American Chapter of Soka Gakkai Formed
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The Soka Gakkai society was begun in Japan in 1930 as a lay movement based on the ancient practice of Nichiren Buddhism. The society distinguished itself in World War II for opposing Japan’s militaristic ways.

Japanese war brides are credited with bringing the teachings of Soka Gakkai to America. The U.S. chapter was formally established in 1960 but split off from the main group in 1991 over control issues, renaming itself Soka Gakkai International-USA.

SGI-USA adherents meet in local discussion groups and emphasize peace, culture and education. SGI-USA also is active in such issues as children’s rights, the environment and nuclear disarmament.

SGI-USA is considered one of the most diverse U.S. Buddhist groups, with some 350,000 members and 70 centers. Based in Santa Monica, California, it operates a liberal arts university in nearby Orange County.
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Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian) in American History
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Soka Gakkai International-USA, Chicago- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Hoppyiness (CC BY-SA 4.0)

SGI-USA World Culture Center- Flickr- photo by Gabby Gonzalez (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Daisaku Ikeda- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Rukomii (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Soka University of America, Founder's Hall- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Bobak Ha'Eri (CC BY 3.0)

Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Rukomii (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Book/Journal Source(s)
Melton, J. Gordon, 2009. Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, Eighth Edition. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale.
Web Source(s)
Soka Gakkai International-USA website
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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