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Daisaku Ikeda

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Collection: 1928 Births, Buddhist Pacifists, Buddhist Writers, Foreign Members of the Russian Academy of Education, Japanese Buddhists, Japanese Pacifists, Japanese Religious Leaders, Japanese Writers, Living People, Members of Sōka Gakkai, Nichiren Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhists, Recipients of the Order of Francisco De Miranda, Recipients of the Order of Francisco De Miranda (Venezuela), Recipients of the Order of Friendship, Recipients of the Order of the Sun of Peru, Sōka Gakkai, Writers from Tokyo
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Daisaku Ikeda

Daisaku Ikeda
President of Soka Gakkai International
Assumed office
26 January 1975
Honorary President of Soka Gakkai
Assumed office
24 April 1979
3rd President of Soka Gakkai
In office
3 May 1960 – 23 April 1979
Preceded by Jōsei Toda
Succeeded by Hiroshi Hojo (北条浩)
Personal details
Born (1928-01-02) 2 January 1928
Ōta, Tokyo, Japan
Spouse(s) Kaneko Ikeda (池田香峯子)

Hiromasa Ikeda (池田博正)
Takahiro Ikeda (池田尊弘)

Official Website
Alma mater Fuji Junior College (present-day Tokyo Fuji University)[1]

Daisaku Ikeda (池田 大作 Ikeda Daisaku, born January 2, 1928, Japan) is a Buddhist philosopher, educator, author, and anti-nuclear activist.[2][3][4] He served as the third president of the [154] In 1978, as the Gakkai entered a dispute with Nichiren Shoshu, the text of Human Revolution was altered in over 40 places.[155] The author writes that "the original narrative has been edited to bring it into line with recent developments in the history of Nichiren Buddhism, with changes and deletions in the presentation of the material" in the preface to the 2004 edition of The Human Revolution.[153]:x

