Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

narhwal90
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by narhwal90 »

Yeah the old SG had some big downsides- quite too much control business, pushing you to do activities and so on. Reluctance was often viewed as a lax practice, or unwillingness. Sometimes that kind of thing is healthy encouragement to get you out of a comfort zone, but for sure a lot of times it was not. But if you want epic festivals and events it takes a <lot> of work to make it happen and all that has a cost.
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by FiveSkandhas »

To present a more critical opinion, this article is old but paints Kenshokai in a darker light, as a quasi-militaristic group characterized by bizzare, apocalyptic paranoia, fanatical leader-devotion, and delusions of grandeur.
...Kenshokai differs from other Nichiren sects, especially the politically powerful Soka Gakkai, in that its practitioners see it as destined to become the national religion of Japan. "We still believe that," says Katsue Asai.

Indeed, the leader's son talks of ultimately attracting every living Japanese soul - all 130 million of them - to the fold. "I'm sure it will happen," says Katsue Asai, matter-of-factly. How long will it take? "A bit more than 10 years. At the most, 20 years. This might sound strange," he says, "but we think this is not only about Japan, but the whole universe. A huge power is coming, sometime soon. Society is getting really confused these days. There are problems with education, all the political scandals. Then there will be a big natural disaster, like an earthquake. Then China will come to invade us, to take advantage of our problems. When that happens, people will feel that whatever it was they believed in is inadequate. That's when they'll come to us."

...On the stage, there are 11 rows of chairs, with 24 people per row, each person sitting straight-backed, hands neatly placed on their legs. The men all wear black suits with white shirts and ties. They all sit silently, until Asai himself appears, walking briskly across the platform to his chair, front and center. He says not a word and sits down. Moments later, one of the men onstage stands up, removes his jacket and walks forward. His legs positioned in a kendo stance, he whisks out a golden fan emblazoned with the red circle of the Japanese flag. He briskly waves the fan in deliberate downward strokes as a militaristic march plays in the background. The audience claps along, one solid clap every three seconds, while they sing in unison:

The sound of footsteps roar the earth
A grand marching of the missionaries
In the midst of evil and eternal damnation
Buddha's army rises to save the suffering


...Outside, a middle-aged woman clutching a tape recorder offers to explain her beliefs. "There will be a big disaster in Japan, and Asai sensei will become the leader," she says. "You never know from one year to the next who will be the Prime Minister," she adds. "It is always uncertain. But Asai sensei is always with us. He is the only one who talks about Buddhism for the nation. He is the only one who can save us."
Source:
https://culteducation.com/group/1004-ja ... shock.html
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by Queequeg »

illarraza wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:58 pm
Queequeg wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 2:19 am That Culture Festival stuff started with Soka Gakkai, except they did it with joy.
As a participant in many festivals, including security in the hot sun for hours or guarding such things as an out of the way metal plaque of Toda at two in the morning, I wouldn't say joyful. Don't forget QQ, we were always encouraged to smile no matter how awful we felt. True joy? No.

M
illarraza wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:51 pm
I believe they stopped the festivals because the preparation often lasted months and took away from peoples' daily life. For instance, the SGI July, 4th 1996 bicentennial parade, the largest witnessed parade in New York City's existence, in which the youth divisions practiced hours a day and night a month or two before. For two weeks before I practically lived in and slept in the warehouse and in practice for the various events. I neglected my volunteer job in the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitative medicine and even almost got thrown out of the darn VOLUNTEER position.

Mark
You mean 1976.

Sounds like you have buyer's remorse. At the time, you thought you were doing something that helped hold the sky up. In retrospect, of course it seems ridiculous. We all do silly things. Hopefully we survive and have a sense of humor to laugh about it.

Nichiren was beaten and forced to live through a winter in a hut with a hole in the roof. I am sure that by a number of metrics he was miserable, and yet he claims he was always crying tears of joy. Because he felt his reading of the sutra was validated. There's plenty of reason to question his personal narrative about all that.

