Significance of the student song
by President Suzuki

Please allow me to introduce my favorite student song. In my first lecture as a President, I was in charge of a module called Humanistic Education which is mainly for new students. In that class, I asked the students to discuss what comes to mind when they think of the student song lyrics. Many people must have been more familiar with the student song compared to me, so this question might seem to be repetitive, but I have thought about the lyrics in my own understanding.


Lyrics


Firstly, everyone would have noticed that the last line from the first stanza to the third stanza has the phrase - “For whom”, which refers to the three founding principles of the university.

The question of “For whom are we learning this path of humanity?” refers to the first motto of “Be the highest seat of learning for humanistic education”. The second stanza “For whom are we building a citadel of peace?” refers to the second motto “Be the cradle of a new culture”. The third stanza “For whom are we searching for life’s truths?” refers to the third motto – Be a fortress for the peace of humankind.

“For whom” is the question of “for what purpose should one cultivate wisdom”, and the thoughts of the founder “college exists precisely for those who can’t attend it.”


There are many different ways to decipher the lyrics.

In the blue highlighted parts, the first stanza has the words “pure-white butterflies”, “cherry blossoms”, “lush lawns and groves”, and “fresh breeze flutters through the spring skies”, which refers to the spring and summer seasons. In the second stanza, the phrase “mulberries grow” refers to the autumn season. In the third stanza, “our indivisibility shines brightly” refers to the scenery in winter.

With this, the student song shows how the changing seasons on campus are represented by the use of different colors.

Furthermore, in the first stanza, “dance in joy” (yorokobi-maite) and “youth gather“ (tsudoeru-wakamono) refer to the bright scenery in the afternoon. In the second stanza, “we delve on the vicissitudes of my aspirations” (tasogarekomenu) refers to the scene from evening to night, while in the third stanza “as dawn breaks the still of night” (asahi-wa-noboriyuku” refers to the morning time.

The student song gives a sense of the changes of light throughout the day on campus and of its surrounding area. The order of the song is of no coincidence: bright days in spring and summer, long nights in autumn, cool and clear mornings in winter have been chosen. These are the time frames where the seasons can be best felt.

(Pink highlighted parts)
Looking at the first stanza, we could imagine Soka University built as a white and huge gleaming place of learning. In the second stanza, “castle remains” (shiroato), “castle’s embankment” refers to the Takiyama Castle. In the third stanza, it paints the landscape of Hachioji, with mountains in the distance and where Mount Fuji can be seen from far. In this way, the lyrics expressed and portray the scenery around Soka University.

(Yellow highlighted parts) 
“where students take pen, harboring dreams in their hearts” (first stanza)
“With thoughts of our parents, we gaze toward distant vistas” (second stanza)
“our souls kindled by a passion for justice” (second stanza)
“As you dwell fondly on your brave ideals” (third stanza)
“As we pave the path of honor and glory, we ask” (third stanza)

In addition, the yellow parts express the spirit of Soka University students who aspire to learn, stand up for justice and for their parents, and to soar into the world.

In the first stanza, the students are shown to be thinking about their own lives covertly. In the second stanza, it was written that the students are thinking seriously about their families and society, and in the third stanza, they are shown to be finally ready to take action for mankind and the world. It can also be said to depict the growth of Soka University students, from they move from oneself to the world, and expand from ‘knowledge and understanding’ to ‘contemplation and taking action’.

In this way, the student song depicts the various values of Soka University in fullness.

Although I have just been appointed as the President, I hope to make this university where these diverse values of the university can flourish colorfully.

I will listen sincerely to the voices of everyone in the university, and hope to make this university a place where everyone can express their opinions honestly to one another.

Let us all work together to advance and make this university a place where we can all demonstrate our individual personalities, qualities, and abilities while grounding ourselves on the grand design and the President’s vision.