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Buddhism
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Soka Gakkai International ("International Value-Creation Society"; also, SGI) is the international umbrella organization for Soka Gakkai-affiliated lay organizations in over 190 countries. SGI has over 15 million members, who practice Soka Gakkai's particular form of Nichiren Buddhism. SGI's Japan-based parent, Soka Gakkai, was formed in 1930 and is closely associated with the New Komeito, an influential Japanese political party. However, the SG no longer financially supports this party. The Soka Gakkai International, the global organization, was founded in 1975 and characterizes its organization as a support network for practitioners of Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism. SGI members, seeking to change society for the better by applying their religious beliefs to daily life, are actively engaged in numerous community-based programs to promote cultural exchange and understanding among peoples as well as activities to propagate the Buddhism that they practice. An umbrella organization is an association of (often related, industry-specific) institutions, who work together formally to coordinate activities or pool resources. ... Nichiren Buddhism (日蓮系諸宗派: Nichiren-kei sho shūha) is a branch of Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren (1222–1282). ... The New Komeito ), New Komeito Party , or NKP is a political party in Japan founded by Daisaku Ikeda, leader of the Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai. ...


The different SGI organizations and its international president, Daisaku Ikeda, have been collectively or individually criticized by the media, intellectuals, and politicians in several countries and at various times for some of their actions and policies. Conversely, it has been praised by many independent people and organizations. Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center says, "I am upbeat about Japan...we found good people there...like Daisaku Ikeda and the Soka Gakkai, that support what we're doing."[1] Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union, is quoted as saying, "President Ikeda is a philosopher, a thinker, and a poet with a grand vision and a big heart. He is working not only for Japan but for the sake of the entire world."[2] In October 2006, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda received his 200th honorary doctorate and has received 150 honorary citizenships.[citation needed] In spite of their declared mission for peace, culture and education, the SGI and Soka Gakkai are also a focus of criticism and controversy. ... Daisaku Ikeda (池田大作, Ikeda Daisaku) (January 2, 1928–) is the president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a Buddhist association with about 15 million members in more than 190 countries and territories, and founder of several educational, cultural and research institutions. ...


Critics accuse the Soka Gakkai and Soka Gakkai International as being a cult or "cult-like group." Critics find that the Soka Gakkai has placed an emphasis on recruitment and that it demonizes perceived enemies, in particular former members, the priesthood of Nichiren Shoshu, and journalists and academics who have been or are critical of the organization. (See Criticism of Soka Gakkai) Nichiren Shōshū (日蓮正宗) is a branch of Nichiren Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren (1222–1282). ... In spite of their declared mission for peace, culture and education, the SGI and Soka Gakkai are also a focus of criticism and controversy. ...

Contents

History

Soka Gakkai was founded as the Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai (創価教育学会, lit. "Value-Creation Education Society") on November 18, 1930 by Japanese educator Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and his colleague Josei Toda. Makiguchi sought to reform Japan's militaristic education system into a more humanistic one that would support the full development and potential of Japan's youth. His ideas on education, and his theory of value-creation (創価, sōka), are explored in his 1930 work Sōka Kyōikugaku Taikei (創価教育学体系, The Theory of Value-Creating Pedagogy). In Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, he found a religious philosophy that reflected his educational theories, which led to the establishment of the Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai. Eventually, the focus of the organization began to shift, as Makiguchi came to the conclusion that the practice of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism itself could allow each individual to develop their potential within and attain Buddhahood. However, Makiguchi and Toda's thinking was in direct conflict with the goals of the state. When the Japanese government more rigorously enforced Shinto's position as the state religion (State Shinto) with the enactment of the Religious Organizations Law of 1939, a move designed to impose stricter governmental controls over religions (Engaged Buddhism, p. 383), and began to demand that all citizens enshrine Shinto talismans in their homes (Buddhism in the Modern World, p. 204). Makiguchi, Toda, and 18 other Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai members resisted, refusing the talismans. For refusing to cooperate with the government by compromising their religious beliefs, the two educators were sent to prison. Makiguchi died there at age 73; Toda was later released and, after World War II, re-built the organization, renaming it Sōka Gakkai to reflect the extension of its membership beyond educators only. Over the years, the Soka Gakkai experienced a period of rapid growth in Japan. An organization, Nichiren Shoshu of America (NSA, later also called Nichiren Shoshu Academy, Nichirenshoshu Sokagakkai of America, and finally Soka Gakkai International – USA), was formally organized in the United States on October 13, 1960. Today, Soka Gakkai International and Nichiren Shoshu have parted ways. SGI now has a membership of anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 practitioners in the United States (Barrett, p. 303). Soka Gakkai International (SGI) was founded in 1975 as the International Buddhist League to act as the international leadership of national Soka Gakkai organizations. is the 322nd day of the year (323rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (牧口 常三郎), Soka Gakkais first president, was born in Kashiwazaki, a small village in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, on June 6, 1871. ... Second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda(戸田 城聖) was born in 1900. ... Nichiren ShōshÅ« (日蓮正宗) is a branch of Nichiren Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren (1222–1282). ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... Nations with state religions:  Buddhism  Islam  Shia Islam  Sunni Islam  Orthodox Christianity  Protestantism  Roman Catholic Church A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


