Daisaku Ikeda, head of world Japanese Buddhist group Soka Gakkai, dies at 95

TOKYO (AP) — Daisaku Ikeda, who headed Soka Gakkai, a Japanese Buddhist group, that features famed musician Herbie Hancock and different celebrities in its fold, has died at 95, the Japanese non secular group stated Saturday.

Ikeda died on Nov. 15 at his dwelling in Tokyo, “from natural causes,” the group stated in a press release, with out giving particulars.

Along together with his two predecessors, Ikeda is credited with reviving Nichiren Buddhism within the fashionable age, making it extra accessible for present-day practitioners by emphasizing a philosophy of goodness, respect for others and being pleased and at peace.

Soka Gakkai has been arrange in 192 nations, drawing greater than 8 million member households in Japan and practically 3 million individuals outdoors Japan, in accordance with the group.

An educator, photographer and poet, Ikeda performed a key position in spreading the teachings overseas, founding Soka Gakkai International in 1975.

He met Josei Toda, the second president of Soka Gokkai, throughout the Nineteen Fifties when Ikeda was simply 19. Ikeda embraced the teachings and Toda as his mentor.

Unlike some religions that emphasize the significance of struggling, Ikeda underscored the optimistic, talking usually of happiness.

“By helping other people become happy, we too become happy,” was an concept he usually expressed. To Ikeda, happiness was about “being true to yourself,” which, he believed, allowed happiness to develop in an infinite approach.

Ikeda was born in Tokyo, on Jan. 2, 1928, to a household of seaweed farmers. The horror of conflict he witnessed as a teen affected him deeply and the expertise is believed to have made him vow to dedicate his life to peace.

The primary Buddhist observe for Soka Gakkai members is chanting parts of the sutra, or teachings of Buddha, and sharing the message with others to allow them to meet challenges and overcome issues, in accordance with the group.

Ikeda was tapped because the third president of Soka Gakkai in 1960. He led “the lay Buddhist movement” towards progress within the fashionable age, particularly in worldwide circles.

He based a college system based mostly on the faith and its values, to foster particular person potential and train the significance of peace and contributing to society. It runs from kindergarten by means of graduate research and features a college in Tokyo and California.

Besides famed jazz pianist Hancock, saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter and drummer Kenwood Dennard have transformed to Soka Gakkai.

“Even though the roots of jazz come from the African American experience, my feeling has always been that jazz really developed from a noble aspect of the human spirit common to all people, the ability to respond to the worst of circumstances and to create something of great value, or as Buddhism says, to turn poison into medicine,” Hancock stated in a e-book about jazz and Buddhism, co-authored with Shorter and Ikeda.

Other well-known Western actors, writers and sports activities stars have expressed curiosity in Soka Gakkai, together with Hollywood film stars Orlando Bloom and Kate Bosworth, in addition to the late singer Tina Turner.

Ikeda usually talked about being conscious of the inevitability of demise in on a regular basis life, saying: “We begin to seek the eternal and become determined to make the most valuable use of each moment of life.”

Ikeda is survived by his spouse Kaneko and his sons, Hiromasa and Takahiro.

A personal funeral has already been held with shut household. The date of a public commemorative service will probably be introduced later, Soka Gakkai stated in its assertion.

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