Selected works

  • A Dialogue Between East and West: Looking to a Human Revolution (Echoes and Reflections: The Selected Works of Daisaku Ikeda) with Ricardo Diez-Hochleitner, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2008; ISBN 978-1845116002 (Hardback), ISBN 978-1845116002 (Paperback)
  • A Lifelong Quest for Peace with Linus Pauling (May 2000), Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 1st edition, ISBN 978-0867202786 (Hardback), ISBN 0-86720-277-7 (Paperback); London and New York: I. B. Tauris, Reprint edition 2008; ISBN 978-1845118891
  • A Passage to Peace: Global Solutions from East and West with Nur Yalman, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2009; ISBN 9781845119225 (Hardback), ISBN 9781845119232 (Paperback)
  • A Quest for Global Peace: Rotblat and Ikeda on War, Ethics, and the Nuclear Threat with Joseph Rotblat, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2006; ISBN 978-1845112790
  • A Youthful Diary: One Man's Journey from the Beginning of Faith to Worldwide Leadership for Peace, Santa Monica, California: World Tribune Press, 2006; ISBN 978-1932911190
  • America Will Be!: Conversations on Hope, Freedom, and Democracy, with Vincent Harding, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Dialogue Path Press, 2013; ISBN 978-1887917100
  • Before It Is Too Late with Aurelio Peccei, (1985), Kodansha America, 1st edition, ISBN 978-0870117008; London and New York: I. B. Tauris Reprint edition, 2008; ISBN 978-1845118884
  • Buddhism: A Way of Values" with Lokesh Chandra, New Delhi: Eternal Ganges Press, 2009; ISBN 978-81-907191-2-4
  • Buddhism: the First Millennium, (1977), Kodansha International, ISBN 9780870113215 (Hardback); Santa Monica, California: Middleway Press, Reprint edition, 2009; ISBN 978-0977924530
  • Choose Hope: Your Role in Waging Peace in the Nuclear Age with David Krieger, Santa Monica, California: Middleway Press, 2002; ISBN 0-967-46976-7
  • Choose Life: A Dialogue with Arnold J. Toynbee, Richard L. Gage (Editor), (1976), Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0192152589; London and New York: I. B. Tauris, Reprint edition, 2008; ISBN 978-1845115951
  • Choose Peace: A Dialogue Between Johan Galtung and Daisaku Ikeda with Johan Galtung, London: Pluto Press, 1999; ISBN 978-0745310404
  • Compassionate Light in Asia with Jin Yong, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2013; ISBN 978-1848851986
  • Creating Waldens: An East-West Conversation on the American Renaissance with Ronald A. Bosco and Joel Myerson, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Dialogue Path Press, 2009; ISBN 978-1887917070
  • Dawn After Dark with René Huyghe, (1991), Weatherhill, ISBN 9780834802384; London and New York: I. B. Tauris, Reprint edition, 2008; ISBN 978-1845115968
  • Dialogue of World Citizens with Norman Cousins, (tentative translation from Japanese), Sekai shimin no taiwa, 世界市民の対話, Paperback edition, Tokyo, Japan: Seikyo Shimbunsha, 2000; ISBN 978-4412010772
  • Discussions on Youth, Santa Monica, California: World Tribune Press, 2010; ISBN 978-1-932911-93-0
  • Embracing the Future, Tokyo: The Japan Times, 2008; ISBN 978-4-7890-1316-1
  • Fighting for Peace, Berkeley, California: Creative Arts Book Company, 2004; ISBN 0-88739-618-6
  • For the Sake of Peace: A Buddhist Perspective for the 21st Century, Santa Monica, California: Middleway Press, 2001; ISBN 978-0967469720
  • Glass Children and Other Essays, Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1979; ISBN 0-87011-375-5
  • Global Civilization: A Buddhist-Islamic Dialogue With Majid Tehranian, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2008; ISBN 978-1860648106
  • Human Rights on the 21st Century with Austregesilo de Athayde, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2009; ISBN 978-1845119881
  • Human Values in a Changing World: A Dialogue on the Social Role of Religion, with Bryan Wilson. Reprint edition. London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2008; ISBN 978-1845115975
  • Humanity at the Crossroads: An Intercultural Dialogue with Karan Singh, New Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 1988; ISBN 978-0195622157
  • Into Full Flower: Making Peace Cultures Happen with Elise Boulding, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Dialogue Path Press, 2010; ISBN 978-1887917087
  • Journey of Life: Selected Poems of Daisaku Ikeda, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2014; ISBN 9781780769691
  • Kanta and the Deer (children's book), New York: Weatherhill, 1997; ISBN 978-0834804067
  • 'La fuerza de la Esperanza; Reflexiones sobre la paz y los derechos humanos en el tercer milenio' (dialogue between Argentine Nobel Peace laureate Dr. Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Daisaku Ikeda), Buenos Aires: Emecé Editores,2011; ISBN 9789500434126
  • Life: An Enigma, a Precious Jewel, 1st edition, New York: Kodansha America, 1982; ISBN 978-0870114335
  • Moral Lessons of the Twentieth Century: Gorbachev and Ikeda on Buddhism and Communism with Mikhail Gorbachev, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2005; ISBN 9781845117733
  • My Recollections, Santa Monica, California: World Tribune Press, 1980; ISBN 978-0915678105
