welcome photos articles movies your thoughts downloads links
Comment Script


Thank You
Thank you for taking the time to view this web page celebrating Shin’s life. It is still a work in progress and will continue to evolve with more images and articles. A very special thank you those who helped gather materials and donated time to prepare this web site.
#1 - Carolyn - 06/20/2007 - 15:21
Cristina's friend
This tribute is the most beautiful I've ever seen. Carolyn, I haven't seen either of you in awhile, however Cristina kept me posted. My memories of both of you are 2 strong, wise, beautiful people. I wish for you a life of peace and happiness as you so deserve. You will both be in my thoughts and heart always!
Lisa Klein
PS. I will most likley see you when Cristina comes down this month. I hope so.
#2 - Lisa Klein - 06/20/2007 - 19:24
Rainbow Dist. Leader, Simi Valley, CA
Hello Carolyn, of course it's difficult to find the words that can express my feelings at this time. I loved Shin...he was so wonderful and he had such a special ability to convey our Buddhist practice in a manner that was profound, thoughtful and yet...easy to understand. I got know you during the time you helped Vie with Terry, as Terry battled her cancer. You were compassionate and "steady" and very loving with Terry (she was a challenge, wasn't she?)!!! You are truely amazing and that's why you had the great fortune to have a loving relationship with Shin. I was unable to attend the memorial service as I was with my family up North and I was so disappointed to miss it. I heard that it was wonderful and inspiring and I'm so happy to have found this site. We will all miss Shin, but I know that for you it will be the hardest. Know that you are loved by the members... Hugs, Lorraine
#3 - Lorraine Jones - 06/20/2007 - 21:30
most beautiful website & dedication to shin's life
my sincere and deepest thanks
to those who put together this
amazing testimony to a beautiful
being who we will all remember
for a very long time.

my heart is with you, carolyn

roberta donnay
#4 - roberta donnay - 06/20/2007 - 22:38
Thank You
Thank you for sharing this beautiful memorial. We at OSULA have been so lucky to have Shin as a Sensei. I'm so grateful for the times I was able to train with Shin and to learn from him. Kendo is a training ground for life, and Shin has always been an exemplar role model of how we apply the Kendo spirit to our daily life. We as students are so lucky to have the memories of Shin that we do: his steady and calm contenantce, his tireless kindness, his positive reinforcemnt, and of course his beautiful Kendo. I will never forget Shin's presence of impenetrable integrity. I am so grateful to hold his example in my heart, and I know we students will strive to continue to learn from him.
Thank You Sensei
#5 - Kyle Caldwell - 06/21/2007 - 00:44
Takoma North District (leader)Takoma Park ,Md.
Shin shall live on in the hearts of our members, as we finish the year studying " Buddism in a New Light" as our District Study.Chanting for your early return.
Takoma North District
Takoma/Silver Spring,Md.
#6 - Sidney Anderson - 06/21/2007 - 03:53
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo Shin
Forever in our hearts Shin!

I was fortunate that my first district leader told me about your passing. I had a feeling I had never felt before. I was trying to describe the feeling that I had to myself and I finally realized the feeling can only be described as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, nam-myoho-renge-kyo, nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

On a boat the next surrounded by water the vastness of the water reminded me of the vastness of you and I could not and still cannot think of you without seeing Sensei.

We'll see you again Shin! Our beloved Shin!
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo Shin!
#7 - Debbie Kalivas - Arlington, VA - 06/21/2007 - 11:49
Dear Shin,
Dear Shin,

I had the privilege to meet you only twice, both times at Soka Spirit conferences in FNCC.

Your guidance, lectures and clear insight on those occasions became and remain a source of encouragement which has contributed to the steady deepening of my faith, it inspires my daily practice, it has educated me in justice and the profundity of my relationship with my master. Though our lives only touched briefly, I was moved by your joy and confidence as well as your grasp of Buddhist study. I came to respect you and cherish your keen insight very deeply. I owe you debt of gratitude.

As I was chanting for you and America, the image of your sparkling, wise, joy filled eyes rarely left my minds eye even for a moment - as if to reassure my prayer that America would still be safe without your brave hearted wisdom and that you too will also be...“free from all fear.”

Thank you for everything, Shin.

May all your dreams come true – for you and for the world entire!

Marcus Czarnecki
Member of SGI-UK
Yorkshire and Humber HQ
#8 - Marcus Czarnecki - 06/21/2007 - 13:43
Many Thanks
Many thanks for this wonderful site. Although I never met Shin directly, his writing and life have had a major impact on my life.
His ability to articulate Buddhism and life enabled me to continue my practice with a renewed perspective.
I am forever grateful to have this new vista in my life.
All the best!

Pierrette Mimi Poinsett MD FAAP
member East Petaluma District
Petaluma, California
#9 - Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, MD - 06/21/2007 - 15:54
He was a very wise Buddha and I am sure will continue to be in his next lifetime. Thank you, Shin for sharing that wisdom with me!
#10 - kimberly kammeraad - 06/21/2007 - 16:03
My friend Shin
My friend Shin,
You changed the way I view the world.
You inspired me to believe in the possibility of American kosen-rufu.
You exemplified the power of knowledge fused with mission.
You helped me fully embrace Sensei.
You showed America the beautiful universality of Buddhism.
The world will know your contribution.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
#12 - Jamie - 06/21/2007 - 19:39
Sincere appreciation

Thank you so much for your dedication to the world Tribune articles and your book.
You have inspired me and encouraged me through your articles many times...
And I have learned a lot in Buddhism,too.
I will dedicate myself to this Buddhism
through out my life,too.
Thank you so much.

Noriko sewell
101 Distrct,
Sonora chapter,

#13 - Noriko Sewell - 06/21/2007 - 20:26
thank you shin, hope to meet you next time..
As I sit here with tears in my eyes, truly touched by this beautiful
memorial. I would like to thank you so much for inspiring my life with your prose. you gave so much to all the members of the SGI, and so many others. you will be remembered with appreciation in my heart. my condolences to your family,
victoria Luburich northern Cal. Marin County, San Rafael district
#14 - victoria luburich - 06/21/2007 - 22:26
Courage and Wisdom
My heart feels deep and profound appreciation for Shin Yatomi, for the tireless translating, research, hours of drafting, proofreading, and precise wordsmith, in order to convey to readers of every skill level the essence of Nichiren’s Buddhism. He showed us how to study.

Shin’s spirit in the face of his mortality provides a road map for all, who are either currently challenging their own health issues, or will in the future. He showed us what is faith.

His compassion for humanity, especially for the members, by continuing to live as a disciple of the Daishonin, even when he was told to take it easy, will inspire many for years to come. His was an example of the correct way to practice.

Two words come to mind when I reflect on his life as I read and re-read his exquisite and insightful writings. Courage and Wisdom.
#15 - Kyle Sandusky - 06/22/2007 - 07:02
Happiness Equals Courage
Shin, my old friend, I miss you and think of you every day. Your fearless life was proof of our mentor's essential principle: Happiness equals courage. Our ships, no doubt, again will sail together soon.
#16 - Jeff Ourvan - 06/22/2007 - 07:27
A Bright Light for SGI lives on here
Although I did not know Shin personally, I always looked forward to his commentaries in the World Tribune. He had such a smiling, open face and down to earth manner. His hope and optimism in the face of illness is an encouragement for us all.
#17 - Judy Phillips - 06/22/2007 - 10:19
A place of communal greiving
Thank you so much for bringing our community together in our loss. It is such a relief to have a place to grieve. Shin has been such an important part of my spiritual growth through the World Tribune. I am forever indebted and I offer my deepest regards to his family. There is no greater happiness than chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
#18 - Veronica Laboure-Slaughter - 06/22/2007 - 12:05
Elimination of Darkness
Shin's open and frank comments in reference to his cancer helped me to gain so much insight as to what my own mother must have been thinking when she too, was faced with the disease and death. She was an SGI member named Kazuko, a typical stoic Japanese and did not, would not or could not, commnicate her thoughts or fears. As I read Shin's articles,I started to feel a darkness in my life start to subside. Once I read Jamie Farr's article, I looked done and realized my WT had become tear-stained with so much personal understanding as to what and how he was feeling about losing someone for whom he cared deeply. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Shin. Your words helped me to not only recognize, but also to eliminate the darkness. Nam-Myoho-Renge-kyo x 3
Elyse Cheffer- Naples FL
#19 - Elyse Cheffer - 06/22/2007 - 12:19
Thank you Shin
I don't remember when was the last time we talked. But when I heard of your illness I cried, then I chanted, then I vowed to see you and thank you for all you did to help me understand correct Buddhist faith in the beginning of my practice 14 years ago, as we practiced together in Palisades Chapter here in Los Angeles. I assumed I would be calling you soon to invite you to come to one of my new district's meetings down in Garden Grove and share your wisdom and experience. But that wasn't to be. And I found myself with one more regret in life... that I did not come to see you and thank you for your help, sharing your knowledge with me, the fun times, your mischievous sense of humor, and great practical jokes!

