Press release – Passing of Buddhist mentor Daisaku Ikeda

Human rights

Buddhist mentor and philosopher Daisaku Ikeda passed away from natural causes at his residence in Shinjuku, Tokyo, on the evening of November 15, at the age of ninety-five. Daisaku Ikeda was honorary president of the Soka Gakkai and president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), the world’s largest secular Buddhist movement, which is present in 192 countries and territories around the globe and has 13.5 million adherents. Born in Tokyo on Jan. 2, 1928, Daisaku Ikeda had been appointed third president of the Soka Gakkai in 1960 and for nearly two decades led the secular Buddhist movement, leading it to achieve dynamic growth and major development even at the international level. He had become president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) in 1975 and honorary president of the Soka Gakkai in 1979.

Ikeda has made dialogue the fundamental tool for building a peaceful society. He met numerous leaders of our time, these include dozens of scholars, philosophers and prominent figures such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Aurelio Peccei and Arnold J. Toynbee. Daisaku Ikeda has promoted peace by sharing worldwide the affirmation of the universal values of Buddhism, and through his tireless activity, this universal philosophy has spread to every part of the planet. Witnessing the importance of respecting the dignity of the life of every single human being, he has enabled millions of women and men to embrace the philosophy of the Human Revolution, based on a process of inner transformation and personal development as the basis for social change and global peace.

In our country, Ikeda has been appointed Grand Officer of the Italian Republic, received the Doctoral Ring from the University of Bologna and an honorary degree from the University of Palermo. He also received honorary citizenship in 51 municipalities including Florence and Turin. In October 1961 Daisaku Ikeda undertook his first trip to Europe and visited Rome, then returned to our country seven more times until 1994. Daisaku Ikeda’s funeral was held privately with close family members. He leaves behind his wife Kaneko and sons Hiromasa and Takahiro.

SGI Italy has nearly one hundred thousand adherents and it is one of the religious confessions recognized by the State through a Law of Understanding approved on June 14, 2016 by the Italian Parliament. SGI Italy and Soka Gakkai International (SGI) are among the most active organizations promoting Sustainable Development Goals, the abolition of nuclear weapons and the protection of human rights worldwide.

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