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Daisaku Ikeda
Ikeda in 2010
Former President of Soka Gakkai International (SGI)
In office
26 January 1975 – 15 November 2023
Former Honorary President of Soka Gakkai
In office
24 April 1979 – 15 November 2023
3rd President of Soka Gakkai
In office
3 May 1960 – 24 April 1979
Preceded byJōsei Toda
Tsunesaburō Makiguchi
Succeeded byHiroshi Hōjō (北条浩)
Einosuke Akiya
Minoru Harada
Personal details
Born(1928-01-02)2 January 1928
Ōta, Tokyo, Japan
Died15 November 2023(2023-11-15) (aged 95)
Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
SpouseKaneko Ikeda (池田香峯子)
Children3 (1 deceased)
  • Ichi Ikeda (mother)
  • Nenokichi Ikeda (father)
Residence(s)Japan, Tokyo, Shinjuku-Ku, Shinanomachi (信濃町)
Alma materFuji Junior College (present-day Tokyo Fuji University)[1]

Daisaku Ikeda (池田 大作, Ikeda Daisaku, 2 January 1928 – 15 November 2023) was a Japanese Buddhist leader, author, philosopher, educator and businessman. He served as the third president and then honorary president of the Soka Gakkai, the largest of Japan's new religious movements.[2]: 5  At this time, he became a controversial leader, in Japan and abroad.

Ikeda was the founding president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), which claims to have approximately 11 million practitioners in 192 countries and territories,[3] more than 1.5 million of whom reside outside of Japan as of 2012.[4] Although these numbers are impossible to verify, recent research and surveys suggest that two percent of the Japanese population are active members of Soka Gakkai (2.5 million people).

Ikeda was the founder of a variety of educational and cultural institutions including Soka University, Soka University of America, Min-On Concert Association and Tokyo Fuji Art Museum.[5] In Japan, he was also known for his international outreach to China.[6]

In Japan, and many other countries, he has been described as a "controversial figure" over several decades from the 1970s. due to the ambivalent reputation of the Soka Gakkai— whose name has been linked to several political and financial scandals, cult of personality accusations, and his relation to the political party Kōmeitō, which he founded. He has been the subject of numerous articles, doubts and accusations in Japanese and international media.[7]: 43 [8]: 147 [9]: 149 At his death, scholars and journalists described Ikeda as among the most polarizing and important figures in modern Japanese religion and politics.[10]

Early life and background

Ikeda Daisaku was born in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan, on 2 January 1928. Ikeda had four older brothers, two younger brothers, and a younger sister. His parents later adopted two more children, for a total of 10 children. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Ikeda family had successfully farmed nori, edible seaweed, in Tokyo Bay. By the turn of the twentieth century, the Ikeda family business was the largest producer of nori in Tokyo. The devastation of the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake left the family's enterprise in ruins.

In August 1947, at the age of 19, Ikeda was invited by an old friend to attend a Buddhist discussion meeting. It was there that he met Josei Toda, the second president of Japan's Soka Gakkai Buddhist organization. Ikeda began practicing Nichiren Buddhism and joined the Soka Gakkai. He regarded Toda as his spiritual mentor and became a charter member of the group's youth division.


Daisaku Ikeda, age 19

Shortly after the end of World War II, in January 1946, Ikeda gained employment with the Shobundo Printing Company in Tokyo. In March 1948, Ikeda graduated from Toyo Trade School and the following month entered the night school extension of Taisei Gakuin (present-day Tokyo Fuji University) where he majored in political science.[11] During this time, he worked as an editor of the children's magazine Shonen Nihon (Boy's Life Japan), which was published by one of Josei Toda's companies.[12]: f. 84 [11]

In 1953, at the age of 25, Ikeda was appointed as one of the Soka Gakkai's youth leaders. The following year, he was appointed as director of the Soka Gakkai's public relations bureau, and later became its chief of staff.[13]: 85 [12]: 77 

Soka Gakkai presidency

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In May 1960, two years after Toda's death, Ikeda, then 32 years old, succeeded him as president of the Soka Gakkai. Later that year, Ikeda began to travel overseas to build connections between Soka Gakkai members living abroad and expand the movement globally.[14]

As a president, Ikeda continued fusing the ideas and principles of educational pragmatism with the elements of Buddhist doctrine.[15] He reformed many of the organization's practices[citation needed], including the aggressive conversion style known as shakubuku, for which the group had been criticized in Japan and in other countries.[16] The organization "had provoked public opprobrium because of its aggressive recruitment policies and its strongly developed political base."[17]: 197 

In 1979, Ikeda resigned as president of the Soka Gakkai (in Japan), in compliance with the demands of the Nichiren Shōshū priesthood .[18]: 56  Hiroshi Hōjō succeeded Ikeda as Soka Gakkai president, and Ikeda was made honorary president.[18]: 55 

Ikeda continued to be revered as the Soka Gakkai's spiritual leader, according to Asian studies associate professor Daniel Métraux.[19] Métraux in 1994 wrote that "adulation of Ikeda in the Gakkai press gives some non-member readers the impression that the Gakkai is little more than an Ikeda personality cult".[20]: 151  One reason for the excommunication of Soka Gakkai by Nichiren Shōshū in 1991 was, according to the "Nichiren Shoshu" entry in The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, "Nichiren Shōshū accusing Sōka Gakkai of forming a personality cult around their leader Ikeda" and "Soka Gakkai accusing the Nichiren Shoshu leader Abe Nikken of trying to dominate both organizations."[21] Sociologist of religion Peter Beyer in 2006 summarizes an understanding in the context of contemporary global society: "Until the 1990s, Soka Gakkai still was related formally to the monastic organization, Nichiren Shoshu, but conflicts over authority led to their separation (Métraux 1994)."[22]: 277 

Soka Gakkai International founding

Further information: Soka Gakkai International

By the 1970s, Ikeda's leadership had expanded the Soka Gakkai into an international lay Buddhist movement increasingly active in peace, cultural, and educational activities.[23]: 371–72, 376  On 26 January, Soka Gakkai representatives from 51 countries created the Soka Gakkai International (SGI). Ikeda took a leading role in the global organization's development and became the founding president of the SGI.