My life fell into a dark tunnel for awhile and I disappeared from my friends but your face was one which often came to mind and helped me remember that I had this wonderful gem within my own life that could change my suffering and keep me on the correct path. So I made my determinations just this year and started on the path back up to my own strong desire for Buddhahood.

Because of you, I decided to become happy. Because of you, I will enjoy each day no matter what is happening. Because of you I will stop complaining and live life with no more regrets. Thank you Shin for being a part of my life and my commitment to this Buddhist practice, from my first meeting to the close of this chapter in the book of your incredible life.

And thank you Carolyn for creating this beautiful web site! I hope to have the opportunity to meet you one day.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
#20 - Cinda Monet - 06/22/2007 - 12:28
Eternal Thanks
We continue to chant daimoku for you and remember you daily. Through your sincere, humble, seeking mind, you taught us about "Fighting Daimoku". You wrote the book on Soka Spirit, which will inspire generations to come. Arigato!
Fred Friedland
San Rafael, CA
Redwood Coast Soka Spirit
#21 - Fred Friedland - 06/22/2007 - 12:45
there is at least one photo that contains the Gohonzon at the'll probably want to remove it

#22 - anonymous - 06/22/2007 - 15:12
In Appreciation of Shin Yatomi
Carolyn, the following is the text of "IN APPRECIATION OF SHIN YATOMI" (I )delivered at the June 6 Area 4 Las Vegas (NV) Region Kosen Rufu Gongyo as part of a presentation on the subject of Appreciation:

SGI-USA Study Department Leader and Managing Editor of Living Buddhism Shin Yatomi passed away last week. I did not know Shin personally, I wish I could have met him —but I felt as if he knew me very personally.

It’s important to point out that, of the three Buddhist pillars of Faith, Practice and Study, it is often Study that is most often ignored, avoided or underutilized in our lives.

Living Buddhism once asked Linda Johnson “Where does Buddhist study come in? Is there a relationship between how much people study and how much they suffer?”

She responded, “Study is absolutely essential, because if we don’t study Nichiren Buddhism, how can we know if we are practicing correctly? I find that a major problem people have with their practice is that they don’t study, or, at least, not enough….Study helps us think about things differently…..”

Shin Yatomi was the epitome of “helping us think about things differently.” He motivated and taught me how to study – yes, study -- this Buddhism with joy by constantly reminding me through his writings that Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the power within ourselves to transform our destiny on a daily basis.

It has been through his leadership of the SGI-USA Study Department that my own practice has embraced Study with a commitment and fervor that I expect will thrive and grow until the end of my days. Thank you, Shin.

He had an incredibly unique writing style characterized by an uncanny ability to take President Ikeda’s guidances and Nichiren Daishonin’s teachings, infuse them with his own insights -- and communicate them in such an authentic and real fashion that they made complete sense of the world around us based on a Buddhist perspective.

I am not sure how many of you have had the opportunity to read Shin’s book, published last year titled “Buddhism in a New Light: Eighteen Essays That Illuminate Our Buddhist Practice.”

Or Shin’s numerous World Tribune viewpoints, for example, sharing “five Buddhist keys to building happiness”, “the way we see ourselves,” “ living with joy, never giving up hope” and, most recently, from his deathbed, “overcoming the three prides of youth, health and life” (May 25, 2007 WT).

Once you read them, you will never forget them.

Shin had that extraordinary Buddha nature to be able to show our struggle to stay fully engaged with our lives instead of running away, which prolongs the suffering. And to summon the courage and determination to overcome all the challenges and obstacles we are bound to face in this lifetime.

His actual proof of faith was his own life; he awakened to his mission—and ultimately lived with the awareness of the great purpose he had in this lifetime.

We have lost an incredible leader in this organization. I, for one, will deeply miss him, but am eternally grateful for his message of inspiration and hope in humanity. And I will do my best to continue to Study this Nichiren Buddhism with Shin’s spirit of care and compassion.

#23 - Stan L. Friedman - 06/22/2007 - 19:21
I have always been so appreciative of Shin's study articles written to encourage us and help us gain a deeper understanding of Nichiren Daishonin's teachings. It seemed I knew him as soon as I read the first article. Although I had never had the oppotunity to meet him, I truly feel his concern for me as an individual. He was so conscious of helping us understand the heart of any study topic, not just the literal aspects. Just like his original mentor, Nichiren Daishonin, and his mentor in this life, Ikeda sensei, he was able to break down complex concepts to the human level. I miss him so much and will send daimoku of appreciation for his life until the moment of my passing. Thank you so much Shin-san.
With deep respect,
#24 - jim cochran - 06/22/2007 - 19:30
The brief moments I cherish the most
I met him only briefly last year, but we made an instant connection. He was clearly one of the most learned individuals I had ever met.

Shin came into the office the day before I left LA, and I was able to talk to him again. Though he had no hair, his life was shining, and his voice was so vibrant.

So even though I met him briefly, His memory is burned deeply into my heart.

Thank you for sharing all the pictures and stories on this site. Thank you for letting everyone share their memories.
#25 - Yoji Konno - 06/22/2007 - 19:41
Though I never met Shin, I have become more involved in Buddhist study. Feel his determination for members to pick up this pillar of Buddhism touched my life. I thank him for conveying his knowledge in a sincere, simple manner. His photos show a man shining like the sun especially his smile and bright eyes. THANK YOU, SHIN. Will chant everyday for your continued happiness. Carolyn, never give up!
#26 - Genoveva Paniagua - 06/22/2007 - 20:33
A Treasure Beyond All Others
Thank you so much for sharing with us those special moments. I know Shin through through his writings like the March 30th World Tribune that helped save my life. The articile became my lifesaver to break from the the constant thoughts of dying.
Thank you again, again, and again, for this wonderful site. Mary L. Smith
#27 - Mary L. Smith - 06/22/2007 - 20:42
Dear Carolyn
I am so touched by your strength and love and compassion. I'd like to say thank you for showing us such an example. And to express profound gratitude for a short encouragement I once received from Shin in New Jersey after his lecture, which lasted at most 5 minutes, but which will stay with me all my life. He insisted that it was necessary to replace negative thoughts about oneself with positive, constant and creative SELF PRAISE! His obvious compassion and determination to help me was a turning point. And I have passed this on to many since, who have been helped. Washing you all the happiness in the world. You are both wonderful!
#28 - Michele de Gastyne - 06/23/2007 - 01:14
Thank you
Shin was a master of explaining Buddhism and life in a down to earth manner. That made reading his articles a must for me and many other friends.
Thank you Shin for the time and effort you put into your work!
#29 - Gary Goodenough - 06/23/2007 - 07:42
Bodhisattva Never Disparaging
Thank you so much for this beautiful site. I did not have the pleasure to closely know Shin in New York or California. But where ever you saw him moving about, it was walking kindness. I will always remember his smile and tireless work for SGI-USA, never disparaging anyone. His memorial at World Culture Center Santa Monica that day, was so touching and beautiful. I felt the profundity of his caring love for family and friends all in one place. And still. Powerful. Thank you Shin.
Beth Lane
SoCa District Leader
Santa Monica, CA
#30 - Beth Lane - 06/23/2007 - 08:17
A life to be celebrated!
I have read many of Mr. Yatomi's books and articles over the years. There are no words to discribe how much they have helped solidify my practice. Everyone knows that "light bulb" moment you get when the words reach the core of your life. I have had many of those studying Mr. Yatomi's work. The Mentor & Disciple relationship was alive in his spirit!

I feel privilaged to have practiced during his lifetime and I pray to repay my debt of gratitude for him. His contribution to kosen rufu is an inspiration and is priceless!

