Episode 360 – A Nation in a Nation, Part 4

This week, we wrap up our look at Soka Gakkai with the history of its split from Nichiren Shoshu. Plus, we take some time to look at the various controversies surrounding the group and what they say about Soka Gakkai’s position in Japanese society.


McLaughlin, Levi. Soka Gakkai’s Human Revolution: The Rise of a Mimetic Nation in Modern Japan.

Metraux, Daniel. “The Dispute Between the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu Priesthood: A Lay Revolution against a Conservative Clergy.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 19 No 4 (December, 1992).

McLaughlin, Levi. “Did Aum Change Everything? What Soka Gakkai Before, During, and AFter the Aum Shinrikyo Affair Tells Us About the Persistent ‘Otherness’ of New Religions in Japan.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 39, No 1 (2012).


Abe Nikken, a.k.a. Nikken Shonin, the 67th abbot of Taisekiji and the one who oversaw the expulsion of Soka Gakkai from the faith.
Nikken Shonin (left) and Ikeda Daisaku (right) in pre-split times.
The Sho Hondo in the process of being demolished. Nichiren Shoshu has broken all ties with Soka Gakkai and even today spends a great deal of energy putting forward its side of what caused the split.
Ikeda Daisaku today.


1 thought on “Episode 360 – A Nation in a Nation, Part 4”

  1. I’ve seen a lot of mixed messages about whether Soka Gakkai is a cult or not. Some former members complained about getting hounded to rejoin and leaving because it became more about Ikeda’s cult of personality rather than the Lotus Sutra.
    Considering all the other cults floating about in Japan, not the least of which is Aleph, the successor to Aum Shinrikyo, what’s your opinion? Canada considers them a dangerous cult.

Comments are closed.