It was held on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, in the Council Chamber Armando Salvatore Di Noia of the Municipality of Tursi, the ceremony for the conferment of honorary citizenship to Daisaku Ikeda, philosopher, educator, Buddhist teacher and Japanese activist.
The teacher, third president of the national section of Soka Gakkai in the period 1960 - 1979, current honorary president of the same international association and several times candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, sent a letter of thanks to the Municipality of Tursi that was read by his delegate, Tamostu Nakajima.
Ikeda (above) is defined as one of the most important Buddhist spiritual leaders of the second half of the twentieth century and of the 2000s, together with the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhất Hạnh. He was also the founder of the Kōmeitō political party, the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum and the Soka University as well as an influential pacifist.
During the ceremony, the mayor of Tursi, Salvatore Cosma, retracing the process and the reasons that led the town to give such an important recognition, said:
"The process for awarding honorary citizenship to Master Daisaku Ikeda, who has been nominated for many years as a Nobel Peace Prize candidate and a major builder of dialogue bridges especially in the East, began this summer when on the initiative of Professor Elisabetta Boccardi and the doctor Graziella Marino, we started this journey that today, with the presence of the illustrious delegate of the master Ikeda Tamostu Nakajima, president of the Italian Buddhist institute Soka Gakkai, reaches its peak.
With this important ceremony that really makes me proud, our city joins other major and important Italian and world cities that have honored the master Ikeda with this important title.
I thank all those who have made this important day possible made even by the fact that today the teacher Ikeda is 90 years old.
I thank my countrymen, Dr. Marino and Prof. Boccardi and the whole Lucan Buddhist community for their participation and closeness made even stronger by the presence of my homonyms of the near and friendly cities of Scanzano J.co and Sant’Arcangelo with which begins today a new shared path of peace and growth for our territories. "
During the event the conviction emerged that the Tursi region is a symbol of integration, welcome and peace. To count among honorary citizens one of the greatest supporters and exponents of peace in the world is undoubtedly an enormous privilege for a city rich in history, hospitality, faith, art and culture.
The ceremony, coordinated by Liliana Santamaria, saw among those present, in addition to the mayor Cosma, the mayors of Raphael Ripoli (Scanzano) and Vincenzo Parisi (Sant’Arcangelo) of the Foundation City of Peace and Children, the CEO of the Foundation Enzo Cursio and the regional conglomerate of the Lucani Commission in the world, Aurelio Pace.
Master Ikeda received honorary citizenship also from the Municipality of Florence last March.