Sun of Youth: Selected Poems of Daisaku Ikeda

Sun of Youth: Selected Poems of Daisaku Ikeda

by Daisaku Ikeda

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Adventure. Passion. Justice. Struggle. Revolution. Faith. These words exude the spirit of youth and fill this collection of poems--Daisaku Ikeda's odes to those who are the hope of humanity. With his own youthful spirit evident in every line, the philosopher and peace activist inspires, consoles, celebrates and challenges young people, expressing his deep feelings for them and his undying hope that they will find true meaning in their lives and be shining lights for this troubled world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938252914
Publisher: Middleway Press
Publication date: 04/01/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 168
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Daisaku Ikeda was born in Tokyo onJanuary 2, 1928. His family had been engaged incultivating and harvesting nori (edible seaweed)for generations. Due to a massive earthquakein 1923 and his father becoming bedriddenwith rheumatism, the family was plunged intopoverty. As a sickly child, he found great solacein reading and literature.His older brother died while serving in theJapanese army, an event that helped solidifywithin the young Daisaku his lifelong abhorrencefor war and his desire to work for peace.Soon after the war, he met the man whowould become his lifelong teacher, Josei Toda.Mr. Toda was then engaged in building theSoka Gakkai with a desire to banish misery fromJapan, Asia, and the world. The younger manjoined in Mr. Toda’s effort and was instrumentalin the Soka Gakkai’s phenomenal growth in thepostwar years.In 1960, Mr. Ikeda succeeded Mr. Toda as thepresident of the Soka Gakkai, immediatelyembarking on various travels to spread NichirenBuddhist teachings throughout the world. TheSoka Gakkai now has members in nearly everycountry in the world.Spiritual leader, philosopher, essayist, poet, andpeace activist, he is also the founder of severaleducational and research institutes, includingSoka University of America.Throughout his life, Mr. Ikeda has placedparticular emphasis on fostering youth. Hesteadfastly believes that it is the passion andpower of youth dedicated to the happiness of allthat will lead us to a world of peace.

Read an Excerpt

The Sun of Youth

By Daisaku Ikeda

World Tribune Press

Copyright © 2016 Soka Gakkai
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-938252-91-4


Song of youth

Though clouds dot the sky
and the wind blows
the sun rises again today
The eight a.m. sun of youth
holding within itself limitless power
as it spreads its light abroad, advances on
  correct course

Never deviating from its strict orbit,
beyond mansions of the sky, filling the heavens,
a king in glory
the sun advances wordless, unspeaking

Wisdom that is in fact ignorance, decline
  of culture
mechanization of man, death of philosophy
scheming authority, deceit, trickery —
is it not to dispel these
that it sends forth its golden rays
that it advances in this lordly manner?

A sculpture of men and women in their
a globe whose contentions never cease
a world caught in the agony of indecision and revolt
human existence, the brilliance of its life all but
beneath the machinery of oppression —
the sun advances through the heavens
drawing forth a new vitality

The Buddhism of Nichiren is like the sun
our faith too shall be the sun
To give true proof of regeneration
filled with inner anger we advance
upon the great road of reason, sincerity,
  and wisdom

At last we have come to recognize it —
the challenge to become a true human being
It is the fight for the human revolution
that begins with one individual
and swells now to a multitude of seven million

In that region, in this region,
in that office, in this family
friends fight, friends win
The delight in these open faces, rolling forth in
  countless waves,
has become a third force

Friends who walk proudly in a life of
  self-affirming joy
friends of unlimited creativity, singing of the
  culture of the common people
friends who fight bravely to transcend the theory
  of class
friends who struggle tirelessly and without end
  to give shape to the new life
friends who tread an unshakable path, in a glory
  rooted in society
friends who are victorious in the family revolution,
who jingle the bells of good fortune

Steadfastly we advance
in the sincere and bloodless battle of the century
The forces of emotionalism, panic, and envy
have become three cowardly enemies
blocking the path of our lordly peace
Their jealousy
churns like sand, rages like a storm

But we will never be afraid
We bear the banners of eternal life
and we shall advance once more
We lift high the banners of revolution

the Buddhism of Nichiren is the philosophy
  of youth
Facing the strongholds of reaction and hatred
mounted on white horses
dauntlessly the columns will go forward

The curtain has opened on the second decade
Moving no longer in a line but over a broad
you work to build the towering and fruitful
culture of the twenty-first century
This will be the stage upon which you perform!
This will be your debut!

I have my mission which is mine alone
You too
have a mission which only you can fulfill

Without the strength of youthful activity
what can the older generation accomplish?

