SGI President Daisaku Ikeda
Dr Daisaku Ikeda is a Buddhist philosopher, an educator and a prolific writer and poet. As President of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) lay Buddhist movement, he has devoted himself to wide-ranging efforts for peace and individual empowerment, and has founded cultural, educational and peace research institutions around the world.
Born in Tokyo in 1928, Dr Ikeda experienced firsthand the tragic reality of war and militarism. In the chaos of post-war Japan, he came to embrace Buddhism through an encounter with the educator and pacifist Josei Toda, head of the Buddhist lay organisation Soka Gakkai, who had been imprisoned for his beliefs during World War II.
These experiences shaped Dr Ikeda’s commitment to peace. Over the years, President Ikeda has engaged in dialogue with many of the world’s preeminent thinkers and leaders in search of viable responses to global problems, inspired the SGI’s support of United Nations activities, and written extensively on a range of issues related to peace and the human condition.
Central to Dr Ikeda’s thinking is the idea that a self-directed transformation within the life of each individual, rather than societal or structural reforms alone, holds the key to lasting peace and human happiness. This is expressed most succinctly in a passage in his best-known work, The New Human Revolution, “A great revolution of character in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, will cause a change in the destiny of humankind.”
Dr Ikeda’s books, offering perspectives grounded in Buddhist humanism on the challenges facing both individuals in their daily lives and humanity as a whole, have been published in more than 30 languages.