By Arvin Palmer (auth.)

On November 17,1964, a brand new and really distinct political association used to be inaugurated in Japan. This association was once known as Komeito or the fresh govt celebration. ! the mummy association used to be the lay Buddhist crew, Soka Gakkai 2 or worth production Society. It had formerly been engaged in a few political actions, however the determine­ ment of the get together was once a sign of significant reason to turn into much more keen on jap political views. The really militant posture of Soka Gakkai and its extra special luck in changing actually thousands of eastern to the Nichiren Buddhist faith was once just a little disconcerting for observers, either eastern and international. due to its political activism, many folks seen the association as just like the pre-World struggle II ultra-nationalist circulate, whereas others ap­ plauded Soka Gakkai for giving new existence and desire to a wide phase of eastern society that was once simply receiving a marginal proportion of Japan's expanding prosperity. Any mass stream might seem relatively ominous to a few humans and a swiftly increasing and competitive flow is certain to be perceived as a probability to society. Soka Gakkai is not any exception, and as a result has been the topic of a lot debate and controversy in either Japan and overseas. As is frequently the case with arguable issues, a brand new point of view may also help to elucidate the various extra contentious problems with this movement.

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Sample text

Through this system, which is based essentially on the traditional Japanese social structure, the individual is tied to a network of relationships as expansive as Soka Gakkai is large. Because of the absolute demands of Soka Gakkai's religious beliefs, the convert is now enabled to sever any other conflicting social obligations he may have had outside the group. As a Gakkai member, the convert is not supposed to discuss the merits of any philosophy other than his own, and often his knowledge of Nichiren Buddhism will be little more than a simplistic explanation such as is characteristic of memorized material.

Since the Gakkai membership is regimented and controlled by the nature of the structure, the manipulation of religious and political symbols and the requirements of religious service, the original thesis that Soka Gakkai members are supporting members of Komeito becomes selfevident. There must, however, be a peculiarly political element (at least for analytical purposes) in the above-described phenomena; therefore the nature and process of political communication needs to be studied in greater detail.

PARTY ORGANIZATION AND LEADERSHIP 23 Their apparent early transience, contributed to by the war, may have been one indirect factor in their affiliation with a movement such as Soka Gakkai, since rootlessness seems to be a characteristic of those who identify with mass movements. Furthermore, of the forty-five members of the Diet, six were pre-war converts to Soka Gakkai and virtually all of the remainder had been converted between 1947 and 1955, or during a period of extreme demoralization and chaos in Japan.

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