The glittering sun of new life has come up
Atop Mount Ogon.
Now, staining the heavens and earth serenely in gold,
It calls out the arrival of the new year_
A great new day of kosen-rufu.
The sunshine of revitalization
Pours down brilliantly on Hiroshima_haven of peace_
Inviting all to awake,
As young buds start to uncurl and boughs tremble.
My friends' joy spreads like the whoosh of waves,
Eventually washing over the Atomic Bomb Dome
And the Peace Memorial Park with its snow-white mantle.
It echoes far across the eternal skies.
The Shukkeien Garden, revered for its beauty,
Is reflected in the still waters of the Ky_bashi River;
The fresh air wafts away time.
The antique air of the garden,
Modeled on the Hsi Hu (Western Lake) in China,
Gently suggests scenes of steep mountains and deep
The distant Inland Sea shimmers with_ah, waves of gold!
And glitters with_ah, waves of silver!
The early morning lull, distilled in a sea breeze,
Celebrates a new beginning for Hiroshima.
You once prospered as a military city,
But since the day atomic bomb was dropped,
For decades you have been said to be sterile.
Today, however, you are the most bustling city
in the San'y_ area_
Graced with white oleanders.
You have stood up like an immortal phoenix
As the starting point of eternal peace_for Japan
and for the world.
Ah, August 6, 1945_a day engraved forever
In the annals of human history.
With mushroom clouds of doom,
The blast over this city knocked it flat in an instant,
Striking out nearly two hundred thousand precious lives.
Although some citizens narrowly escaped death and then
came through hell,
There were yet endless mountains and rivers of suffering
in their way.
The fallout chewed away at their bodies,
Binding them up, making it hard to get work.
Babies born after this blast were branded as
"second-generation atomic bomb victims";
The path to marriage closed,
Parents wept over their daughtersf future, day after day.
The epitaph on the monument for those victims
at the Peace Memorial Park reads,
"Let All the Souls Here Rest in Peace,
For We Shall Not Repeat the Evil.h
But, despite our pledge and our wishes,
The world cowered down again at the sound
Of the approaching footsteps of nuclear arms race.
On September 8, 1957, when the dark clouds of nuclear
tests hung overhead,
My master exclaimed:
gWe, the people of the world, have a right to live.
Anyone who endangers this right
Is a devil, a Satan, a monster. . . .
gShould any nation or race use nuclear weapons, it would
be acting as a devil.h
He entrusted this creed to the youth
As his primary will, to be carried throughout the world.
The history of humankind slipped toward the abyss
When man gave birth to this abominable, devilish, fatal,
and apocalyptic weapon_
The atomic bomb.
My master resolutely bucked this trend;
Like the legendary Greek giant Atlas, who valiantly stood
up to hold aloft the heavens,
He stood firm with his gDeclaration for the Abolition of
Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs.h
Oh, seven months before his death,
With his last ounce of energy, in the midst
of his unrecognized battle against illness,
He uttered that warning to awaken the world.
Was this the expression of his irrepressible emotions
as a human being?
Was this the expression of his anger seeking to smash
the invisible devilish nature inherent in human life
and permeating the universe?
In fact, this was the natural expression of his thorough
awakening to a great philosophy:
Perfect victory for the future of mankind is impossible
Without striking down this devilish nature,
The most fundamental of evils.
Looking back, so many politicians and scientists,
Enslaved by attachment to their small egos and petty
Have fallen victim to the logic of self-justification,
Playing with this product of the devil,
Nay, allowing it to play around with them_
At the mercy of their own fundamental darkness.
My master's declaration
Struck at the source of their delusion.
Time has flowed on and the times have changed.
Thirty years have passed since he left his last will.
Strangely, in 1987, on the same day of the same month
That Japan, in 1941, headed recklessly into
the Pacific War,
A treaty for the elimination of intermediate-range nuclear
forces was signed,
An unprecedented accomplishment in the history of
We can now see a ray of light in the darkness
Of the confused history of the twentieth century,
In which, after the Second World War, man found himself
on a senseless course_
Nuclear umbrellas, nuclear deterrence,
Limited nuclear wars
And thegStar Warshprogram.
Our prayer, based on our belief,
Our courage, based on our compassion,
Exerted their influence bit by bit upon the hearts
Of the top leaders of the United States and
the Soviet Union,
Who functioned as Bonten and Taishaku;
And the curtain has now risen on a new age in human
This we can call a victory for us all.
During the signing ceremony, the American president
expressed himself by quoting Tolstoy,
And the Soviet leader envisioned the shape of the future through the words of Emerson.
Where their hearts met began a noble road
of perseverance, dialogue, and trust.
