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A Youthful Diary
One man’s journey from the beginning of faith to worldwide leadership for peace. In 1949, a 21-year-old Daisaku Ikeda began a private diary that would continue for 11 years, until May 1960, shortly after he became the third president of the Soka Gakkai. A Youthful Diary records the day-to-day reflections of this young man struggling with ill health to master the tenets of his newfound faith and develop his own worldview under the tutelage of his mentor in life, Josei Toda, during what became the formative years of the lay Buddhist Soka Gakkai organization in Japan.
In the diary entries Ikeda jots down frustrations as well as aspirations in squarely facing the dramas of life, work, family, faith and friends. Often citing a lesson he gleaned from Toda or from the teachings of Nichiren, the school of Buddhist thought on which the Soka Gakkai bases itself, Ikeda gives frank assessment of his efforts at the grass-roots activities of the organization—something that is never far from but often central to his thoughts—and reveals insights that would inform and shape the Soka Gakkai’s development as a global movement in the ensuing decades.