  • New Horizons in Eastern Humanism Buddhism, Confucianism and the Quest for Global Peace with Tu Weiming, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2011; ISBN 978-1-84885-593-9
  • Ode to the Grand Spirit: A dialogue Ode to the Grand Spirit: A Dialogue (Echoes and Reflections)" — with Chingiz Aitmatov, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2009; ISBN 978-1-84511-987-4
  • On Being Human: Where Ethics, Medicine, and Spirituality Converge with René Simard and Guy Bourgeault, Santa Monica, California: Middleway Press, 2003; ISBN 0-9723267-1-5
  • On Peace, Life and Philosophy with Henry Kissinger (tentative translation from Japanese), Heiwa to jinsei to tetsugaku o kataru,「平和」と「人生」と「哲学」を語る, Tokyo, Japan: Ushio Shuppansha, 1987; ISBN 978-4267011641
  • One by One: The World is Yours to Change, Sonoma, California: Dunhill Publishing; Paper/DVD edition, 2004; ISBN 978-1931501019
  • Over the Deep Blue Sea (children's book), Brian Wildsmith (Illustrator), New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993, ISBN 978-0679841845
  • Planetary Citizenship: Your Values, Beliefs and Actions Can Shape A Sustainable World with Hazel Henderson, Santa Monica, California: Middleway Press, 2004; ISBN 0972326723/ISBN 978-0972326728
  • Rendezvous with nature: songs of peace / photographs by Daisaku Ikeda, Shizen to no taiwa: heiwa no shi, 自然との対話 平和の詩, Tokyo: Soka Gakkai, 2005; OCLC Number: 73228297
  • Revolutions to Green the Environment, to Grow the Human Heart: A Dialogue Between M.S. Swaminathan, Leader of the Ever-Green Revolution and Daisaku Ikeda, Proponent of the Human Revolution, Madras, India: East West Books, 2005; ISBN 978-8188661343
  • Search for a New Humanity: A Dialogue with Josef Derbolav, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2008; ISBN 978-1-84511-598-2
  • Soka Education: A Buddhist Vision for Teachers, Students and Parents, Santa Monica, California: Middleway Press, 2001; ISBN 0-9674697-4-0
  • Songs from My Heart, (1978), Weatherhill, ISBN 0-8348-0398-4, New York and Tokyo: Weatherhill, Reprint edition 1997; ISBN 0-8348-0398-4
  • Space and Eternal Life with Chandra Wickramasinghe, Newburyport, Massachusetts: Journeyman Press, 1998; ISBN 1-85172-060-X
  • The Cherry Tree (children's book), Brian Wildsmith (Illustrator), New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1992; ISBN 978-0679826699
  • The Flower of Chinese Buddhism, Santa Monica, California: Middleway Press, 2009; ISBN 978-0977924547
  • The Human Revolution (The Human Revolution, #1-12), abridged two-book set, Santa Monica, California: World Tribune Press, 2008; ISBN 0-915678-77-2
  • The Inner Philosopher: Conversations on Philosophy’s Transformative Power with Lou Marinoff, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Dialogue Path Press, 2012; ISBN 978-1887917094
  • The Living Buddha: An Interpretive Biography, Santa Monica, California: Middleway Press, 2008; ISBN 978-0977924523
  • The New Human Revolution (an ongoing series) (30+ Volumes, this is an ongoing series), Santa Monica, California: World Tribune Press, 1995-; partial list of ISBN Vol.1 978-0-915678-33-4, Vol.2 978-0-915678-34-1, Vol.3 978-0-915678-35-8, Vol.4 978-0-915678-36-5, Vol.5 978-0-915678-37-2, Vol.6 978-0-915678-38-9, Vol.7 978-0-915678-39-6, Vol.8 978-0-915678-40-2, Vol.9 978-0-915678-41-9, Vol.10 978-0-915678-42-6, Vol.11 978-0-915678-43-3, Vol.12 978-0-915678-44-0, Vol.13 978-0-915678-45-7, Vol.14 978-0-915678-46-4, Vol.15 978-0-915678-47-1, Vol.16 978-0-915678-48-8, Vol.17 978-0-915678-49-5, Vol.18 978-0-915678-50-1, Vol.19 978-0-915678-51-8, Vol.20 978-0-915678-52-5, Vol.21 978-0-915678-53-2, Vol.22 978-0-915678-54-9, Vol.23 978-0-915678-55-6, Vol.24 978-0-915678-56-3
  • The Persistence of Religion: Comparative Perspectives on Modern Spirituality with Harvey Cox, London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2009; ISBN 9781848851955 (Paperback), ISBN 9781848851948 (Hardback)
  • The Princess and the Moon (children's book), Brian Wildsmith (Illustrator), New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1992; ISBN 978-0679836209
  • The Snow Country Prince (children's book), Brian Wildsmith (Illustrator), New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1991; ISBN 978-0679919650
  • The Way of Youth: Buddhist Common Sense for Handling Life's Questions (with a foreword by Duncan Sheik), Santa Monica, California: Middleway Press, 2000, ISBN 9780967469706
  • The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra (6 volumes), Santa Monica, California: World Tribune Press, 2000 (vols 1 & 2), 2001 (vol 3), 2002 (vol 4), 2003 (vols 5 & 6); ISBN 0-915678-69-1 (vol 1), 0-915678-70-5 (vol 2), 0-9-15678-71-3 (vol 3), 0-915678-72-1 (vol 4), 0-915678-73-X (vol 5), 0-915678-74-8 (vol 6)
  • Toward Creating an Age of Humanism with John Kenneth Galbraith (tentative translation from Japanese), Ningenshugi no dai seiki o, 人間主義の大世紀を―わが人生を飾れ, Tokyo, Japan: Ushio Shuppansha, 2005; ISBN 978-4267017308
  • Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death: A Buddhist View of Life, 2nd edition, Santa Monica, California: Middleway Press, 2004; ISBN 978-0972326704


