“Tokyo Journal Statesman Billionaire God
Daisaku Ikeda’s followers believe he is the earthly incarnation of a saint; those who believe otherwise suffer his god-like wrath.Neither I, nor anyone I know, believe he is an earthly incarnation of a saint; and I’ve never suffered wrath, god-like or otherwise. We believe he is a very great man — not because of what he might be an incarnation of, but because he has done things great men do.
Daisaku Ikeda should be powerful — he has karma on his side. Enough karma to lure over 12 million followers to his radical Buddhist sect. Enough to pour trillions of yen into schools and plush “cultural centers” worldwide. Enough to ensure audiences with royals, business leaders and former prime ministers. In fact 65-year-old Ikeda has enough karma to achieve almost anything. So why is he thought to be so contemptible?I wonder on what authority a Tokyo Journal reporter can deduce one’s karma.
One reason Daisaku Ikeda is considered “contemptible” in some circles is that the people who follow him learn to think for themselves, are not cowed by the trappings of authority, and often vote against the majority in Japanese elections.
There doesn’t seem to be any documentation of the charge that his audiences are “ensured” by money.
A small, plump man with a permanently smug look,Ah, so we’re engaged in non-opinionated, objective journalism, are we?
Ikeda joined the religious group Soka Gakkai in 1947 and quickly earned a reputation as a phenomenally effective fund-raiser.Actually his first years of practice were spent mainly working on Toda’s business enterprises; one marvels at the lack of any documentation — in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary — that he “quickly earned a reputation” as ANYTHING within the ranks of the Gakkai.
This is said to have assured his rise through the ranksThe development of the Youth Division and the ability to convert great numbers of people might have had something to do with it. There is an alarming lack of scholarship exhibited by this story — almost as if someone who hates the Mr. Ikeda just sat down with the reporter and rolled through a list of accusations, and the reporter just recorded them as fact.
and proved a strong weapon in the battle for succession between Ikeda and a rival in 1960, when Chairman Josei Toda died.Actually, he did not succeed Toda for two years after the latter’s death (which occurred in 1958, not 1960). He assumed the presidency in response to a petition from the membership.
According to Ikeda’s former right-hand man Yukimasa Fujiwara — one of many who have left the group to protest their leader's dictatorial style — Ikeda won the chairmanship by quietly paying off executives.With ... his salary as office manager of Toda’s credit corporation? His salary as chief of staff? How come he was making enough money that he could “pay off” people who were his seniors — weren’t they making more than him? One must note that Mr. Fujiwara offers no documentation; this is an oft-repeated story Nichiren Shoshu members tell each other.
Ikeda, then only 32, quickly persuaded followers that the more converts and money they brought in, the better their karma. The subsequent membership drive lured one-tenth of the nation’s population and millions of others worldwide, including celebrities such as Tina Turner, Patrick Swayze, and Herbie Hancock.Gee, I’ve been practicing a long time, and know many who have practiced longer than me. Never heard that “bringing in money” would improve my karma. Funny that such guidance was shared with the Tokyo Journal, but not with the actual SGI members who would supposedly be the ones to “bring in” the money.
I have heard that converting people to the Daishonin’s Buddhism will change karma; that is a fundamental teaching of Nichiren Daishonin.
But conquering the spiritual realm wasn’t enough for Ikeda. In 1957, he had thousands of members register as residents in a district where a Gakkai-backed candidate needed votes. The candidate won, but Ikeda spent 15 days in prison for violating election law.Well, gee whiz, this is an outright lie. He spent the time in jail accused of violating the election law, and was subsequently acquitted of the charge.
The Tokyo Journal has obviously not checked its “facts”. Or doesn’t care about facts, which seems more likely.
His political aspirations took further shape in 1964, when he launched the Komeito party which, with huge funds and millions of votes, grew into the Diet’s second-largest opposition party.
The Komeito has cast the deciding vote in debates such as the 1988 consumption tax and the 1991 PKO bills, giving Ikeda — an unelected party leader — awesome sway over crucial domestic issues. “The Komeito can’t make any decisions without his consent,” claims Tokyo Insideline’s Takao Toshikawa. “President Ikeda,” as he is called by his English-speaking followers, is a larger-than-life figure and a skilled orator.“Claims” “Tokyo Insideline’s Takao Toshikawa”????? Is that a source of proof of something? No — it’s a claim.