From the 13th century until the 20th century, Nichiren Buddhism was practiced almost exclusively in Japan. Soka Gakkai emerged as the largest lay organization of Nichiren Buddhist practitioners and today, Soka Gakkai membership accounts for nearly 10 percent of Japan's population (Engaged Buddhism, p. 386).


When religious freedom took hold in Japan following World War II, Soka Gakkai began to spread Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, initially across the country, then eventually across the globe, as practitioners relocated from Japan and as non-Japanese practitioners returned to their home countries, taking the practice with them. In response, Soka Gakkai began to develop a program of international outreach to help support these members, as it had been supporting members in Japan. In 1960, Daisaku Ikeda, then third president of Soka Gakkai, made a journey that took him from Japan to the United States, Brazil and Canada. During this trip he met practitioners in each of these countries and began laying the foundation for what would later become Soka Gakkai International. In 1975, SGI was formally founded, with Daisaku Ikeda as its president. Since then, constituent organizations have been formed in 190 countries where there were practitioners. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Daisaku Ikeda (池田大作, Ikeda Daisaku) (January 2, 1928–) is the president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a Buddhist association with about 15 million members in more than 190 countries and territories, and founder of several educational, cultural and research institutions. ...


Even though SGI was initially affiliated with Nichiren Shoshu, they are becoming more and more distinct. SGI's primary purpose is to provide a supporting organization for its practitioners. On its website, SGI defines its purpose as follows:

For SGI members, Buddhism is a practical philosophy of individual empowerment and inner transformation that enables people to develop themselves and take responsibility for their lives. As lay believers and engaged Buddhists, SGI members strive in their everyday lives to develop the ability to live with confidence, to create value in any circumstances and to contribute to the well-being of friends, family and community. The promotion of peace, culture and education is central to SGI's activities.

Daisaku Ikeda has led SGI since the death of Second President Josei Toda in 1958. A disciple of President Toda, Ikeda succeeded him in 1960 as Soka Gakkai president and became president of the larger Soka Gakkai International upon its creation in 1975.


Ikeda is, however, a controversial figure[3]. For example, prior to 1979, many SGI leaders implied that Ikeda was equal to or superseded Nichiren as the True Buddha and suggested that a novel authored by Ikeda, the Human Revolution, was the gosho of the present age, the gosho being Nichiren's writings[4] When he challenged the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood on doctrinal grounds, his challenge was considered an act of heresy, particularly by a priesthood that viewed and asserted itself as the ultimate authority in Nichiren Shoshu doctrine. In April 1979 Ikeda resigned his positions as Soka Gakkai president as well as head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations (Hokkekō Sōkōtō) to apologize for his organization's deviations from Nichiren Shoshu doctrine (which Soka Gakkai was bound to observe by its contemporary rules of incorporation) and the ensuing turmoil[5].


Soka Gakkai members suggest that Ikeda's resignation was the action of a man who did not want to be responsible for creating a rift among the practitioners. Regardless of the rationale, however, a division between the followers of Nichiren Shoshu, and those who aligned themselves with Ikeda's positions, did occur, and continues to be a source of controversy and disagreement amongst practitioners. Shortly after giving of the organization's presidency, Ikeda became honorary chairman of Soka Gakkai in part as a response to Soka Gakkai members' dissatisfaction with his vacating of the presidency. As of January 2007 Ikeda remains honorary chairman of Soka Gakkai and president of SGI.