Critics and controversies


According to Asian studies professor Daniel Métraux in 1994, Ikeda is "possibly one of the more controversial figures in Japan's modern history".[8]

In 1996, the Los Angeles Times described Ikeda as "the most powerful man in Japan - and certainly one of the most enigmatic", "condemned and praised as a devil and an angel, [...] a despot and a democrat".[24]

In 1984, Polly Toynbee, grand-daughter of British historian Arnold Toynbee, whose conversations with Ikeda were published, was invited by Ikeda to meet him in Japan. Following her visit, she wrote a critical article for The Guardian on meeting the leader. She writes:

"On the long flight to Japan, I read for the first time my grandfather's posthumously, published book, "Choose Life -- A Dialogue".. . . My grandfather [...] was 85 when the dialogue was recorded, a short time before his final incapacitating stroke (...) My grandfather never met Ikeda on his visits to Japan. His old Japanese friends were clearly less than delighted with lkeda's grandiose appropriation of his memories. Several days passed before we were to meet our mysterious host, time in which we learned more about Mr Ikeda and his Soka Gakkai movement. One thing above allo others was made clear: this was an organisation of immense wealth, power and political influence (...) Asked to hazard a guess at his occupation, few would have selected him as a religious figure. I have met many powerful men -- prime ministers, leaders of all kinds -- but I have never in my life met anyone who exuded such an aura of absolute power as Mr Ikeda".

Religion and politics

In the history of institutional relations between the religious movement Soka Gakkai and the political party Kōmeitō founded in 1964 by Ikeda as an outgrowth from Soka Gakkai,[25][26][27] he has faced "unabated criticism against the alleged violation of the separation of religion and state"[28]: 203, 215, 216  and been accused of "far-reaching political ambitions."[9]: 149  Associate professor of government George Ehrhardt and co-authors write that "Sōka Gakkai's entrance into the political arena [...] permanently transformed the relationship between religion and politics in Japan by dividing those who opposed the creation of a religious political party from those who accepted it."[29]: 16 

A lot of newspapers and scholars have proven though that, despite the formal separation, there are still "strong links"[30]: 363 [31]: 170  and that the Komeito has remained to some extent the "political arm" of Soka Gakkai.[32][33]: 479 [34]: 75 

In 2015, addressing the "party's understudied history," political scientist Steven Reed and his co-authors write that "the image of Kōmeitō as a mere political branch of Sōka Gakkai is clearly mistaken" and that "the separation between party and religious group announced by Ikeda Daisaku in 1970 made a real difference." He also states that "sōka gakkai meetings are used to introduce Kōmeitō candidates and to advertise the party, particularly during the period leading up the election." [35]: 271–272 

About "the changing role of the Komeito in Japanese politics in the 1990s", Daniel Métraux states that: "While it is difficult to determine his exact role, an examination of his daily itinerary would reveal that he would have very little time personally for political management and that most of the aging leader's time is devoted to religious affairs, traveling, and writing. Ikeda may well have influenced the Komeito in a macrosense, but in a microsense he is clearly not involved. The Komeito and its successes have a life of their own; they are certainly not lifeless puppets ready to react to Ikeda's or to the Soka Gakkai's every whim."[7]: 44 


In 1970, there was a freedom of speech controversy about the intent to prevent the publication of Hirotatsu Fujiwara's polemical book, I denounce Soka Gakkai, that vehemently criticized Ikeda, Soka Gakkai and the Komeito.[36]: 148 [37]: 112 [12]: 96  In his 3 May 1970 speech, addressing, among others, Soka Gakkai members, guests and news media, Ikeda responded to the controversy by: apologizing to the nation "for the trouble...the incident caused," affirming the Soka Gakkai's commitment to free speech and religious freedom, announcing a new policy of formal separation between the Soka Gakkai religious movement and Komeito, calling for both moderation in religious conversion practices and democratizing reforms in the Soka Gakkai, and envisioning a Buddhist-inspired humanism.[12]: 97–98 [38]: 76–77 

In October 1982, Ikeda had to appear in court concerning three cases.[39]: 150 

Philosophy and beliefs

Ikeda's relationship with his mentor, Jōsei Toda, and influence of Tsunesaburō Makiguchi's educational philosophy, shaped his emphasis on dialogue and education as fundamental to building trust between people and peace in society.[40] He interprets the Middle Way as a path between idealism and materialism.

