Dharma World

April-June 2006, Volume 33

April-June 2006, Volume 33(PDF)

Creating the World of the One Vehicle: The Centennial of the Birth of Rev. Nikkyo Niwano

Introductory Essay

As We Approach the Centennial of the Founder’s Birth by Katsunori Yamanoi

This year, as the centennial year of the Founder’s birth, is a memorable one for Rissho Kosei-kai. But I believe that, as we plan and undertake the various public memorial celebrations, there is something else that must not be forgotten. . . .

Katsunori Yamanoi is the chairman of the board of directors of Rissho Kosei-kai.


Living with a Generous Heart: Greeting the Centennial of the Founder’s Birth by Nichiko Niwano

It is important that through this year’s programs and ceremonies we make the heart of the Buddha, the heart of the Founder, our own.

Nichiko Niwano is president of Rissho Kosei-kai and the Niwano Peace Foundation, a president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP), and chairman of Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan).

In Gratitude for Their Guidance by Nikkyo Niwano

As I look back on my life, I am deeply aware that I must be one of the most fortunate men alive. Through the wonderful workings of karma, though born deep in the mountains of Niigata Prefecture, I have come into contact with many people whose help has been invaluable to me. And today I am able to walk, hand in hand, with millions of fellow believers as we move forward together. . . .

Nikkyo Niwano, the late founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, was an honorary president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace and was honorary chairman of Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan) at the time of his death in October 1999.

Special Contributions

In Memory of the Reverend Nikkyo Niwano by Chiara Lubich

When the history of the dialogue among religions is written, one of the eminent figures to emerge will be the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai.

Chiara Lubich is founder and president of the Focolare Movement, the worldwide Catholic movement that has members and friends in over 180 countries. She received the Templeton Foundation Prize for Progress in Religion in 1977.

Founder Niwano: A Pioneer for Peace by Jimmy Carter

A former president of the United States recalls his first meeting with Rissho Kosei-kai’s founder in 1979, and how over time they enjoyed a great friendship stimulated by their personal differences.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (1977-81) chairs The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing peace and health worldwide.

The Venerable Nikkyo Niwano and Interreligious Dialogue by Michael L. Fitzgerald

The presence of Pope John Paul II at the opening ceremony of the Sixth World Assembly of the WCRP in the Vatican was the fulfillment of a dream for Rissho Kosei-kai’s founder.

Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, newly appointed as the apostolic nuncio in Egypt and the Holy See’s delegate to the League of Arab States, had served as president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He was also the director of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Rome for many years.


The Lotus Sutra and Religious Cooperation by Gijun Sugitani

The world can no longer ignore the religious conflict underlying the current ethnic clashes. People of faith have been compelled to reexamine what religion is and ought to be.
Rev. Gijun Sugitani, chief priest of the temple Enjuin, Tokyo, was formerly secretary-general of the Tendai denomination of Japanese Buddhism. He serves now as an advisor to the Tendai denomination. He had also served as secretary-general of the Japanese Committee of the World Conference -general of the Tendai denomination of Japanese Buddhism. He serves now as an advisor to the Tendai denomination. He had also served as secretary-general of the Japanese Committee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace.

Contemporary Religion and Social Crisis in Japan by Robert Kisala

The emergence of new religious movements in Japan can at least in part be attributed to the great social change, even social crisis, associated with the process of modernization.

Robert Kisala is a professor in the Faculty of Humanities at Nanzan University, Nagoya. He has written extensively on new religious movements in Japan, including Prophets of Peace: Pacifism and Cultural Identity in Japan’s New Religions, a study of religious involvement in the peace movement in Japan.

The One Vehicle and Bodhisattva Never Despise

Rev. Nikkyo Niwano’s Understanding of Peace and the Lotus Sutra by Michio T. Shinozaki

The Founder’s worldview was that the self and others are one and interrelated, so acting out in violence toward others is also acting out against oneself.

Michio T. Shinozaki, currently president of the Gakurin seminary of Rissho Kosei-kai, formerly served as the director of the organization’s General Secretariat. He received a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Vanderbilt University in 1988.


The Founder and the Second Vatican Council by Kinzo Takemura

In 1965, Rissho Kosei-kai was not yet on special terms with the Catholic Church. The invitation to Founder Niwano to attend could only have been because it was the will of God and the Buddha.