Soka Gakkai International
Soka Gakkai International

Image File history File links Hachiyourenge. ... Image File history File links Hachiyourenge. ...

Split with the Priesthood

The fundamental practice of Soka Gakkai and SGI members is derived from Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, a form of Nichiren Buddhism[6]. However, due to a number of ongoing issues and disputes that existed between then High Priest Nikken Abe and the leadership of Soka Gakkai, Nichiren Shoshu decommissioned Soka Gakkai and SGI as lay organizations in 1991. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda was excommunicated in 1992. Until 1991, Soka Gakkai had been a lay organization closely affiliated with Nichiren Shoshu. In 1997 all members of the Soka Gakkai and SGI who had been members prior to 1991 and were also members of the local temple lost their standing as members of the Temple, as they had chosen to leave the temple to continue with the SG/I. Any member is welcome to return to the temple, as long as they renounce their affiliation with the Soka Gakkai or SGI. Nichiren Shōshū (日蓮正宗) is a branch of Nichiren Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren (1222–1282). ... Nichiren Buddhism (日蓮系諸宗派: Nichiren-kei sho shūha) is a branch of Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren (1222–1282). ...


SGI and Nichiren Shoshu are independent of one another. For more on the background, history and views of the Soka Gakkai International and Nichiren Shoshu split, see the external links below.


Doctrine

Nichiren (日蓮) (1222–1282) was a Japanese Buddhist monk who, having studied the entirety of Shakyamuni's teachings and the commentaries of the leading Buddhist scholars of the day, proclaimed that the Lotus Sutra was the ultimate teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha and that, in Shakyamuni's own words, it was the one true teaching. Nichiren declared that the title of the Lotus Sutra, Myoho-Renge-Kyo, crystallized the essence of the sutra and that therefore the invocation Nam-myoho-renge-kyo enabled a practitioner to embrace the entirety of the teaching and to thereby manifest the life-condition of Buddhahood. A key passage in the Lotus Sutra explains that every individual possesses this life-condition, albeit as a latent Buddha nature. The essence of the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren Daishonin taught, was that all men and women, regardless of social class, are inherently endowed with this Buddha nature and could therefore attain Buddhahood. "Nichiren" is a name he chose for himself when he embarked on spreading his teaching on April 28, 1253. It literally means "Sun Lotus". The word "Daishonin" is an honorific title meaning "great holy man" as practitioners believe him to be the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law. Nichiren (日蓮) (February 16, 1222 – October 13, 1282), born Zennichimaro (善日麿), later Zeshō-bō Renchō (是生房蓮長), and finally Nichiren (日蓮), was a Buddhist monk of 13th century Japan. ... The Lotus Sutra or Sutra on the White Lotus of the Sublime Dharma (Sanskrit: Saddharma PuṇḍarÄ«ka SÅ«tra; 妙法蓮華經 Chinese: MiàofÇŽ Liánhuā JÄ«ng; Japanese: Myōhō Renge Kyō; Korean: Myobeomnyeonhwagyeong) is one of the most popular and influential Mahāyāna sutras in East Asia and... Standing Buddha, ancient region of Gandhara, northern Pakistan, 1st century CE. Gautama Buddha was a South Asian spiritual leader who lived between approximately 563 BCE and 483 BCE. Born Siddhartha Gautama in Sanskrit, a name meaning descendant of Gotama whose aims are achieved/who is efficacious in achieving aims, he... Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō (南無妙法蓮華経, also transliterated Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō) is a mantra that is chanted as the central practice of all forms of Nichiren Buddhism. ... is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For broader historical context, see 1250s and 13th century. ... Several Buddhist terms and concepts lack direct translations into English that cover the breadth of the original term. ...