Anyway, its the way you frame it. Those Kenshokai folks doing those mass performances I am sure felt something they identified with joy. Can they laugh about it now or are they still bulging eyes militant?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Queequeg
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by Queequeg »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 4:17 am To present a more critical opinion, this article is old but paints Kenshokai in a darker light, as a quasi-militaristic group characterized by bizzare, apocalyptic paranoia, fanatical leader-devotion, and delusions of grandeur.
...Kenshokai differs from other Nichiren sects, especially the politically powerful Soka Gakkai, in that its practitioners see it as destined to become the national religion of Japan. "We still believe that," says Katsue Asai.

Indeed, the leader's son talks of ultimately attracting every living Japanese soul - all 130 million of them - to the fold. "I'm sure it will happen," says Katsue Asai, matter-of-factly. How long will it take? "A bit more than 10 years. At the most, 20 years. This might sound strange," he says, "but we think this is not only about Japan, but the whole universe. A huge power is coming, sometime soon. Society is getting really confused these days. There are problems with education, all the political scandals. Then there will be a big natural disaster, like an earthquake. Then China will come to invade us, to take advantage of our problems. When that happens, people will feel that whatever it was they believed in is inadequate. That's when they'll come to us."

...On the stage, there are 11 rows of chairs, with 24 people per row, each person sitting straight-backed, hands neatly placed on their legs. The men all wear black suits with white shirts and ties. They all sit silently, until Asai himself appears, walking briskly across the platform to his chair, front and center. He says not a word and sits down. Moments later, one of the men onstage stands up, removes his jacket and walks forward. His legs positioned in a kendo stance, he whisks out a golden fan emblazoned with the red circle of the Japanese flag. He briskly waves the fan in deliberate downward strokes as a militaristic march plays in the background. The audience claps along, one solid clap every three seconds, while they sing in unison:

The sound of footsteps roar the earth
A grand marching of the missionaries
In the midst of evil and eternal damnation
Buddha's army rises to save the suffering


...Outside, a middle-aged woman clutching a tape recorder offers to explain her beliefs. "There will be a big disaster in Japan, and Asai sensei will become the leader," she says. "You never know from one year to the next who will be the Prime Minister," she adds. "It is always uncertain. But Asai sensei is always with us. He is the only one who talks about Buddhism for the nation. He is the only one who can save us."
Source:
https://culteducation.com/group/1004-ja ... shock.html
i suppose that might answer my question. woah.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
illarraza
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by illarraza »

Queequeg wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 5:37 pm
illarraza wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:58 pm
Queequeg wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 2:19 am That Culture Festival stuff started with Soka Gakkai, except they did it with joy.
As a participant in many festivals, including security in the hot sun for hours or guarding such things as an out of the way metal plaque of Toda at two in the morning, I wouldn't say joyful. Don't forget QQ, we were always encouraged to smile no matter how awful we felt. True joy? No.

M
illarraza wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:51 pm
I believe they stopped the festivals because the preparation often lasted months and took away from peoples' daily life. For instance, the SGI July, 4th 1996 bicentennial parade, the largest witnessed parade in New York City's existence, in which the youth divisions practiced hours a day and night a month or two before. For two weeks before I practically lived in and slept in the warehouse and in practice for the various events. I neglected my volunteer job in the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitative medicine and even almost got thrown out of the darn VOLUNTEER position.

Mark
You mean 1976.

Sounds like you have buyer's remorse. At the time, you thought you were doing something that helped hold the sky up. In retrospect, of course it seems ridiculous. We all do silly things. Hopefully we survive and have a sense of humor to laugh about it.

Nichiren was beaten and forced to live through a winter in a hut with a hole in the roof. I am sure that by a number of metrics he was miserable, and yet he claims he was always crying tears of joy. Because he felt his reading of the sutra was validated. There's plenty of reason to question his personal narrative about all that.

Anyway, its the way you frame it. Those Kenshokai folks doing those mass performances I am sure felt something they identified with joy. Can they laugh about it now or are they still bulging eyes militant?
Dementia has set in;-) I shouldn't say that because now my enemies will tell their buddies, look, head split into seven pieces. I am joyful now though chronically ill, shedding tears of joy almost every day thanks to a correct faith and practice (I believe). Even Nichiren complained from time to time. It is only a sin in certain sects to complain.

