Buddha Patriot

A Classically Liberal Neoconservative Tibetan Buddhist from the Midwest

Monday, February 19, 2007

review of new Soka Gakkai book

The Japanese news site, Asahi, has posted a review of a new book, "Encountering the Dharma", on the controversial "Buddhist" group, Soka_Gakkai:

Nikken and Nichiren are roundly criticized here, with reason, but by the end of
the book Seager is so clearly spouting the Gakkai line that this reader becomes
suspicious. Here he is addressing a group of young Gakkai members in Singapore:
"The working title of my book is 'Nichiren's Lions,' an image in the plural,
because I want to draw attention to you, members and disciples, as the builders
of the Soka Gakkai. I want neither to startle nor to offend but Makiguchi, Toda
and Ikeda would be nothing without you and the millions of others who answered
their call."
Ikeda himself could not have said it better.
Did that
cherry tree and 100 daimoku buy Seager's sympathies?
"Encountering the
Dharma" begins as an informed inquiry into the history and workings of an
interesting movement, then drifts into cheerleading for its successes. I leave
it to more qualified sources to state the charges against Ikeda and Soka
Gakkai--there are many--but this I say with conviction: The last third of this
book makes for very boring reading.

It's good to see an opposing viewpoint on Soka. I do have a copy of the 1968 book: Soka_Gakkai;_Japan's_Militant_Buddhists, and would like to get a copy of the 1970 book: I_Denounce_Soka_Gakkai, but the vast majority of books on Soka are either published by them or their fans.
Perhaps I'll pick up some critical Japanese language info on Soka when I visit Nichiren_Shoshu's Taiseki-ji temple at the base of Mt. Fuji.

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