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April 23, 2008

New Mexico, USA, Honors Mr. and Mrs. Ikeda

On April 23, 2008, New Mexico State, USA, presented honorary citizenships to Daisaku Ikeda and his wife Kaneko Ikeda. The conferral took place at the New Mexico State Capitol Building in Santa Fe. Chief Clerk Stephen R. Arias presented the certificates to SGI-USA Southwestern Zone representatives.

In language reflecting the Native American cultural influence in New Mexico, Mr. Ikeda's certificate of honorary citizenship states in part: "[T]he people of New Mexico feel that special bond with Dr. Daisaku Ikeda whose life and works have reached out to the peoples of earth--in all four directions, during all four seasons, and throughout a uniquely productive life in which his devotion to the well-being of all people has both inspired and instructed; [the people of New Mexico] are inspired to reach out to Dr. Ikeda with great hope and a desire to share their own sense of community while welcoming his contributions of compassion, clarity of mind, and belief in the oneness of man and environment into our own lives."

These sentiments echo the values expressed symbolically on New Mexico's state flag in a design derived from the indigenous Pueblo of Zia. A circle with four sets of four lines extending from it in the shape of a cross represents the sun and the earth with its four directions; the four seasons of the year; the day, with sunrise, noon, evening, and night; life, with its four divisions--childhood, youth, adulthood and old age; all bound together in an eternal circle of life and love. A guiding principle of the Zia people states that individuals have four sacred obligations: to develop a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit and a devotion to the well-being of people.

Mrs. Ikeda's certificate emphasizes the great value New Mexico places on the partnerships we form in life. It honors her for her efforts toward the construction of "a peaceful world where individuals from all walks of life feel safe and secure while developing their fullest potential for the sake of their families and the greater good of society" and recognized her "as an outstanding scholar and all-important partner" of her husband Daisaku Ikeda, sharing a dedication to the realization of this vision.

[Adapted from an article in the May 21, 2008, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]

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