@

Oh!

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

valleys.@

@

@

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.

@

O 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.

O Hiroshima!

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 daughtersf 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

positions,

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

disarmament.

@

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 thegStar Warshprogram.

@

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

history_

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.

@

Einstein stated,

"The unleashed power of the atom has changed

everything save our modes of thinking, . . ."

Even this way of thinking that has been considered

unchangeable,

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 masterfs.

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 feltC

@

After having resolved to visit Hiroshima, the land of

destiny,

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

Victims,

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.

@

ThegHiroshima Resolutionhfor nuclear disarmament,

@

Peace rallies to oppose war,

The publication of various antiwar books,

Gongyo meetings to pray for peaceC

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

ThegNuclear Arms: Threat to Our Worldhexhibition

@

was held

To carry your earnest desire for peace throughout the

world.

@

The sixth World Peace Youth Culture Festival was held in

Hiroshima in 1985;

The songgPeace Foreverhadorned its finale;

@

And friends from forty-six nations of the world laid down

a wreath and flowers at the Monument of the Atomic

Bomb Victims.

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 workgJourney to Hiroshima,h

@

Written for the messengers of the future,

Was born out of your passionate desire for peace.

@

The peoplesf 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

and comfortable"_

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

ghuman flowers.h

@

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 mindhis 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.

@

However,

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

across Japan.

@

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 vowedC

@

gIt is my duty and responsibility

To someday, at this place, praise your painstaking

efforts_

@

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

of Hiroshima,

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.

@

Behold!

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 memoriesC

@

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 Yearfs issue of the Sikyo Shimbun.)


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