From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Shakubuku "break and subdue" (折伏?) is a term that originates in the Chinese Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra. Although often associated with the teachings of Nichiren, the term appears often in the SAT Daizokyo and the works of the Chinese Tiantai patriarachs Zhiyi and Zhanran.[1]:133

It often refers to the proselytization and conversion of new adherents in Nichiren Buddhism (see second President of Soka Gakkai Josei Toda). Shakubuku refers to the rebuttal of teachings regarded as heretical or preliminary.[2][3]

Nichiren organisations like Kokuchūkai, Nichiren Shōshū and Soka Gakkai took the phrase "break and subdue" literally in the past. Even though the term as such is still being used within most of the groups mentioned, it is now used to underline or rather convince the counterpart of one's own interpretation of Buddhism.

Another form of propagation mentioned by Nichiren is shōju (摂受?), which underlines the individual's own insight on Buddhism. Nichiren himself referred to both methods in his "Opening of the Eyes" (開目抄 Kaimokushō?). A combination of the two is known as shōju-shakubuku (摂受折伏?).[4]

The term shakubuku is used when proselytising adherents of other Buddhist traditions, while shōju is used when proselytising non-Buddhists. In effect, though, shakubuku and shōju refer to the same method of proselytization in the West today.[5]


  1. ^ Granoff, Phyllis; Shinohara, Koichi (2012). Sins and sinners : perspectives from Asian religions. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9004229469. 
  2. ^ Moos, Felix (March 1963). "Religion and Politics in Japan: The Case of the Soka Gakkai" (PDF). Asian Survey. doi:10.1525/as.1963.3.3.01p1616c. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  3. ^ McRae, John (2004), The Sutra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion's Roar and the Vimalakīrti Sutra (PDF), Berkeley, CA: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, p. 49, ISBN 1886439311, All the remaining living beings who stubbornly cling to false teachings, instead of to the most profound Dharma, turn their backs to the True Dharma and habitually practice the corrupt ways of various heterodoxies. These corrupt ways must be subdued by the King’s powers and by the powers of the divine nāgas. 
  4. ^ Britannica Kokusai Dai-Hyakkajiten article on "shōju-shakubuku".
  5. ^ A Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts. Nichiren Shoshu International Center, ISBN 4-88872-014-2, page 376-393