Skip to main content

Our History

Learning About Our History to Deepen Our Resolve

The sunrise illuminates the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu in Tokyo on Nov. 18, the anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding.
The sunrise illuminates the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu in Tokyo on Nov. 18, the anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding. Photo by Seikyo Press

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu (November) and the 30th anniversary of Ikeda Sensei starting to write The New Human Revolution (August) and presenting the poem “The Sun of Jiyu Over a New Land” (January). And there are more wonderful dates to celebrate this year!

Why do we in the Soka Gakkai celebrate so many commemorative dates? 

There are many reasons for learning the details of how our Soka movement was built and how it has become a powerful force for spreading the life-affirming philosophy and practice of Nichiren Buddhism throughout the world. 

One important reason—our commemorative dates help us deepen our understanding of the history and spirit of the oneness of mentor and disciple. Each Soka Gakkai date we celebrate is directly tied to the substantial efforts of the Soka Gakkai’s three eternal mentors—Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Josei Toda and Daisaku Ikeda. They set out to establish the foundations for a people-centered organization and movement based on our Buddhist faith and practice. 

As we learn about our history, we can use these commemorative dates to refresh and fuel our determination. 

We can also approach each date as an essential juncture to set goals for advancing kosen-rufu in our personal lives and local organizations. For example, we can set our sights on March 16, Kosen-rufu Day, and find ways to measure our progress from there to May 3, Soka Gakkai Day. 

Ikeda Sensei says: 

The Soka Gakkai has designated numerous commemorative dates. The purpose is to remind ourselves of the origins of the occasion, pass on our history and spirit to future generations and forge ahead with fresh determination each year.

If you hold special meetings devoid of a shared determination or genuine feeling, it means our organization has fossilized and degenerated into empty formalism. This is what has happened to the ceremonies of most of the established Buddhist schools. But we must never allow it to happen to us.

The purpose of Soka Gakkai commemorative dates is to reconfirm our commitment to kosen-rufu and make a shared pledge for a fresh departure. They should be occasions for inspiring our faith and our spirits. That’s why it is important to study and learn about the origins of each commemorative day. Our history and commemorative dates have meaning only if we transform them into sources of strength in the present. (The New Human Revolution, vol. 25, pp. 299–300)

For us, commemorating these dates serves to reaffirm the Soka Gakkai spirit while also setting forth afresh with the resolve to continue growing and advancing. 

—Prepared by the SGI-USA Study Department

Significant Dates of the Soka Gakkai


SGI Day 

In 1975, the Soka Gakkai International was founded to connect Soka Gakkai organizations around the world. 


Kosen-rufu Day

In 1958, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda entrusted the responsibility of kosen-rufu to the youth.


Soka Gakkai Day

In 1951, Josei Toda was inaugurated second Soka Gakkai president. In 1960, exactly nine years later, Daisaku Ikeda was inaugurated its third president. 


Josei Toda’s Declaration for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

In 1957, President Toda made his declaration condemning nuclear weapons, marking the start of the Soka Gakkai’s efforts for nuclear abolition.


World Peace Day

In 1960, a few months after his inauguration as Soka Gakkai president, Ikeda Sensei set out on his first overseas trip to expand the Soka movement, visiting the United States, Canada and Brazil.  


Soka Gakkai Founding Day

In 1930, the Soka Gakkai was formally established. 

For more details about each of these dates, please visit:

Jan.1, 2023, World Tribune, p. 9

SGI-USA Focus for 2023

The Incredible Power of Prayer