May/7/2005 The First
Visit to SUA
The sky is blue,
the sunlight shines all of us, and the fresh air gives us
pleasure. We can see the campus on the hill from our car. We
are here in Aliso Viejo, Orange County, Southern
you know, the campus is the Soka University of America (SUA)
I have longed to visit! Oh, what a beautiful and brilliant campus
it is! The songs of birds make us happy and seem to celebrate us. And
the voices of students with good spirits echo on this marvelous campus.
Today finally I visited Soka
University of America, the sister school of our Soka University.
Minoru and I arrived in Laguna
Beach near here yesterday. It was a business trip for
attending the workshop of the Pacific Basin Research Center (PBRC)
of SUA. At the Los Angeles International Airport, Dr.
Rondinelli and Dr. Heffron welcomed us. They are professors at SUA and
head leaders of PBRC. Minoru, who came from Seoul by
is my colleague in Soka University, and also my close friend since we
were high school students of Soka Gakuen. He is also in his sabbatical
as I am, but he is now researching in South Korea.
The workshop was held at the alumni center at SUA today. The
participants were Dr. Dennis Rondinelli (PBRC Director), Dr.
(PBRC Associate Director), Dr. Tomoko Takahashi
(Provost, SUA), Dr. Ed Feasel
(Professor of Economics and Dean of Students, SUA), Dr. Barbara
(Research Associate, Kravis Leadership Institute, Claremont-McKenna
College), Dr. Bill Ascher (Donald C. McKenna
Professor of Government and
Economics and Dean of Faculty, Claremont-McKenna College), Dr.
Takamine (Professor of Organizational Leadership, Chapman University
and PBRC Visiting Professor), Dr. Minoru Koide
(Professor of International
Relations and Vice Director, Soka University Peace Research
Institute), and I. The theme of the workshop
was "Leadership for Development
in a Globalizing Society: Challenges of Change in the Pacific Basin".
My major is far from the topic, and I cannot speak English fluently,
but I understood the topic is very important for the world peace.
I would like to introduce
the preface of the hand-out as follows:
Individual and organizational leadership is
crucial in bringing about economic, social and political changes that
promote peaceful human development. Development itself is a process of
change that requires the mobilization of human, financial, and physical
resources and its success often depends on modifications in human and
organizational behavior. Previous PBRC research found that
development policies, in the formal sense, are a type of social
innovation that requires leadership in all stages of the process, from
identifying problems or recognizing opportunities for human betterment
to transforming innovative ideas about problems or opportunities into
courses of action, obtaining approval or legitimacy for policy reforms,
enacting policy into law or government programs, and implementing
We talked eagerly from morning to evening. When Minoru and
asked about the cotemporary leadership of the Japanese prime minister,
few times, Minoru answered. His major is international relations.
I was helped by his knowledge and excellent English.
I met a wonderful SUA
student in this conference. His name is Mitsu
Fujii from Tokyo. He will be one of the first alumni
at SUA in two weeks. He has been
approved for entrance to UCB and will move to Berkeley this
August. Both of Professor Feasel and Professor Heffron spoke highly of
Mitsu. I was deeply impressed with his purpose to study and his
personality. I shook hands with him and told him "welcome". I am very
looking forward to meeting with him in Berkeley.
On this day, in the same
SUA campus, The International Festival was also held by the students.
At lunch time, we went to the courtyard. Many students and
groups were dancing, singing, and playing various instruments
there. And the stalls selling foods, drinks, and memorial goods were
opened by students. It was very cheerful. All of the
students were in good spirits.
After the workshop, we
went to the gym, where the main event, the
Finale of International Festival on the stage
was starting. There
were about 2000 people in the audience and a student
orchestra beside the stage. After a long silence, suddenly the student
chorus broke the silence. And in the front of the chorus, another
group performed modern dance cheerfully. It was powerful and exciting. Music by the student orchestra was also
All of them represented the theme of the Finale, "The Heart of A Lion".
The precious statement of Buddhism says "Each of you should summon up
the courage of a lion king and never succumb to threats from anyone.
The lion king fears no other beast, nor do its cubs." They intended to
express that they were also cubs and they never fear obstacles in their
life, like the lion king. The melody, song, and dances, which they performed, derived from the motif
of the famous musical "The
like to introduce the program. The Final was consisted of 12 scenes as
1. The Dawn--The Beginning of
New Life -"The Circle of Life" from
The Lion King: The first performance I mentioned above.
2. Friendship -Asoka-: It was
performed by Indian Dance Club
students. The dancers
wearing the Indian folk costumes were dancing exotically and actively.
3. Aspiration -"I Just Can't Wait to be King" from The Lion
King-: Behind, as the solo vocalist sang a song, the dancers with flags
were dancing calmly.
4. Adolescence in Full Bloom - "Can You Feel the Love Tonight"
from The Lion King-: A vocalist and a dancer performed.
5. Absence of Light -Be Prepared" from The Lion King-: Two vocalists were
singing a song with their spirit.
6. A Battle with Internal and
External Struggles: I t was a crew dance with fast movements like short
7. Obsession with Mountains: On the stage was hung a large sheet
with a drawing of a mountain on it. The narrator told a story and the
-"Shadow land" from The Lion King-: Chorus, dance, and piano
9. Determination -"He Lives in You" The Lion King-:The presentation of slide. It showed us
their student life in SUA.
10. Standing up One by One -"One by One" from The Lion King-:
11. Strive for Victory
-Shi-shi-funjin-: The Japanese traditional drum performance. It was
12. Finale -"The King of Pride Rock" & "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King-: All of the
appeared in the arena of the gym from backstage. They sang together
magnificently, close to the audience. The people in the audience
gave a big applause to the students.
They showed us their strong
heart like the lion king. Their performance was cheerful, vivid, and
impressive. I was very happy to find that the students at SUA undoubtedly had
the spirit of the Founders. I will never forget today's
Finale. And I will never forget their wonderful smiles and appearance.
article on SUA in the
Japanese pulp magazine <in Japanese>