Mbie Carroll
East Piedmont Dist
Greensboro, NC
#31 - Mbie Carroll - 06/23/2007 - 10:25
Thank you, Shin!!!
I got to know Shin when I practiced in Los Angeles. At one point, we were youth division leaders together in Los Feliz Chapter. I even had a crush on him. At the time, rather than taking action on my crush, I chose to follow Shin's example and immerse myself in study to strengthen my practice so that I could stand up with him for the sake of our members. Although our time as leaders together was brief, we had many wonderful conversations after that time, and I feel that Shin really inspired me to have a deeper, more profound understanding of the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin.

I abruptly moved to the Berkshires, in Western Massachussetts, in 2003 after a sudden and adverse change in my health and finances. With the influence and support of Shin (and many, many others within the worldwide SGI organization's family), I have been able to demonstrate the courage, compassion, and wisdom to be a capable pioneer in Berkshire County.

When I read of Shin's illness, I was not deeply saddened by the news of his imminent death. I understood in the depths of my being that death is inevitable for all of us, and that perhaps Shin's intense illness was reflective of the sincere and exhaustive efforts to promote the study of this Buddhism and advance American kosen-rufu. Let's face it, his illness presented as an obstacle to all the great causes he was making. However, his life force triumphed, even in death, and his fathomless effect on others will live on for many generations to come.

My stepmother, the only mother I had known, passed away shortly after Shin. With my experience of dealing with Shin's death, I was able to mourn for her with heartfelt gratitude of her being my mother in this lifetime, and without needlessly suffering. Thank you, Shin!

As an avid "Star Trek" fan, I envision Shin representing a combination of the characteristics of Sulu & Mr. Spock:

Sulu, also a martial arts enthusiast of Japanese origin, was the helmsman of the Enterprise who was responsible for steering the ship through obstacles and journeys with knowledge and skill. He was also an astrophysist, possessing a profound understanding of the cosmos, and was filled with a passion for living life.

Mr. Spock possessed tenacity, determination, discipline, and knowledge of life, as a science officer. Deeply rooted in the spiritual practice of his Vulcan culture, he openly struggled with his human half (the common mortal) and his Vulcan half (the more highly evolved side of himself). As first officer, he lead the crew, side-by-side with Captain Kirk, through countless missions "to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before."

(I think Shin would have enjoyed my analogy!)
#32 - Pamela Buchanan - 06/23/2007 - 11:46
vice district chief, vanguard dist. venice ca.
looking at this site right now, even though i did not know shin personally, other than chance meetings in the past, i have been so encouraged. i viewed this tonight with situations in my life that i choose to understand as situations that make me unhappy. i am reminded now, it is my choice and my responsibility to be happy. i am grateful that you are able to encourage me shin. thank you, thank you
#33 - gerald james - 06/24/2007 - 01:09
kenzoku is forever...
In 2004, Shin gave me 13 hours of phone dialogue that turned a major breakdown into a mentor/disciple breakthrough...and the creation of a brand new district.
#34 - Verna Leigh - 06/24/2007 - 02:33
You must not only persevere yourself, you must also teach...
Dear Carolyn,

I would be honored to post the poem on the website. I am sorry for your loss. Without knowing him, I was inspired by the greatness of Shin’s life and even his death served no less of a fulfillment of his great vow and mission.

Thank you,

Honored One

Shin Yatomisan (1961-2007)

I read of the soldier for peace
Who died in the midst of the battle
His hope echoed till the end

Refuting ignorance as an enemy
To the salvation of humanity
Where victory savors our diversity

Respect for life and truth
Shines through the life philosophy he knew
Where we are one under the sun of a great law

With the spirit to never give up
He vowed to return to the fight for peace
Eternally brave for this world

#35 - Marcie M. Musser - 06/24/2007 - 11:52
Thank you so much, Mr. Shin. Much appreciated you came across my life - Sydney, Australia
Thank you so much for building up such a wonderful and amazing website for Mr. Shin and share with all of us around the world. Really appreciated your great great efforts of sharing the memories of Mr. Shin. I am so appreciated to Mr. Shin that came across my life. I knew him because he came to Sydney (Australia) in Sept 2006 to attend our OYPC (Oceania Youth Peace Conference) and gave us the Youth a wonderful lecture which has been engraved in all of our life. We can all feel his dedicated efforts on our youth and on Kosen-rufu for the world peace. He had already setted up an example to all of us like Ikeda sensei. He is the true disciple of Ikeda sensei and Nichiren Daishonin. I will follow the spirit of Mr. Shin and continue his will to contribute to the worldwide Kosen-rufu until the end of my life. I can still remember he told us before, we should strive hard to study Nichiren Daishonin's buddhism many many time until the book has been torn out. This is a bit funny but this is so true. Since we have different life state moment after moment (Ichinen Sanzen), we read the Nichiren Daishonin's Gosho differently moment after moment too. Therefore, as Mr. Shin said we should read it again and again until the book has been torn out. :) One more thing I can remember Mr. Shin said before, he told us to "AWAKE", awake our Buddha nature from within us. Also he reminded us not to treat the Mystic Law outside ourselves. If we doubt our ability or find an easy way to do things instead of challenging ourselves, then we are actually treating the Mystic Law outside ourselves. We are like counting the wealth of our neighbours but we don't get any benefits at all. These things that he told us really struck my heart deeply. I hope you guys can also grab the main points from Mr. Shin. Actually we have the OYPC DVD that has recorded the lecture from Mr. Shin. I think we are so lucky that we could invite Mr. Shin to our OYPC in Australia in Sept 2006. Thank you so much, Mr. Shin.
#36 - Aris Lee Yu Yan, Sydney Australia - 06/24/2007 - 18:53
I had the opportunity to meet Shin at the Soka Spirit conference. I will miss you Shin. Thank you so much for helping me understand Soka Spirit. You truly lived your life to the fullest. Carloyn, Thank you for this wonderful site about Shin's life.

Rainey Kelly
Odenton District
#37 - Rainey Kelly - 06/24/2007 - 20:16
Sun of Hope District Leader, WWW Area, Vanguard Chapter, North Orange County, California
Thank you Mr. Yatomi, you have been such an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for the encouraging articles, and study material, and most of all, for your book "Buddhism in a New Light." Thank you for the encouragement you gave us when you attended our Area Soka Spirit study last year, shortly before you went to Australia. When I found out of your illness, I shared the news with our district members, and we have chanted for you. We will continue chanting for you. Your will be always with us, in the continuing fight for World Wide Kosen Rufu.
Our daimoku will also keep pouring for your mother and for Carolyn.
Thank you for teaching us how to live and how to die.
Lora Ben
#38 - Lora Ben - 06/25/2007 - 01:48
Thank you for sharing Shin's life with us. I fist met him while visiting the SGI Library, and later came to know him as a very considerate and responsible study department chief. I often asked questions about study, and he would reply each thoroughly. I believe his spirit and dedication to study and translation will forever be remembered as "Kumarajiva of Kosen-Rufu!"
#39 - Judy Chow - 06/25/2007 - 09:19
did not know Shin personally. Inspired by him weekly... That smile too... Thanks
#40 - all of us? - 06/25/2007 - 09:21
"Kumarajiva of Kosen-Rufu!" -- touched our lives. Judy Chow, Los Angeles, California
Thank you for sharing Shin's life with us. I fist met him while visiting the SGI Library, and later came to know him as a very considerate and responsible study department chief. I often asked questions about study, and he would reply each thoroughly. I believe his spirit and dedication to study and translation will forever be remembered as "Kumarajiva of Kosen-Rufu!"
#41 - Judy Chow - 06/25/2007 - 09:21
We are better people because of you
Shin... even though I never met you face to face, I know your heart because of your words.

As a study director, you helped countless SGI members grow in our understanding of Buddhism and life itself.

As a TV journalist myself, I am grateful for your beautiful words and clear writing --- as you used the voice of the Buddha.

And Carolyn (who I assume is the gorgeous woman in the pics next to Shin) --- my love and support goes out to you during this time.
You have a network, a global family behind you... cheering you on and giving encouragement.



#42 - Gene Kang - 06/25/2007 - 10:29
I always looked forward to Shin Yatomi's succinct analysis of this Buddhism whether it be in the World Tribune or Buddhism in A New Light. I deeply appreciate the encouragement his writings gave to the members. I appreciate his life.
To his wife - I am deeply sorry for your loss and am chanting for his earliest return.
Thank you and goodbye

I am, with many others, heartbroken about the loss of Mr. Yatomi.

