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What I’m Reading? ‘The Human Revolution Volume I’

What I’m Reading? ‘The Human Revolution Volume I’

Author: Jihii Jolly

July 29, 2010

The Human Revolution is a series published by the World Tribune Press, originally in 1986. The first of two series (afterwards came The New Human Revolution), chronicling the history of the Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist peace organization.

Set in post-war Japan, the story begins with second SGI president Josei Toda’s release from prison and documents the founding of this Buddhist organization, literally called “value creation society.” Toda and his mentor, an educator named Makiguchi, had been imprisoned for their religious beliefs by a militaristic Japanese government. I picked up the book because as a practicing Nichiren Buddhist, I wanted to understand the history of my organization and more importantly, the essence of my faith, through the story of two men who dedicated their life to it.

I think too many young people, myself included, look for the answers to life’s problems sideways — across the internet and the television screen, in their peers, in the contemporary media that is most accessible to them. Thus, begins my exploration of history.

I love the book because of the gripping and honest way it explains the Buddhist concept of a “human revolution” that is, the revolution that must occur within the hearts of every individual who opens up to their innate potential and right to authentic happiness, as the basis for lasting world peace. Ikeda writes, “Nothing is more barbarous than war. Nothing is more cruel.” Most moving is his portrayal of World War II Japan as human, illustrating emotions all readers can relate to. This, I believe, is the purpose of writing — to shine light upon the humanity in every crevice of the earth.

Every week we ask an LGBTQ book lover what book they are currently reading and we post their answers here on every Thursday. To participate in “What I’m Reading” please send in your 250-300 word contribution (including the full author name, title, and your reaction to the book so far), along with a black and whtie photo of yourself (500 pixels  x 300 pixels) to

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About: Jihii Jolly

Jihii Jolly is a member of Soka University of America's undergraduate class of 2011, majoring in the Humanities. She is Editor-in-Chief of SUA's student news magazine, The Pearl, named for late Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl. An aspiring humanistic journalist, she intends to pursue post-graduate studies in cultural writing and communications.

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