Soka Spirit
Part II: 4. Past Contributions of the Soka Gakkai

Problem with Nichiren Shoshu

Today, the Soka Gakkai and the SGI are separate from the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood, and have persevered as a body of Buddhists who dedicated to widely spread Nichiren Daishonin’s teachings. The turning point in the relationship with Nichiren Shoshu was the priesthood’s unilateral excommunication of the Soka Gakkai in November 1991, the culmination of its plans to sever ties with and disband the Soka Gakkai.

Since it’s founding, the Soka Gakkai had exerted itself to protect and support the priesthood as an affiliated lay body. After WWII, the priesthood was financially destitute. In order to contribute to the temple’s financial well-being and eventual prosperity, the Soka Gakkai instituted a system of pilgrimage, an organized way in which its members could visit the head temple on a regular basis. In addition, it built many major structures and temples on the Taiseki-ji grounds, and donated to Nichiren Shoshu more than 350 branch temples. On occasions when there was friction between the Soka Gakkai and Nichiren Shoshu, the Soka Gakkai offered to settle those differences through dialogue, based on its desire to maintain a harmonious relationship.