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  • IRISE holds lecture to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Founder’s Special Lecture


IRISE holds lecture to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Founder’s Special Lecture

On September 25, IRISE held a lecture to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the founder’s first lecture on “Goethe the Man.”

Title: Founder’s Theory on Goethe
Lecturer: Soka University Vice President Ryohei Tanaka
Venue: S201 Classroom
Course: Soka Education Theory

20 years ago, on March 10, 2003, founder Daisaku Ikeda delivered a 90-minute lecture on the life and spirit of Goethe, the great German writer, titled Goethe the Man (1st Special Lecture).

To commemorate the 20th anniversary since the lecture was held, Vice President Ryohei Tanaka, a scholar of German literature, delivered a lecture on the founder’s theory about Goethe. Vice President Tanaka is a member of The Goethe Society in Japan, and has long contributed to research on Goethe and other modern German spiritual historians, including the translation work of “Correspondence Between Schiller and Goethe” (Ushio Shuppan) and “Goethe and the German history of spirit” (Chisen Shokan).

In his lecture, Vice President Tanaka asked the students to ponder on why the founder discussed Goethe in front of a large group of students, and while referring to the “Reading notes” from the founder’s youth, he discussed the characteristics and significance of the founder’s theory on Goethe. He also introduced one of the main works of Goethe, including “The Sorrows of Young Werther,” and discussed about Goethe’s life which was oriented toward “Global Citizenship” and “World Literature.”

Students’ Comments:
〇The importance of reading, which the founder often emphasized, was reiterated by episodes from “The Books of My Youth” and the reading notes he read when he was our age, which helped me understand why it is necessary for us and why it is important for students to read many good books. I decided to read “The Sorrows of Young Werther” this month, as I had not read Goethe’s books thoroughly. I also plan to read “The Books of My Youth” as well.

〇Through Goethe’s writings, I was able to understand the importance of how we should live in our youthful days. I was able to understand the meaning of “Global Citizen,” which is what the founder had wanted to convey to us.

〇The only thing I knew about Goethe was that he was a poet and that the founder often mentioned him. There was a lot of information that was new to me, such as that he was involved in politics, that he wrote a great number of works, and that he aspired to be a painter. I was also surprised to learn that Goethe had used the term “Global citizen” 170 years ago.

〇Hearing Goethe’s words made me realize that the worries I have now are important to support me for the rest of my life. I would like to face my struggles head-on and give myself a satisfactory answer without running away from them. In terms of Goethe as a world citizen, I learned that Goethe advocated the idea of people living on earth while transcending ethnic differences and prejudice, which I thought was an important concept of a global citizen.