• The 50th Soka University Festival / the 36th Swan Festival was held online


The 50th Soka University Festival / the 36th Swan Festival was held online

    On October 9th (Friday), the 50th Soka University Festival / the 36th Swan Festival “Soka Glory Meeting” was held online.

    During part one after opening words from Soka Women’s College President Noboru Mizumoto, Dr. Ela Gandhi, a South African peace activist and granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, the founding father of India, sent a video message to commemorate the Soka Glory Meeting.
    Dr. Gandhi stated, “The Corona Virus has revealed to us how fragile our lives are and how interconnected we are and how important it is for all of us to unite to ensure these activities that damage our environment are stopped and that the money we save, and its trillions of dollars that we saved, is redirected to ensure the realization of the sustainable development goals so that basic necessities of life are available to all because everyone’s life impacts on us all, regardless of status, class, wealth, or any other differences. The virus affects us all. Each individual has to take care of both him/herself and others. In the past months under lockdown conditions, we have learned new lessons about how important compassion, generosity, and other-centered thinking is. So going forward we need to promote this message that is so well ingrained in your philosophy to others so that the world becomes more humane and nonviolent. May you become the torchbearers of this important message. Thank you and I wish you all the best.”

    After words from Soka University President Yoshihisa Baba, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees Yasunori Tashiro presented a message from Soka University founder Dr. Daisaku Ikeda. In the message it was stated as follows, “A great history is created through the inheritance of the spirit from generation to generation. Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, the father of Soka Education, was persecuted by the military government and passed away in prison while striving to uphold his belief in the dignity of life. Even in the severe conditions of a freezing cold jail, he calmly wrote to his family that “depending on one's outlook, even hell can be enjoyable” and sought to study the philosophy of Kant and similar works until his last days. Please remember that it is Soka University and Soka Women’s College that the torch of peace and humanitarianism was passed down to from this great mentor. To all of you, who continue to open the path of victory with Soka’s never-give-up spirit, I would like to share the words of Mahatma Gandhi. “One who has determination will face any hardships that may come his way, and this will bring him hope out of despair.” My dear beloved students, study courageously even in the midst of hardships and ignite the torch of wisdom of humanity, spreading unlimited hope and courage throughout the world and toward the future!

    In part two, student section, performances by Panthers cheerleading team and Ichariba Chodays (an Okinawa dance group), followed by the Soka Women’s College students and the Vocal Group singing a new song “Wings” to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of Soka Women’s College. After a dance and song from the international students, 4 student representatives gave a speech. After a choral performance of the Soka University new song “I’m Rising Up” by student representatives and the Vocal Group in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary, the event concluded with the singing of the Student Song.

    On the 10th and 11th of the following day, exhibitions and live performances by clubs/groups were open to the public online and there were approximately 65,000 visits to the Soka University Festival homepage in two days. Looking back at the first-ever online Soka University Festival to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Chairperson’s of the Soka University Festival Committee Masao Chiba (Faculty of Economics/3rd year) and Sakura Tagawa (Faculty of International Liberal Arts/3rd year) reflected by stating, “This was the first time Soka Festival was held online, we realized that in order to create new history through uncertain difficulties we can always find value. From now on, we will continue to challenge ourselves with great patience and find our own missions. We want to thank each person who took their time to visit this year’s Soka University Festival.”