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Sōka Gakkai

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Sōka Gakkai (literally, "Value-Creation Society") is a lay religious movement within Nichiren Buddhism, a branch of Mahayana Buddhism derived from the teachings of the thirteenth-century Japanese monk, Nichiren Daishonin. Founded by educator Tsunesaburo Makiguchi in 1930, the organization was suppressed during World War II for its opposition to government-supported State Shinto. Makiguchi, Josei Toda, and other top Sōka Gakkai leaders were arrested in 1943 and charged as "thought criminals". In November 1944, Makiguchi died in prison of malnutrition at the age of 73. Toda was released in July 1945, just weeks before the first use of the atomic bomb. In the following years he rebuilt the Sōka Gakkai membership from less than 3,000 families in 1951 to more than 750,000 before his death in 1958.

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