December 3, 2023

Daisaku Ikeda, Leader of Soka Gakkai Lay Buddhist Group, Passes Away at 95

Daisaku Ikeda, the renowned leader of Soka Gakkai, one of Japan’s largest religious groups, and the founder of the Komeito party, has passed away at the age of 95. This news comes as a great loss to both his followers and the political landscape of Japan.

Ikeda took on the role of the third president of Soka Gakkai in 1960. With a staggering membership of over 8.27 million households, the group serves as a formidable electoral base for the Komeito party. Despite controversies surrounding the separation of politics and religion, Ikeda played a significant role in politics by establishing Komeito’s predecessor political group in 1961 and forming Komeito itself in 1964.

A notable achievement in Ikeda’s career was his establishment of Soka Gakkai International in 1979. This organization currently boasts 2.8 million members worldwide and works towards promoting peace and cultural exchange.

Ikeda’s dedication to working for peace was greatly influenced by his experiences during World War II. Inspired to prevent such tragedies from recurring, he actively engaged in dialogue with world leaders and intellectuals, emphasizing the importance of peace and understanding.

Upon hearing the news of Ikeda’s passing, the current Soka Gakkai President, Minoru Harada, expressed deep sorrow. Many of Ikeda’s followers also mourned his loss, recognizing his tireless efforts to spread peace and promote the teachings of Soka Gakkai.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida acknowledged Ikeda’s contributions, particularly in promoting peace, culture, and education in both Japan and abroad. Ikeda’s lasting impact on society is evident in the continued growth and influence of Soka Gakkai and its affiliated organizations.

As the news of Daisaku Ikeda’s passing spreads, many are reflecting on his remarkable life and the legacy he leaves behind. His dedication to peace and his ability to bridge the gap between religion and politics have undoubtedly shaped the world we live in today.