Ikeda's use of the term ōbutsu myōgō in his 1964 book Seiji shūkyō (Politics and Religion) has been interpreted to mean "politics by people, with mercy and altruism as a Buddhist philosophy, different from the union of politics and religion (seikyo icchi)."[41]: 4  The term is also used by Ikeda in the Komeito's founding statement.[42] In the 1969 edition of Seiji shūkyō, "he declared that obutsu myogo would not be an act of Soka Gakkai imposing its will on the Japanese state to install Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism as the national creed," and that "Soka Gakkai, through Komeito, would instead guide Japan to a new, democratic world order, a 'Buddhist democracy' (buppo minshu shugi) combining the Dharma with the best of the Euro-American philosophical tradition to focus on social welfare and humanistic socialism."[43]: 73  Another interpretation of his views at that time was that "Buddhist democracy" could be achieved by a "religious revolution" through kōsen-rufu on the premise of achieving "social prosperity in accordance with individual happiness" for the entire society.[44]: 233, 232  In 1970, after Ikeda announced the severing of official ties between the Soka Gakkai and Komeito, the use of "politically charged terms such as obutsu myogo" was eliminated.[45]: 15 

Ikeda refers in several writings to the Nine Consciousness as an important conception for self-transformation, identifying the ninth one, "amala-vijñāna", with the Buddha-nature. According to him, the "transformation of the karma of one individual" can lead to the transformation of the entire society and humankind.[46]


Institutional engagement

Further information: Soka School System

Ikeda founded a number of institutions to promote education, cultural exchange and the exchange of ideas on peacebuilding through dialogue. They include: Soka University in Tokyo, Japan, and Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California; the Victor Hugo House of Literature, in France; the International Committee of Artists for Peace in the United States; the Min-On Concert Association in Japan...

From 1990, Ikeda partnered with Rabbi Abraham Cooper and the Simon Wiesenthal Center to address anti-Semitic stereotypes in Japan.

Peace proposals

Since 26 January 1983, Ikeda had submitted annual peace proposals to the United Nations, addressing such areas as building a culture of peace, gender equality in education, empowerment of women, youth empowerment and activism for peace, UN reform and universal human rights with a view on global civilization.[47]

Ikeda's proposals for nuclear disarmament and abolishing nuclear weapons were submitted to the special session of the UN General Assembly in 1978, 1982 and 1988.

Citizen diplomacy

Ikeda has described his travels, meetings and dialogues as citizen diplomacy.[48]: 126 [49] Researchers linked to Ikeda and the Soka Gakkai have suggested the body of literature chronicling Ikeda's diplomatic efforts and his international dialogues provide readers with a personalized global education and model of citizen diplomacy.[50]

First in 1967 then several times in 1970, Ikeda met with Austrian-Japanese politician and philosopher Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, founder of the Paneuropean Movement. Their discussions which focused on east–west relations and the future of peace work were serialized in the Sankei Shimbun newspaper in 1971.[51][52] In 1974, Ikeda conducted a dialogue with French novelist and then former Minister of Cultural Affairs Andre Malraux.[53]

In January 1975, Ikeda met with Henry Kissinger, then United States Secretary of State, to "urge the de-escalation of nuclear tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union."[54] The same month Ikeda met with Secretary-General of the United Nations Kurt Waldheim. Ikeda presented Waldheim with a petition containing the signatures of 10,000,000 people calling for total nuclear abolition. The petition was organized by youth groups of the Soka Gakkai International and was inspired by Ikeda's longtime anti-nuclear efforts.[55][56]: 250 

Ikeda's meetings with Nelson Mandela in the 1990s led to a series of SGI-sponsored anti-apartheid lectures, a traveling exhibit, and multiple student exchange programs at the university level.[57] Their October 1990 meeting in Tokyo led to collaboration with the African National Congress and the United Nations Apartheid Center on an anti-apartheid exhibit inaugurated in Yokohama, Japan "on the 15th anniversary of the Soweto uprisings (16 June 1976)."[58]: 9 

Sino-Japanese relations

Ikeda made several visits to China and met with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in 1974, though Sino-Japanese tensions remained over the brutalities of war waged by the Japanese militarists.[59] The visits led to the establishment of cultural exchanges, and opened academic exchanges between Chinese educational institutions and Soka University.[57] Chinese media describe Ikeda as an early proponent of normalizing diplomatic relations between China and Japan in the 1970s, citing his 1968 proposal that drew condemnation by some and the interest of others including Zhou Enlai.[60][61] It was said that Zhou Enlai entrusted Ikeda with ensuring that "Sino-Japanese friendship would continue for generations to come."[62]


Further information: List of awards received by Daisaku Ikeda

International honors

In 1999, the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel at Atlanta, Georgia-based Morehouse College established the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Institute for Ethics and Reconciliation as one of its programs to foster peace, nonviolence and reconciliation. In 2001, the Institute inaugurated the traveling exhibition Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace.

The Club of Rome named Ikeda an honorary member,[63] and, as of 2020, Ikeda has received more than 760 honorary citizenships from cities and municipalities around the world.[64]: 12 [65]: 90 

At the International Day for Poets of Peace in February 2016, an initiative launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid World Peace Award, Daisaku Ikeda from Japan along with Kholoud Al Mulla from the UAE, K. Satchidanandan from India and Farouq Gouda from Egypt were named International Poets of Peace.[66]

Personal life

Ikeda lived in Tokyo with his wife, Kaneko Ikeda (née Kaneko Shiraki), whom he married on 3 May 1952. The couple had three sons, Hiromasa (vice president of Soka Gakkai),[67] Shirohisa (died 1984),[68] and Takahiro.[69]

Daisaku Ikeda died on 15 November 2023, at the age of 95. His death was publicly announced on 18 November.[70]


Ikeda was a prolific writer.[71]: 67  His interests in art, religion, poetry and music are reflected in his published works.

