March 16, 2008
South Korean Literary Association Honors Daisaku Ikeda
The World Literary Association (WLA) of South Korea recently honored Daisaku Ikeda, SGI president, by appointing him an honorary general director. A certificate presentation ceremony took place on March 16, 2008 at the Incheon Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon City, South Korea, during a Korea-Japan Youth Friendship Convention with 8,000 SGI-Korea youth and a contingent of Soka Gakkai youth from Kyushu, Southern Japan, led by Soka Gakkai Vice General Director Takeshi Yamamoto. WLA General Director Kim Cheon Woo presented the certificate to Mr. Yamamoto, who accepted it on Mr. Ikeda's behalf from WLA Director Kim.
WLA is a worldwide network of writers and novelists, with chapters in 70 countries. The association supports and encourages pure literature, developing exchange and collaboration among its members and promoting their work.
In her conferral speech, Ms. Kim expressed her pleasure in conferring the honorary title that recognizes Mr. Ikeda's literary achievements. Concurring with Mr. Ikeda's stance that poetry accurately reveals what lies in the heart and his emphasis that literature exists for the sake of ordinary people, Ms. Kim said she appreciated Mr. Ikeda's poetry for inspiring courage and hope.
In an acceptance speech read by Mr. Yamamoto, Mr. Ikeda thanked WLA for the honor, affirming that rich, vibrant literature, including forthright expression, is a great force that transcends cultural and generational barriers, inspiring a positive transformation within people and within society. Mr. Ikeda also expressed his commitment to strive to contribute to Korean-Japanese friendship through the written and spoken word.
[Adapted from an article in the March 21, 2008, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]