Upon the slope of construction, from
  incompletion to completion
with songs of youth
melodies of culture
sounding the gongs of innovation
heroically, rain-battered, let us work on
With bright eyes
soft smiles
brawny muscles
red-cheeked, clean-browed
tenacious in individuality
clad in the work clothes of steadfast determination
you commence the construction of total revolution

The steel is cold and there are lashing winds
The steel is heavy — your sweat pours out

But only out of this labor and mission
will the true value of human life be born
and the music of a magnificent fruition ring forth

We young people will fight
Striding through the storms of meanness,
  flattery, and carping
along the road of true belief
so that a myriad flowers may bloom,
out of the valleys of darkness so that we may reach the high peaks of
from the rigid society of our times with its sighs
to create a splendid era of human flowering
like that of Man'yoshu times
we will move forward, we will work!

The formula for the enrichment of human
  nature —
it exists nowhere but in
a complete and all-embracing faith
The profound search for a meaningful life —
it exists
in a faith that is lofty
The self-won victory over anguish —
it is none other than
the religion of the Lion King
A life unshakable in the face of strong winds —
it can be attained
only through a faith that is pure

There are difficult paths of error
mazes of mistaken belief
young people who subscribe to no theories
arrogant scholars —
But the inevitable, the finest achievement
lies in a proven religion alone
Facing the eastern sky for the morning prayer
pressing palms together solemnly
to the source of the myriad beings,
an awesome epitome of the universe in miniature

With this act as the point of origin for growth
  and development
in the midst of the varied forms of reality
in the midst of mankind's variety and
like the eagle, king of creatures that soar the sky
like the lion, king of creatures that walk the earth
we advance, mounted on the winged horses
  of freedom

In our right hands gripping the profound
principles of the holy wisdom
in our left embracing the compassion of the
  Lotus, racing,
strengthening the ranks of our solidarity,
through freedom of choice and conviction,
  once more we advance

What is our goal?
It is kosen-rufu
In pursuing it we must surmount countless
This dedication and the long campaign to spread
  the teachings
shall be our lifelong journey

For us, there is no stopping —
we are like the flow of a mighty river
There may be those who,
beguiled by pleasant dreams, turn back along
  the way
There may be those who,
shunning the steep path to the peak,
blithely return to the lights of the bright city

We, though,
will go forward gallantly in the face of the storm
In order to build the city of Eternal Truth
bravely we will work to clear the great dense forest
Valiant youthful seekers of the Way
we put aside hesitant feelings, boldly push ahead
Without undue optimism, without sentiment
we advance ever toward the ultimate point of our

Now, along the true path, bringing Buddhism
  to society
flanking our column
many are the friends who soar aloft
In the anger-filled world of politics
in the culture of the heavenly beings
in the scholarly world of the shomon
there are many paths, branching many ways,
yet all come together at the rugged mountain of
Despite skirmishes and retreats
the main body of troops never falters but
  advances in order
Laying down the foundation for the total
our main force advances earnestly, imposingly

At times quietly observing
the movements of society
at times working in harmony with society
deeply, broadly advancing
at times advancing in fury
through the river of slander and abuse
at times, putting on the armor of endurance,
we advance to the duet of silence and dialogue
And at other times
to defend our doctrine
we risk death in a fight of pure and utter

The progress of good health
wild dance of peace
in time to the march of the revolution of new life
we move
My friends!
we have been brothers from the infinite past
My friends!
we, each in our lives, are brothers and sisters
The latent bonds of comradeship that bind us
no man
no stratagems of any kind
can ever sunder

Now the curtain has fallen on one act of
  the century
Factionalism and clashing interest
egoists and trickery
shadow figures and irresponsibility
injustice and domineering authority
foul politics, visible and invisible —
can young people in their purity go along
  with these?

Only the beauty
of naturally formed solidarity
which transcends these,
the wheels that roll forward toward the
  happiness of mankind,
from these splendid wheels
these wheels that revolve with life's vitality,
from them shall come the society of the true
  human republic

Solidarity of the common people to preserve the
  dignity of life
solidarity of blood and tears that fights off every
  form of oppression
solidarity of hearts built out of idealism and
  good faith
true wheels of mankind —
though we face the criticisms of prejudice and
we stand tall in our pride

These worthy groups built
by men themselves, for the sake of men,
through the power of fundamental Law and the
  ultimate truth

Never playing up to authority,
never compromising with the powers of wealth,
blueprints for a great popular current
brilliant with philosophy, science, and culture —
this will be the final chapter of our human

To liberate society from confrontations,
responding to all cultural demands,
a renaissance of the twenty-first century —
this we proclaim as
our great cultural movement

