The New Human Revolution––Volume 23: Chapter 4- “Bold Struggle”

The New Human Revolution––Volume 23: Chapter 4- “Bold Struggle”
By Ho Goku

Extract From Volume 23: Chapter 4

November 18, 1930, the day celebrated as the founding of the Soka Gakkai, is the publication date of President Makiguchi’s Soka Kyoikugaku Taikei (The System of Value-Creating Education). The publication of this groundbreaking work was also the product of the shared struggle of mentor and disciple.

Makiguchi’s theory of education gained its name in February of that year. At the time, Makiguchi was principal of Shirokane Elementary School in Shiba, Tokyo. However, the director of the school education department, the school inspection section chief, and others had been trying for some time to have him removed from his post. In order to guide future elementary school teachers in the right direction, Makiguchi wanted to publish the educational theories that he had conceived of based on his hands-on experience and thought during his time as the principal.

One February evening, Makiguchi and Toda talked late into the night, seated around the charcoal brazier at the latter’s home. That was when Toda heard that his mentor wanted to leave a record of his educational theories.
At the time, the majority of educators were focused entirely on Western learning. No one thought a book of educational theory by an unknown Japanese elementary school principal would sell, so clearly no publishers were interested in taking on the book.

Immediately after telling Toda that he wanted to publish his educational theories, Makiguchi admitted that the prospects were dim: “But it is unreasonable to publish a book that won’t sell and will only be a financial loss. .
. .”
Toda replied with conviction: “Sensei, I’ll take care of it!”
“But Mr. Toda, it will take a lot of money.”
“I don’t care. I’m not wealthy, but I have 19,000 yen. I’ll gladly invest it all.”

At the time, an elementary school teacher’s starting monthly salary was about 50 yen. Toda, who operated a private academy, Jishu Gakkan, to put his mentor’s educational theories into practice, was willing to invest everything he had in the world to insure that his mentor’s educational theories would be preserved.

Toda said: “I left Hokkaido without a penny in my pocket. I am who I am today because of my encounter with you. I don’t care if I’m back to being penniless again.”
Makiguchi looked intently at Toda and then nodded: “All right, if you’re so determined, let’s go ahead with it!”
Makiguchi’s eyes sparkled brightly. He added softly, as if to himself, “Well, then, what shall I call it?”
“What’s the aim of your educational theory?” asked Toda.
“In a word, to create value,” answered Makiguchi.
His cheeks flushed with excitement, Toda said: “Sensei, how about calling it ‘value-creating education’ (Jpn. soka kyoikugaku)?”
“Yes, that’s a good name!”
“All right, let’s settle on ‘value-creating education.’”
It was already midnight. Through the dialogue of mentor and disciple, the term “value creation” was invented.

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