His writing was unique in illustrating the depth and profundity of Buddhism while pointing out its practical relevance to our lives. There was no one like him.

I thank him for giving us so much in the Soka Spirit and Study Department, and thank his family for generously sharing him with us. I pray to carry on his spirit and to contribute to the Buddhist learning program as he would have wished.
Thank you for sharing your victory
While battling my own illness I confided in Shin, assuring him I would overcome it, and asking him not to tell others. Shin asked why I wanted to keep it all to myself.
"When you share your struggle with others, they also share in your victory!"
Shin, thank you for allowing us to share in your victory!
#45 - Ric Dexter, Dallas Texas - 06/25/2007 - 11:49
True Compassion
Shin, thank you for your personal guidance and answers to my questions during rough times. You were truly one of my mentors in life!
#46 - Eve Brannen, South Jersey - 06/25/2007 - 16:31
A poem spelling Shin Yatomi's name dedicated to Carolyn.
Shining star forever and a
Heart filled with peace. Shin,
Inspires us still and
Now you're at ease.

You can rest assured
And be happy that we heard
The many writings you quoted word for word
Okay you would say chant-life is for fun!
Manifesting wisdom a surfer on the run
Inspiring the world to become happy thats Shin Yatomi san!
Thanks for everything
Shin, Though I don't see you personally, but your guidance in World Tribune surely moved and encouraged me. You are truly an amazing and magnificent person! Thanks for everything!
#48 - Chris of South Bay - 06/25/2007 - 18:22
Hi Carolyn,

I don't think I've met you, but I will not ever forget what a wonderful gentleman your husband was, he was always so bright and cheerful, Shin spoke with me on a couple of occassions, each time I felt his Ichinen and each time, I was left with such an awesome bright aura.

I was invited to one of his study meetings when he resided in the apartments behind WCC back then, I couldn't get over all those books he had then. His heart was extremely warm then as it was the last time I spoke to him, I always felt like I was given a spiritual gift.

I was at his lecture at the Santa Monica Community Center a few months ago, I was so impressed with his lecture and I've read his book; "Buddhism in a new Light;" plus some of his other articles.

I had to purchase the book for my son; Ryant, even though Ryant did not have the pleasure and honor of meeting Shin, I invited Ryant to attend Shin's memorial service, after Shin's memorial service Ryant and I spoke for two days about what an amazing human being Shin was and his deep sense of appreciation was to be awed!

Ryant continues to speak of Shin and I'm unable to stop getting emotional when I speak of him, he truly left a deep impression in my Ichinen.

Carolyn, I would like to say Shin's favorite quote you, that you quoted at his memorial service to you, out of my deep appreciation and gratitude for your compassion in sharing Shin with all of us. "Thank you, thank you, thank you so much. Arigato, Arigoto, Arigato.

#49 - NASA/Tonni - 06/25/2007 - 20:03
Oasis Group / Metro City District / Airport Marvista Chapter
I grew to respect and admire Shin over many years. I still remember one of his first days when he arrived in LA from NY. He stopped by the old Morning Sun store across the street from the old WCC for some supplies. His understanding of Nichiren Buddhism and his strong connection to Sensei has always inspired me. I was shocked to hear that he was sick and had a chance to visit and chant with him, Carolyn, and two other friends in his hospital room. I think we were all inspired by his life that night in the hospital. I remember Shin as a fine gentleman who was always smiling when ever we cross path. Lastly, one memory I'll never forget was a trip to SF culture center from LA where I had a chance to do a comical skit with Shin. Anyone who saw it would know how funny it was. I will always miss you Shin and I'm sure we will cross path again in the future. Thank you Carolyn for your great example.
#50 - Jim Janlekha - 06/25/2007 - 22:21
Good bye and see you soon Shin...
I've never mourned the death of somebody I have never met like I have over Shin. What a golden life he lived and we will be enjoying the effects of the many causes he made towards Kosen Rufu for countless lifetimes to come. Thank you from the bottom of my heart...

- Bejay
#51 - Bejay Cole - 06/26/2007 - 09:16
What a wonderful tribute, I'm so glad to learn more about Shin. I never was fortunate enough to have met him, but my co-district leader got great guidance from him and shared that with me. I was chanting for Shin when he got ill, especially toward the end. 2 days after he passed I was still chanting for him, and, desperate for a breakthrough, I asked for his guidance - wherever his spirit was, I asked for him to hear me and help me. I broke down in tears afterwards. But later that day I found out about the perfect job for me, and I knew that he had facilitated that. I got the job and had the big breakthrough I've been working on for 3 1/2 me, this is actual proof of the eternity of our lives and our practice. I will forever be grateful, and continue to chant for him. My heartfelt regards to his family.
Suzanna Regos
#52 - Suzanna Regos - 06/26/2007 - 10:13
With Deep Appreciation
Carolyn, thank you for sharing this wonderful site dedicated to Shin with all of us and thanks also to all who helped create it. I first met Shin in 1996 and contined to be inspired by his keen understanding of the relavance of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo in my daily life. Beyond intellectual eloquence he broke it down in simple terms for me and many other fellow members to understand Buddhist concepts over the years. I will forever remember his smiling face that reflected deep compassion and his willingness to support others despite his own predicament.

Along with a few of my fellow members I have initiated a study group in which Shin's compilation titled, "Buddhism in a New Light" is the study material along with Sensei's guidance to further deepen my bond with Ikeda Sensei. Shin has in my mind realized his bond with his mentor, Ikeda Sensei, and his insights will serve to be a blueprint for me to persist in my quest to realize the same.

With sincere appreciation,

Neil Mukherjee
Denton TX
#53 - Neil Mukherjee - 06/26/2007 - 10:52
Fortunate One
I always have felt so fortunate. To be born when i was.See The Beatles Live - discover Bob Dylan - Live the Sixties . What a geat time to be back here again. Then it got better , much better.
after much personal seeking I FOUND THE GOHONZON !!!
Not only that but Daisaku Ikeda , who is responsible for me being able to find the Gohonzon , was and is still here amongst us.!!! What an example what a Sensei - and as Buffalo New Yorks
loss became Los Angeles's gain [ 1987] my incredible growing fortune led me to you , Shin Yatomi. What tremendous fortune. thru you i began to understand what Mentor - Deciple was all about & I'll never forget how in 1990 you were the only one i could talk to about my joy & relief when nikken went nuts!!!!
We had lots of fun -Swimming at Yattos & drinking a few beers..
The most important aspect of The Buddhas apearance in the world is his behavior as a human being.Your life & all your actions were truly inspiring -i'll always love you & can't wait to practice with you next left us all Eternally Inspired
#54 - Michael Lintz - 06/26/2007 - 20:08
A tribute to a truly great hero of Kosen-Rufu!
I have not seen Shin since he left Japan for college. I used to tutor Shinsuke and his family in English just prior to his leaving for the U.S. to attend college. I knew the family well. When I arrived at their door Lucky used to go bananas. For some reason when I arrived, Lucy would immediately run to me, turn over on his back so that I could pet his belly. Shin was a lot of fun as a youth and his dog was a blast!

I have been living in Japan for 28 years. I only taught English in the beginning years to supplement my income when I was still struggling to develop my business. I hated teaching but teaching the Yatomi family was sheer joy! Most Japanese are the slowest learners when it comes to learning English. But that was not the case with Shinsuke. He was brilliant! I always knew he would go places but I had no idea he would go on to become the great leader that he did. In fact, I had no idea that he became who he became until after he died. I have often wondered what became of him and now I am sorry I did not search him out when I had the chance. Shinsuke was always nice to me, always optimistic and a barrel of fun! You see, even back then he was someone very special.

I want to thank you for creating such a wonderful website. I have placed a link on our Kansai International Group (KIG) website to I am in my 40th year of practice and joined in Guy McClusky's district when he was a district chief in L.A. many eons ago. Recently we created the KIG cafe website and forum. When Shin passed away, the forum was flooded with posts in memory of Shin.

