple, studied the following passage from Nichiren Daishonin’s writings: “The Lotus Sutra . . . is known as a sutra that was preached in accordance with the Buddha’s own mind. Because the Buddha’s mind is an excellent mind, persons who read this sutra, even though they may not understand its meaning, will gain inestimable benefit” (WND-1, 1128).
Mr. Toda declared that he hoped that, in the same way, the Seikyo Shimbun would be a paper embodying the mind or spirit of the Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law. He wanted the Seikyo Shimbun to overflow with the compassion to guide all people to happiness, the courage to denounce injustice, and the wisdom for putting faith into practice in daily life and Buddhism into action in society.
And he entrusted the youth with the task of producing, with their youthful passion and energy, a newspaper unprecedented in the history of Buddhism and the written word.
Seven decades have passed since then. To date, the online edition of the Seikyo Shimbun has been accessed in a total of 206 countries and territories, and some 90 sister publications of the newspaper have appeared around the globe. Together with these publications, the Seikyo Shimbun serves as a driving force for the magnificent development of worldwide kosen-rufu and as a banner uniting our great network for peace, culture, and education led by global citizens who share the mission of Bodhisattvas of the Earth.
I am certain both the Daishonin and Shakyamuni would be delighted by this, and that the papers’ contributions would also be applauded by those who have waged a struggle of words throughout history.
Sadly, words that disregard the truth, hurt people, and sow confusion and division in society have become all too prevalent in the world today.
The Daishonin writes: “In judging the relative merit of Buddhist doctrines, I, Nichiren, believe that the best standards are those of reason and documentary proof. And even more valuable than reason and documentary proof is the proof of actual fact” (WND-1, 599).
In a more general sense, too, when weighing whether a certain ideal or principle being advocated is valid, we need to ask whether there is written or reported evidence, whether it is reasonable and universally sound, and whether there is solid proof of its value in people’s lives or in society.
The Seikyo Shimbun takes great pride in its unwavering commitment to the three proofs in terms of the Mystic Law—namely, documentary proof, theoretical proof, and actual proof. Moreover, its pages are filled with experiences of members rebuilding their lives through the life-affirming principles of Nichiren Buddhism and with pictures of their brilliant smiles attesting to the triumph of humanity.
The Seikyo Shimbun, along with its sister publications, has become a mighty river enriching and nourishing the spirit of people throughout the world. This is all thanks to the efforts of our precious members striving tirelessly together to make our paper widely read, not least our “uncrowned heroes” who deliver it each day.
A drop of water when it joins a mighty river becomes eternal. Let us therefore advance each day together with the Seikyo Shimbun as we continue to compose our own stories of human revolution in our eternal movement for kosen-rufu and impart hope and courage for creating a brighter future for all humankind!
The Seikyo Shimbun
is a banner
of joy and inspiration,
bringing a fresh breath of life
to people and society.
Translated from the April 2021 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai monthly study journal
 The first issue was published on April 20, 1951. Initially, only 5,000 copies were printed three times a month.