September 2, 2007
Daisaku Ikeda's Wonderful Encounters Published in Malay
A Malay edition of Wonderful Encounters: Recollections of Meetings with Unforgettable People from Around the World by Daisaku Ikeda was recently released by GAPENA (Federation of National Writers Associations of Malaysia). The book is a compilation of Mr. Ikeda's essays containing his personal thoughts and recollections of his meetings and encounters with world figures.
On September 2, 2007, a book launch was held at the Soka Gakkai Malaysia Grand Culture Center in Kuala Lumpur. Among the 400 guests in attendance were Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato' Seri Syed Hamid Albar and Mrs. Albar, Dato' Dr. Ronald S. McCoy, president of Physicians for Peace and Social Responsibility, and Tan Sri Dato' Professor Emeritus Dr. Ismail B. Hussein, president of GAPENA.
The book was first published in English by the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in 2003 and has received wide acclaim. It contains 30 essays on Mr. Ikeda's meetings with figures such as former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamed; Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai (1898-1976); Soviet Premier Aleksey Kosygin (1904-80); American photographer Cornell Capa (1918-54); Dr. Jutta Seifert, former under-secretary of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, the Arts and Sports; and Italian soccer player Roberto Baggio. In the foreword, Mr. Ikeda writes about his approach to engaging in dialogue with people of diverse cultures, fields, ideologies and religions, saying that regardless of their backgrounds, everyone is essentially a human being. "I have based my whole life on the belief that we can form amicable solidarity if we converse on the level of our shared, fundamental humanity."
In his speech, GAPENA President Hussein commended the SGI's global efforts for cultural and spiritual development, and expressed his admiration for Mr. Ikeda as someone who has shown how much a single individual can achieve and as a Buddhist leader who has inspired millions to further develop their own humanity.
[Adapted from an article in the September 29, 2007, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]