Category: Soka Gakkai

Awakening to Buddhism

Leaders explain increasing appeal in U.S. of Asian religion Buddhism, experts say, is the fastest-growing major religion in the United States. Adherents.com, an independent Web site with a reputation for reliable religious statistics, reports that in the 1990s, Buddhism in the United States grew 170 percent to more than 1.5 million followers. Several Buddhist groups exist in Kansas City. One is the Rime Buddhist Center at 700 West Pennway. It offers Buddhist studies and programs in Tibetan culture. Another is Soka Gakkai International (SGI) at 1804 Broadway. SGI promotes the Buddhism of Nichiren, a 13th-century Japanese monk who taught that

Political pragmatism guides Japan Buddhist sect

TOKYO, AUGUST, 31: They are pacifists who make prayer an important part of their daily lives, but members of Japan’s most politically active Buddhist sect say pragmatism comes before religious principle in the country’s September 11 general election. Soka Gakkai, whose followers launched New Komeito, the junior partner in Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s coalition government, says it represents more than 8 million households. Though the party and sect officially split in 1970, the majority remain faithful to New Komeito and where the party does not field a candidate they tend to follow the sect’s endorsement. In practice, that means voting

University considers selling property in Santa Monica Mountains

LOS ANGELES – A private university financed by a Buddhist sect will consider selling its 588-acre property in the Santa Monica Mountains to be used as park land, a county supervisor said Thursday. Zev Yaroslavsky met with officials from Soka University of America and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy earlier this week after learning the university would consider a sale. Yaroslavsky called the land the “most important unprotected property in the Santa Monica Mountains.” “The significance of the announcement today is we have a potentially willing seller and a potentially willing buyer,” he said. Soka spokeswoman Wendy Wetzel Harder confirmed

NPR’s New Religions Survey, Part III: Soka Gakkai

Listen NPR report on Soka Gakkai Research resources on Soka Gakkai As part of our series on new religious movements, NPR’s Mandalit del Barco explores a modern version of Buddhism known as Soka Gakkai. It’s an import from Asia, brought to the United States by Japanese war brides. In the 1960s, it caught on with anti-war hippies. Now it has more than 300,000 adherents in the United States, most of them middle class, from all ethnic groups. New Religions Survey, Part I: Introduction New Religions Survey, Part II: Toronto Blessing New Religions Survey, Part III: Soka Gakkai New Religions Survey,

Japan’s LDP puts faith in religious partner

Twice a day, seven days a week, Mie Yamada sits before an altar in her Tokyo home and reads from the Lotus Sutra, a Buddhist text. In a country that has largely lost religion, it is a ritual that marks the 31-year-old Ms Yamada as a follower of Soka Gakkai, a lay Buddhist organisation that is poised to play a critical part in Japan’s Lower House elections on Sunday. Soka Gakkai members are all supporters of the New Komeito, a political party formed by the religious group, and their votes could help the Liberal Democratic party stay in power. The

Documentary on Controversial Japanese Buddhist Group to Air on PBS Stations

Global Management Group, via PRNewswire, Apr. 18, 2003 (Press Release) http://www.prnewswire.com/ “Embattled Buddhists: Under the Rising Sun,” a one-hour documentary on Japanese Buddhist group Soka Gakkai produced by the Los Angeles-based Global Management Group Inc. (GMG), will be broadcast in two parts on Sunday April 20 and 27 on “Asian America” — a nationally syndicated weekly program on PBS in the U.S.A. The film’s producer, best-selling author Keiko Kimura, president of GMG, comments: “Soka Gakkai is controversial in Japan and I wanted to explore why. The group is rare in pushing for people’s empowerment in what is a very conservative

Soka’s start hasn’t been textbook

Within the campus’ beautiful walls there is roiling about alleged sectarianism and secrecy. Orange County Register, Feb. 28, 2003 http://www2.ocregister.com/ By SUSAN GILL VARDON, The Orange County Register ALISO VIEJO – One quarter of Soka University’s original 20 faculty members have left or will leave by June as the university founded by a Buddhist sect struggles to balance its religious legacy with a mission to provide an open, nonsectarian environment. The 103-acre campus opened in August 2001 and was touted as an innovative liberal-arts university where peace and human rights would be emphasized and professors and students would participate in

Buddhists seek ultimate truth of universe

Topeka Capital Journal, Jan. 25, 2003 http://infobrix.yellowbrix.com/ Publication date: 2003-01-25 Arrival time: 2003-02-12 PHIL ANDERSON/The Capital-Journal At 3 p.m. on a recent Sunday afternoon, 18 adherents of the Soka Gakkai International school of Buddhism gathered in a midtown Topeka home to chant, discuss their beliefs and spread the word about their organization to several visitors in attendance. Facing the front of the home’s dining room while seated in folding chairs, the group began their meeting by chanting for about 15 minutes. “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo,” the adherents chanted in unison, while holding clasped hands in front of their faces. “Nam