Nichiren taught that by chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to the Gohonzon (御本尊)—a mandala he inscribed with Chinese and Sanskrit characters representing the enlightened life of the True Buddha—anyone can bring forth her or his inherent Buddha nature and become enlightened. Unlike other forms of Buddhism, Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism taught that Buddhahood is not a static state of being, but exists in mutual possession of other states of being (referred to as the Ten Worlds). This concept is better known as ichinen sanzen, the Three Thousand Realms in a Single Moment of Life. Therefore, practitioners believe that Buddhism must be practiced not in a land or a mystic state, but in each person's daily life. This is experienced as the result of continuous effort to engage one's highest life condition, or Buddha nature, to overcome the inevitable obstacles and struggles we all face. In so doing, one establishes an unshakeable state of happiness characterized by peace, wisdom, and compassion, and this ultimately permeates every aspect of one's life. In accord with the Buddhist concept of esho funi, the oneness of person and environment, each individual has the power to then positively affect the environment around him or her. SGI practitioners call this process a "human revolution." Nichiren Daishonin argued that when and if human beings fully embraced his teachings, the peace they would develop within would eventually be reflected in the environment as peace in society at large. Gohonzon (ご本尊 or 御本尊) refers to the object of devotion in many forms of Japanese Buddhism. ... For the film, see Mandala (film). ... The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... A silhouette of a Buddha statue at Ayutthaya, Thailand. ...


Practice

The basic practice of SGI members is based on faith, practice, and study. Faith entails chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo daily and reciting gongyo (the Expedient Means and Life Span Chapters of the Lotus Sutra). The duration of chanting tends to depend upon the individual member; typically it will start off minimal (5 to 10 minutes morning and evening), but long term practitioners frequently chant for at least half an hour or an hour morning and evening. Some members will occasionally chant "daimoku toso", which is extended chanting over several hours in a single day. Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō (南無妙法蓮華経, also transliterated Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō) is a mantra that is chanted as the central practice of all forms of Nichiren Buddhism. ... Gongyō (勤行) is a Japanese word that means assiduous practice and refers to a formalized service performed by followers of nearly every Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Buddhist denomiation. ... The Lotus Sutra or Sutra on the White Lotus of the Sublime Dharma (Sanskrit: Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra; 妙法蓮華經 Chinese: Miàofǎ Liánhuā Jīng; Japanese: Myōhō Renge Kyō; Korean: Myobeomnyeonhwagyeong) is one of the most popular and influential Mahāyāna sutras in East Asia and...


Practice involves chanting as described above, plus participation in the community and sharing Buddhist practice with others. Study is the dedication of some part of ones life to the reading of important Buddhist teachings, most important among them the study of the collected writings of Nichiren Daishonin, called gosho. Many gosho have recently been compiled in a single English volume titled The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin. These translations are based on a Japanese volume called Nichiren Daishonin Gosho Zenshu (The complete works of Nichiren Daishonin), which was compiled by 59th Nichiren Shoshu High Priest Nichiko Hori and published by Soka Gakkai in 1952. Translations are available in, or are being undertaken into, other languages as well. Additional reading materials include the Lotus Sutra, the writings of Daisaku Ikeda and other writers and scholars of the Lotus Sutra and of Nichiren Buddhism. The weekly newspaper The World Tribune and the monthly Buddhist journal Living Buddhism provide inspiration, encouragement, and informative articles geared to deepen readers' understanding of Nichiren Buddhist concepts and practices. Daisaku Ikeda (池田大作, Ikeda Daisaku) (January 2, 1928–) is the president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a Buddhist association with about 15 million members in more than 190 countries and territories, and founder of several educational, cultural and research institutions. ...


Followers of Soka Gakkai and SGI believe that chanting energizes and refreshes the practitioner both spiritually and mentally, leaving him or her happier, wiser, more compassionate, more productive, and more prosperous in all areas of their lives. Chanting is also believed to have a positive impact on the world at large, for as each individual develops him- or herself, he or she becomes a happier, more productive, more compassionate and wiser person, and this in turn will affect the lives of others as well.


Soka Gakkai and SGI's other constituent organizations hold regular grassroots gatherings known as discussion meetings. Available on a monthly basis, they are usually held in members' homes. Important events, monthly World Peace Prayers (Kosen Rufu Gongyo), commemorative meetings, and monthly study meetings are usually held in SGI community centers (larger centers are usually called culture centers).Now, SGI has some 15 million members worldwide,12 million in Japan and 3 million elsewhere , especially in U.S.A , Brazil , South Korea , Taiwan , Hong Kong and Singapore. SGI is a TLA for at least three separate entities: Saskatchewan Government Insurance Scientific Games International Silicon Graphics, Incorporated Soka Gakkai International This page expands a three-character combination which might be any or all of: an abbreviation, an acronym, an initialism, a word in English, or a word in... For other uses, see United States (disambiguation) and US (disambiguation). ...


