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Gedatsu-kai (解脱会 Gedatsu-kai?), or Nirwana Association, is a Japanese new religious movement founded in 1929.[1] The number of adherents exceeded 200,000 in the 1990s.[2] It is a syncretic movement, with influences drawing from traditional Shinto and Shingon Buddhist teachings. Its central deity is Gochi Nyorai (Mahāvairocana).[3] Gedatsu is the Japanese term for moksha or enlightenment

Founder and family[edit]

Gedatsu-kai was established by Seiken Okano (born Eizo Okano) in 1929. Within the church he is given the title "Gedatsu Kongō Sonja". Church members refer to him as "Kongō Sama" or "Sonja".

His successor (referred to as Hoshu, or Dharma successor) is Seiho Okano, an affiliate of the revisionist lobby Nippon Kaigi,[4] and the Chairman of the board of directors is Teruo Okano.[5]


Gedatsu-kai has branches throughout Japan. The church's administrative headquarters are located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, but its sacred grounds, or goreichi, are located in the founder's home town in Kitamoto, Saitama. There are also several branches in the United States, where the organization is called "Gedatsu Church".


  1. ^ Tisdall-Yamada, Y.; Earhart, H. B. (1990). "Gedatsu-kai and Religion in Contemporary Japan: Returning to the Center". The Journal of Asian Studies. 49 (1): 153–154. doi:10.2307/2058479. JSTOR 2058479. 
  2. ^ Gedatsukai. A New Dictionary of Religions : Blackwell Reference Online
  3. ^ Heisig, James W. (1982). "Review of: Minoru Kiyota, Gedatsukai: Its Theory and Practice". The Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 9 (4): 316–18.
  4. ^ Nippon Kaigi website
  5. ^ "Organization and Activities" - Gedatsu-kai website, retrieved Nov 8, 2014

External links[edit]