logo top bar

          

Our Perspectives

Quotes from the founder’s writings

“The true target of music is not the ear; music speaks to the soul, creating a harmony of empathy and friendship that reverberates in our hearts. At times, it can impart in us the courage to live; at times, summon forth a prayer for peace; and at times, awaken our human dignity. Such are the beneficial powers of music.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 134, pp. 453–54, (2003).

“Whether it be literature or music, my mentor Josei Toda always encouraged us to make the effort to experience the best the arts have to offer.
Listening to the masterpieces of Beethoven on a hand-cranked gramophone in my youth was a source of incredible encouragement, infusing me with the strength I needed to survive those extremely difficult times.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 134, p. 455, (2003).

“My motivation in founding the Min-On Concert Association was to make the greatest music, a treasure belonging to all humankind, available to all, because in this age where ordinary people are taking center stage, I felt it was not right for the arts to remain closed off, accessible to only a privileged few.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 134, p. 456, (2003).

“Ordinary people are the great earth. And the world’s future resides in the hearts of youth. When the music of peace reverberates among the people, a light of goodness and beauty will envelop society and, indeed, the entire world.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 134, p. 457, (2003).

“Cultural exchange is a bridge to mutual understanding and a forerunner of peace.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 134, p. 458 , (2003).

“Music knows no barriers. It transcends national borders, language, culture and ethnicity, bringing hearts together in a symphony of peace. This is the reason that Min-On has successfully engaged in cultural exchanges with ninety countries and territories [as of 2003]. To me, this great road of cultural exchange uniting people is a “spiritual Silk Road.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 134, p. 459, (2003).

“Culture is an essential human undertaking that conquers distance and stirs the hearts of people everywhere. I believe that this empathy between human hearts is the point of departure for cultural exchange and the basis of culture itself.”
Adapted from Daisaku Ikeda, “A New Road to East-West Cultural Exchange,” in A New Humanism: The University Addresses of Daisaku Ikeda (New York: Weatherhill, 1996), p. 66, (1975).

“Whereas military might threatens humanity and seeks to impose control from without, culture is a liberating and revitalizing force that arises from within.”
Adapted from Daisaku Ikeda, “A New Road to East-West Cultural Exchange,” in A New Humanism: The University Addresses of Daisaku Ikeda (New York: Weatherhill, 1996), pp. 66–67, (1975).

“At no time in history has there been as great a need for a spiritual Silk Road extending across the globe, transcending national and ideological barriers and connecting people’s hearts at the deepest level.”
Adapted from Daisaku Ikeda, “A New Road to East-West Cultural Exchange,” in A New Humanism: The University Addresses of Daisaku Ikeda (New York: Weatherhill, 1996), p. 68, (1975).

“Cultural exchange can bring people together just as the strings of a lute strike harmonious vibrations in the hearts of all. There can be no such harmony, however, without a steadfast mutual recognition of equality.”
Adapted from Daisaku Ikeda, “A New Road to East-West Cultural Exchange,” in A New Humanism: The University Addresses of Daisaku Ikeda (New York: Weatherhill, 1996), p. 70, (1975).

“Cultural exchanges promote mutual appreciation and respect for people from other backgrounds and cultures, bringing people’s hearts together in a network of peace.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 1, p. 161, (1985).

“The bonds that connect people’s hearts are invisible, making them strong; they are intangible, making them universal and everlasting. Such bonds are shaped by the splendor of culture, spurring the human spirit toward eternity and universality.”
Adapted from Daisaku Ikeda, “A Matter of the Heart,” in A New Humanism: The University Addresses of Daisaku Ikeda (New York: Weatherhill, 1996), p. 28, (1990).

“Art is a powerful weapon in the struggle for peace. It is the ultimate dance of victory in life. The sweat and tears of artists perfecting and performing their art are in themselves efforts in the construction of peace and culture for all humanity.”
Translated from Japanese from the January 27, 1999, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai daily newspaper, (1997).

“Music brings people together and links their hearts—its power to create friendship and peace is immeasurable. Transcending national and ethnic boundaries, the exquisite sound of music becomes the key that unlocks people’s hearts.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 112, p. 285, (2002).

“I founded this cultural institution with the aim of generating a movement to enrich and rejuvenate people’s lives by bringing them the best that music has to offer, and it is my fervent hope and prayer that Min-On will continue to advance eternally based on its founding principle of culture of and for the people.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 112, p. 285, (2002).

“Cultural exchange brings people together—face to face, voice to voice, heart to heart. It creates a resonant harmony of hope and coexistence, as we strive to make this century an era of humanity.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 52, p. 402, (1994).

“I believe it is important to deepen mutual understanding between Japan and Latin American countries by enhancing our efforts in promoting educational and cultural exchanges. Such efforts lead to a shared solidarity and awareness, based on the understanding that we are Pacific Rim neighbors as well as members of this one global community. They serve as a bulwark against war, and as we strive to pull ourselves out of the seemingly endless competition for survival, this shared awareness becomes the foundation on which we can build a world where all countries and peoples will flourish and thrive.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 108, pp. 230–31, (1997).

“As we transform sufferings into artistic accomplishments, we free ourselves from being slave to them. We become their master. It may be that all art is born from the impulse to achieve such transformation.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 123, p. 487, (1998).

“To provide ordinary citizens access to the musical arts—this is the original purpose for which I founded the Min-On Concert Association [in 1963]. I wanted to see the great earth of the people’s hearts enriched and to bring the world together as one, inspired by the beauty of music.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 122, p. 361, (1994).

“Art never harms people: It offers consolation and hope to the suffering. Artists who embody this essential spirit do not look down on people: Instead, they bring happiness to others. Nothing is further from arrogance and condescending attitudes than the spirit of culture.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 122, p. 362, (1994).

“Music that arises from the depths of the human soul contains the power and harmony of the universe. It is a breath of sublime life force. Plato said that when music changes, a society’s fundamental nature changes too.
In this cacophonous, discordant age, we must open the doors of our hearts and sing with the vibrant joy of life. Through our great cultural movement of the people, we need to find new ways to “tune” the human spirit.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 122, pp. 386–87, (1995).

“Music speaks directly to the human heart, as it is conveyed directly by sound waves, rejecting any intervention from logic, theory or intellectualization. There is no such thing as high or low taste. Symphonies, concertos, popular music or folk songs . . . we just know what we like.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 18, pp. 62–63, (1968).

“Music has the power to bring forth the resonant harmony of the heart, transcending differences in appearance, differences in language, differences in culture, or differences in civilization.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 18, p. 64, (1968).

“If the greatest challenges that humankind has to tackle as it advances from the twentieth to twenty-first century are learning to empathize with each other and wiping from the face of the Earth the bloody scenes we have witnessed all too often, then it is music’s destiny to become one of the key ways to fulfill this task.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 18, p. 64, (1968).

“Songs directly touch our heart and soul. They reach the core of our being. Songs rejuvenate and soothe people’s hearts, imparting courage and inspiring hope. They are an irreplaceable source of encouragement in every aspect of life.”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 121, p. 22, (1998).

“Music is a universal language for all people on Earth. It helps us to surmount cultural and ethnic barriers; it brings about mutual understanding and connects hearts and spirits. Music paves the way to peace.
I believe that everyone has special feelings for their mother, so I dedicate this song, Mother, to all mothers throughout the world.”
 
“Mother!
With your wisdom and philosophy,
bring your songs of peace
to a world that yearns for spring!
At that time,
you, Mother, will preside forever
over an era
of humanity
revived and restored!”
Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 121, pp. 26–27, (1998).