Ron Kessler, KIG
#55 - Ron Kessler - 06/26/2007 - 22:13
Yatomi-san lives within our hearts
I am a YMD member in Tokyo, Japan. This website was passed on to me from my mother in San Diego. I have only met Yatomi-san once which was back in 2004, but I still clearly remember meeting him at his desk in the World Tribune's editorial room. He greeted me with such a warm and gentle smile. My memory of him at that time, was that he was a gentle person of few words but a man of strong will.
Couple of weeks ago, I knew about his cancer through reading his experience.
I was shocked and sad but my heart went out to him for his courageous fight against cancer. The day after, I had a chance to talk about Yatomi-san's fight against cancer to our fellow YMD members, here in Tokyo.
That night I recieved many emails that they had chanted for his peaceful repose.
His words of courage has gone across the sea half way around the world and touched many YMD members here.
From what I hear from my mother, I think Yatomi-san has taught us that it's not just about overcoming cancer or how long we live, but it's "how we live" and "how we fight" as sensei's deciple to our last minute.
So, Yatomi-san, I say thank you.
Thank you for showing me the true way of a desciple.
#56 - Miki Hamamatsu - 06/27/2007 - 05:51
Knowledge and Strength
First, thank you so much to those who put together this site.

The loss of Shin Yatomi deeply affected me. Though I never met him I felt I knew so much about him through his articles in the World Tribune and Living Buddhism. I looked forward to reading his articles second to reading the guidances of my mentor, President Ikeda.

As an active member for Soka Spirit I felt this bond as disciples grow stronger when I read Shin Yatomi's collection of essays in "Buddhism in a New Light." I had not realized how strong a fighter for Soka Spirit he was before that.

In his battle with his health I truly learned about how to live fully until the last moment. His never give up spirit truly shined in his last few articles.

I look forward to meeting this amazing Bodhisattva in future lifetimes.
#57 - A fellow Disciple - 06/27/2007 - 08:14
Receptionist @ Soka University.
Dear Shin, you are such an inspiration to all. When I read your article in the Tribune, about defeating Cancer, I immediately cut out the Article and mailed it to my Sister-in-Law in England, who has had breast cancer for many years but was still working, maybe 1 day a week. She was not a member, but I sincerely hoped to encourage her with the Article. Sadly she passed away, 4 Days after Shin. So I am sure they are both chanting. Also very healthy. thank you so much Shin for your beautiful life.
Sincerely.Tony houghton.
#58 - anthony houghton - 06/27/2007 - 09:30
Truly inspirational, the heart of a Lion!
Just wanted to add the Title.
#59 - anthony houghton - 06/27/2007 - 09:34
He showed us Daisaku Ikeda Sensei in all of us
Shin was our beloved interpreter during a training session in Japan. He cared deeply for each one of us, in spite of his battle with a very bad cold. He was severe and vigilant with himself. With us, he was the warmth of many suns and brought equally the brilliant lightness of wisdom, so clearly, so true. He never forgot Daisaku Ikeda as his Sensei. How can it be that his love for his Mentor surpasses the feelings of loss we have for dear Shin?
#60 - Sally Johnson - 06/27/2007 - 10:11
What an impact this man had on the world !!!
Thank You Shin!
#61 - Skip Learned - 06/27/2007 - 12:57
Thank you
To all who created this page, my thanks.
To Shin, We practiced together during the Chacamaty days. You were so heroic and so encouraging to all of us.

Then your wonderful study meeting on The New Human Revolution at Carol's. Thank you for your wisdom.

Cancer has always scared me but I'm beginning to understand, through your example, how a person can win in spite of it.

Thank you for your beautiful life.

#62 - Lois Brower - 06/27/2007 - 13:36
Many thanks

This site brings tears to my eyes. I am truly moved by how Shin lived his life. I first met Shin at FNCC in January 2000 while he was lecturing at the first Soka Spirit meeting. I have fallowed his articles and books since. I was amazed and inspired by how Shin made complex theory seem so simple. Thank you and it has been a great honor to have known him. What a great tribute to a wonderful person

Bob Lopez
Renaissance District
Goodyear, Arizona

#63 - Bob Lopez - 06/27/2007 - 18:02
Thank you
I never met Shin, but for several years I have been reading his articles in the WT and always I have been impressed by his complete understanding of Buddhism. There were many times that an article he wrote jumped out at me and was the article I NEEDED to read at that moment. I always looked forward to his articles. I will miss him despite never having met him. Thank you, Shin.
#64 - Bridget Borer - 06/27/2007 - 21:20
We walk with you too
Dear Carolyn & family,

I first heard of Shin, from my brother Andy Heah, who was encouraged by Shin's contributions to the Oceania Youth Peace Conference last year (2006) in Australia.

The rest of our family practises faith in Singapore, but we were equally encouraged, from afar, with the wonderful advances in kosen rufu, at the other end of the Asia Pacific, in no small part due to Shin's contributions.

I feel saddened too at Shin's passing, and joyous too, at his magnificent life & legacy. I searched for & found this website, and have shared it with my wife Jasmine & family.

Let us join you in remembering well, this true human being, and letting his life inspire our future efforts for Humanity.
I have linked a recent post in my blog, I Believe, to the memory of Shin Yatomi, and to this website.
#65 - Alan Heah - 06/28/2007 - 05:03
Gone, but never forgotten
Dear Carolyn:

Since his "emergence" into SGI publications, I have been the greatest admirer of Shin Yatomi. I had the honor of being at a Study Conference at FNCC when he was a presented and his presentation was the highlight of the conference. I have looked forward to his wisdom and always looked for his beautiful smile or his name as I anxiously thumbed through newly received WTs or LBs.
I may also have given away more copies of "Buddhims in a New Light" than anyone.

When I first read of Shin's illness last October I was in disbelief, but reading his words gave me so much hope and encouragement. I have carried that article in my bead case ever since and have given it to many, many members. By far, I believe this is one of the most important articles ever published in the WT -- Shin was so generous in sharing his struggle with us. His honesty and courage will never be forgotten.

I encouraged my Chapter to have tosos in his honor and we did so over the months. Those that perhaps had not known who he was now do and are great admirers. My daughter in L.A. kept me abreast of his journey and I reported to the Districts in my Chapter. We were dedicated to sending him daimoku and heartfelt gratitude.

My daughter was able to attend the memorial service and she called to tell me everything about it. I had so wished I could have gone to show my respect. This website is so beautiful and again is evidence of your and Shin's generosity to all of the members everywhere who loved and respected him so much. Thank you for all of the work you've done.

I will leave you with words from your husband that have been ringing in my head and heart the last month:

"When people live each moment to the utmost -- doing their previously unimagined best -- their lives start shining from within, regardless of their external circumstances. Furthermore, their brilliance often extends beyond their death, making a bright spot in people's hearts, like the twinkling of a star we see at night many years after it has gone out." Shin's light will never disappear from our hearts.

You will both remain in my prayers.

Lorrie Glenn
Port Gardner Chapter
Everett, Washington
#66 - Lorrie Glenn - 06/28/2007 - 17:03
SGI member in Napa California
Dear Carolyn,

I am deeply moved by your tribute to Shin. I never met Shin but his courage was amazing as he continued to send articles to the WT inspite of his illness. Thank you for sharing a little more of your lives on this website.

Randy Monroe
#67 - Rand Monroe - 06/29/2007 - 17:17
My deepest thanks for golden members and encouragement
Starting at the end of 1991, when the split happened, Shin, a couple of other YMD, and myself went to Nichiren Shoshu meetings at members homes. Our purpose was to find out which members were on the fence going to both SGI and Nichiren Shoshu meetings. This was the beginning of our disassociation efforts. We would report back to the YMD Chief and form a plan for someone to visit the member. We indirectly helped to disassocate 7 or 8 members at the time.
Also our committee to educate SGI members about what was then called the priesthood issue, created 6 study meetings with gosho quotes pertaining to different aspects of the issue. Shin was wonderful leading us to create these study packages for the members. He helped us all have a strong understanding about what Nichiren Daishonin said about the 3rd Powerful Enemy.
Shin unceasingly battled this devilish function. He did everything possible to educate as many members as he could about the issue. My gratitude goes out to Shin for opening up his house, so we could study about our 3 Presidents and the History and Conviction of SGI. I am very fortunate to have experienced this.
Shin has been so encouraging to me especially since he shared his struggles with illness and I am also presently challenging a life threatening disease.
Thank you Shin for being such a great inspiration to me.
#68 - Maurice Miele - 06/30/2007 - 05:33
My deepest thanks for golden memories and encouragement
Correction on the title.
#69 - Maurice Miele - 06/30/2007 - 05:43
in praise of shin yatomi (written the day after his memorial service in LA)

