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Aided by her Buddhist practice, Akiko Matsumura struggled to overcome the suicide of her adult son.

 

 

I was born as the second daughter in a well-off family and lived my life without ever having to struggle much with anything. I was bright and happy, with a tenacious, never-give-up attitude. I loved literature, and when I was in high school, I had an essay published in a local newspaper. 

 

"Life is long," I wrote, "and in the future there may come a time when the harsh winds of fate bear down upon me as strong as a typhoon, but one should never grieve or be defeated. Life is determined by how bravely we face it and how we create it."

A boy named Takaetsu read my essay and was touched by it. We became pen pals and eventually married. Later, he decided to adopt my faith and, in 1966, joined the Soka Gakkai.

I was 20 when we married and my life changed completely, because my husband's family were farmers.

 

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