Dialogue with Toynbee

The 1976 publication of Choose Life: A Dialogue (in Japanese, Nijusseiki e no taiga) is the published record of dialogues and correspondences that began in 1971 between Ikeda and British historian Arnold J. Toynbee about the "convergence of East and West"[72] on contemporary as well as perennial topics ranging from the human condition to the role of religion and the future of human civilization. As of 2012, the book had been translated and published in twenty-six languages.[73]

But Toynbee being "paid well" for the interviews with Ikeda raised criticism : "he accepted the dialogue with the controversial Ikeda primarily for the money", according to historian Louis Turner.[74]To an expat's letter critical of Toynbee's association with Ikeda and Soka Gakkai, Toynbee wrote back: "I agree with Soka Gakkai on religion as the most important thing in human life, and on opposition to militarism and war."[75]

Main books

Ikeda's most well-known publication is the novel The Human Revolution, which is an autobiography in 30 volumes, but with great freedoms in relation to the facts.

In their 1984 book Before It Is Too Late, Ikeda and Aurelio Peccei discuss the human link in the ecological consequences of industrialization, calling for a reform in understanding human agency to effect harmonious relationships both between humans and with nature.[76]

In Life—An Enigma, a Precious Jewel (1982), Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death (1984), discussions of a Buddhist ontology offer an alternative to anthropocentric and biocentric approaches to wildlife conservation.[77]

The sixteen conversations between Lou Marinoff and Ikeda in their book The Inner Philosopher (2012) introduce classic Eastern and Western philosophers.

Column in the Japan Times

In 2003, Japan's largest English-language newspaper, The Japan Times, began carrying Ikeda's contributed commentaries on global issues.[78] By 2015, The Japan Times had published 26 of them. But the column raised criticism among the Japan Times' journalists, who protested their disagreement with Ikeda's writing.