Way beyond this road the triumphal arch soars high,
Symbolizing the victory of culture over politics,
Of spirit over power,
And of individuals over nations.
"The unleashed power of the atom has changed
everything save our modes of thinking, . . ."
Even this way of thinking that has been considered
Held tight by endless chains of ignorance and delusion,
Has now finally shaken loose and begun to evolve.
Ah, our master was a philosopher
Who never went back even a step
And carried the destiny of humankind upon his shoulders;
This evolution of human thought
Is proof of his genuine triumph
As the king of faith and the champion of humanity.
It is along this royal road, adorned with azure,
That I have dashed ahead since his death,
Calling to the people to join me;
This was my honorable pledge, as a disciple of my masterfs.
As the times flow on, selecting what is better,
Does history itself seek the royal road?
I shall never forget how,
Two months after his declaration
Prohibiting the use of atomic and hydrogen bombs,
My master determined to go to Hiroshima
In the midst of a severe attack by the devil of his illness.
He was worn out.
If he went it was certain he would die.
Deeply concerned about his health,
I tried to stop him.
My courageous master reproved me.
Through tears I listened to his shouted words;
They still echo clearly in my heart:
gAs a messenger of the Gohonzon,
I cannot change what I have chosen to do.
As a man, I will go even though I may die.
Daisaku, isn't this true faith?h
Yet, his wish did not come true_
He could not rise from his bed.
I cannot even fathom how he must have feltC
After having resolved to visit Hiroshima, the land of
Just after his historic declaration.
Since then, Hiroshima has become an arena of k_sen-rufu
that I can never forget.
In autumn of the year
Marking the thirtieth anniversary of the atomic blast,
I stood at the Peace Memorial Park
And heard the reviving words of my master in my ears.
That day the city looked peaceful.
A gentle sun shone as the foliage, in its autumn robes,
trembled in the wind,
And white doves leisurely turned about in the blue sky.
Offering a wreath at the Monument of the Atomic Bomb
I deeply prayed for those hundreds of thousands of lives
And pledged to lay down the foundation of indestructible
and lasting peace.
Hiroshima now belongs to the world.
Innumerable people visit, engraving in their own lives,
In their own ways,
A vow: No more atomic bombing.
Yet from time to time these simple wishes for peace
Have been exploited by ideologies,
Used as a means in political struggles,
Or treated as instruments of propaganda.
August 6 comes round every year;
The Peace Memorial Park bustles with people.
But I know very well
How, early in the morning, at dawn,
Or in the evening, after the others leave,
Many come here every day, alone and unnoticed,
With a prayer for their deceased mothers,
Their deceased fathers,
Their deceased brothers and sisters,
Or their deceased children.
O my dear noble friends of Hiroshima!
You have courageously arisen from the ground of sorrow!
You have dauntlessly looked up,
Bidding farewell to the days
When you cursed the atomic bomb
And cried over your own miserable lot.
Great ideas are stronger than nuclear power;
A great philosophy frees one from confusion,
Even when facing adversity.
You have discovered a hopeful way
With the Mystic Law of revitalization.
And now, burning with the determination
To show proof of a wisdom
That will stay undefeated by atomic bombs,
And with a splendor of life
As indestructible as a diamond,
You have pushed ahead.
ThegHiroshima Resolutionhfor nuclear disarmament,
Peace rallies to oppose war,
The publication of various antiwar books,
Gongyo meetings to pray for peaceC
And the epoch-making exhibition,gThe Okinawa Battle
and Its Residents' Struggles,hheld in Hiroshima,
Renewed your empathy for the war-torn.
You sent twenty atomic survivors to the Second Special
Session on Disarmament at the United Nations;
At the UN Headquarters Building in New York
ThegNuclear Arms: Threat to Our Worldhexhibition
To carry your earnest desire for peace throughout the
The sixth World Peace Youth Culture Festival was held in
Hiroshima in 1985;
The songgPeace Foreverhadorned its finale;
And friends from forty-six nations of the world laid down
a wreath and flowers at the Monument of the Atomic
This solemn ceremony was reported by the media
to every corner of the country;
At that time, bonds of peace among people broadly
embraced the Earth.
Great is the power of the people!
For those of us who have taken down the walls
in our hearts
There are no national or racial boundaries
Or differences in color.
The wave of our unity has now turned into
A torrent of the times,
Almost reaching the shore of the new century_
The Century of Life.
So noble is the circle of our solidarity as world citizens.
On the afternoon of the day
When the wreath-offering took place,
I felt deep emotion surging up from my heart
As I strolled around the Peace Memorial Park.
