Message from the Chairman

The Gratitude for Buddha’s Virtue

                      Toshihide Numata    
                             Chairman
                  Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai


Looking back at the fifty year history of Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai (BDK), the first thing that comes to my mind is my father, the founder of this foundation. The primary mission of BDK is based on my father’s wish to promote the Right Dharma as he encountered Amida Buddha through the teachings of Shinran Shonin and his religious experiences.

However, BDK’s 50th anniversary would not be possible without innumerable Buddhist conditions and support from innumerable people. Many of them have already passed away, but I would like to express my sincere appreciations to everyone for all of your support from the bottom of my heart on this auspicious occasion.

My life can be best expressed as a 50-year marathon which I have kept running after taking over the business operations of BDK and Mitutoyo, the basic foundation and structure for BDK, initiated by my father.

I have come to firmly believe that, although my father was a strict and stubborn man who was born in the Meiji era [1868-1912], all of his words that I received from him are consistent and truthful. They reverberate in my heart.

He had the strong belief that “world peace could be gained by the fine tuning and evolving of human beings, aided by Buddhism which is a religion whose aim is to create a complete human being.” My father often shared his opinion that “without the spread of Buddhism, there would be no world peace.”

Buddhism ultimately teaches “Turning Bewilderment and Gaining Enlightenment,” “Remove Suffering and Giving Happiness,” and where one can find eternal life which transcends birth and death. Buddhism is a teaching by which we can learn about ourselves. The teaching of the Buddha shows us the path of human [evolution] to become a compassionate and sincere human being.

All human beings are living in various conditions, but we blindly exist in our situations and circumstances. It is easy for us to lose ourselves and wander about in this deep, suffering world.

When I reflect on the current world including Japan, there are so many people who are suffering and enduring tragedies such as various crimes, murders, increasing suicides, and wars. Additionally, we find that religious wars are still continuing in the name of justice, and since the horrible terrorist attacks of 9/11, the world has been in chaos.

Buddhism is a teaching of Buddha’s universal wisdom and compassion which transcends love and resentment of friend and/or enemy. Accordingly, it embraces all differences such as nationality, race, and religion and saves all lives in the past, present, and future.

In the preface of The Teaching of Buddha book, you will find the following words of wisdom: “Hatreds never cease by hatreds in this world. By love alone they cease. This is an ancient Law.” (Dhammapada)

On this occasion of BDK’s 50th anniversary, I would like to reflect on the eternal truth that Shakyamuni Buddha clarified, a never-changing common principle that transcends time and location.

When I contemplate the present troubled world, I cannot help feeling the necessity for Eastern wisdom which is not only for human beings but for all sentient beings: the essence of the Buddhist spirit of harmony.

Without looking away from the harsh realities of this world, I hope that BDK will continue to develop various activities which will contribute to world peace and happiness as was my father’s original intention. Lastly, on the occasion of this great opportunity, it is my hope that we promote Buddhism in a non-sectarian way with your cooperation by placing the Dharma as the compass of our heart and being.

In Gassho [with palms together],

Toshihide Numata

January 11, 2016