2023 New Year's Message

Now is the Time to Move Forward with Hope

Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi, President

Seicho-No-Ie International

Happy New Year to all Seicho-No-Ie members throughout the world!

I am sincerely grateful to God that I was able to welcome the New Year 2023 with all of you, safe and sound. Thank you very much.

It is now the 3rd year for us to greet the New Year in the continuing novel coronavirus pandemic. While we cannot hold in-person events such as Public Lectures nor Spiritual Training Seminars, to confirm our faith, we have been forced to use the Internet in which we have tried to learn unfamiliar techniques and tools, such as SNS and Zoom. Because of that, however, we have started to expand our movement in a new direction.  Added now to the traditional hierarchical movement rooted in the community, is a flatter and wide-ranging, timely movement.

The Ukraine crisis which began in February of last year has adversely affected our lives in many ways, including soaring prices, economic recession, political instability, and the surge of refugees, but it also has born an emerging positive trend.  By promoting the “P4U – Peace for Ukraine” movement, the movement that supports Russian-invaded Ukraine, throughout the world in a timely manner, we have produced a movement encompassing unprecedentedly wide-ranging spheres with concrete actions and a feeling of unity among the members.

However, it is unfortunate that this unexpected incident in international politics has produced an undesirable tendency of dividing the world into two. The present world cannot afford to have a “new Cold War.” The climate change resulting from global warming continues to get serious, and many people in poor countries have been victimized, and not only a large number of environmental refugees have been created, but also the ecosystem essential to our survival continues to be destroyed, thus the fears of a global food shortage are growing.

One of the climate-change related disasters that shocked the world last year was the devastating floods in Pakistan. The total area of Pakistan is 796, 000 square kilometers. It is about twice the area of Japan, about 1.5 times the area of France, and about 1.3 times as wide as Ukraine. One third of Pakistan was inundated. The damage is said to reach $30 billion. Comparing this amount with Japan’s budget for the next fiscal year, it is approximately 4 times the amount under the control of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Who on earth will cover the cost of such a huge loss?

This time, the direction of an answer to this question has begun to appear. Sherry Rehman, the climate Minister of Pakistan, the very country that experienced this disaster, tweeted on the results of the United Nations Framework Climate Change Conference (COP27) held last November in Egypt, as follows:


The announcement offers hope to vulnerable communities all over the world who are fighting for their survival from climate stress.


“The announcement” is in regards to establishing a fund, with money from developed countries, to redress the damages suffered by developing countries caused by recent climate change. It is for the first time that the concept of “climate justice” was agreed upon in the world since the COP system had been established. That is, it took 27 years for developed countries to admit to have any form of responsibility for climate change. We cannot deny that it may have been too late, but let’s promote our movement with more courage and conviction so that the world will proceed in the “direction” that it has finally agreed.

By the way, I’m afraid many people think that “an individual’s personal power cannot, in any way, solve the problems of the global environment or climate change.” I heard that especially among young people, a sense of helplessness prevails and some of them become depressed, with the thought that they can’t have any dreams or hopes in their future which will be marked with further environmental deterioration. It is said that this symptom is called “climate depression.” This is how we have treated young people who will lead the next generation. This comes from our long neglect of intergenerational ethics.

In my book entitled “Learning from Nature,” which was published twenty years ago, I wrote about the inevitable human suffering if we single-mindedly pursue the progress in science and technology and material prosperity alone, as the following:

The progress of science and technology doesn’t necessarily produce bad results. “Sustainable economic development” may not be just a dream if, in those areas, ethical powers are at work and human desire is controlled in the right direction. However, under the present political and economic systems, there is no room for ‘ethical powers’ to work, or if they work, their power is not sufficient to be effective.


Under such circumstances, there is no way other than to let “ethical powers” to work “in the mind” of people who constitute society. The driving force for that power to work is religious belief and faith. Especially since “inter-generational ethics” don’t work without recognizing the value which transcends personal life, it is difficult to persuade people of the value transcending personal life without them having religious belief.


Religions must cope with this problem much more vigorously. Unfortunately, nowadays in Japan there is a growing tendency to avoid “religious belief” altogether which people think can be a tool for religious organizations or their leaders to satisfy their desires.

This cynical view could be applicable to a few false religious groups which play with trickery, upholding false beliefs, but it is not applicable to the majority of religions which have taught and practiced an ethical life until today since the dawn of civilization.

Religion doesn’t think that human beings are the collection of separate individuals who are unrelated to each other, but thinks that each is a member of an indispensable community, closely related to each other. Especially in Seicho-No-Ie, we think of this “indispensable community” to be the entire “life on the earth,” including not only human beings but other living things and minerals on earth.  