Kinzo Takemura, now retired, was the director of the Overseas Mission Office (now the International Faith Dissemination Group) of Rissho Kosei-kai and the president of Kosei Publishing Company. He served for many years as chief secretary to the late Rev. Nikkyo Niwano, founder of Rissho Kosei-kai.


Our Encounters with the Founder

On these pages appear comments by members of Rissho Kosei-kai overseas that describe how their encounters, either direct or indirect, with Founder Nikkyo Niwano have influenced their lives and have enabled them to understand Buddhism, especially the teachings of the Lotus Sutra. The place names below the respective writers’ names represent the Rissho Kosei-kai branches to which they belong.

The Founder’s Life

A Lifetime Devoted to the Dharma and World Peace

The Founder’s Life: A Chronological Record


A Christian Journey into Buddhism by Elizabeth J. Harris

Buddhism starts with a question: Why is there something in human existence that is twisted, out-of-shape, violent, and unsatisfactory? This writer says that this is a question that resonated with her immediately.

Elizabeth J. Harris is the secretary for interfaith relations for the Methodist Church in Britain and an honorary lecturer at the University of Birmingham. This essay is based upon a lecture she delivered before the Horsham Inter Faith Group, England, in May 2005.

Who Can Stop the Wind? by Notto R. Thelle

When Kobo Daishi (774-835), one of the great masters of Japanese intellectual history, renounced the power and luxury of the court and its bureaucracy and set out on his wanderings as a homeless monk, his family and friends thought he had gone mad, and they protested loudly. His reply was simple: “Who can shatter my resolve? Who can stop the wind?” These words were more than just an appropriate metaphor for an irrevocable choice–they described a whole way of life. Kobo Daishi was whirled up out of the secure framework of his life, and he let himself be carried along by the wind. He had seen all too clearly the emptiness of the “good life” and he knew that he could find a more authentic life only if he encountered reality without any protective clothing. He could perhaps have drowned out this call and shut out the wind, but he knew that it would just keep on blowing. As a man of the spirit, he had no other choice. . . .

Notto R. Thelle, D.Th., is a professor in the Faculty of Theology, the University of Oslo, Norway. Having studied Buddhism at Otani University in Kyoto, he acted as associate director of the NCC (National Christian Council) Center for the Study of Japanese Religions in Kyoto 1974-85, where he was a visiting scholar 1999-2000. He is the author of numerous books and articles. This essay is a translation of part of his book, which was published in Norwegian.

Stories of the Lotus Sutra

Wonderful Voice Bodhisattva by Gene Reeves

This bodhisattva can be understood to be teaching the Lotus Sutra not so much by words as by embodying it by taking on whatever forms are needed to help others.

Gene Reeves is currently studying, teaching, and writing on Buddhism in Tokyo. A consultant and teacher at Rissho Kosei-kai, he was recently a research fellow at Rikkyo University. Before coming to Japan in 1989, Dr. Reeves was the dean of Meadville/Lombard Theological School and professorial lecturer in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.

Dharma World

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  7. Spring 2021, Volume 48

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  10. Autumn 2019, Volume 46

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  11. Spring 2019, Volume 46

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  12. July-December 2018, Volume 45

    The Buddhahood of Plants and Trees: The Environment and Buddha-Nature

  13. January-June 2018, Volume 45

    Buddhism’s One Vehicle in a World of Many Religions

  14. July-December 2017, Volume 44

    Religions Tackling Extremism

  15. January-June 2017, Volume 44

    Religion and Animals

  16. October-December 2016, Volume 43

    Features: Listening

  17. July-September 2016, Volume 43

    Contemporary Ideas about Karma

  18. April-June 2016, Volume 43

    Buddhism and Food

  19. January-March 2016, Volume 43

    Dual Religious Identity: Can One Practice Two Religions?

