Soka Spirit
Part II: 2. The Soka Gakkai's Response

Problem with Nichiren Shoshu

The Soka Gakkai issued a clear response to the priesthood’s unilateral actions against it, and called for a solution through dialogue. In attempting to communicate with the priesthood, the Soka Gakkai expressed its desire that the priesthood reform itself in the following ways, requesting:

  1. That the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood become open to the world in a manner that befits the age of democracy;
  2. That the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood, in accord with the original spirit of the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, correct its authoritarian manner and condescending attitude toward lay believers; and
  3. That the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood admonish and correct self-indulgence among priests and establish a tradition of moderation and wisdom.

The priesthood, however, ignored these requests and rejected the Soka Gakkai’s proposal for dialogue.

Instead, it issued an order refusing the bestowal of the Gohonzon upon Soka Gakkai members.

In response, Soka Gakkai members began to conduct funeral and memorial services among themselves, without relying on the traditional attendance of priests. In 1993, with the support of a priest who had severed his relationship with High Priest Nikken and the head temple, the SGI decided to confer Gohonzon reproduced from a Gohonzon transcribed by Nichikan Shonin, the 26th high priest, to its members around the world.

In the ensuing decade, the Soka Gakkai has continued to develop and prosper throughout the world even more so than in the past, and the distinction between the true and erroneous practice of the Daishonin’s Buddhism has become clearer and clearer.