Mark
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by Lotomístico »

illarraza wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:54 pm
Queequeg wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 5:37 pm
illarraza wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:58 pm

As a participant in many festivals, including security in the hot sun for hours or guarding such things as an out of the way metal plaque of Toda at two in the morning, I wouldn't say joyful. Don't forget QQ, we were always encouraged to smile no matter how awful we felt. True joy? No.

M
illarraza wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:51 pm
I believe they stopped the festivals because the preparation often lasted months and took away from peoples' daily life. For instance, the SGI July, 4th 1996 bicentennial parade, the largest witnessed parade in New York City's existence, in which the youth divisions practiced hours a day and night a month or two before. For two weeks before I practically lived in and slept in the warehouse and in practice for the various events. I neglected my volunteer job in the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitative medicine and even almost got thrown out of the darn VOLUNTEER position.

Mark
You mean 1976.

Sounds like you have buyer's remorse. At the time, you thought you were doing something that helped hold the sky up. In retrospect, of course it seems ridiculous. We all do silly things. Hopefully we survive and have a sense of humor to laugh about it.

Nichiren was beaten and forced to live through a winter in a hut with a hole in the roof. I am sure that by a number of metrics he was miserable, and yet he claims he was always crying tears of joy. Because he felt his reading of the sutra was validated. There's plenty of reason to question his personal narrative about all that.

Anyway, its the way you frame it. Those Kenshokai folks doing those mass performances I am sure felt something they identified with joy. Can they laugh about it now or are they still bulging eyes militant?
Dementia has set in;-) I shouldn't say that because now my enemies will tell their buddies, look, head split into seven pieces. I am joyful now though chronically ill, shedding tears of joy almost every day thanks to a correct faith and practice (I believe). Even Nichiren complained from time to time. It is only a sin in certain sects to complain.

Mark
Minobu's recent post praises the Dai Gohonzon and suggests all "eye-opened" Gohonzon have validity as Buddhas, perhaps we should heed his advice and accept a Gohonzon from those who have authority to issue them? Who would that be? So many confusing and contradictory positions expresed, now I'm confused too.
One should become the master of one’s mind rather than let one’s mind master oneself.
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by Lotomístico »

narhwal90 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:59 pm Yeah the old SG had some big downsides- quite too much control business, pushing you to do activities and so on. Reluctance was often viewed as a lax practice, or unwillingness. Sometimes that kind of thing is healthy encouragement to get you out of a comfort zone, but for sure a lot of times it was not. But if you want epic festivals and events it takes a <lot> of work to make it happen and all that has a cost.
Yes, speaking of "old" SG, I was in SE Asia 2 years ago, in Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia...met SG members including one landlady of mine, went to a meeting, only discussed "sensei, sensei, sensei", no mention of Nichiren, gosho, Lotus Sutra...giant, sometimes life size portraits of sensei, including on the table in front of the altar, constant mention of sensei, reading magazine articles about sensei, she had a portrait in every room that she would "wai" and bow to constantly...she said current Nichikan Gohonzon issued by SGI are the only valid ones, all other are counterfeit, she returned her NS Gohonzon in exchange for a true one... members forcefully told me that chanting outside SGI has "no benefits", Sensei is reincarnation of Nichiren and chanting outside SGI is "dangerous, bad things will befall you, demons in non-SGI Gohonzon, great misfortune", no idea how SGI in the west operates, but this scared me.
One should become the master of one’s mind rather than let one’s mind master oneself.
narhwal90
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by narhwal90 »

