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Seikyo Shimbun Highlights for August 14, 2020

August 14, 2020
Seikyo Shimbun is a Soka Gakkai daily newspaper

News Flash

The “Shift to Green” Photo and Video Contest was launched by the SGI in collaboration with Earth Charter International, Greenpeace Japan, the Japan Youth Platform for Sustainability and the Soka Amazon Institute in Brazil to encourage local action for sustainability. Anyone can submit photos, videos, poems or music expressing their care and hopes for the environment. Winners will receive prizes and have a tree planted in their name at the Soka Amazon Institute. Closing date is August 31. 

Seikyo Shimbun – Highlights

INDONESIA, DENMARK, PANAMA: In July, virtual youth meetings were held in Indonesia, Denmark and Panama to commemorate the founding of the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Divisions. 

PORTUGAL, GERMANY: On July 18 and 19, the Women’s and Young Women’s Divisions of SGI-Germany held a joint online training course. On July 20, SGI-Portugal held a virtual leaders meeting. 

MEXICO: On July 22, SGI-Mexico’s Fife and Drum Corps members held a virtual meeting to commemorate the founding of the Soka Gakkai Fife and Drum Corps. 

USA: On August 1, over 360 SGI-USA Women’s Division Region Leaders joined an online meeting with SGI Women’s Leader Yumiko Kasanuki and Vice Women's Leader Kayo Maeta. SGI President Ikeda sent a congratulatory message. 

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, JAPAN: On August 6, the Soka Gakkai Women's Peace Committee and the Youth Division of Hiroshima both hosted online meetings where hibakusha shared their experiences. The Youth Division in Nagasaki held a virtual peace forum on August 8, and an online meeting where hibakusha testimonies were shared on August 9. 

Madrid, SPAIN: On August 7, the Seikyo Shimbun announced that the Daisaku Ikeda Joint Research Institute for Education and Development (IEDDAI) at the University of Alcalá released the first issue of its biannual journal, published by Ediciones Civilización Global. 

Kyushu, JAPAN: On August 7, the Kyushu Region Soka Gakkai Student Division announced the results of an online survey on young people’s attitudes toward peace and nuclear weapons. The survey, conducted between May 1 and July 31, targeted Kyushu residents aged 18 to 40. The results show that 46% of the 244 respondents believe that nuclear weapons abolition is possible. 

Tokyo, JAPAN: On August 9, the Seikyo Shimbun announced that the SGI joined diverse faith groups from around the world to sign the Joint Interfaith Statement on the 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, released on August 6. 

ONLINE: On August 10, the Seikyo Shimbun announced the launch of a website promoting the virtual World Youth General Meeting to be held on September 27. 

USA: On August 10 and 11, Soka University of America held online orientation sessions for the incoming students of the Class of 2024 and the MA Program in Educational Leadership and Societal Change. SGI President Ikeda sent a congratulatory message. 

Moscow, RUSSIA: On August 12, the Seikyo Shimbun announced that Moscow University Press has released Vol. 6 of the Russian edition of The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra

Media – News watch

The Economist (UK): The Intelligence: “They hope their stories will deter the world from ever using these weapons again”—atom-bomb tales (August 7, 2020) 

This Economist podcast “The Intelligence” featured the testimonies of hibakusha—survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—and included archival recording of Kikue Shiota, a hibakusha whose testimony was recorded by the Soka Gakkai Women’s Peace Committee. [The story on hibakusha starts at 1:06.] 

“Survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings are now in their eighties. A new generation is learning to tell their tales, in hopes of preventing more atomic tragedies… Additional archive courtesy of Soka Gakkai Women's Peace Committee.” Listen​ here

[Higashino Mariko who is interviewed in the report is a member of the Hiroshima Soka Gakkai Women’s Peace Committee, and her mother Chisako Takeoka whose experience is quoted is a Soka Gakkai member whose testimony is included in the book Hiroshima and Nagasaki: That We Never Forget compiled by the Soka Gakkai Youth Division in 2017, available for free download here. They also feature prominently in the related story in the print version of the Economist.] 


Lion’s Roar (USA): Wayne Shorter, Rogue Philosopher (Rod Meade Sperry, August 11, 2020) 

SGI-USA member and jazz artist Wayne Shorter talks about his life, art and his journey to his becoming a Nichiren Buddhist.  

“Just as Williams had, Hancock passed the practice on, this time to Ana Maria Shorter, the wife of his buddy and fellow Davis alumnus, Wayne Shorter.... ‘Time goes by, maybe three or six months,’ Shorter remembers. ‘I saw my wife going to practice, and I sat beside her and said, ‘Show me what you’re doing.’ Because by now Ana Maria and Herbie had said to me, ‘Why don’t you try it out for your daughter’s sake?’ That daughter, Iska, had been born in 1969, when Shorter was forty. Deeply, unquestionably loved, Iska nonetheless represented a challenge: having sustained brain damage just weeks after her birth, she required a high degree of medical and parental attention. …’That nailed it,’ he says. ‘All my walls came down. What happened to me was a letting go of false thinking. False to myself. Or misleading, let’s put it that way.’ Still, he remained uncommitted. The next year, though, Shorter found himself in Japan on tour with Weather Report, the game-changing jazz–fusion outfit he’d founded with pianist Joe Zawinul. There—again, thanks to his wife and Hancock’s intervention—Shorter met drummer and Nichiren practitioner Nobu Urushiyama, who took Shorter to his family’s home for three days of R & R, which happened to include a deep dive into Buddhist texts. Suddenly feeling all in, Shorter let Urushiyama take him to a temple outside Tokyo, where he formally became a Nichiren practitioner, and the two proceeded to an event featuring Daisaku Ikeda, leader of the modern Nichiren organization, Soka Gakkai International. Ikeda and Shorter’s eyes met, and there was a knowing, a familiarity there. As Michelle Mercer recounts in her terrific Shorter biography, Footprints, it had been like ‘Ikeda was saying, I know what I’m going to do. I know what you’re going to do. So let’s do it together.’ … Shorter credits Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and Ikeda with having a tremendous influence in his life… ‘I think everything around us, even the most devastating things, is saying, ‘Awake, awake,’ Shorter tells me.” Read more