SGI Charter

Soka Gakkai's official charter is as follows:


Purposes and Principles

  1. SGI shall contribute to peace, culture and education for the happiness and welfare of all humanity based on Buddhist respect for the sanctity of life.
  2. SGI, based on the ideal of world citizenship, shall safeguard fundamental human rights and not discriminate against any individual on any grounds.
  3. SGI shall respect and protect the freedom of religion and religious expression.
  4. SGI shall promote an understanding of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism through grass-roots exchange, thereby contributing to individual happiness.
  5. SGI shall, through its constituent organizations, encourage its members to contribute toward the prosperity of their respective societies as good citizens.
  6. SGI shall respect the independence and autonomy of its constituent organizations in accordance with the conditions prevailing in each country.
  7. SGI shall, based on the Buddhist spirit of tolerance, respect other religions, engage in dialogue and work together with them toward the resolution of fundamental issues concerning humanity.
  8. SGI shall respect cultural diversity and promote cultural exchange, thereby creating an international society of mutual understanding and harmony.
  9. SGI shall promote, based on the Buddhist ideal of symbiosis, the protection of nature and the environment.
  10. SGI shall contribute to the promotion of education, in pursuit of truth as well as the development of scholarship, to enable all people to cultivate their individual character and enjoy fulfilling and happy lives.

Criticism

In spite of their declared mission for peace, culture and education, the SGI and Soka Gakkai are also a focus of criticism and controversy. Soka Gakkai, the Japanese organization, has a reputation for involvement in Japan's political arena. Though officially the two are separate, it is closely affiliated with the New Clean Government Party (also known as the New Komeito Party), a major political party in Japan. Though SGI and New Komeito both publicly deny any relationship, and declare that they are separate organizations[7], accusations that Soka Gakkai in effect controls New Komeito persist.[8] Soka Gakkai International or SGI is the umbrella organization for affiliate lay organizations in over 190 countries practicing a form of the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin. ... The New Clean Government Party (公明党, Kōmeitō) or NKP, often translated as New Komeito Party, is a political party in Japan affiliated with the religious movement Soka Gakkai. ...


Soka Gakkai and Soka Gakkai International are perceived by some critics to be a cult or a cult-like group. Their concerns are that Soka Gakkai places an emphasis on recruitment, that it demonizes perceived opponents, and that it uses phobia indoctrination and peer pressure. French and Belgian anti-cult movements and parliamentary commissions have also accused SGI of engaging in cult-like practices, but there are groups critical of these governments citing they are religiously suppressive.[9] Some critics also assert that SGI emphasizes dependence on the organization for spiritual advancement. This article does not discuss cult in its original meaning. ...


Another point of contention concerns SGI's application of the mentor–disciple concept. According to SGI, the mentor-and-disciple relationship is a very important aspect of living a full life, for every human being; detractors see SGI’s version of the mentor–disciple relationship as a cult of personality for its intense focus on SGI President Ikeda. SGI defenders argue[citation needed] that in most cultures, and for most human beings, the idea of looking to those who have come before us, and finding a person who one can feel a kinship with, that one may look to as an example for how to live s life, for guidance, encouragement and support, is a common part of human development, and that their establishing a lasting relationship with such an individual is an important part of life. It has been suggested that Maître à penser be merged into this article or section. ... Sravaka (Sanskrit śrāvaka; Tibetan nyan thos; Pali sāvaka) is a hearer, a term applied to the personal disciples of the Buddha, distinguished as mahā-śrāvaka; it is also applied to hearers, or disciples in general; but its general connotation relates it... Look up relationship in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A cult of personality or personality cult arises when a countrys leader uses mass media to create a larger-than-life public image through unquestioning flattery and praise. ... Daisaku Ikeda (池田大作, Ikeda Daisaku) (January 2, 1928–) is the president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a Buddhist association with about 15 million members in more than 190 countries and territories, and founder of several educational, cultural and research institutions. ...


