Skip to main content


On the Passing of Ikeda Sensei

Ikeda Sensei stands among the greatest leaders in the history of Buddhism. He carried on the spirit of the oneness of mentor and disciple, realizing the great undertaking of worldwide kosen-rufu.

Soka Gakkai International President (and Honorary Soka Gakkai President) Daisaku Ikeda passed away peacefully due to natural causes in the middle of the night on Nov. 15, 2023, at his residence in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. He was 95 years old. 

A private funeral was held on Nov. 17, with close family in attendance. 

Soka Gakkai memorials were held on Nov. 23 in Japan and Nov. 26 in the U.S. with profound appreciation for our mentor’s life and legacy, and the determination to advance kosen-rufu boldly in his stead.

Ikeda Sensei joined the Soka Gakkai at 19 and practiced and studied under the tutelage of Josei Toda, who later became second Soka Gakkai president.

Devoting his youth to realizing his teacher’s aspiration for kosen-rufu, he succeeded Mr. Toda as third Soka Gakkai president at 32. Since then, he exerted himself ceaselessly for the realization of worldwide kosen-rufu, spearheading the remarkable development of the Soka Gakkai into a united global movement for peace with a presence in 192 countries and territories.

Daisaku Ikeda, who stands among the greatest leaders in the history of Buddhism, was born on Jan. 2, 1928, in what is today Ota Ward, Tokyo.

On Aug. 14, 1947, he had a life-changing encounter with Josei Toda. Ten days later, on Aug. 24, he embarked on the path of faith in Nichiren Buddhism and joined the Soka Gakkai.

Mr. Toda, who carried on the will of his mentor, founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, entrusted Sensei with every aspect of kosen-rufu. On May 3, 1960, Sensei became the third president of the Soka Gakkai.

Under the leadership of Ikeda Sensei, who in his heart upheld the same sublime spirit of the oneness of mentor and disciple as his predecessors, the Soka Gakkai achieved astounding growth.

In 1964, he founded the Clean Government Party (Komeito). In 1975, he was appointed president of the Soka Gakkai International. And in 1979, he became honorary president of the Soka Gakkai. Subsequently, he expanded the network of peace, culture and
education worldwide through dialogues with leaders and thinkers from various fields.

In addition, he established a number of educational and cultural institutions, including the Soka schools, Soka University, the Min-On Concert Association and the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum. He has received 408 academic honors and more than 800 honorary citizenships.

Sensei’s dedicated and selfless struggles have led to the expansion of the network of Soka to 192 countries and territories in five continents. He spread awareness of the Buddhist philosophy of respect for the dignity of life as a spiritual model for all humanity and enabled the Soka Gakkai to flourish as a global religious community. What’s more, he left behind a prolific body of work on Buddhism and its application to modern life, and a roadmap to kosen-rufu in the form of his 30-volume series, The New Human Revolution. His magnificent achievements will shine forever into the future.

Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada offered words immediately following Sensei’s passing. In addition, Sensei’s wife, Kaneko Ikeda, released the following statement:

My husband was so sickly that his doctor told him he probably wouldn’t live to 30. But thanks to his faith and the guidance and training of Mr. Toda, he was able to live a long life and fulfill his mission.

More than 10 years ago, he shared that he would always be taking the lead for kosen-rufu in accord with the eternal nature of life expounded in Buddhism. He was completely serene and confident, having been able to entrust his entire spiritual legacy to succeeding generations.

I offer my sincere gratitude to all the fellow members who have supported and worked alongside him in a shared commitment to kosen-rufu.

—Adapted from the Nov. 19, 2023, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun

December 8, 2023, World Tribune, pp. 4–5

Shining as the Foremost Beacons of Hope in All the World

Today, Again