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  142. ^ Chilson, Clark. 2014. “Cultivating Charisma: Ikeda Daisaku’s Self Presentations and Transformational Leadership.” Journal of Global Buddhism vol 15 (2014):65-78. p67. ISSN: 15276457 (online)
  143. ^ "Stop the Killing", The World is Yours to Change, [by Daisaku Ikeda, Asahi Press, Tokyo, 2002]. Accessed April 29, 2013.
  144. ^ McNeill, William H. 1989. Arnold J. Toynbee: A Life. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. p273. ISBN 0195058631
  145. ^ Qtd. in McNeill 1989, pp272-273.
  146. ^ Qtd. in McNeill 1989, p273.
  147. ^ Goulah, Jason and Takao Ito. “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 (2012). p65. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-873X.2011.00572.x
  148. ^ Educating kids through animated films, The Hindu
  149. ^ Chinese Part 1 – Dr. Daisaku Ikeda's animation stories – Malaysia ntv7
  150. ^
  151. ^
  152. ^
  153. ^ a b
  154. ^ Daisaku Ikeda Website Committee, “The Human Revolution Vol. 1-6”
  155. ^

Further reading

  • Seager, Richard: Encountering the Dharma: Daisaku Ikeda, Sōka Gakkai, and the Globalization of Buddhism. University of California Press, 2006.

External links

  • Daisaku Ikeda's website
  • SGI President page for Daisaku Ikeda
  • Tricycle Magazine Interview, by Clark Strand, Winter 2008
  • Lectures around the World
Ikeda's most well-known publication is the novel

Human Revolution

In 2003, Japan’s largest English-language newspaper, The Japan Times, began carrying periodic essays by Ikeda on global issues including peacebuilding, nuclear disarmament, and compassion. As of 2015, The Japan Times had published 26 essays by Ikeda, 15 of which were also published in a bilingual Japanese-English book titled “Embracing the Future.”[151][152]

Ikeda’s children’s stories are “widely read and acclaimed,” according to The Hindu, which reported that an anime series of 14 of the stories was to be shown on the National Geographic Channel.[148][149] In the Philippines, DVD sets of 17 of the animated stories were donated by Anak TV to a large school, as part of a nationwide literacy effort. [150]

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”[144] on contemporary as well as perennial topics ranging from the human condition to the role of religion and the future of human civilization. Toynbee’s 12-volume A Study of History had been translated into Japanese, which along with his lecture tours and periodical articles about social, moral and religious issues gained him popularity in Japan. 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."[145] To another letter critical of Ikeda, Toynbee responded: “Mr. Ikeda’s personality is strong and dynamic and such characters are often controversial. My own feeling for Mr. Ikeda is one of great respect and sympathy.”[146] As of 2012, the book had been translated and published in twenty-six languages.[147]

Ikeda is a prolific writer, peace activist and interpreter of Nichiren Buddhism.[142] His interests in photography, art, philosophy, poetry and music are reflected in his published works. In his essay collections and dialogues with political, cultural, and educational figures he discusses, among other topics: the transformative value of religion, the universal sanctity of life,[143] social responsibility, and sustainable progress and development.