SGI members attribute this view to the mentor–disciple relationship of Nichiren Buddhism, which they describe as the central pillar upon which the practice and the organization have developed: Shakyamuni was the mentor to Nichiren; Nichiren, the mentor to his disciples; and they, mentors to future practitioners. Makiguchi took Nichiren as a mentor in his life, while Toda took Makiguchi as his. Ikeda continued the tradition with Toda as his mentor, and now members throughout the world have chosen Ikeda, along with Toda, Makiguchi, Nichiren, and Shakyamuni, to be their mentors. Nichiren Buddhism (日蓮系諸宗派: Nichiren-kei sho shÅ«ha) is a branch of Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren (1222–1282). ... Standing Buddha, ancient region of Gandhara, northern Pakistan, 1st century CE. Gautama Buddha was a South Asian spiritual leader who lived between approximately 563 BCE and 483 BCE. Born Siddhartha Gautama in Sanskrit, a name meaning descendant of Gotama whose aims are achieved/who is efficacious in achieving aims, he... Nichiren (日蓮) (February 16, 1222 – October 13, 1282), born Zennichimaro (善日麿), later Zeshō-bō Renchō (是生房蓮長), and finally Nichiren (日蓮), was a Buddhist monk of 13th century Japan. ... Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (牧口 常三郎), Soka Gakkais first president, was born in Kashiwazaki, a small village in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, on June 6, 1871. ... Second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda(戸田 城聖) was born in 1900. ...


To critics of Ikeda and SGI, this relationship is viewed as symptomatic of a cult of personality. Critics also question the authority and authenticity of Ikeda's writings. The use of the familial term sensei (“teacher,” “master”) to refer to Ikeda is looked upon with suspicion and considered to be symbolic and further evidence of a cult of personality. Many SGI members view Ikeda and his life as a great example of how to use the practice in their own lives. He is viewed as an inspiration and an example of the power of one person to have a substantial positive effect on our world. For many members, Ikeda, as well as Shakyamuni, Nichiren, Makiguchi, Toda, and a host of other like minded philosophers, and thinkers around the world, are taken as models for how one may build their own lives around ideas of peace, culture, and education, and within all levels of their lives—family, work, friends, and society at large. A cult of personality or personality cult arises when a countrys leader uses mass media to create a larger-than-life public image through unquestioning flattery and praise. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A peace dove, widely known as a symbol for peace, featuring an olive branch in the doves beak. ... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ...


Critics of SGI and Ikeda are suspicious of the way he is considered by members to be a living embodiment of the power of the practice of SGI Buddhism. They assert that members are pressured to view Ikeda as their mentor in life. They are also suspicious and distrustful of the idea of mentor-disciple relationships, and question the motivation behind SGI’s application of the concept.


There is controversy about the degree of religious tolerance practiced by Soka Gakkai members. Official materials state all other religions, including other Buddhist denominations, are viewed as valuable in as much as they are able to support the happiness, empowerment, and development of all people. SGI claims that religious tolerance and a deep respect for culture are strongly emphasized in the organization.[10] However, there has been an acrimonious rift between SGI and Nichiren Shoshu. Freedom of religion is the individuals right or freedom to hold whatever religious beliefs he or she wishes, or none at all. ... Look up denomination in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Nichiren Shōshū (日蓮正宗) is a branch of Nichiren Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren (1222–1282). ...


Famous SGI Members

Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom[1] (born 13 January 1977) is an English actor. ... Roberto Baggio (born 18 February 1967 in Caldogno, Veneto) is an Italian retired footballer, among the most technically gifted and popular players in the world throughout the 1990s. ... Orlando Manuel Cepeda Penne (born September 17, 1937 in Ponce, Puerto Rico) is a former Major League Baseball first baseman and right-handed batter who played with the San Francisco Giants (1958–66), St. ... Larry Coryell Larry Coryell (April 2, 1943-) is an American jazz guitarist. ... Patrick G. Duffy (born March 17, 1949 in Townsend, Montana) is an American television actor. ... Eve Ensler. ... Herbert Jeffrey Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an Academy Award and multiple Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist and composer from Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Hancock is one of jazz musics most important and influential pianists and composers. ... Maxi Jazz (born Maxwell Fraser on 19 June 1957 in London, United Kingdom) is a Soka Gakkai Buddhist rapper from England. ... Henry “Hank” Johnson Jr. ... The House of Representatives is the larger of two houses that make up the U.S. Congress, the other being the United States Senate. ... Map The Fourth Congressional District of the U.S. State of Georgia was created in 1996 following the Supreme Court decision Miller v. ... Courtney Love Cobain[1] (born Courtney Michelle Harrison on July 9, 1964) is an American rock musician and Golden Globe-nominated actress. ... Mariane Pearl in 2003. ... Steven Sater is an American poet and playwright. ... Duncan Scott Sheik (born November 18, 1969) is an American Grammy-nominated and Tony-winning singer-songwriter and composer. ... Howard Jones can refer to three different people: Howard Jones, the British pop singer. ... Wayne Shorter (born August 25, 1933) is an American jazz composer and saxophonist. ... Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock) November 26, 1939) is an 11 time Grammy Award-winning (sharing three), American Singer, Dancer, Record Producer, Executive Producer, Film Producer, Actress, Writer, Performer, Songwriter, Author and occasional Painter whose career has spanned from 1956 to present. ... Charles Anthony Williams (born April 17, 1942 in Camden, New Jersey) is an American jazz bassist. ...