In the past there have been different kinds
  of revolution
political, economic, educational
But when one type of revolution is carried
  out in isolation
it lacks solidity, gives rise to strain and
A political revolution alone
calls forth bloodshed, insures no safety for
  the populace
and once again those in authority lord it over
  the masses

Likewise economic revolution
fails to fulfill the hopes of the people,
the penniless commoners are trampled underfoot
in a process of meaningless change
A revolution in education only again is no blessing to the people —
it cannot bear up before the turmoil of the
  world's shifts and movements

What the people long for
to carry them through the twenty-first century
is no reorganization of external forms alone
They desire a sound revolution
carried out within themselves
gradually and in an atmosphere of peace
founded upon the philosophy and beliefs of
  each individual
This calls for farsighted judgments
and a profound system of principles

This is what I would name a total revolution
and it is this
we call kosen-rufu

If there are those who would laugh
let them laugh
if there are those who would disparage
let them disparage

For us at the end of the broad road we travel
the history of countless centuries of the future
  waits to give its proof
A monument to mankind's far-off glory
  and victory
waits for us

Dear comrades!
my beloved young people!
in this belief together we will advance with joy!

In the land of freedom
in America too
hundreds of thousands of friends are at work
In the countries of the future
on the African continent too
thousands of friends are coming to join us
In our brother lands
of Southeast Asia too
we have many friends waiting
To India too, land of neutrality
to South America, to the country of the Incas
to Australia, the island continent
the True Buddhism of the world has spread
In the countries of Europe with their
  age-old culture
we have friends who fight
In the Soviet Union, republic of the people
and finally in our neighboring land of China
friends will appear soon
Passively, actively
the world awaits us

With the ideologies
of all races, all countries
as a gateway and means of understanding,
the religious movement of renovation shall
  go forward

The support of complete knowledge
the foundation of complete democracy
the soil of a complete culture —
to complete the task of bringing these about,
Young people!
wave the banners of the world religion of
  freedom and peace

Never forget that these banners
must wave only upon foundations
that day after day are firm and unyielding

To accomplish this, young people,
I ask you today again to carry on friendly
  dialogues in the very midst of the people
My young people!
take time from your busy schedules,
listen carefully to the voice of your friend
  in trouble

because to be clear and full of confidence
like the blue sky and the sun
is what qualifies you to be glorious young
There are other banners, renowned but false
  in name —
in time their colors will fade
There are medals adorning the societies of false
but their glow is lifeless, not a bright human light
There are politicians, false figures
who sooner or later will be unmasked by the
  perceptive young

There are those who see only the reality of
  the present
and those who see the eternal in the present
We choose to be the latter, and from that
manifest ourselves, shining in glory

Fame, medals we have no use for
Simple human beings, in the palace of our fleshwe walk the
road of life
Along the golden road that will never crumble
  for eternity
as unfamed, uncrowned human beings we
  walk on

Once more, young people, my friends!

With the present century as our stairway
let us go forward toward that mountain of the
  twenty-first century
stoutly, vigorously pulling our way up
we will open again the curtain
upon a new century's development

Young people!
you must go on living
Above all, you must go on living

As chief figures in the brilliant total revolution
resolutely you will achieve your victory in history

The eight a.m. sun of youth
today again is rising!
It is rising in time to the beat of youth!

* * *

Written on December 5, 1970. This translation, by Burton Watson, first appeared in Songs from My Heart (fourth printing, 1997).

"Second decade" indicates the second decade since Mr. Ikeda was inaugurated Soka Gakkai president, on May 3, 1960.

Man'yoshu times: The period in early Japanese history reflected in the Man'yoshu (The Collection of Myriad Leaves), the earliest anthology of Japanese poetry, compiled in the eighth century. The poet is thinking in particular of the Nara period (710–84), an era of great cultural and artistic achievement.

Lion King: King of the beasts, the lion is often employed in Buddhism to symbolize persons or writings of the highest eminence.

shomon: Or sravaka; one who attains enlightenment by listening to the Buddha's teachings. He represents the seventh of the ten states of existence and is characterized as a scholar. Though some Mahayana sutras deny that the shomon and engaku, or pratyeka-buddha (the eighth of the ten states), can attain true Buddhahood, the Lotus Sutra insists that they can.


Excerpted from The Sun of Youth by Daisaku Ikeda. Copyright © 2016 Soka Gakkai. Excerpted by permission of World Tribune Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Biographical Note,
Editor's Note,
Song of youth,
In the river of revolution,
Angels of peace,
The people,
The truth of Melos,
To my beloved young American friends — youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth,
Youth, scale the mountain of kosen-rufu of the twenty-first century,
A blue deeper than indigo itself,
Unfurl the banner of youth,
May the fragrant laurels of happiness adorn your life,

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