Ikeda also held meetings with Romanian General Secretary Nicolae Ceaușescu.

Ikeda held multiple meetings with former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. Noriega repeatedly visited Taiseki-ji and hosted Ikeda on several visits to Panama. Both leaders praised each other's virtues in public statements.[138]:160 After a 1981 visit, Noriega named a scenic observation point on one of the Causeway Islands at the Pacific approach to the Panama Canal "Mirador Ikeda,"[139] and he presented Ikeda with the Order of Vasco Núñez de Balboa. Friends of Noriega and anonymous American sources have alleged that Ikeda provided him with several million dollars' worth of assistance during the worst part of Noriega's crisis in 1987 and 1988, though Soka Gakkai spokesmen have repeatedly denied this.[140][141]

In 1999, Howard French wrote a critical article in the The New York Times about the rise of the New Komeito Party in Japan and its ties to Ikeda and the Soka Gakkai.[40] In response, a letter to the editor by Alfred Balitzer offered a more positive portrayal of Komeito and Soka Gakkai.[137]

In 1995, a Japanese edition of Time carried an article critical of Daisaku Ikeda and Soka Gakkai, claiming that "according to a member who was present" Ikeda, as "honorary president and unquestioned commander" of Soka Gakkai, had said of the Japanese political party Komeito: "This time, not the next time, [the election] is going to be about winning or losing. We cannot hesitate. We must conquer the country with one stroke."

In 1995, Michelle Magee wrote an article in the San Francisco Chronicle titled "Japan Fears Another Religious Sect" in which she said the Soka Gakkai in Japan had been accused of "heavy-handed fund raising and proselytizing, as well as intimidating its foes and trying to grab political power".[136] The article quoted Takashi Shokei, a professor at Meisei University, who called Ikeda "a power-hungry individual who intends to take control of the government and make Soka Gakkai the national religion;" the article also described a videotape made by a disgruntled former Soka Gakkai member in 1993 purportedly showing Ikeda "yelling and pounding on tables in anger and later railing against President Clinton for having refused to meet with him".[136]

In 1984, British journalist and political commentator Polly Toynbee visited Ikeda at the invitation of the SGI. According to Peter Popham, writing about Tokyo architecture and culture, Ikeda "was hoping to tighten the public connection between himself and Polly Toynbee's famous grandfather, Arnold Toynbee, the prophet of the rise of the East."[133] Polly Toynbeee wrote that she had never met "anyone who exudes such an aura of absolute power as Mr. Ikeda" and others she had talked to “felt they had been drawn into endorsing [Ikeda].”[134][135] In The Guardian in May 1984, she wrote that she wished that her grandfather had not endorsed Choose Life: A Dialogue, his dialogue with Ikeda.[135]

The Soka Gakkai movement has been characterized as being centered on a cult of personality around Ikeda.[128][129][130][131][132]


Ikeda lives in Tokyo with his wife, Kaneko (born 1932), whom he married on May 3, 1952. He has three sons, Hiromasa (born 1953; vice president of Soka Gakkai),[127] Shirohisa (1955–1984), and Takahiro (born 1958).