Sources

  • Buddhism in America. Richard Hughes Seager. Columbia University Press, 2000
  • Buddhism in the Modern World: Adaptations of an Ancient Tradition Steven Heine, Charles S Prebish. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Encountering the Dharma. Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai, and the Globalization of Buddhist Humanism. By Richard Hugh Seager. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2006, ISBN 0-520-24577-6
  • Soka Gakkai in America: Accommodation and Conversion By Phillip E. Hammond and David W. Machacek. London: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-829389-5
  • "The Soka Gakkai: Buddhism and the Creation of a Harmonious and Peaceful Society” by Daniel A. Metraux in Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia. Christopher S. Queen and Sallie B. King, eds. SUNY Press, 1996.
  • The Faces of Buddhism in America. Charles S Prebish, Kenneth K Tanaka, eds. University of California Press, 1998.
  • The New Believers: A survey of sects, cults and alternative religions. David V Barrett. Octopus Publishing Group, 2003
  • The Soka Gakkai Revolution by Daniel A. Metraux (University Press of America, 1994)
  • The Lotus and the Maple Leaf: The Soka Gakkai in Canada by Daniel A. Metraux (University Press of America, 1996)
  • Fundamentals of Buddhism (second edition) by Yasuji Kirimura (Nichiren Shoshu International Center [now SGI], 1984). ISBN 4-88872-016-9
  • Sōka Gakkai kaibō ("Dissecting Soka Gakkai") by the editors of Aera (Asahi Shimbun, 2000). ISBN4-02-261286-X (Japanese)
  • Sōka Gakkai by Hiromi Shimada (Shinchosha, 2004). ISBN4-10-610072-X
  • A Public Betrayed: An Inside Look at Japanese Media Atrocities and Their Warnings to the West. Adam Gamble & Takesato Watanabe. Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2004. ISBN 0-89526-046-8
  • Living Buddhism: Journal for Peace, Culture and Education, SGI-USA Publications.

(Section on Criticism) Aera is a Japanese weekly magazine, printed in gravure, published by Asahi. ... Asahi-OSAKA office Asahi is a common name in Japan, for other uses see Asahi. ... Shinchosha headquarters. ...

