Rev. Yokotsuka (1952-1984) was a disciple of the Most Ven. Nichidatsu Fujii, founder of Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order in Japan. In Sri Lanka for 6 years he had been praying to bring about peace among peoples there.
However he was shot dead on the street in Jaffna on 28 Oct. 1984 at the age of 32, while he was bowing to show veneration to the men who were going to assassinate him. This practice of bowing, through the veneration and worship of the Buddha-nature existing in all beings, is based on the practice by the Never Despising Bodhisattva in Chapter 20 of the Lotus Sutra.
Rev. Yokotsuka's martyrdom was nothing more than an encounter between violence and the practice of Bowing, the supreme way of non-violence which in Japan was first practiced and embodied by the 13th. century's great monk Nichiren (1222-1282).
Rev. Yokotsuka showed us some ideas of the Bodhisattva's vows taken by Mahayana Buddhist who see no enemies around them, believing that everyone is to become a Buddha. The practitioners find their places of mission voluntarily amongst real troubles. They practice the Bodhisattva's vows without the fear that they will be misunderstood, ridiculed, or beaten to death. This is the significance of Martyrdom in the present-day.