Personal life

  • United Nations Peace Award (1983, USA)[113][114]
  • Rosa Parks Humanitarian Award (1993, USA)[115][116]
  • International Tolerance Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center (1993, Los Angeles, Calif.)[114][116]
  • Tagore Peace Award (1997, India)[117]
  • Rizal International Peace Award (1998, the Philippines) from the Knights of Rizal[118]
  • International Literary Award for Understanding and Friendship (2003, Beijing, China) from the China Literature Foundation and Chinese Writersʼ Association [119]
  • Jamnalal Bajaj Award (2005, India) for "Outstanding Contribution in Promotion of Gandhian Values Outside India by Individuals other than Indian Citizens"[120]
  • Order of Friendship (2008, Russia)[121]
  • Gold Medal for Peace with Justice from the Sydney Peace Foundation (2009, Australia)[122][123]
  • Indology Award (2011, India) for “outstanding contribution in the field of Indic research and Oriental wisdom” from Motilal Banarsidass Publishers[124]
  • Golden Heart Award (2012, the Philippines) from the Knights of Rizal [125]
  • Gandhi International Prize for Social Responsibility (2014, Australia)[126]

Other awards

Ikeda received his 300th academic honor from the University of Massachusetts Boston on November 21, 2010.[73] He has said that "The academic honors I have accepted have all been on behalf of the members of SGI around the world."[74]

Honorary doctorates and professorships

Since 1975 cultural exchanges have continued between the Min-On Concert Association, founded by Ikeda, and institutions including the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.[70][71] After Ikeda’s 1984 visit to China and meetings with public figures including Chinese Communist Party Leader Hu Yaobang and Deng Yingchao, an observer estimated that Ikeda’s 1968 proposal may have contributed to Japanese public sentiment on closer diplomatic ties with China and this cultivation of educational and cultural ties helped strengthen state relations.[72]

Ikeda made several visits to China and met with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in 1974. The visits led to the establishment of cultural exchanges of art, dance and music between China and Japan and opened academic exchanges between Chinese educational institutions and Soka University.[65] 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.[67][68] It was said that Zhou Enlai entrusted Ikeda with ensuring that "Sino-Japanese friendship would continue for generations to come."[69]

Sino-Japanese relations

I can’t think of a more important moment in my life. ... [Ikeda] said this meeting, between the two of us, was very special for him. It was for me, too. In his concern for human rights, Dr. Ikeda is ahead of many people in this century. He is a calm spirit, a humble man, a man of great spiritual enlightenment. We met for about an hour and talked about my life and challenges concerning the youth in our countries. ... Our meeting can serve as a model for anyone. So the photograph of our first meeting is very important because it is history in the making.[66]

American Civil Rights pioneer Rosa Parks chose as her favorite photograph one of her meeting with Ikeda in 1993. She explained that:

Ikeda’s first meeting with Nelson Mandela in 1990 led to SGI-sponsored anti-apartheid lectures, a traveling exhibit and student exchanges at the university level.[65]

Coverage in SGI publications suggests Ikeda's meetings and dialogues illustrate the SGI movement’s commitment to peace, environmental concerns and humanitarianism.[60] Observers suggest the body of literature chronicling Ikeda’s more than 7,000 dialogues[61] provides SGI members with a personal education and model of citizen diplomacy[62][63] and, from a scholarly view, represents “a new current in interculturalism and educational philosophy.”[64]

Ikeda’s meetings with public figures have raised awareness of the SGI’s Buddhist movement in host countries, facilitated relationships with cultural and educational institutions he has founded, and lent support, for example, to SGI-sponsored traveling exhibits on global issues.[56] These meetings and relationships have been described by some as citizen diplomacy for their contributions to diplomatic as well as intercultural ties between Japan and other countries.[57][58][59]

International initiatives

Ikeda is also an honorary member of the Club of Rome.[55]

In January 2015, the director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo said that Daisaku Ikeda had been nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, as confirmed by a Nobel Peace Laureate.[54]