Shin Yatomi has truly triumphed over death and illness. He has shown us through his example how it is possible to be utterly victorious in death as well as in life. The sutra passage we recite during gongyo in which the Buddha uses his death as an expedient means to make people yearn for the way applies to Shin. He is a true disciple of Daisaku Ikeda and a Buddha in life as well as in death , as the gosho says. I knew Shin from having invited him to a study meeting at my house where he gave a wonderful lecture. It was a small and intimate gathering. Shin was extremely warm and courteous to everyone present, expounding the law and principles of Buddhism without the least trace of condescension. The gosho says that it is one of the Buddha’s characteristics to be able to expound the Law easily and freely in ways that people can understand. This applies to Shin. In recalling this meeting at my house, I am reminded of how important it is to feel and express our sense of gratitude toward people, and to develop the capacity in our life to truly cherish each person and each moment we spend with them. Pres. Ikeda keeps talking about this, yet it is not a concept that is easily grasped with the heart. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the time Shin spent with us that day, I also took it somewhat for granted, and took his presence a little for granted as well. After all he was always there, at the headquarters, he was accessible. He was so accessible that one felt extremely comfortable calling him at any time. He was very prompt in answering any email or phone call, always with the most extreme courtesy. In this behavior as well I saw his desire to follow his mentor’s guidelines to the letter. Looking back, I wish I could have been able to express to him at the meeting that day, with my words and my behavior, how much I appreciated his life and the moment we spent together. But in my presumptuousness, I just assumed that this moment would come back. I made an appointment for Shin to speak again at a chapter study meeting, in July of last year. Something came up, a conflict in the chapter schedule, or some other trifle, and we kept pushing the date back. One day in the fall or winter when I called him I was informed that he was home with cancer. Immediately I asked Danny N if I could have his phone number to see if I could go chant with him. I was informed that Shin was chanting everyday all day long at his home and that there was a schedule for members to go chant with him. I took the number of the person organizing the schedule with the full intention of going there any free time I had, even though it was fairly distant from my house. Days went by, I had the number with me all the time, and yet, I kept putting it off, distracted or busy with other things, (procrastination is one of my big devils) telling myself I will do it tomorrow, or the following week. Again in my mind was the thought “I have time”, I could not imagine Shin not being around. Time flies more swiftly than an arrow. The hours and the days pass into months before one can stop and seize them. Until the day came when I received the e-mail about his passing. Too late. In Letter to Nikke, the Daishonin writes : “How swiftly the days pass! It makes us realize how few are the years we have left. Friends enjoy the cherry blossoms together on spring mornings, and then they are gone, carried away like the blossoms by the winds of impermanence, leaving nothing but their names….Even when the approaching tiger of death3 roars, we do not hear and are not startled”.
I went to Shin’s memorial yesterday. In my whole life I have never witnessed anything like it. Almost two thousand people, at the WPIA, not counting all those around the country and the world who must have been chanting at the same time. More than a memorial, this was a sublime ceremony of the attainment of Buddhahood, a living testament of the power of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo manifesting in this saha world. Shin’s life was actualizing the gosho quote: “He was a Buddha in life, and he is a Buddha in death”. Shin was still expounding the law and showing us the way. He was showing us how to be a disciple of Daisaku Ikeda, he was showing us not only how to live, but how to die. Victoriously. These are not just empty words. In his WT article of March30th, as well as in his testimonials and his study conference video, Shin shared with us with great candor his outer and inner battle with the devil of death. What he taught me was that in fact death is not the devil, illness is not the devil, only our fear of it is. In his wonderful and heart wrenching article (WT 3/30/07) Shin candidly talks of confronting this devil, which lurks in the depth of life. At first disbelief at the news of his cancer, the temptation of denial, and the even stronger temptation of giving in to the sweet allure of death when the pain is too strong. “ Regret and worry tormented me …for fear of disappointment, I didn’t want to have hope for the future…I was in so much pain that I wanted to die right there and then…” (I have experienced that feeling myself, when for months and months after a debilitating injury inflicted upon me, I was in such despair and discomfort that had I not had years of Buddhist practice under my belt I might have given in to the temptation of putting an end to it all, just to stop the agony). Shin continues: “..then I realized that what Buddhism calls “the devils of death” ..can arise in our lives as both fear and a yearning toward death as an escape”…. Shin takes us through his great battle: “ with the support of my friends , my prayers became more determined and hopeful”… “ In the beginning of this ordeal, I was trying to prepare myself for death through stoic detachment, but now I am learning that the best way to prepare for death-which could come to anyone at any time- is to live fully each day, to advance with hope everyday, no matter the circumstances…” “Nichiren writes, Nam Myoho renge kyo is the greatest of joys…Through chanting earnestly in the face of death, I am beginning to understand the kind of joy Nichiren talks about…I am gaining confidence that my life is at one with the eternal cosmic life of Nam myoho renge kyo. I can be happy in the here and now , even with deadly cancer! I can be joyful though I am very ill and in pain! …my hope and courage are rising above the sufferings of sickness and death.”
Shin came face to face with the grim reality of his own death. He had no choice but to confront it. He did. He won. He won in life and he won in death. How did he win? He won by staying true to his vow as a disciple of Daisaku Ikeda. He stayed close to his mentor’s words, which constantly assured him of total victory, which told him that there is a vast expanse within our lives that is so deep and eternal and joyful, that it can never be destroyed. Shin went through the formidable wall within life, the wall of fear and doubt and darkness, which in fact is but an illusion, and he found behind it, or underneath it, the vast eternal expanse that is the buddha land. He did not just do it in words, but with his life, and by doing so, he actualized for us Shakyamuni’s struggle before becoming aware of his enlightenment. He also actualized with his life the words of Daisaku Ikeda.
“Meditation sounds calm and peaceful, but it is by no means an easy path. It is a fierce struggle against the pull of negativity and darkness. Shakyamuni squarely confronted, fought and defeated, the “destroyer of life”, a function pervading the universe. In doing so he conquered the darkness that is called unhappiness”.
In his study conference video, only two weeks before he died, one can see the result of Shin’s victory, in Shin’s state of life. What a truly victorious life! What a way to live and die! This is what I want! Thank you Shin, for your example. There may be kings and queens, millionaires and billionaires, famous people of all kinds in this world. But who would not aspire to such a brilliant life and death as yours? “Worldly fame and profit are mere baubles of your present existence ….” (MW p.58) President Ikeda keeps telling us over and over again that nothing else compares in nobility and brilliance to the lives and to the work of the votaries of the lotus sutra, the ordinary members of the SGI who fight with the same mind as Nichiren. Thank you Shin, for showing actual proof of your mentor’s words.
I know one is not supposed to have any regrets, especially as a Buddhist. Yet I do regret the fact that I never went to chant with Shin. I regret that there was such a discrepancy between my intention and my actions. Part of my regret is pretty selfish. Of course my first thought at the time was to go chant with him to support him. I realize now that he didn’t really need my support, that he was surrounded by an immense outpour of love, a testament to his character. My regret is for my own loss. Loss of the opportunity to get to know him better, to become his friend, to learn from him how to deal with my injury, and to confront my own fears and doubts; and most of all I regret not having been able to chant together at length with a true disciple of Daisaku Ikeda as we blend our lives in the great ocean of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. I do have that regret. And yet at the memorial yesterday I realized that if I could not do all this while he was alive, I can still do it in death. Shin, I put your picture and the rose I received at the memorial service on my altar. I would like to be your friend. Let’s chant together. Let’s fight for kosen rufu together and continue the work you have started. let’s be true disciples of Mr. Ikeda together. show me the way; today, because of you , because of your memorial service, and all the people who were there showing me how amazing your life is, I have been able to humbly reflect on my own life and death. I have been able to renew the vow I made long ago to President Ikeda, to never be defeated and to burn my life for kosen rufu. Time is swift and there is so much to do. Away with regrets! Out with complacency! I want to live and die like you, Mr. Yatomi. Victorious.
Thank you Shin
Thank you Ikeda sensei.
Alain Berger, los angeles, June 4th 2007
p.s. this morning a young woman whom I introduced to the practice exactly two weeks ago came to chant with me. I looked at Shin’s picture and the rose on my altar, and determined to totally focus on her and her happiness during the time she was here, as well as to do my best to show her the utmost consideration and respect.
#70 - alain berger - 06/30/2007 - 07:42
Poem for Shin
As a token of my gratitude to Shin I would like to offer to Shin’s family and loved ones this poem I wrote some years ago for the SGI youth division and published in a poetry journal in Europe. I would like to re-dedicate it today to Shin Yatomi.