  • "Cults in France: Report Made in the Name of the Board of Inquiry into Cults" (December 22, 1995) Translation donated by Ginny Tosken. Edited by D. A. Reed
  • "The Power of Soka Gakkai: Growing revelations about the complicated and sinister nexus of politics and religion" Time Magazine, November 20, 1995
  • "Risky alliance for Japan's ruling party" BBC News report, June 22, 2000
  • Japan Fears Another Religious Sect San Francisco Chronical, December 27, 1995
  • Editors of AERA: Sōkagakkai kaibai (創価学会解剖: “Dissecting Sokagakkai”). Asahi Shimbun-sha, October 1995 (AERA is a weekly investigative news magazine published by one of Japan’s leading news organizations; this book attempts to present a dry, fair assessment of Sokagakkai and Daisaku Ikeda and contains several interviews with Gakkai leaders.)
  • Fulford, Benjamin S.: Ikeda-sensei no sekai: Aoi me no kisha ga mita Sōkagakkai/The Fabulous World of Soka Gakkai (イケダ先生の世界:青い目の記者が見た創価学会/The Fabulous World of Soka Gakkai: “The world of Ikeda the master: the Sokagakkai as experienced by a blue-eyed journalist/The Fabulous World of Soka Gakkai”). Takarajimasha, October 2006. Fulford is former chief correspondent, Asia-Pacific, for Forbes. Details financial condition of Soka Gakkai, financial scandals and cover-ups, and harassment experienced by critics in the media and politics as well as ex-member private individuals.
  • Furukawa, Toshiaki: Cult toshite no Sōkagakkai=Ikeda Daisaku (カルトとしての創価学会=池田大作: “Sōkagakkai, the Daisaku Ikeda cult”). Daisan Shokan, November 2000)
  • Shimada, Hiroki: Sōkagakkai (創価学会: “The Sokagakkai”). Shinchosha, April 2004. (H. Shimada is a professor who studies the relationship between religions and society, generally considered a neutral description)
  • Shimada, Hiroki: Sōkagakkai no jitsuryoku (創価学会の実力: “The true extent of Sokagakkai’s power”). Shinchosha, August 2006. Argues that the Soka Gakkai is not (or is no longer) as powerful as many of its opponents fear, and that it is losing ground internally as all but the most dedicated are turned off by the leadership and fewer members need the organization for social bonding. Also notes that it is becoming more like a civic rather than a religious organization, and that inactive members don’t resign because they want to avoid the ostracism and harassment that can result.
  • Taisekiji: Shoshū Hashaku Guide (Jp: 諸宗破折ガイド: “Guide to refuting [erroneous teachings of] other schools”). 2003 (no ISBN); pp. 160–164. Published by the Buddhist school formerly associated with Soka Gakkai and presents details of Soka Gakkai’s gradual distortion of the school’s teachings and reasons for its severing of ties.
  • Yamada, Naoki: Sokagakkai towa nanika (創価学会とは何か: “Explaining Sokagakkai”). Shinchosha, April 2004.
  • "Cults in France: Report Made in the Name of the Board of Inquiry into Cults" (December 22, 1995) Translation donated by Ginny Tosken. Edited by D. A. Reed
  • "Risky alliance for Japan's ruling party" BBC News report, June 22, 2000
  • Japan Fears Another Religious Sect San Francisco Chronical, December 27, 1995
  • "Religious Battle Taking Shape in Foothills of Mt. Fuji Japan: The Buddhist order of Nichiren Shoshu has expelled its lay organization, Soka Gakkai. Political fallout is probable." Los Angeles Times December 16, 1991


(Section on Excommunication) Time (whose trademark is capitalized TIME) is a weekly American newsmagazine, similar to Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. ... BBC News is the department within the BBC responsible for the corporations news-gathering and production of news programmes on BBC television, radio and online. ... Asahi-OSAKA office Asahi is a common name in Japan, for other uses see Asahi. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Pieces of broken pottery as voting tokens. ... Harassment refers to a wide spectrum of offensive behavior. ... Nichiren ShōshÅ« (日蓮正宗) is a branch of Nichiren Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren (1222–1282). ... BBC News is the department within the BBC responsible for the corporations news-gathering and production of news programmes on BBC television, radio and online. ... This just IN !!!:paris hiltons new dog. ...

  • Shoshū Hashaku Guide (Jp: 諸宗破折ガイド: Guide to refuting [erroneous teachings of] other schools). Taiseki-ji, 2003 (no ISBN); pp. 160–164.
  • "Religious Battle Taking Shape in Foothills of Mt. Fuji Japan: The Buddhist order of Nichiren Shoshu has expelled its lay organization, Soka Gakkai. Political fallout is probable." Los Angeles Times, December 16, 1991

Notes

  1. ^ Gamble & Watanabe, 2004, p. 185
  2. ^ Living Buddhism, Sept. 2003. p. 11
  3. ^ Shimada, 2004, p. 86
  4. ^ Ibid, p.105.
  5. ^ Ibid, p. 106
  6. ^ Soka Kyoiku Gakkai articles of association (創価教育学会規約要綱), as quoted in Yamada, 2004, p. 36; Aera, 2000, p. 4 and elsewhere; Kirimura, 1984, p. 155
  7. ^ Kōmeitō website
  8. ^ Time, BBC News, San Francisco Chronical, AERA, Fulford, Furukawa, Yamada, Shimada, Taisekiji, among others.
  9. ^ http://www.iskcon.com/icj/5_2/5_2liberty.html
  10. ^ SGI Charter

External links

Official Websites

  • / SGI Film Documentation

Websites of SGI practitioners

Critical websites

Book reviews of scientific research on SGI


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The first Soka Gakkai president was Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and the second Soka Gakkai president was Josei Toda.
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