Recently, I had a chance to read the book, “The Book of Hope,” by Dr. Jane Goodall, a primatologist who is well-known for her chimpanzee research. The doctor is 88 years old this year, and has lectured around the whole world not only as a researcher but as an environmentalist and UN Peace Ambassador. So, she knows well about the current serious situation of our planet earth. Nevertheless, she stresses in the book that she still has hope, and people should have their own hope for the future.

For her, hope is “what enables us to keep going in the face of adversity. It is what we desire to happen, but we must be prepared to work hard to make it so.” (p.8) That is, it is not just dreaming for the situation to become like this in the future, but we have to continue our effort with conviction in actual difficulties for the realization of that dream --- this is the hope she meant.

Dr. Goodall gives the following 4 reasons we can have hope in this era:


1.     The amazing human intellect

2.     The resilience of Nature


3.     The power of young people

4.     The indomitable human spirit

For the most part, they overlap with the Seicho-No-Ie teachings, “a human being is a child of God with infinite potential.” Dear members of Seicho-No-Ie, as Dr. Goodall states, we have amazing intellect and will power. By infusing them with the feeling of oneness with nature, and by further mobilizing the power of young people, we can live on with “the hope” through this challenging age. This hope is to spread the message of “God, Nature and human beings are essentially one” to make a common sense of the world.

I’m looking forward to working with you to promote our movement this year. Thank you very much.



2023 New Year’s Message

Let Us Expand the Number of People Who Pray and Practice the Realization of God's Will!

Rev. Yoshiko Teshigawara, Bishop

Seicho-No-Ie U.S. Missionary Headquarters

Happy New Year to all the members in the United States!

It is with sincere appreciation and gratitude that I share with you the joy of the new tidings of 2023.

I pray that this year will be a year of peace filled with God's blessings for you and your family, and for all people of the world. The Russian invasion of Ukraine started in February of last year. I speculate that the unbelievable situation left everyone speechless.

Amid such circumstances, President Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi broadcasted his guidance in the form of several videos entitled "Peace for Ukraine" from his Studio Kyusetts. In addition, he released the "Prayer for World Peace (new version)" and members throughout the world united to pray for world peace. This year as well, while prayer for the peaceful repose of the victimized souls, let us continue to unfold the supporting efforts through the P$U activities for those who are facing difficulties and are deeply immersed in sadness and anxiety. We are pleased to announce that the English version of the prayer cards are now available. The President has done the layout of the cards for us. Let us share the cards (in 6 languages) with as many people as possible and expand the circle of those reciting the "Prayer for World Peace."

The Prayer for the Cessation of COVID-19 started in the United States in March of 2020. We thank all of you for your continued prayers throughout the year and for expanding the circle of prayer last year. As COVID-19 continues to spread, and the future remains uncertain, you have been learning that "even if it seems that no merit appears in reality right now, do not be discouraged and continue without giving up. Although the power of thought to visualize the True Image may be small each time, it will never disappear, and when it accumulates day by day, it will finally become the catalyst that transforms the while world into the True Image world itself." Please encourage yourselves by remembering such words and dedicate yourselves in practicing the Shinsokan meditation to visualize the True Image. While praying for the realization of God's will, many leaders and members have mutually collaborated and proactively engaged in the "P4U--Peace for Ukraine" activities led by the International Headquarters. I would like to once again express my sincere gratitude to all of you who have continue to devote yourselves to fulfilling God's will. Thank you very much. 

Founder Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi conveyed in his writings regarding the fundamentals of world peace as follows:

World peace cannot be achieved by the desire for power or the desire for the expansion of power of the organization to which one belongs to. Pay attention to where conflict and war is happening in the world. We see that greed and the desire to increase one’s power and to realize that are led by people with a brutal and cruel mindset who do not care about harming others. Peace will never come through selfish desires to expand one’s power. Peace will come only through the proliferation of people whose spirit shines through the Truth, who come to know the ugliness of such conflicts, who come to understand that all human beings are our spiritual brothers and sisters coming from the one and only God and are saddened even if a single person in this world is hurt and empathize as if oneself was hurt. From every mountain, from every country, from every temple, from every church, from every race, from every ethnic group, we can only come to worship the "one and only God" and to know that there is no other god besides the "one and only God.” Only by realizing that there is no other god but the "one absolute God" can we know Him.

President Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi sent out a New Year's message entitled, "Now is the Time to Move Forward with Hope" to the members around the world. 

Religion does not consider human beings a group of discrete individuals who are unrelated. We believe that we are members of an irreplaceable community that is closely interconnected with one another. In particular, for Seicho-No-Ie, the "irreplaceable community" does not refer only to the human race, but also to the entire "life on earth," including all living creatures and minerals on the planet. 

Let us familiarize ourselves with Rev. Masanobu's New Year's message, impress the content of his guidance in our minds and proactively promote to "Expand the Number of People Who Pray and Practice the Realization of God's Will in this World!"

I would like to ask for your continued support this year as well. 

Thank you very much!