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Kokuchūkai Headquarters

The Kokuchūkai (国柱会?, "Pillar of the Nation Society") is a lay-oriented Nichiren Buddhist organisation.[1] It was founded by Tanaka Chigaku in 1880 as Rengekai (蓮華会?, "Lotus Blossom Society") and renamed Risshō Ankokukai (立正安国会?) in 1884 before adopting its current name in 1914.[1][2]

Originally based in Yokohama, the group shifted its head office to Tokyo, Kyoto-Osaka, Kamakura and Miho, Shizuoka Prefecture before finally moving back to Tokyo.[1][3] The group is currently based in Ichinoe, Edogawa-ku.[1]


Among the group's principal teachings are to return to the teachings of the founder of Nichiren Buddhism, the 13th-century monk Nichiren and unite the various sects of Nichiren Buddhism.[1] The group's teachings are characterized by a strong form of Nichirenism.[1]

The group's sacred text is the Lotus Sutra[1] and their main object of reverence is the Sado Shigen Myō Mandara (佐渡始原妙曼荼羅?), a mandala supposedly made by Nichiren on the island of Sado.[1][4]


At its height in 1924, the group's membership was estimated at over 7000.[3] The literary figures Takayama Chogyū and Kenji Miyazawa[5] were members of the Kokuchūkai for a time. The group's official website continues to claim them,[6][7] but they ultimately rejected Tanaka's nationalistic views.[3]


The group's publications include the monthly magazines Nichiren-shugi (日蓮主義?, "Nichirenism") and Shin-sekai (真世界?, "True World").[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Britannica Kokusai Dai-hyakkajiten article "Kokuchūkai". 2007. Britannica Japan Co.
  2. ^ Eiichi Ōtani, Ajia no Bukkyō-nashonarizumu no Hikaku-bunseki ("A Comparative Analysis of Buddhist Nationalism in Asia"). International Research Center for Japanese Studies. p 115
  3. ^ a b c Jacqueline I. Stone, "By Imperial Edict and Shogunal Decree: politics and the issue of the ordination platform in modern lay Nichiren Buddhism". IN: Steven Heine; Charles S. Prebish (ed.) Buddhism in the Modern World. New York: Oxford University Press. 2003. ISBN 0195146972. pp 197-198.
  4. ^ Risshō Ankoku no jitsugen e on the Kokuchūkai's official website.
  5. ^ Keene, Donald (1999), A History of Japanese Literature: Volume 4: Dawn to the West — Japanese Literature of the Modern Era (Poetry, Drama, Criticism), New York: Columbia University Press, p. 285, ISBN 978-0-2311-1439-4 .
  6. ^ "Takayama Chogyū" on the Kokuchūkai's official website.
  7. ^ "Kenji Miyazawa" on the Kokuchūkai's official website.


External links[edit]