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May 14, 2015

Seifert-Ikeda Dialogue Published in Japan

Dr. Jutta Unkart-Seifert

SGI President Ikeda and Dr. Jutta Unkart-Seifert meet at the Tokyo Makiguchi Commemorative Hall in Hachioji (September 2001)

TOKYO, Japan: Seikyo Shimbunsha, the publishing arm of the Seikyo Shimbun newspaper, has released the Japanese hardcover edition of Seimei no hikari, haha no uta (working title: The Light of Life, Song of Mothers), a dialogue between Dr. Jutta Unkart-Seifert, president of the European Cultural Initiative for the Young Generation, and Daisaku Ikeda. Their dialogue covers a broad array of issues, from the transformative influence of culture and education, particularly for young people, to women and society, and life and death. Originally serialized in the daily from October 2013 to May 2014, the hardcover edition has been reedited and features new material.

In addition to her work with young people at the Initiative, Dr. Unkart-Seifert--who is also a former undersecretary of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, the Arts and Sports--is a renowned Austrian soprano specializing in singing lieder, German art songs from the 19th century. She has performed in Japan five times at the invitation of the Min-On Concert Association, which Mr. Ikeda founded. The two first met in Tokyo in July 1989, reuniting since then on nine occasions in both Japan and Austria.

In their dialogue, the authors examine the need and efficacy of promoting culture, not only to help restore and revitalize the human spirit but also in advancing international understanding. They identify our universal love for the arts as being synonymous with our essential humanity and call for a return to this fundamental spirit.

[Adapted from an article in the May 14, 2015, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]