In 2014, the City of Chicago named a section of Wabash Avenue in downtown Chicago "Daisaku Ikeda Way", with the Chicago City Council measure passing unanimously, 49 to 0.[53]

have passed resolutions that recognize the service and dedication of Daisaku Ikeda "who has dedicated his entire life to building peace and promoting human rights through education and cultural exchange with deep conviction in the shared humanity of our entire global family." The state of Missouri praised Ikeda and his value of "education and culture as the prerequisites for the creation of true peace in which the dignity and fundamental rights of all people are respected." [52][51] and Illinois,[50] Missouri,[49] The

The traveling exhibition Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace showcases the peace activism of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Daisaku Ikeda. Lawrence Carter, an ordained Baptist minister and dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta, also initiated an annual Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize as a way of extolling individuals whose actions for peace transcend cultural, national and philosophical boundaries.[46][47]

Ikeda was an original proponent of the Earth Charter Initiative, co-founded by Mikhail Gorbachev, and Ikeda has included details of the Charter in many of his annual peace proposals since 1997. The SGI has supported the Earth Charter with production of global exhibitions including Seeds of Change in 2002 that traveled to 27 nations and Seeds of Hope in 2010, correlating with the Earth Charter-related documentary film, A Quiet Revolution, which the SGI has donated to schools and educational programs around the world.[44][45]

Ikeda has guided Soka Gakkai's support of, and involvement in, the Komeito,[2] a Japanese political party which, as of 2007, became part of a governing coalition with the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan.

Since 1990, Ikeda has partnered with Rabbi Abraham Cooper and the Museum of Tolerance." Their friendship led to the joint development of a Japanese-language Holocaust exhibition The Courage to Remember, which was seen by more than two million people in Japan between 1994 and 2007. In 2015, a new version of the exhibit opened in Tokyo focusing on the bravery of Anne Frank and Chiune Sugihara.[11][43]

Ikeda has founded many global institutions, including Soka University in Tokyo, Japan, and Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California; Soka kindergarten, primary and secondary schools in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Brazil and Singapore; 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; the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum in Japan; the Institute of Oriental Philosophy in Japan with offices in France, Hong Hong, India, Russia and the United Kingdom; the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research in Japan and the United States; and the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue in the United States.[42]


Under Ikeda's leadership, the SGI has developed as a broad-based grassroots peace movement around the world. He has fostered among SGI members a strong ethos of responsibility for the society with global citizenship spirit.[41]


Ikeda and the Soka Gakkai were excommunicated by Nichiren Shoshu on November 28, 1991[34][35][36][37] and on August 11, 1992.[38][39] Following the group's excommunication, Soka Gakkai members began to describe their group as Buddhism's first Protestant movement.[40]

In 1979, Ikeda resigned as the president of Soka Gakkai, accepting responsibility for the organization's purported deviation from Nichiren Shōshū doctrines and accompanying conflict with the priesthood.[32] Nichiren Shōshū was the Buddhist denomination to which Soka Gakkai had belonged since its founding, but the relationship between the two was often strained. Hiroshi Hojo succeeded Ikeda as the Soka Gakkai president, and Ikeda remained president of the SGI. Ikeda was also made honorary president of the Soka Gakkai.[33]


In 1975, at an international meeting of Soka Gakkai representatives held in Guam, the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) was formed to support overseas members. Ikeda took a leading role in this development and became founding president of the SGI.[11]:128

For example, on September 17, 1974, Ikeda visited the Soviet Union and met with Premier Aleksey N. Kosygin. "We must abandon the very idea of war," said Kosygin. "It is meaningless. If we stop preparing for war and prepare instead for peace, we can produce food instead of armaments." He asked Ikeda, "Mr. Ikeda, what is your basic ideology?" Ikeda replied, "I believe in peace, culture and education – the underlying basis of which is humanism." "I have a high regard for those values," Kosygin said. "We need to realize them here in the Soviet Union as well."[29][30]:415[31] Ikeda visited with United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1975 to "urge the de-escalation of nuclear tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union."[4]

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 and shifted the organization away from "a very rigid fundamentalistic and evangelical stance."[28]

