Leading Buddhist Writer Donates Works to UPEI
One of the world's leading interpreters of Buddhism has made a generous gift to the University of Prince Edward Island. Two copies of each of 60 books written by Dr. Daisaku Ikeda were presented recently to the Robertson Library and the L.M. Montgomery Institute. Dr. Ikeda is president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a Buddhist association of more than 12 million members in 190 countries and territories, and founder of several educational, cultural and research institutions. He is also a highly-respected writer, poet, and peace activist in his native Japan and internationally.
Some of his major books include: Choose Life: A Dialogue with Dr. Arnold J. Toynbee; Dawn After Dark with Dr. Renand#233; Hughye; Before It Is Too Late with Dr. Aurelio Peccei; Dialogue of World Citizens with Dr. Norman Cousins; and Choose Peace, with Dr. Johan Galtung. He is also the author of a series of humanistic children's books, translated into over ten languages. They include The Snow Country Prince, The Cherry Tree, The Princess and the Moon and Over the Deep Blue Sea.
The two Ikeda collections were presented to UPEI by Tony Meers, Director of SGI Canada. The presentation was followed by a speech by Hiro Mitsumura, a long-time friend of the author, who teaches Japanese in the UPEI Department of Modern Languages. He said that Ikeda often quotes from Montgomery's works, and he pointed out that her view of life and Dr. Ikeda's Buddhist teachings have much in common: both writers celebrate the power of individuals to transform life around them for good, and the strength of communities to support learning and well-being.
In thanking the Soka Gakkai International for its gifts of friendship to UPEI, Dr. Elizabeth Epperly, founding chair of the L.M. Montgomery Institute, stated,"Today's ceremony brings together two gifted writers who share a fascination with beauty and with nature. Montgomery had a long-standing interest in Japan, and her Anne has been a best-seller there for more than five decades; Dr. Ikeda's interest in Montgomery strengthens the bridge between Prince Edward Island and Japan and will offer new ways for us to celebrate imagination, creativity, and art."