I was then fifty-seven years old,
The age at which my mentor, Mr. Toda, made up his mind
to go to Hiroshima at the risk of his life.
Forget not, Hiroshima!
Forget not, Hiroshima of the world!
My workgJourney to Hiroshima,h
Written for the messengers of the future,
Was born out of your passionate desire for peace.
The peoplesf hearts are one in calling for peace;
This desire is the heart of Hiroshima.
It is also your desire
And the desire of our five billion friends on Earth.
More than thirty years have passed
Since you, as comrades of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth,
Stood up to embrace the True Law,
Bringing security to this land
Where the bleak sorrowful sounds of prayers
Longing for another world still linger.
On you who forged along to blaze a trail,
The storm of contempt, the hail of malice,
and the blizzard of isolation fell.
Yet you, courageous pioneers, held your heads high_
Exactly as Nichiren Daishonin states,
gTo meet obstacles should be regarded as peaceful
While repeatedly pushing back the tears of vexation.
To put up a royal palace within your hearts
And to set up a capital of Tranquil Light in your land,
Day after day, valiantly and cheerfully,
You sweated for construction with great pride,
My proud friends of Hiroshima.
gWin tomorrow, even if you are defeated today.h
In this indomitable spirit of the Soka Gakkai,
You, my dear brave friends of Hiroshima,
Have written a great history of battle for the Law,
together with me.
You have won at last!
Now you have adorned your Hiroshima Castle
Of the Mystic Law splendidly
With well over a hundred thousand happy
Oh, look sharply beyond the distant horizon,
And you will see a flower garden of harmony
Beginning to spread widely from this doomed land
To the rest of the country and the entire world.
Harmony is happiness!
Harmony is unity!
Harmony is peace!
Harmony among human beings,
Among human lives,
Can crush the limitations of organizations or nations,
So opening a royal road
To creating the felicity of world peace.
The life of the Buddha,
Beating within the heart of every individual,
Is capable of breaking the hands of the devils
that split apart the people's solidarity,
And can work as an pivot for the construction
of a harmonious land.
gOne million people with one mindhis a famous quote
from the warlord M_ri Motonari.
The Chinese character for these words also read,
gOne day, one power, one mind.h
So, it is an admonition:
You can do anything
If, each day, you take on each endeavor
With the power of solidarity, one in mind.
The stone monument with this carved directive
Stands solemnly, deep in the quiet of mountains
colored by foliage.
True harmony is neither a cozy relationship, compromise,
nor selecting the best from opposite points of view.
Keep this in mind.
Each one of you has his own way to follow
And ought to give full play to his abilities;
True harmony is another name for the noble bond
Arising naturally from the depths of your lives.
O my beloved friends of Hiroshima,
What bonds of the past have brought you to this land?
You, noble children of the Buddha,
Be your strongest and live a life
Never to be defeated by anything.
Make Hiroshima the brightest and most harmonious place
Not only in Japan, but also in the world.
The Lotus Sutra says,gThe good fortune of the believer
cannot be burned by fire or washed away by water.h
To this end,
Be strict toward yourselves,
Like autumn frost;
Be warm toward your friends,
Like a breeze in spring;
And be like the lion king to the devilish nature,
your ultimate enemy.
This battle of courageous men, fought with composure
and youthful spirit,
Is the axle to turn everything
From darkness to brightness,
From sorrow to joy
And from degeneration to triumph.
Oh, your new tower of peace is about to soar majestically,
As the vigorous sounds of its construction are heard
In front of the busy station of the main line that runs
On my way to Fukuoka, from inside the bullet train,
I took a close look at this new edifice,
In the midst of construction,
At that time, I prayed and vowedC
gIt is my duty and responsibility
To someday, at this place, praise your painstaking
The labor of many noble, unknown people,
The token of your pledge for peace_
And to glorify your accomplishment forever.h
I also promised, together with my dear friends
To set off on a new journey,
Looking to the light glimmering on the Inland Sea.
Your building will become a fortress of eternal peace
To usher in the new century;
Your building will be the life of Hiroshima,
The starting point from which the magnificent light
of eternity shall shine forth.
The light of the rising sun drives away the darkness,
Brightly showing off the Atomic Bomb Dome.
After many, many years of sorrow
The glorious morning has finally come.
Even this dome,
Holding a history of deplorable memoriesC
Will now stand up as the dome of true peace.
My friends of Hiroshima,
My irreplaceable friends with a profound mission,
Envelop your home of the rainbow of peace,
Your beloved haven Hiroshima,
In the triumphant singing voice of true human victory,
Forever and ever.
With my deepest prayer
iThis poem first appeared in the 1988 New Yearfs issue of the Sikyo Shimbun.)