Selected works by Ikeda


  1. ^ "Daisaku Ikeda Profile". Soka University. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  2. ^ Métraux, Daniel A. (2012). Soka Gakkai International: Japanese Buddhism on a Global Scale (DOC). Staunton, Virginia: Virginia Consortium of Asian Studies and the Virginia Review of Asian Studies.
  3. ^ Clark Strand (Winter 2008). "Faith in Revolution". Tricycle. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  4. ^ McLaughlin, Levi (2012). "Soka Gakkai in Japan". In Prohl, Inken; Nelson, John (eds.). Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Religions. Brill. pp. 269–308. ISBN 978-90-04-23436-9. Today, the group has a self-declared membership of 8.27 million households in Japan and more than 1.5 million adherents in 192 countries abroad under its overseas umbrella organization Soka Gakkai International, or SGI. Recent scholarship challenges theses figures and points to a figure in the neighborhood of two percent of the Japanese population.
  5. ^ "UNIVERSITY FOUNDER". Soka University. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  6. ^ Motoko Rich (29 November 2023). "Daisaku Ikeda, Who Led Influential Japanese Buddhist Group, Dies at 95". The New York Times. On another front, Mr. Ikeda asked that the party push Japan to recognize the People's Republic of China; the two countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1972. Two years later, Mr. Ikeda met with Zhou Enlai, then the premier of the People's Republic, at a hospital in Beijing, where Mr. Zhou was being treated for cancer.
  7. ^ a b Métraux, Daniel (1999). "The Changing Role of the Komeito in Japanese Politics in the 1990s". Japan Studies Review. 3. University of North Florida: 41–60. (p43:) The actual role of Soka Gakkai's spiritual leader Ikeda Daisaku has been a matter of some controversy in Japanese politics for several decades. As the self-proclaimed founder and avid supporter of the Komeito, he potentially wields considerable influence in the political world. Some journalists and conservative politicians as former Komeito president Takeiri Yoshikatsu have claimed that Ikeda plays an active role in Komeito affairs.... (p44:) While it is difficult to determine his exact role, an examination of his daily itinerary would reveal that he would have very little time personally for political management and that most of the aging leader's time is devoted to religious affairs, traveling, and writing. Ikeda may well have influenced the Komeito in a macrosense, but in a microsense he is clearly not involved. The Komeito and its successes have a life of their own; they are certainly not lifeless puppets ready to react to Ikeda's or to the Soka Gakkai's every whim.
  8. ^ a b Métraux, Daniel A (1994). The Soka Gakkai Revolution. University Press of America. ISBN 9780819197337. Ikeda, possibly one of the more controversial figures in Japan's modern history, is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of contemporary Japanese society—how one sees him depends on one's vantage point.
  9. ^ a b Kisala, Robert (2005). "Chaper 7: Soka Gakkai: Searching for the Mainstream". In Lewis, James R.; Petersen, Jesper Aagaard (eds.). Controversial New Religions (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 139–152. ISBN 978-0-19-515683-6. (p149:)Despite this lack of formal higher education, Ikeda has been prominent in international peace forums, addressing the United Nations General Assembly and keeping a high profile in his frequent exchanges with prominent statesmen and academics. In his numerous proposals on peace and disarmament, Ikeda makes continued reference to the ideal of universal disarmament and resolution of conflict through negotiation. Ikeda has been a controversial figure in Japan [...]. His critics accuse him of far-reaching political ambitions, and the tabloid press has played up unsubstantiated reports of sexual and financial scandals. Prefiguring the split with Nichiren Shoshu in 1991, Ikeda resigned as president of Soka Gakkai in 1979, in an attempt to repair the already strained relationship with the Shoshu monks over his power and the personality cult built around him. His continuing paramount role within the group, as well as the cult surrounding his figure, is evident, however, in the treatment afforded him by the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai's daily newspaper, where the front page is commonly devoted to reports on his activities.
  10. ^ "The Death of Ikeda Daisaku". Substack. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  11. ^ a b Timeline of Ikeda's life, Accessed 6 November 2013
  12. ^ a b c d Seager, Richard Hughes (2006). Encountering the Dharma: Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai, and the Globalization of Buddhist Humanism. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. ISBN 0520245776. OL 3395144M.
  13. ^ Kisala, Robert (2000). Prophets of peace: Pacifism and cultural identity in Japan's new religions. Honolulu, HI, USA: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2267-5.
  14. ^ Ronan Alves Pereira (2008). "The transplantation of Soka Gakkai to Brazil: building "the closest organization to the heart of Ikeda-Sensei"". Japanese Journal of Religious Studies.
  15. ^ Dayle Bethel (1974). "The Political Ideology of Ikeda Daisaku, President of Soka Gakkai". International Education. 3 (2).
  16. ^ Cherry, Stephen M.; Ebaugh, Helen Rose (22 April 2016). "Soka Gakkai International: Nichiren Japanese Buddhism (Daniel A. Metraux)". Global Religious Movements Across Borders: Sacred Service. Routledge. pp. 83–84. ISBN 978-1-317-12733-8. The huge growth and power of the Soka Gakkai has drawn harsh criticism over the years, especially in Japan because of its aggressive proselytization in its early years, its decision to play an active role in politics, and what critics call a personality cult around leader Ikeda Daisaku. Soka Gakkai's practice of shakubuku contributed to their rapid growth but alienated many in Japanese society who decried such confrontational methods.
  17. ^ Reader, Ian (2004). "Chapter 12: Consensus Shattered: Japanese Paradigm Shift and Moral Panic in the Post-Aum Era". In Lucas, Phillip Charles; Robbins, Thomas (eds.). New Religious Movements in the 21st Century: Legal, Political, and Social Challenges in Global Perspective. Routledge. pp. 191–202. ISBN 978-1-135-88902-9. The movement was persecuted for its opposition to the wartime government's militarism but it is now the largest religious organization in Japan. Soka Gakkai, more than almost any other movement prior to Aum, had provoked public opprobrium because of its aggressive recruitment policies and its strongly developed political base. These developments had caused concern that Soka Gakkai might threaten the post-war constitutional separation of religion and state.