Look there yonder
my dear
the blue is calling you
Your life is a poem
your life is a battle
on the field
of justice

Injustice reigns
and chaos surrounds you
Screams of suffering
spiral up to the sky
reaching the vaulted ceiling
of the stars

Echoes of children dying
young men killing
mothers weeping
the cries of the many
falling victim
to the greed of the few
crash against your heart
like maddened raging waves

Yet you stand firm
my dear
you refuse to surrender
Wiping off the tears
and the sweat off your brow
straining to see clear
you advance

You keep digging
driving deep
the pylons of courage
and justice
into the trembling earth of desire

Look there yonder
my dear
Do you see?
Diamond clusters
Sparkling jewels
Glistening in the sun
Shimmering in the blue
Dancing all around you

Look within
Don’t you see?
You have won
my young one
The crystal palace of Life
is calling out to you

Your life is a poem
your life is a battle
as you soar through the skies
on the wings of justice

written 1999
re-dedicated 2007 to Shin Yatomi

alain berger – los angeles SGI

#71 - alain berger - 06/30/2007 - 07:44
Thank you
Dear Fellow Members,

My sincerest condolences go to Shin's family and friends. My sincerest gratitude go to Shin for leaving his legacy of insight and clarity into this Buddhism. His immortality is assured both in this Saha world and at Eagle Peak. I am fortunate to have met him here through his writings and will make every effort in faith in this life so that I may encounter him again in the next.
#72 - Philip Suraci - 06/30/2007 - 09:26
Great friends in this life and beyond....
Carolyn, I am moved by this website and by Shin's entire life. He continues to encourage me every time I think of his life and all the gifts he has given to us all.. in faith and in print. He efforts has made a direct contribution to my faith. I am chanting appreciation to have had you both in my life. Thank you for generously sharing his life and accomplishments. I am grateful for him and also for you.

With deep respect and appreciation,

Yvonne Styles
Heart of California Chapter
#73 - Yvonne Styles - 06/30/2007 - 11:19
Thank you for sharing your life with us
I've never met Shin personally, but I was always very inspired by his articles. Honestly I thought he was a great person in life, but as a hear more about his personal struggles, specially with Soka Spirit, now I know he was a Buddha in life, and has inspired me to joyfully continue with my struggles no matter what.

Thank you Shin,
#74 - Tania Rojas - 06/30/2007 - 11:34
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Shin
Shin, when I heard you passed away, I cried. I wondered why I was crying despite the fact that I have never met you. Then I noticed how much you inspired and ecouraged me through your articles. I promise you that I will put forth my utmost effort to contribute toward the Kosen-rufu movement(World Peace) as you did. That is because I believe that is the best way to show my appreciation for everything that you have done for everyone and for me. Shin, words cannot describe the appreciation I hold for everything you have done. Shin, Thank you,Thank you, Thank you Shin.
#75 - Kitty Tanaka - 07/01/2007 - 00:03
Mahalo for your time with us Shin
Mahalo for each word, thought and action you gave for kosen-rufu...I have been inspired by so many of your present I am fighting fundamental darkness on a couple of levels...but I have made a pledge to win and show actual proof...and be joyous in everything I do...I never met you personally but some how I feel your life force and I know that thereis nothing I can't accomplish...I am honored to be part of such an organization that teaches us how to tap into our life force and show others...I am part of an historical journey to England on the Freedom Schooner Amistad...and I believe because of my faith we will be able to take the message of peace and hope to those we meet along the way...I am so apprcietative that we were bodhisativia's on the same path...and where you have left off...I will stand and carry on ...and be the happiest woman I can be...My prayers are with you Carolyn and I hope that some day our paths will cross on this wonderful journey we have chosen....

Nam myoho renge kyo

a hui hou
me ke aloha pumehana
#76 - dani settle - 07/01/2007 - 12:34
We should all be so fortunate - Inspired I am!
Wow I get goose bumps when I think of Shin and the wonderful times we shared practicing together as YMD. The 10 hour tozo of fighting Daimoku we waged together at a fellow members house in Santa Monica is instantly rushed to mind! How compasionately, and warmly he encouraged my family when I was near death through his example of confident fighting daimoku. His inability to pronounce my name when we first met but how throughout the years it got better and better but it didn't matter because his sincere smile and joyous heart always uplifted my spirit...Myoho brothers we truly are! One can't help but think in terms of the writings of Nichiren Daishonin and he speaks about the more than 10,000 Buddha's, Boddhisattvas, and buddhist deities from 10 directions extending their arms to embrace a votary of the lotus sutra at time of his death and how their can be no greater joy then knowing this. What an example Shin's life serves to us all that in his passing we get to witness first hand the fulfillment of this promise as we get a glimps from this beautiful website of the over 10,000 Buddha's, Bodhisattva's and Dieties from 10 directions that have been touched by his life and have embued him with over 10,000 arms of beautiful daimoku to embrace him once again. I am determined to live in such a way that I too can fulfill the promise of that passage. Thank you Shin, Thank you my Myoho eternal brother! You did it! YOU'VE WON!!!

With my deepest respect, condolences, love and honor to you and your entire family.

Khalik Alexander
Sacramento Region; Elk Grove Dist. MD Ldr

#77 - Khalik Alexander - 07/03/2007 - 22:42
A thank you for the lecture re: the Gohonzon
Dear Carolyn,
It was the first FNCC study conference and Shin gave a lecture regarding the Gohonzon. I still carry it with me today. I sought him out at the lunch break because I knew that I had witnessed and experienced a breakthrough lecture. I thanked him over and over. After that I've read anything attributed to him.
As I navigated this site I was moved and inspired, sad and glad. I cherish that same gosho, "On Attaining Buddhahood." Now I will read it with the thought, "Shin read those words with his life", and know that there is hope in doing so. Please take your time and be kind to yourself.
With a heavy and grateful heart,
Lizdiel (a fellow widow)
#78 - Lizdiel Ramos-Hering - 07/05/2007 - 17:37

I never had the opportunity to meet you personally, however, I feel that I have known you all along . . . Shin, I am sending you daimoku, Always . . .
Nam myoho renge kyo
Gigi Medley
#79 - Gigi Medley - 07/06/2007 - 07:30
Give Thanks
Thank you Shin (Buddha) for your strength, courage, wisdom and compassion...
#80 - CrystalCleer L. Cummings - 07/06/2007 - 10:38
Give Thanks
Thank you Shin (Buddha) for your strength, courage, wisdom and compassion...

Dragon Gate District
Baltimore, Maryland
#81 - CrystalCleer L. Cummings - 07/06/2007 - 10:40
A friend through writing
Shin, I want to thank you so deeply for your
beautiful writing's that have helped me tremendously.
I have also as an honor to you and another
great man (Allan Carr who helped miilion's of people stop smoking)have made a commitment to give up the deadly habit of smoking....I feel I must be responsible
for my lung's...your passing taught me this.
A million thank's Shin...see you on the other side then back again!!!
#82 - Elyse scott/Cavagnetto - 07/06/2007 - 15:52
Thank you for sharing
Although Shin-san had passed on, however his Spirits had spread to all of us worldwide. As a member of the SGI Singapore, we will all spread on his message of noble wisdom.

Shin-san, wherever you go, Daimoku follows...
#83 - Pricilla Chua - 07/10/2007 - 07:35
a member...Walnut Creek Dist. - No. Calif.
To Carolyn, thank you for sharing so much of Shin with us. He was my hero because he took such complex Buddhist topics and shared his wisdom (never taking credit). His writing for me personally has always been the clearest. I have cut out his writings ever since they began. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO MADE THIS WONDERFUL SITE AVAILABLE...PLEASE KEEP IT FOR SOME TIME!!!
#84 - Laurie Morrison - 07/11/2007 - 21:28
Great memories.....
I'm eternally grateful for all the wonderful memories that I had during the Oceania Youth Peace Conference, where we all had the opportunity to study buddhism with Shin. It was wonderful to see the depth of his understanding and his compassion to share his faith to each and everyone of us.
#85 - Sujay - 07/12/2007 - 22:54
An incredible Boddhisattva
Heartfelt thanks and deepest gratitude to all who have put together this website. My heartfelt condolensces to Shin's family and Caroyln.
Although I never met Shin, his writings have had quite an impact and are an incredible source for thoughful study for me. I admired his spirit and tenacity for life. He is an inspiration for life and an incredible example of the mystic law, a brilliant sun.
I cannot thank you enough for this website, its a great tribute to a great Buddha.
#86 - Purnima - 07/13/2007 - 09:15
Goodbye my Buddha brother
Goodbye Shin, I never got a chance to meet my Buddha brother in faith, but his writings gave me so much inspiration.
Thank You.
#87 - Parvez Ali / Stockton , CA - 07/14/2007 - 20:50
Thank you Shin
I only knew you through your words--- but they were words that fanned the flames of my faith.

