In 1945 the group was reorganized and renamed the Soka Gakkai by Makiguchi's disciple, Josei Toda. The society's promises to help adherents achieve happiness and success appealed to millions of Japanese in the difficult years of the postwar era; the movement also stresses the need for world peace. Under its third leader, Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai experienced significant growth; it has now spread worldwide and has 1.69 million members outside Japan, including 330,000 in the United States; within Japan there are more than 10 million members. In 1975, Soka Gakkai International was established as the worldwide association for the movement; Ikeda became its president. Soka Gakkai has been criticized for its evangelism and exclusiveness, but by the early 1990s it had developed ties with many outside organizations and had become (1981) a nongovernmental organization member of the United Nations.
In 1964 the Soka Gakkai organized
See J. White, The Soka Gakkai and Mass Society (1970); D. A. Metraux, The History and Theology of Soka Gakkai (1988); P. E. Hammond, Soka Gakkai in America (1999).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Buddhism