  18. ^ a b Métraux, Daniel (March 1980). "Why Did Ikeda Quit?". Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. 7 (1): 55–61. doi:10.18874/jjrs.7.1.1980.55-61. Retrieved 4 June 2020. Ikeda quit because the Nichiren Shoshu saw him as an obvious threat to its existence. Ikeda and the Soka Gakkai had grown so big and powerful that it threatened to devour its parent. The Nichiren Shoshu priesthood felt that it was on the verge of being overwhelmed. It had to reassert its authority to make its presence felt, and Ikeda's resignation is the clear end-result of this drive.
  19. ^ Metraux, Daniel A. (1 November 1999). "Japan's Search for Political Stability: The LDP-New Komeito Alliance". Asian Survey. 39 (6): 926–939. doi:10.2307/3021146. ISSN 0004-4687. JSTOR 3021146. Although Ikeda formally resigned his position as president of the Soka Gakkai in 1979, he is still revered as the movement's spiritual leader and spokesman
  20. ^ Métraux, Daniel A (1994). The Soka Gakkai Revolution. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. ISBN 9780819197337. Every Soka Gakkai publication features of Ikeda and stories about his speeches, trips, and meetings. .... This adulation of Ikeda in the Gakkai press gives some non-member readers the impression that the Gakkai is little more than an Ikeda personality cult.
  21. ^ Buswell, Robert E. Jr.; Lopez, Donald S. Jr. (24 November 2013). The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press. p. 582. ISBN 978-0-691-15786-3.
  22. ^ Beyer, Peter (2006). Religions in Global Society. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. ISBN 0-415-39318-3. OL 22728649M.
  23. ^ Queen, Christopher S.; Sallie B. King, eds. (1996). Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia. Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-2844-3.
  24. ^ "Japan's Crusader or Corrupter?". Los Angeles Times. 15 March 1996. He is, by some accounts, the most powerful man in Japan - and certainly one of the most enigmatic: Daisaku Ikeda, leader of the nation's largest religious organization, has been condemned and praised as a devil and an angel, a Hitler and a Gandhi, a despot and a democrat
  25. ^ Gebert, Andrew (30 September 2011). "Soka Gakkai". Oxford Bibliographies. doi:10.1093/obo/9780195393521-0053. The third president, Daisaku Ikeda (b. 1928), took over leadership in 1960; the founder of an affiliated political party, the Komei Party, and numerous educational and cultural bodies, he has further overseen the Soka Gakkai's international expansion.
  26. ^ Urbain, Olivier (9 August 2013). Daisaku Ikeda and Dialogue for Peace. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-85772-455-7. Also, when Ikeda founded the Komeito Party in 1964, he suggested including in the Party's program the political issue of normalizing relations with China.
  27. ^ Klein, Axel; McLaughlin, Levi (January 2022). "Kōmeitō: The Party and Its Place in Japanese Politics". In Pekkanen, Robert J.; Pekkanen, Saadia M. (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Politics. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190050993.013.5. ISBN 9780190050993. The chapter then delves into the party's history, detailing its origins in 1964 as an outgrowth from Sōka Gakkai, an influential Japanese lay Buddhist organization.
  28. ^ Dehn, Ulrich (2011). "Chapter 5: Soka Gakkai". In Staemmler, Birgit; Dehn, Ulrich (eds.). Establishing the Revolutionary: An Introduction to New Religions in Japan. Lit Verlag. pp. 201–220. ISBN 978-3-643-90152-1. (p203:) ...Japan at that time under authoritarian military rule was in close cooperation with Shinto shrines and Shinto imperial ideology. ...[I]n 1942 all households were ordered to display Shinto-ofuda (amulets) to keep away evil from their houses. Soka Gakkai refused to show the ofuda at the headquarters' entrance which caused the observation of Soka Gakkai's inner circle and led to the imprisonment of 22 leaders on 6 July 1943, on the charge of an offence against state security and blasphemy. Makiguchi had called the emperor a human being. The organization was disbanded by the government. In November 1944, Makiguchi died of undernourishment; following his death, most of the imprisoned Soka Gakkai leaders, except for Toda Josei and Yajima, withdrew their Soka Gakkai membership and were released.(p215:) In 1964, Soka Gakkai launched its political party Komeito after already in 1955 independent deputies had been elected through Soka Gakkai support into both houses of parliament. (p216:)There has been unabated criticism against the alleged violation of the separation of religion and state and the alleged ambitions of SGI president (and former Soka Gakkai president) Ikeda to gain supreme political power in the country.
  29. ^ Ehrhardt, George; Klein, Axel; McLaughlin, Levi; Reed, Steven R. (2015). "Chapter 1: Kōmeitō: The Most Understudied Party of Japanese Politics". In Ehrhardt, George; Klein, Axel; McLaughlin, Levi; Reed, Steven R. (eds.). Komeito: Politics and Religion in Japan. Institute of East AsianStudies. pp. 3–24. ISBN 978-1-55729-111-0.
  30. ^ Darren F. McClurg (19 September 2019). Timothy J. Demy; Jeffrey M. Shaw (eds.). Religion and Contemporary Politics: A Global Encyclopedia [2 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. p. 363. ISBN 978-1-4408-3933-7. As a result of the fallout from this attack on free speech, Soka Gakkai and Komeito were forced to separate, and both renounced their goal of converting the population to Nichiren Buddhism. Although weakened, strong links between the two remained, and Gakkai voters continue to supporter Komeito politicians. Ikeda stepped down from leadership of the organisation in 1979 but remains its honorary president and its spiritual leader to this day. The Economist called him "the most powerful man in Japanese politics" as late as 1999.
  31. ^ Porcu, Elisabetta (23 April 2014). "Religion and the State in Contemporary Japan". In Arnason, Johann P. (ed.). Religion and Politics: European and Global Perspectives. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 168–183. ISBN 978-0-7486-9174-6. The strong link between Soka Gakkai and Komeito (since 1998, Shin Komeito or New Komeito) however still remains and the support for candidates by the religious group continues. Such a situation is made possible because Article 20 does not deny the possibility of a religious organisation forming a political party, which is seen as an expression of religious freedom by those religious groups involved in politics
