(Japanese: "value-creating society")
The largest of Japan's new religions, a lay movement founded in 1930 by Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, derived from Nichiren Buddhism (which itself dates back to the 13th century).
Together with his successor, Josei Toda, Makiguchi was jailed by the militarist, state-Shintoist Japanese government during World War II. After the war, however, the movement gained much ground under Toda's successor, Daisaku Ikeda. Soka Gakkai achieved significant political influence, through its association with the Komeito party.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the more fantical and intolerant aspects of Nichiren Buddhism dominated within the movement, but in the course of the 1990s, Soka Gakkai has achieved a more peaceful and tolerant image. This has involved breaking with Nichiren-Sho-shu and thereby also being banned from the use of the temple Taisekiji.
In terms of Buddhist ritual, the Lotus sutra remains the most important religious text of the Soka Gakkai movement, and the ritual use of mandalas is common. Significantly, Soka Gakkai practices missionary activity outside Japan.