"Osaka is famous for its awa-okoshi or millet cake. One day, we enjoyed a wonderful conversation with President Ikeda while eating awa-okoshi with him. Afterwards, Sensei said, "Now that you have eaten millet cakes, you can become united, can't you?"
"United?" we exclaimed. We Kansai members could not understand what he meant.
President Ikeda explained, with humour, "Awa-okoshi is made of awa (millet) stiffened with caramelised sugar, isn't it? This is, exactly, a form of unity."
In this way through daily, close communication with Sensei, the Kansai members learnt the correct attitude of practicing faith.
- Excerpt from the Osaka campaign
Unity can be understood and misunderstood easily. It is, at once, a rather simple yet an amazingly difficult concept. The analogy above really helped me gain a deeper insight into what Sensei means when he speaks about unity (and he speaks a lotttt about unity)
Awa and sugar are two separate entities, with their own individual properties and their own tastes. The stiffening of the millet and the caramelising of the sugar is a beautiful example of how one can be oneself yet unite beautifully with others by bringing one's unique qualities to shine and yet moult oneself to give form to a beautiful dish. If they combine together in their present form, they will probably be at loggerheads with each other and the resulting dish would taste horrible.
Sensei respects each person's individuality while emphasising the fact that this individuality should be used not to alienate but to unite, by bringing each person's unique abilities to shine and work for the group as a whole - whether its a relationship between husband and wife, between friends, or within the Gakkai.