Religion in Modern Asia Newsletter

Soka Gakkai vs. Nichiren Shoshu


The largest new religion in Japan is Soka Gakkai with a membership estimated at between 300 and 500 million, around three or four percent of the entire Japanese population. Although Sokagakkai is often thought of as an independent organization, it is in fact the lay arm of Nichiren Shoshu, a well-known established Buddhist denomination. Since 1990, however, Soka Gakkai and Nichiren Shoshu have been in conflict. One of the figures in this ongoing battle is obviously the personal conflict between IKEDA Daisaku, honored president of Soka Gakkai, and ABE Nikken, archbishop of Nichiren Shoshu. Many students of the sociology of religion, however, regard this conflict as structural in nature, since the current teachings and activities of Soka Gakkai go beyond the normal ambit of a traditional Buddhist lay association. Soka Gakkai's immense size has also intensified the social impact of the conflict.

-- Jan 1, 1992, INOUE Nobutaka

Last updated: 2001/11/28 14:33:45

Copyright © 2001 Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University. All Rights Reserved.