Thank you
#88 - Amy - 07/17/2007 - 20:38
So much power in your written words
I, as many have written before me, only known Shin from his written works in the World Tribune and Living Buddhism. I always felt that Shin really had a profound understanding of what Buddhism truly is. I always felt closer to President (Sensei) Ikeda after reading his writings. Thank you, for sharing such a wonderful life with me a proud member of North West Chapter. Thank you.
#89 - Javier Ortiz - 07/18/2007 - 15:01
My deepest appreciation to Mr. Yatomi
No words can describe my deepest appreciation and gratitude for your life, your wisdom and your encouragement. Attended your lecture was like attending a lecture with Sensei. However, I want to say to Mr. Yatomi:
Thank you so much for your time to lecture us on Soka Spirit;
Thank you so much for your selfless dedication to write and to inspire boundless hope in me to fight my own fundamental darkness and for the sake of justice;
Thank you so much for being the living precious Buddha and Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. I deeply believe so that my life is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
Thank you so so so so much for everything and everything.
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Thank you so much for all the efforts to put this website out.

#90 - Socheth 'Kim' Sok - 07/19/2007 - 23:36
Domo Arigato Gozaimashita Shin-san
When I was a brand new member back in 2002, Shin came to the Philadelphia Community Center to give us a lecture on Soka Spirit issues. I liked the way Shin talked in his lecture. He was very kind, warm, sincere, and determined. I didn't know much about what Soka Spirit meant back then, but I remember I was impressed by Shin's compassion and sincerity towards temple members. He also shared his time with Japanese members who had questions about Soka Spirit issues. He politely answered every single question he was asked.
I cannot appreciate enough to Shin for what he has contributed for Konsenrufu. Shin will be always my role model of a buddhist whom I will strive to become someday. You will be in my thoughts forever.

Domo Arigato Gozaimashita, Shin-san.

#91 - Yukari, Harrisburg, PA - 07/21/2007 - 07:03
Thank You
I just want to thank evreyone who was involved in making this beautiful web site. I am truly inspired by everything which Shin stood for in his lifetime.
#92 - Alisha Marks - 07/26/2007 - 11:49

Sensei Shin was the man who introduced me to Kendo at OSULA Kendo dojo under Nakashima Sensei. Shin taught me the basics of the great Kendo and till today I thank God for that.
I still remember his kind smile and gentle attitude. He told me that Kendo was the way of living strong and humble at the same time, and looking at him I knew that it was possible.
Shin taught us how to live like samurai and most importantly he taught us how to die like samurai. He knew that he was leaving us but he kept the same smile and the same strength untill his last days. He is a great teacher because he taught how to be samurai by his own example. He defeated death by his spirit and faith.
I am proud to be introuduced to the great discipline of Kendo by one of the ture masters of its essence. I will always remember Shin and I will try to be guided by his example.
Carolyn, you are a great woman and another great hero of all of us. I was very happy to see you fighting as Yatomi the other day. I felt Shin's presence in the dojo.
I propose to organize a memorial tournament at OSULA on Shin's birthday this year. We should never forget what he means to us all.
#93 - Yervand Kochar - 07/30/2007 - 19:23
I have been practicing Nichiren Buddhism for almost a year now and knew of Shin throught the articles he wrote in the World Tribune and his book, Buddhism in a New Light which was one of the first books I studied. His passion for study and skill at communicating through word has deeping enriched my practice and strengthened my resolve to stay strong in FAITH. I faced cancer 4 years ago and I had many questions about life and death. Through this practice of Nam myoho renge kyo, I have created great happiness and joy in my life and have a greater understanding Life and Death. Thank you Shin for demonstrating victory in life and death!

Janet Graham, Vice District Leader, WD, Farmington Hills, Michigan
#94 - Janet Graham - 08/03/2007 - 10:36
District Leader, MD, North Everett, Washington
I first met Shin at a meeting in Seattle at the Culture Center there and listened entranced by the words of this great buddhist scholar and Buddha sent to help us understand the teachings of the True Buddha, Nichiren. Like one of his friends, I have also overcome cancer through this practice. His life has helped me to deeply understand the eternity of life itself and my own humanity. I know we will meet again and again. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

Thank you for such a moving web site and an experience I will never forget in this life or any other, much like that wonderful day with Shin in Seattle. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

My prayers are with his family; especially for his precious mother and his brave wife. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
#95 - Bruce W. Sexton - 08/19/2007 - 04:48
Thank You for renewing my vow for Kosen Rufu
I heard Mr. Yatomi speak at the Seattle Culture Center, and was so impressed. I was deeply saddened to read of his passing. I send my heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Yatomi for her loss.

I have been reading Buddhism in a New Light, and feel my vow for Kosen Rufu has been renewed by his clarity about Soka Spirit. I intend to give it to all my friends and family to help them understand why I have continued this practice for 24 years.

I was so delighted to see on this site how happy his life was. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Karen Evans
Queen Anne District
Seattle, WA
#96 - Karen Evans - 03/23/2008 - 17:08
So sad....
A very old (but long time ago) Danish friend of Shin, has just now experienced that Shin passed away last year. I was in Kobe, Japan from 1982-83 where I got to know Shin. I was supposed to teach him some English, but we became very good friends and had a great time and so much fun in Kobe. He showed me all the exiting and wonderful parts of Kyoto, Osaka and the countryside around Kobe. I was very grateful that Shin took the time to show a "Gaijin" the beauty of Japan. In June 1984 Shin visited me in Denmark just before he went to the US for the first time.

I'm born the 29. of November 1961 - same date and year as Shin. In a way, I considered him as my Japanese twin-brother.

He was a very good friend and a worderful human beeing. In spite of the fact, I'm sad that I never met Shin again, I'm glad that he has achieved so much in his too short life.

Thorsten Dyngby

Copenhagen, Denmark
#97 - Thorsten Dyngby - 03/27/2008 - 15:33
Shin, an eternal friend
Dear Shin,
I will never forget you, how in your very busy schedule you took the time to listen and help me understand the death of my dear friend. With your kind words I was able to be at his side chanting while he was in a coma and everyone, even his family had given up. He was a Christian and I was not certain I was doing what he wanted but I was all he had. He passed a couple of days later, peacefully. You reminded me that my daimoku would reach his life even in a coma. Maybe about 2 months later, he came to me in a dream and he was so beautiful and happy. He specifically wanted me to know he was happy and I knew at that moment how powerful Nam Myoho Renge Kyo truly is. I know you are well and we will meet again. Thank you for sharing your life with the members. Kindest Regards, Francine Adams, Miami, Fl
#98 - Francine - 03/02/2009 - 18:33
I read his works almost daily and learn from him each time. I am grateful to have this opportunity to know more about Nichiren Buddhism. His scholarship is remarkable and leads me to better work myself. I appreciate this opportunity to say thank you and to know more about him, his family and his work.dr
#99 - donna redman - 05/28/2009 - 08:44
My eternal friend
I was fortunate to practice briefly with Shin at the very early stage of my own practice, when I became a young youth division leader in area of Queens County that features Astoria, Elmhurst, Flushing, etc. About 25 years ago. His dedication to study and his humor stay with me, as do his careful and thoughtful writings on Soka Spirit (Buddhism in a New Light), which I keep in my alter and read to refresh my attitude. Recently my University discovered the Relay for Life walk (This is an English language university campus in China) which reminds of the important of cancer research. I will do this year's walk thinking of many cancer victims I know, like Shin, who are certainly reborn in important roles already.
#100 - Charlie Greenberg - 04/28/2014 - 23:07
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