Lotomístico wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 3:44 am
narhwal90 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:59 pm Yeah the old SG had some big downsides- quite too much control business, pushing you to do activities and so on. Reluctance was often viewed as a lax practice, or unwillingness. Sometimes that kind of thing is healthy encouragement to get you out of a comfort zone, but for sure a lot of times it was not. But if you want epic festivals and events it takes a <lot> of work to make it happen and all that has a cost.
Yes, speaking of "old" SG, I was in SE Asia 2 years ago, in Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia...met SG members including one landlady of mine, went to a meeting, only discussed "sensei, sensei, sensei", no mention of Nichiren, gosho, Lotus Sutra...giant, sometimes life size portraits of sensei, including on the table in front of the altar, constant mention of sensei, reading magazine articles about sensei, she had a portrait in every room that she would "wai" and bow to constantly...she said current Nichikan Gohonzon issued by SGI are the only valid ones, all other are counterfeit, she returned her NS Gohonzon in exchange for a true one... members forcefully told me that chanting outside SGI has "no benefits", Sensei is reincarnation of Nichiren and chanting outside SGI is "dangerous, bad things will befall you, demons in non-SGI Gohonzon, great misfortune", no idea how SGI in the west operates, but this scared me.
Ikeda-ism shows up in SG from time to time around here too, it has occasionally been creepy. OTOH we had a district study meeting last Saturday, President Ikeda was mentioned once in passing and instead we spent the meeting going into the history of the 8 Consciousnesses, how some schools posit 9 and why that is and what Nichiren's take on the question was. Besides the non-SGI material a couple of us used, the SGI-provided slides included one Ikeda quote, the rest was about Nichiren. Perhaps one's experience will vary.
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by illarraza »

narhwal90 wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:13 am
Lotomístico wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 3:44 am
narhwal90 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:59 pm Yeah the old SG had some big downsides- quite too much control business, pushing you to do activities and so on. Reluctance was often viewed as a lax practice, or unwillingness. Sometimes that kind of thing is healthy encouragement to get you out of a comfort zone, but for sure a lot of times it was not. But if you want epic festivals and events it takes a <lot> of work to make it happen and all that has a cost.
Yes, speaking of "old" SG, I was in SE Asia 2 years ago, in Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia...met SG members including one landlady of mine, went to a meeting, only discussed "sensei, sensei, sensei", no mention of Nichiren, gosho, Lotus Sutra...giant, sometimes life size portraits of sensei, including on the table in front of the altar, constant mention of sensei, reading magazine articles about sensei, she had a portrait in every room that she would "wai" and bow to constantly...she said current Nichikan Gohonzon issued by SGI are the only valid ones, all other are counterfeit, she returned her NS Gohonzon in exchange for a true one... members forcefully told me that chanting outside SGI has "no benefits", Sensei is reincarnation of Nichiren and chanting outside SGI is "dangerous, bad things will befall you, demons in non-SGI Gohonzon, great misfortune", no idea how SGI in the west operates, but this scared me.
Ikeda-ism shows up in SG from time to time around here too, it has occasionally been creepy. OTOH we had a district study meeting last Saturday, President Ikeda was mentioned once in passing and instead we spent the meeting going into the history of the 8 Consciousnesses, how some schools posit 9 and why that is and what Nichiren's take on the question was. Besides the non-SGI material a couple of us used, the SGI-provided slides included one Ikeda quote, the rest was about Nichiren. Perhaps one's experience will vary.
Not that I'm promoting SGIwhistleblowers because most there dislike Nichiren but there are literally hundreds of people, if not close to 2000 people who would agree with Lotomistico. Most of these ex-members actually left SGI because of the constant emphasis on Ikeda. I actually have several reports containing data that in many (most?) organ newspapers and large general meetings, "Daisaku Ikeda is mentioned more than 100 times while Nichiren, Lotus Sutra, Gohonzon, and even Namu Myoho renge kyo are mentioned either but a few times or not at all. I left SGI after 19 years giving them 1 more chance. I went to a regional meeting at the New York Center with my wife before deciding whether to stay in SGI or whether to go. When Daisaku Ikeda was mentioned more than 100 times, Nichiren was mentioned two times, Gohonzon once, Namu Myoho renge kyo 2 times, and Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha was not even mentioned that was the last straw.

