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|Born||February 27, 1901|
|Died||1974 (aged 72–73)|
Yoshikazu Okada (岡田 良一), born February 27, 1901 in the Aoyama area of Tokyo's Minato Ward, also known as Kōtama Okada, (岡田 光玉) was the founder of a new religious movement in Japan (Shinshūkyō) generally referred to as Mahikari.
Yoshikazu Okada was born into a wealthy family as the son of Inasaburo, a major general in the Imperial Japanese Army. Okada, who studied with Prince Chichibu (Yasuhito) and others who came from prominent Japanese families, graduated from the Japanese Army Officer Training School in 1922 and was commissioned a lieutenant in the Japanese Imperial Guard. After serving in military campaigns in China and Indochina, Okada retired from the army in 1941 due to a back injury with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
In 1947, Yoshikazu Okada became a minister of Sekai Kyūsei Kyō (世界救世教) (Church of World Messianity), a Shinshūkyō which was founded by Mokichi Okada (1882–1955) (no relation to Yoshikazu Okada). After leaving Sekai Kyūsei Kyō in 1953, Yoshikazu Okada established the Mahikari organization in 1959, which became known as Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyodan in 1963, and assumed the name of Kōtama ("Jewel of Light").
When Okada died in 1974, there was a dispute about who was to succeed him as spiritual leader of Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyodan. After court hearings over several years, control of Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyodan, was awarded to Sakae Sekiguchi. In 1978, Okada's adopted daughter, Sachiko Okada, who assumed the name Keishu and claimed that, due to a divine revelation, she was the next spiritual leader of the Mahikari movement, registered the name Sukyo Mahikari and formed another organization based on Okada's teachings.
- SM Monthly teachings, June 2005
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