[27][26][25][24][23] While Soka Gakkai saw its most dramatic growth after the

After Toda's death in 1958, Ikeda succeeded his mentor to become the third president of the Soka Gakkai in 1960, after which he began to travel abroad to expand the Soka Gakkai movement.[20] The expansion of the Soka Gakkai was, in Ikeda’s words, "Toda’s will for the future."[21] With his assumption of the Soka Gakkai presidency, Ikeda "continued the task begun by [the Soka Gakkai founder] Makiguchi of fusing the ideas and principles of educational pragmatism with the elements of Buddhist doctrine."[2]


Ikeda regarded Toda as his spiritual mentor and writes that he influenced him through "the profound compassion that characterized each of his interactions."[19]

In April 1957, a group of Young Men’s Division members who were campaigning for a Soka Gakkai electoral candidate were arrested for allegedly distributing money, cigarettes and candies at supporters’ residences. Ikeda was later arrested in Osaka in his capacity as Soka Gakkai Youth Division Chief of Staff for allegedly overseeing these activities. Ikeda spent two weeks in jail and was cleared of all charges in January 1962.[18]

In 1952, Ikeda witnessed an altercation between Toda and a Nichiren Shōshū priest named Jimon Ogasawara. During WWII, Ogasawara had cooperated with the militaristic government authorities against Soka Gakkai's founder Tsunesaburō Makiguchi, who had died while imprisoned for his anti-war stance. On April 28, 1952, Toda led a group of 4,000 Soka Gakkai members to Taiseki-ji, the Nichiren Shōshū head temple, to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the temple’s founding. While there, Toda confronted Ogasawara, who initially refused to apologize. Some young men who accompanied Toda tore off Ogasawara’s vestments and tagged him with a placard reading "racoon monk." Toda and Ogasawara later apologized to each other for the incident.[n 1][13] He was then forcibly carried to Makiguchi's grave, where he was made to sign a written apology.[14][15]:698–711[16]:186:705–711[17]

Ikeda was a charter member of the Soka Gakkai's Youth Division and appointed a youth division leader in 1953 at the age of 25. In 1954 he was appointed Soka Gakkai public relations director and named its chief of staff in 1954.[12]:85[11]:77

Soka Gakkai


[10] In August 1947, Ikeda met

Early contact with Soka Gakkai

In 1942 at the age of 14, Ikeda worked at munitions factory Niigata Steelworks to support his family.[11] After the war ended in 1945, Ikeda worked for the Shobundo Printing Company. He graduated from Toyo Trade School in March 1948 and the following month entered the night school extension of Taisei Gakuin (present-day Tokyo Fuji University) where he majored in political science[10] while working for Toda as an editor of a children's magazine, Shonen Nihon (Boy's Life Japan).[10][11]

Ikeda was born the fifth son of seaweed farmers in Ōta, Tokyo.[8] His four older brothers fought in World War II, during which the eldest, Kiichi, was killed in action[9] and his familyʼs home destroyed.[10]

Early life


  • Early life 1
    • Early contact with Soka Gakkai 1.1
  • Career 2
    • Soka Gakkai 2.1
    • Leadership 2.2
    • Resignation 2.3
    • Legacy 2.4
  • Accomplishments 3
    • International initiatives 3.1
    • Sino-Japanese relations 3.2
    • Honorary doctorates and professorships 3.3
    • Other awards 3.4
  • Personal life 4
  • Criticism 5
  • Books 6
    • Human Revolution 6.1
    • Selected works 6.2
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10

In 1996, Los Angeles Times writer Teresa Watanabe described Ikeda as a "puzzle of conflicting perceptions," ranging from "a democrat," "a man of deep learning" and "an inspired teacher," to "a despot," "a threat to democracy" and "Japan's most powerful man." Watanabe reported that Japanese "tabloid coverage has affected his public image and blurred the lines between suspicion and fact, imagination and reality."[7]

(1965) have gained canonical status within the movement. The Human Revolution Some of the books he has authored, especially [6]

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