  32. ^ Obuchi, Keizo (1 July 1999). "Support, at a price". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 6 October 2020. He has been called the most powerful man in Japanese politics, yet he is not even a politician. Daisaku Ikeda is the spiritual leader of the Soka Gakkai, a lay Buddhist group that can muster nearly 7m votes—a tenth of Japan's voting population (and a fifth of those who turn out in most elections). The Soka Gakkai's political arm, the New Komeito, is the second-largest opposition party in the Diet (parliament) and is notably influential in the upper house. That is a measure of Mr Ikeda's power.
  33. ^ Corduan, Winfried (22 October 2012). Neighboring Faiths: A Christian Introduction to World Religions (2nd ed.). InterVarsity Press. p. 479. ISBN 978-0-8308-3970-4. footnote 37: The Komeito severed its organizational ties to SG in 1970, but has nonetheless remained the political arm of Sokka Gakkai in Japan. The party has gone through several mergers and divisions with other parties, but is presently a separate party again, known as 'New Komeito' (see Dobbelaere, Soka Gakkai, pp. 60–73).
  34. ^ Tellis, Ashley J.; Wills, Michael (2007). Domestic Political Change and Grand Strategy. National Bureau of Asian Research. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-9713938-8-2. In addition to forging coalitions with and even absorbing different conservative mini-parties, the LDP has since 1999 developed a partnership with the Komeito, the political arm of the religious group Sokagakkai with a strong base in Japanese cities.
  35. ^ Ehrhardt, George; Klein, Axel; Mclaughlin, Levi; Reed, Steven R (May 2015). "Chapter 11: Kōmeitō: Politics and Religion in Japan". In Ehrhardt, George; Klein, Axel; McLaughlin, Levi; Reed, Steven R (eds.). Kōmeitō: Politics and Religion in Japan. Institute of East Asian Studies. pp. 269–276. ISBN 978-1-55729-162-2. Like other parties originating from a religious organization, Kōmeitō grew increasingly independent and turned into a self-contained, self-interested party with a distinct agenda that is not always compatible with that of Sōka Gakkai. While many aspects of the relationship between the organizations are still unclear, the image of Kōmeitō as a mere political branch of Sōka Gakkai is clearly mistaken. Concerns regarding Kōmeitō's link to religion remain, yet our findings indicate clearly that the separation between party and religious group announced by Ikeda Daisaku in 1970 made a real difference. Kōmeitō has matured into an organization that, in terms of policy and institutional behavior, has shifted both its strategies and policies in a politically rational manner. In the 1970s, Kōmeitō cooperated with opposition parties. When these attempts failed, the party responded positively to LDP approaches, leading eventually to the coalition government in 1999. Finally, as we detailed in chapter 10, none of the dire predictions about what would happen if Kōmeitō ever gained power have come to pass. First, Kōmeitō in power has not proven a threat to democracy. ... Second, Kōmeitō in power has not threatened other religious groups or tried to get special privileges for Sōka Gakkai relative to other religious groups. Indeed, Kōmeitō has acted to protect the interests of religious groups in general. ... A major motivation for producing this volume was our conviction that Kōmeitō is one of the most understudied aspects of Japanese politics.
  36. ^ Hrebenar, Ronald J. (9 July 2019). The Japanese Party System: From One-party Rule To Coalition Government. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-000-30274-5.
  37. ^ Baffelli, Erica (5 February 2016). Media and New Religions in Japan. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-11783-2.
  38. ^ McLaughlin, Levi (2014). "Chapter 3: Electioneering as Religious Practice: A History of Soka Gakkai's Political Activities to 1970". In Ehrhardt, George; Klein, Axel; McLaughlin, Levi; Reed, Steven R (eds.). Komeito: Politics and Religion in Japan. Institute of East AsianStudies. pp. 51–82. ISBN 978-1-55729-111-0.
  39. ^ Hrebenar, Ronald J. (9 July 2019). The Japanese Party System: From One-party Rule To Coalition Government. Routledge. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-000-30274-5. October 1982 was an especially bad month for Soka Gakkai leader Ikeda Daisaku, who appeared in court three times to deny having affairs with Komeito Dietmembers, to testify the Yamazaki blackmail case, and to acknowledge that Soka Gakkai members had wiretapped the house of JCP leader Miyamoto Kenji.
  40. ^ Goulah, Jason (8 April 2016). Daisaku Ikeda, Language and Education. Routledge. pp. 106–107. ISBN 978-1-134-91485-2.
  41. ^ Daisuke Akimoto, Sōka University Peace Research Institute (1 May 2012). "Kōmeitō in Japanese Politics". Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  42. ^ Hardacre, Helen; George, Timothy S.; Komamura, Keigo; Seraphim, Franziska (2021). Japanese Constitutional Revisionism and Civic Activism. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 166. ISBN 978-1-7936-0905-2. Ikeda's use of ōbutsu myōgō in Komeito's founding statement reaffirmed Toda's goal, and members continued to be inspired by this millenarian aim as they worked for Komeito campaigns.
  43. ^ McLaughlin, Levi (2014). "Chapter 3: Electioneering as Religious Practice: A History of Soka Gakkai's Political Activities to 1970". In Ehrhardt, George; Klein, Axel; McLaughlin, Levi; Reed, Steven R (eds.). Komeito: Politics and Religion in Japan. Institute of East AsianStudies. pp. 51–82. ISBN 978-1-55729-111-0.
  44. ^ Baffelli, Erica (9 August 2011). "Chapter 8: 'The Gakkai is Faith; the Kōmeitō is Action': Soka Gakkai and 'Buddhist Politics'". In Starrs, Roy (ed.). Politics and Religion in Modern Japan: Red Sun, White Lotus. Springer. pp. 216–239. ISBN 978-0-230-33668-1.
  45. ^ McLaughlin, Levi (12 October 2015). "Komeito's Soka Gakkai Protesters and Supporters: Religious Motivations for Political Activism in Contemporary Japan". The Asia-Pacific Journal/Japan Focus. 13 (41): 1–31.
  46. ^ Braidotti, Rosi; Wong, Kin Yuen; Chan, Amy K. S. (14 March 2018). "Tony See, "Deleuze and Ikeda: Two Concepts of revolution"". Deleuze and the Humanities: East and West. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 45–58. ISBN 978-1-78660-601-3.
