University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
March 14, 1996--Honorary Doctorate
Professor Mimi Chan, Public Orator
Religious leader, philosopher, author, poet, international humanitarian, educationalist, a prominent figure in the cultural scene of the world: these names can only begin to sum up the many attributes and achievements of President Daisaku Ikeda, truly a Renaissance man . . .
As a staunch advocate of world peace, Ikeda has travelled widely and published extensively in an effort to promote peace and international understanding. He has directed his energies in particular towards healing the rift between China and Japan and towards advocating a revitalized and strengthened United Nations. His efforts have won recognition in the form of countless honours from countries and institutions around the world . . . In his quest for international understanding and world peace he has travelled widely, conducted dialogues with distinguished figures in international affairs, culture and education . . . giving a Buddhist perspective to cultural, educational, social and ecological issues . . .
The spirit of internationalism as well as the pursuit of excellence is very much evidence in the evolution of Soka University. In only a quarter of a century--no more than a moment in the time scale of a university's history--Soka has developed into one of the most competitive and educationally progressive institutions in Japan . . . Our institution is beholden for donations of valuable Japanese books and scholarships which have enabled our students of Japanese to study at Soka. Soka means "value creation"; education contributes to benefit, good and beauty. The educational policy of Soka University is based on the greatest respect for human dignity; its objective is to foster creative people who can utilize their academic and technical knowledge to the fullest. On the bronze statues in front of the University's Liberal Arts Building are inscribed the words:
For what purpose should one cultivate wisdom? May you always ask yourself this question! Only labour and devotion to one's mission give life its worth.
Our graduand has pursued his mission with labour and devotion. Daisaku Ikeda believes we do not write poetry; we sing it. In one of his many poems he sings:
For the sake of culture,
through thought and action we will create,
and put into practice measures for relief.
Not a bridge of rainbows, a thing of dreams,
but finder than rainbows, lovelier,
a bridge adamantine and indestructible we build.