  20. October-December 2015, Volume 42

    The Modern Significance of Meditative Practices in Religions

  21. July-September 2015, Volume 42

    Religious Rituals and Their Meaning for Today

  22. April-June 2015, Volume 42

    Religion's Contributions to Society

  23. January-March 2015, Volume 42

    Cultivating Hearts That Welcome the Other

  24. October-December 2014, Volume 41

    Buddhism and Language

  25. July-September 2014, Volume 41

    Life After Death

  26. April-June 2014, Volume 41

    Building an East Asian Community: Roles of Religions

  27. January-March 2014, Volume 41

    Aging Societies and Religion

  28. October-December 2013, Volume 40

    Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion

  29. July-September 2013, Volume 40

    Where Does the Buddha Live Now?

  30. April-June 2013, Volume 40

    Modern Meanings of Festivals

  31. January-March 2013, Volume 40

    Transforming Greed

  32. October-December 2012, Volume 39

    Religions Coping with Prejudice

  33. July-September 2012, Volume 39

    The Significance of Religious Communities

  34. April-June 2012, Volume 39

    Buddhist Teachings on Spiritual Liberation

  35. January-March 2012, Volume 39

    The Meaning of Modern Pilgrimage

  36. October-December 2011, Volume 38

    The Evolution of Funerals in Japan

  37. July-September 2011, Volume 38

    Buddhism in North America

  38. April-June 2011, Volume 38

    Religion and the Power of Women

  39. January-March 2011, Volume 38

    What Is True Wealth?

  40. October-December 2010, Volume 37

    Dialogue Draws Religions Closer

  41. July-September 2010, Volume 37

    Tackling the Question "What Is the Lotus Sutra?"

  42. April-June 2010, Volume 37

    Religion's Role in Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

  43. January-March 2010, Volume 37

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  44. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Prayer

  45. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Media

  46. April-June 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Health

  47. January-March 2009, Volume 36

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  48. October-December 2008, Volume 35

    The Meaning of Giving in the Contemporary World

  49. July-September 2008, Volume 35

    Buddhism in the Face of Environmental Crisis

  50. April-June 2008, Volume 35

    The Many Forms of the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin

  51. January-March 2008, Volume 35

    Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution

  52. October-December 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Bioethics

  53. July-September 2007, Volume 34

    Respect for Ancestors

  54. April-June 2007, Volume 34

    Self-Examination and Peace Work

  55. January-March 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Social Responsibility: Boddhisattva Practice Today

  56. October-December 2006, Volume 33

    Buddishm in Dialogue

  57. July-September 2006, Volume 33

    Religions Working for Peace

  58. April-June 2006, Volume 33

    Creating the World of the One Vehicle: The Centennial of the Birth of Rev. Nikkyo Niwano

  59. January-February 2006, Volume 33

    The Human Condition and Religion: A Global Future?

  60. November-December 2005, Volume 32

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  61. September-October 2005, Volume 32

    Spirituality and Development

  62. July-August 2005, Volume 32

    Women in Contemporary Japanese Religion and Society

  63. May-June 2005, Volume 32

    Rissho Kosei-kai 67th

  64. March-April 2005, Volume 32

    "Thousand Buddhas," Sanbanggulsa Temple, South Korea

  65. January-February 2005, Volume 32

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  66. November-December 2004, Volume 31

    Peace Building Through Multi-Religious Cooperation

  67. September-October 2004, Volume 31

    The Increasing Importance of Dialogue and Cooperation

  68. July-August 2004, Volume 31

    Paths to Reconciliation

  69. May-June 2004, Volume 31

    Religion in Crisis

  70. March-April 2004, Volume 31

    Spiritual Friendship

  71. January-February 2004, Volume 31

    Resolving Conflict

  72. November-December 2003, Volume 30

    Dividing Good From Evil

  73. September-October 2003, Volume 30

    Common Truths: Cooperation Among Religions

  74. July-August 2003, Volume 30

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  75. May-June 2003, Volume 30

    Religionists United in Prayer for Peace

  76. March-April 2003, Volume 30

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  77. January-February 2003, Volume 30

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  78. November-December 2002, Volume 29

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  79. September-October 2002, Volume 29

    Sixth Assembly of the Asian Conference on Religion and Peace, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  80. July-August 2002, Volume 29

    The Most Reverend Samuel Ruiz Garcia, Recipient of the 19th Niwano Peace Prize

  81. May-June 2002, Volume 29

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  82. March-April 2002, Volume 29

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  83. January-February 2002, Volume 29

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