Mark
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by Shotenzenjin »

Wouldn't this sgi talk be better suited for the sgi forum?
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Like smoke that reaches far beyond the clouds.--nichimoku shonin. Third high priest of Nichiren Shoshu

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narhwal90
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by narhwal90 »

Yes indeed- thanks, moving it
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by Bois de Santal »

Shotenzenjin wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:42 pm Wouldn't this sgi talk be better suited for the sgi forum?
Given that the subject is a sect clearly connected to Nichiren Shoshu and that the topic veered towards SGI it seems to me that the general Nichiren section would be the most appropriate.
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by jayislost »

illarraza wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 3:59 pm
narhwal90 wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:13 am
Lotomístico wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 3:44 am
Yes, speaking of "old" SG, I was in SE Asia 2 years ago, in Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia...met SG members including one landlady of mine, went to a meeting, only discussed "sensei, sensei, sensei", no mention of Nichiren, gosho, Lotus Sutra...giant, sometimes life size portraits of sensei, including on the table in front of the altar, constant mention of sensei, reading magazine articles about sensei, she had a portrait in every room that she would "wai" and bow to constantly...she said current Nichikan Gohonzon issued by SGI are the only valid ones, all other are counterfeit, she returned her NS Gohonzon in exchange for a true one... members forcefully told me that chanting outside SGI has "no benefits", Sensei is reincarnation of Nichiren and chanting outside SGI is "dangerous, bad things will befall you, demons in non-SGI Gohonzon, great misfortune", no idea how SGI in the west operates, but this scared me.
Ikeda-ism shows up in SG from time to time around here too, it has occasionally been creepy. OTOH we had a district study meeting last Saturday, President Ikeda was mentioned once in passing and instead we spent the meeting going into the history of the 8 Consciousnesses, how some schools posit 9 and why that is and what Nichiren's take on the question was. Besides the non-SGI material a couple of us used, the SGI-provided slides included one Ikeda quote, the rest was about Nichiren. Perhaps one's experience will vary.
Not that I'm promoting SGIwhistleblowers because most there dislike Nichiren but there are literally hundreds of people, if not close to 2000 people who would agree with Lotomistico. Most of these ex-members actually left SGI because of the constant emphasis on Ikeda. I actually have several reports containing data that in many (most?) organ newspapers and large general meetings, "Daisaku Ikeda is mentioned more than 100 times while Nichiren, Lotus Sutra, Gohonzon, and even Namu Myoho renge kyo are mentioned either but a few times or not at all. I left SGI after 19 years giving them 1 more chance. I went to a regional meeting at the New York Center with my wife before deciding whether to stay in SGI or whether to go. When Daisaku Ikeda was mentioned more than 100 times, Nichiren was mentioned two times, Gohonzon once, Namu Myoho renge kyo 2 times, and Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha was not even mentioned that was the last straw.

Mark

As someone who practices in SGI, I definitely feel like this has been an aspect that is over-emphasized. I do appreciate President Ikeda's books, including the New Human Revolution series, as I feel like they have good points on applying Buddhist practice to day to day circumstances. I just hope in the future there may be more of a focus on Gosho and the Lotus Sutra. It gets a bit stagnant with the same stories of Sensei repeated over and over.

That being said, I agree with narwhal that it definitely depends on the group you are practicing with. I moved a year ago and my new district has quite a few older members from the NS days, and they bring an emphasis on study of gosho and the Lotus Sutra that is refreshing to me. As a young person I would feel a lot more comfortable inviting friends to SGI activities if I felt that they would be more likely to receive basic Buddhist principles, as opposed to slightly weird adoration of someone who we will probably never meet.

SGI provides a good starting point and a great community, sometimes it just requires a little extra digging outside of the 'recommended reading'. I might even go to a Nichiren Shu temple near me to chat to the people there :twothumbsup:
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Re: Fuji Taiseki-ji Kenshōkai

Post by Minobu »

jayislost wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 2:12 pm
SGI provides a good starting point and a great community, sometimes it just requires a little extra digging outside of the 'recommended reading'. I might even go to a Nichiren Shu temple near me to chat to the people there :twothumbsup:
this is quite brave of you ....

when i was in SGI they shunned anything that was not SGI...

I learned so much more about this Buddhism from other schools...

I think they all offer important points to further one's understanding of what we are actually doing.

some of the stuff contradicts other's view....which is golden...golden for thought...
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