  47. ^ Chowdhury, Ambassador Anwaraul K (2014). "Foreword". In Urbain, Olivier (ed.). A Forum for Peace: Daisaku Ikeda's Proposals to the UN. I.B. Taurus. pp. xi–xiv. ISBN 978-1-78076-840-3.
  48. ^ Métraux, Daniel A. 1994. The Soka Gakkai Revolution. Lanham/New York/London: University Press of America ISBN 0-8191-9733-5
  49. ^ Seager 2006, p119.
  50. ^ Goulah, Jason. "Dialogic Practice in Education." In Urbain, Olivier. 2013. Daisaku Ikeda and Dialogue for Peace. London/New York: I.B. Tauris. p83. ISBN 978-1-78076-572-3
  51. ^ Teranashi, Hirotomo (2013). Urbain, Olivier (ed.). Daisaku Ikeda and Dialogue for Peace. I.B. Tauris. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-85773-413-6. However, his meetings with Count Coudenhove-Kalergi that took place in 1967 and 1970 were of a different nature. These meetings covered subjects such as a comparison of the cultures of East and West and discussions on the future direction the world ought to take. This may be considered Ikeda's first full-fledged exchange of views with the international intelligentsia.
  52. ^ Tozawa, Hidenori (2013). クーデンホーフ·カレルギーと創価学会 (Coudenhove-Kalergi and the Soka Gakkai) (in Japanese). Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi Forum (School of Law, Tohoku University). Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  53. ^ Andre Malraux and Daisaku Ikeda (2010). Ningen kakumei to ningen no joken (Changes Within: Human Revolution vs. Human Condition). Ushio Shuppansha Tokyo.
  54. ^ "No More Nukes". Tricycle. 3 February 2015. Archived from the original on 18 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  55. ^ Nanda, Ved P. (2009). Krieger, David (ed.). The Challenge of Abolishing Nuclear Weapons. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4128-1517-8.
  56. ^ Ikeda, Daisaku (1987). "The Human Revolution: A Prerequisite for Lasting Peace". McGill Journal of Education. 22 (3): 246–257. Retrieved 20 January 2022. In 1972, I suggested the initiation of a youth movement to devent the sanctity of life, and its dignity. ... First, a campaign to collect signatures for petitions seeking the abolition of nuclear weapons and an end to war was carried out across Japan. Ten million signatures were collected; ten million people announced their wish for peace and a nuclear-free world. In 1975, I passed these petitions to Kurt Waldheim, then secretary-general of the United Nations.
  57. ^ a b Seager 2006, p120.
  58. ^ Dessì, Ugo (2020). "Soka Gakkai International in Post-Apartheid South Africa". Religions. 11 (11): 598. doi:10.3390/rel11110598.
  59. ^ Zhou, Xiaofang (6 December 2014). "World Youth Symposium, Nankai University, Tianjin". Zhou Enlai Peace Institute. Retrieved 22 November 2016. At that time, Premier Zhou met with the great scholar and peace advocate, Mr. Daisaku Ikeda. His heart was still in pain, because of the campaign of the Japanese militarists against China, and the war between the two peoples was still fresh with the memory of enormous pain and suffering. But Premier Zhou Enlai of China received Dr. Ikeda with dignity and compassion; their conversation is of historic significance and bore great fruit. It set the stage for breaking the deadlock with the US and China, through the visit of Mr. Kissinger and President Nixon to China, and signalled the beginning of a move toward the normalization of relations.
  60. ^ Chong Zi and Qin Jize, "Praise for man that called for friendship". China Daily. 9 May 2008. p3.
  61. ^ "Ikeda was strongly criticized and even received death threats from right-wingers. Ikeda saw peace with China as fundamental to the stability of Asia, and considered the reintegration of China into the international community as vital to world peace. His call and behind-the-scenes efforts helped establish the groundwork for a series of political-level exchanges between China and Japan, culminating in the restoration of diplomatic relations in 1972." Excerpted from Cai Hong, "Books to connect cultures." China Daily. 4 July 2012.
  62. ^ 南开大学周恩来研究中心 (Zhou Enlai Research Center, Nankai University). 2001. 周恩来与池田大作 (Zhou Enlai and Daisaku Ikeda). 主编王永祥 (Edited by Wang Yongxian). Beijing, China: 中央文献出版社 (Central Literature Publishing House). p2. ISBN 7-5073-0973-8.
  63. ^ "List of Honorary Members". Club of Rome. Archived from the original on 14 December 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  64. ^ Olivier Urbain (2010). Daisaku Ikeda's Philosophy of Peace. I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84885-304-1.
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  71. ^ Chilson, Clark. 2014. "Cultivating Charisma: Ikeda Daisaku's Self Presentations and Transformational Leadership." Archived 30 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine Journal of Global Buddhism vol 15 (2014):65–78. ISSN 1527-6457 (online)
  72. ^ McNeill, William H. 1989. Arnold J. Toynbee: A Life. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. p273. ISBN 0-19-505863-1
  73. ^ Goulah Jason, Ito Takao (2012). "Daisaku Ikeda's Curriculum of Soka Education: Creating Value Through Dialogue, Global Citizenship, and 'Human Education' in the Mentor-Disciple Relationship". Curriculum Inquiry. 42 (1): 65. doi:10.1111/j.1467-873X.2011.00572.x. S2CID 143095558.
  74. ^ Louis Turner (23 September 2010). "Arnold Toynbee and Japan: From Historian to Guru". In Hugh Cortazzi (ed.). Britain and Japan: Biographical Portraits, Vol. VII. Global Oriental. p. 292. ISBN 978-90-04-21803-1. Toynbee "was paid well for six days of extended interviews [...]. The Toynbee-Ikeda dialogue was the final book in Toynbee's prolific career, which meant that his career ended on a controversial note. In some ways this dialogue played into the hands of Toynbee's critics who disliked his obsession with money. Just as his reputation had suffered in the US from his obsession with accepting lucrative lecturing engagements without much concern about the quality of the institutions he was addressing, so it can be argued that he accepted the dialogue with the controversial Ikeda primarily for the money. [...] The controversial Ikeda/Soka Gakkai attempt to use Toynbee's name and reputation needs to be seen in a wider context.
  75. ^ Qtd. in McNeill 1989, pp 272–273.
  76. ^ Scales Avery, John (23 November 2015). "Book Review: Aurelio Peccei and Daisaku Ikeda, "Before It Is Too Late"". Human Wrongs Watch. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
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Buddhist titles Preceded byJōsei Toda 3rd President of Soka Gakkai 3 May 1960 – 24 April 1979 Succeeded byHiroshi Hōjō (北条浩)