In fact, the Gakkai and Komeito are two different organizations. No executive of the Komeito may be a leader in the Gakkai. But, even assuming Mr. Ikeda is somehow controlling everything Komeito does, does the fact that elected representatives from a particular party cast a deciding vote in two instances give Mr. Ikeda “awesome sway over crucial domestic issues”? No, of course not. The party who cast the deciding vote on the thousands of other bills before the Diet in that same period — now that party has some awesome sway! And that party would be, most likely, the LDP. So what the Tokyo Journal is upset about here is, briefly, that the LDP didn’t get its way twice in three years.
He is also known as an arrogant and mean-spirited man who taunts Gakkai executives at meetings. Yet his combination of religious aura and political clout has proved devastatingly successful.“He is known as...” Yep, good journalism.
Soka Gakkai now has eight universities, schools, kindergartens and other centers around the world. It recently completed an extravagant international HQ on 580 acres of prime Santa Monica estate. Glossy press packs burst with photos of Ikeda meeting Gorbachev, Thatcher, Mitterand and Kissinger. Before Ikeda visits his many schools and centers, his aides are deployed to hand out gifts of soft drinks. After one visit to Soka University in Hachioji, students proudly displayed the empty cans in shoeboxes inscribed with the words: “Presents of encouragement from Ikeda sensei.”Ye gads, the man builds schools! And encourages the students in them!
It is also no secret that Ikeda desperately wants a Nobel Peace Prize;It is no secret that his enemies say this. They must have some rationalization for disparaging his good works, and ascribing an ulterior motive is a good way to accomplish that. It would be interesting to find out if he has ever even been nominated — certainly, a man so rich and powerful ought to be able to find someone to nominate him, if this is truly his desire.
President Ikeda needs no prize to validate his work for humanity.
He has met with many Nobel laureates and donates huge sums to charitable causes such as Cambodian refugees, Ethiopian projects and Palestinian education.Omigosh!
Ikeda’s followers consider him the earthly incarnation of the Nichiren Daishonin saint;I don’t.
those who believe otherwise have felt the wrath of this self-appointed god.I haven’t. We’ve been over this.
When writer Hirotatsu Fujiwara tried to publish a critical book in 1969, Ikeda employed then-LDP Secretary General Kakuei Tanaka to persuade Fujiwara to halt publication (He had him arrested on bogus charges);No one who criticized the Gakkai ever really commits a crime; in every single instance when one has been arrested for any reason whatsoever, it’s because of “bogus charges”. How amazing.
The author also claimed that a KGB-Iike campaign against him included death-threats and surveillance.Oh. Well, I claim that, too. To whom do I write to get my name in the Tokyo Journal?
The scandal that erupted after these revelations forced Ikeda’s aides to apologize and soon after, to announce the formal separation of Soka Gakkai from the Komeito. This restructuring was little help to Komeito Diet member Toshio Ohashi, who complained about Ikeda’s megalomania in 1988. On Ikeda’s nod, Soka Gakkai withdrew its support on the grounds that Ohashi had been receiving illegal campaign contributions. Without Gakkai’s funds and votes, Ohashi had no choice but to resign from the Diet. The message was clear: nobody argues with The President.Gosh, the Clean Government Party withdrew support form someone taking illegal contributions. How outrageous!
Such incidents have blemished Ikeda’s saintly veneer, but have hardly dented his power base.They have “hardly dented his base” because the millions of sincere, seeking people around the world who admire him understand that these Tokyo Journal type articles are based in falsehoods.
Ikeda continues to be consulted by top politicians such as Noboru Takeshita and, according to the weekly magazine Shukan Shincho, Soka Gakkai held four fundraising events this year for last month’s elections.Shukan Shimpo was found guilty of libel for printing that a Gakkai member had murdered a priest. (Actually, the priest had been drinking, and swerved his vehicle into the path of a car driven by a Gakkai member, according to witnesses and the police.) Yeah, there’s a good objective source of information.
Ikeda is reportedly wooing both strands of the nation’s political future: Takeshita, the old style LDP godfather; and Ichiro Ozawa, the young iconoclast, whose party might soon prosper from Ikeda’s generosity.A little outdated.
Japan’s political map is being redrawn, and Daisaku lkeda — statesman, billionaire, god — seems intent to play his part.How nice that Nichiren Shoshu/SG-eye/Cebunet digs up a 5-year-old article to demonstrate the Japanese journalistic community’s lack of journalism ability or ethics.
More rebuttal of SG-eye: