Submitted by Epicalyx
on July 9, 2022 at 11:52 AM in memer
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Reply to comment by temporary_ in Celebrate good times by Epicalyx
SGI for short. Nichiren Buddhist umbrella organization, and one of the largest and wealthiest of the Japanese "new religions". Like a lot of the Buddhist-derived "new religions", it will teach you to worship a central object (in the case of SGI, a piece of paper or scroll with calligraphy on it called a Gohonzon, which SGI mass-produces and you must of course have to buy as a member) and peform repetitive chants (for SGI and Nichiren Buddhists in general: "Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō") that they say can give you anything you want.
Various former members have reported that as a member you will be aggressively manipulated to donate and buy the books and periodicals of their leader, Daisaku Ikeda. Leaving the organization has been reported to be a hard endeavor. You are expected to give back your Gohonzon even though you paid for it, and some former members have reported being visited at their homes over it.
As far as their political connections go, they have their own political party called Komeito which is in a coalition with LDP, Abe's party. Their party platform is conservative and the party itself is said to more or less function as a lobbying group to ensure that SGI stays tax-exempt, to exert influence over major public figures and to provide an easy voter base for LDP and its affiliated conservative parties.
Thank you. I know a couple of people who are into this school of buddhism. I assumed it had a longer history, but from what I'm reading it's a rather recent movement, even if based on the beliefs of an ancient priest, so now I'm not sure if there is a clear distinction between the institution (SGI) and the school of thought known simply as SG.
SG is the Japanese arm, SGI is the umbrella for all SG chapters including the ones in the US and the UK. But SGI is still headquartered in Japan.
There are other Nichiren sects in Japan such as the Nichiren-Shoshu, Kenshokai and Shoshinkai. And they all kind of hate eachother but especially SG.