Mentor & Disciple Festival

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The Mentor and Disciple Festival held on the 5th January 2008 at the Senja Soka Centre’s Hall of Gratitude was a great success! More than 600 guests present witnessed the very first youth initiative in SSA to put up an 80 minutes play, based on the novel by Daisaku Ikeda, “The Human Revolution”.

Preparations started as early as August 2007, and rehearsals took place in the month of November and December 2007. Having to plan, organise and carry out this production with the little amount of time available, everyone had to work in itai-doshin. Although there were several challenges along the way, we were able to overcome them one after another, not retreating a single step.

One of the goals of putting up the play was to provide a platform for the youths in Hougang and Sengkang Zone, to forge strong bonds of friendship based on faith, and to learn, grow and gain victories together. In the process of understanding the struggles and spirit of the 3 presidents of the Soka Gakkai, we hope that the youths can put that spirit of strength, courage and justice into action in their daily lives.

The Mentor & Disciple Spirit is not a mere theory, and cannot be taught. But we hope that through the production, the youths will take the first step in understanding the Mentor & Disciple Spirit, and continue to strive in the path of kosen-rufu with this spirit.

The Mentor & Disciple Festival was also strongly supported by the Men and Women Division leaders and members. The Adult Division Choir put up two songs as well!

Many guests were touched by the efforts of the youths and the portrayal of the lives of the 3 presidents. Some were so touched, they teared. Also, we received valuable feedback on how the play could be improved.

This production would not have been a great success without Ikeda Sensei, GD Ong, and the leaders and members who in one way or another, sacrificed their time and rest, just so that this common goal could be attained.

We’ll be back! 🙂

Banzai!

Photography by Annie’sfaith
Click for album: Mentor & Disciple Festival


Play Synopsis

“If Buddhism is correct, among those who carry out the unprecedented religious reformation, the bonds of mentor and disciple will surely materialize in human history…”

The oneness of Mentor and Disciple encompasses the heart and soul of Buddhism. Based on the novelized history of SGI, Human Revolution by Daisaku Ikeda, the M&D FESTIVAL performs selected chapters thematically revolving around the Mentor and Disciple Spirit.

The play starts out in 1942, World War II period where Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, the first president of Soka Gakkai, and his foremost disciple, Josei Toda, stood up against the war by rejecting Shintosim. Following their arrest, the persecution endured by both cost the life of Makiguchi who fought to the very end. Toda was thus awaken to his mission as bodhisattva of the earth and vowed to fulfil his mentor’s vision of Kosen-Rufu. His reconstruction effort leads the play to capture his encounter with his future successor, Shinichi Yamamoto.

In the second act, taking on the events in the 1950s, the Japanese economic crisis, Josei Toda’s business intended to fuel Soka Gakkai propagation efforts was forced to be shut down by the government. Shinichi works hard behind the scenes to help Toda overcome his business problems. During these hard times, the bonds of Mentor of Disciple between both men was crystallized.

Act three recollects arrests of Shinichi by the public prosecutor’s office in Osaka on false charges of election law violations on July 3. The prosecutors tried to deceive him by making threats to Toda. This segment gears to portray the life and death commitment between both men as Mentor and Disciple of Kosen-Rufu.

The final act depicts the struggles of Josei Toda against his life threatening illness and his great dream of attaining of 750,000 households for the Soka Gakkai. Toda miraculously overcomes his illness but his body remains weak. The history of March 16, Kosen-Rufu Day ceremony will also be brilliantly performed. Shinichi fought along side with his mentor till the goal of 750,000 was achieved.

A tribute to the three founding presidents, an unprecedented effort in the history of SSA, The M&D Festival is guaranteed to impact the hearts and souls of many.

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3 Responses to “Mentor & Disciple Festival”

  1. mauri walton Says:

    Hello~~

    To Whom it May Concern,

    i’m wondering if you can help me… i’m trying to find any documentation depicting the first Youth Division Mtg. of March 16, 1958…

    anything really, that might describe in some detail, if not exactly what happened at that first meeting… as i am assisting in the prepartions for the Commemorative Mtg. to be held here, on Saturday March 15… can you help?

    many kind regards,
    & from the bottom of my heart, many thanks,
    mauri-CenterCityDistrict, Philadelphia, PA USA

  2. mauri walton Says:

    p.s.- typos always get me.. should have preparations.. not prepartions…

    pardon me.. i know it’s somewhat trivial.. and i could comment on others,, alas~~ pardon me… and many thanks again…

    ~mauri
    nam myoho renge kyo

  3. SK Central Youth Says:

    Hi Mauri,

    I’ve found two articles online that talks about the 3.16 Kofu Day. (See Relevant Reads)

    Also, you can look up The Human Revolution Vol 12, Chapter 4, “Successors”. Sensei wrote about the preparations for that meeting, the challenges, the event and Mr. Toda’s speech. It’s a very important and much referred to chapter in the Human Revolution. 🙂 Let’s gain great victory in the commemorative meetings in our respective regions! 🙂

    Cheers,
    Mavis

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