The Age of Skillful Means

Rissho Kosei-kai is established during a time when Japanese society finds itself greatly affected by World War II. In these circumstances, members strive using skillful means to help people resolve problems of daily life such as extreme poverty, incurable illness, and domestic conflict, and to lead them to the Dharma.

1938 March 5 Founder Nikkyo Niwano and Cofounder Myoko Naganuma establish Rissho Kosei-kai with approximately thirty members.
1939 September World War II breaks out.
1942 May Construction of Rissho Kosei-kai’s first training hall is completed in Tokyo.
1945 August World War II ends.
1945 November 15 Rissho Kosei-kai enshrines Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, Great Benevolent Teacher, World-Honored One as its focus of devotion.
1951 October The Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan is established. Rissho Kosei-kai joins it and promotes interreligious dialogue and cooperation in Japan.
1956 December Japan joins the United Nations, returning fully and actively to international society.
1957 September 10 Cofounder Myoko Naganuma passes away at the age of sixty-seven.

The Age of Manifestation of the Truth

Rissho Kosei-kai continues to demonstrate its attitude of faith within and outside the organization. While creating doctrinal studies programs for members to learn the Buddha’s teaching as well as methods of self-development, it maintains its organization in Japan and grows internationally.

1958 January Founder Niwano reaffirms, both within and outside the organization, the truth that Rissho Kosei-kai’s focus of devotion is the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, Great Benevolent Teacher, World-Honored One. The Age of Manifestation of the Truth begins with this declaration.
1958 June–August Founder Niwano makes his first official visit abroad, interacting with local members in Brazil and the United States.
1959 March Rissho Kosei-kai’s first overseas chapter forms in Hawaii, United States.
1961 August Buddhism for Today: A Modern Interpretation of the Threefold Lotus Sutra, which compiles the teachings of Rissho Kosei-kai, appears in print.
1962 June 1 Rissho Kosei-kai proclaims the members’ vow, which concisely expresses the essence of the faith.
1964 May Construction of the Great Sacred Hall, the main training center, is completed in Tokyo.
1964 October Tokyo hosts the Olympics Games, furthering the internationalization of Japanese society.
1965 September Founder Niwano attends the opening ceremony of the fourth session of the Second Vatican Council and has an audience with His Holiness Pope Paul Ⅵ, which inspires the Founder to promote interreligious dialogue and cooperation worldwide.
1968 January Founder Niwano attends a Kyoto peace conference of Japanese and U.S. religious leaders, an initial step toward the creation of a world interreligious conference for peace.
1969 July Rissho Kosei-kai joins the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF).
1969 April Founder Niwano advocates for the Brighter Society Movement, which aims to contribute to Japanese society through the cooperation of people at the community level.
1970 October Religions for Peace (RfP) is established as an international interreligious organization. Rissho Kosei-kai attends the First Assembly of RfP, held in Kyoto.
1974 August The Second Assembly of RfP meets at Leuven, Belgium, with Rissho Kosei-kai in attendance.
1975 The Donate-a-Meal Movement and Donate-a-Meal Fund for Peace are launched.
1975 April 8 In cooperation with local people, youth members of Rissho Kosei-kai erect the Friendship Tower in Bataan, Philippines, as a symbol of friendship.
1977 April Rissho Kosei-kai’s Kominato and Wakasa Dharma centers begin providing food and clothing for refugees from Vietnam and housing refugees at the centers.
1978 June 12 As a representative of RfP, Founder Niwano makes a speech at the first special session of the UN General Assembly Devoted to Disarmament. He appeals to the world’s politicians, saying, “Instead of taking risks with arms, please take major risks for peace and disarmament.”
1978 December The Niwano Peace Foundation is created to support all types of activities for peace around the world.

The Age of Unlimited Manifestation of Compassion

Rissho Kosei-kai develops various activities not only to enhance members’ growth and happiness but also to contribute to peace by widely disseminating the Buddha Dharma in the world.

1979 May Rissho Kosei-kai cooperates with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and starts a UNICEF fund-raising campaign.
1979 August Rissho Kosei-kai attends the Third Assembly of RfP in Princeton, New Jersey, in the United States.
1980 June Founder Niwano visits Iran, asking for resolution of the Iran hostage crisis that had occurred the previous year.
1981 October Rissho Kosei-kai requests that Japan’s prime minister and major politicians promote pacifism, observe religious freedom, establish political ethics, and promote administrative reform. Rissho Kosei-kai subsequently makes ongoing recommendations to Japanese politicians on various issues.
1982 May Rissho Kosei-kai members collect signatures in a campaign for disarmament and nuclear weapons abolition launched by the Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan.
1984 July The Twenty-Fifth World Assembly of the IARF meets at Rissho Kosei-kai headquarters.
1984 August Rissho Kosei-kai attends the Fourth Assembly of RfP, held in Nairobi, Kenya.
1984 December Responding to a severe African drought, Rissho Kosei-kai participates in the Campaign for Sharing Blankets with People in Africa, a united effort of the government and ordinary citizens.
1986 October Rev. Nichiko Niwano, then the President-Designate, attends the Prayer Assembly for World Peace held in Assisi, Italy, under the auspices of the Vatican.
1989 January Rissho Kosei-kai is present at the Fifth Assembly of RfP, held in Melbourne, Australia.
1991 October Members of Rissho Kosei-kai from around the world assemble in Tokyo for the First World Sangha Assembly.
November 15 In a ceremony for the inheritance of the lamp of the Dharma, Rev. Nichiko Niwano is inaugurated as the second president of Rissho Kosei-kai.
1994 January Rissho Kosei-kai joins Japan Emergency NGO, an organization formed to provide emergency relief in the former Yugoslavia, and begins participating in its Little Bags of Dreams Campaign.
1994 June The Chuo Academic Research Institute of Rissho Kosei-kai publishes its views about organ transplants. Subsequently, it makes public its positions on various social agendas and holds study meetings.
1994 July Rissho Kosei-kai inaugurates its annual International Lotus Sutra Seminar, in which researchers discuss themes related to the Lotus Sutra.
1994 November Rissho Kosei-kai attends the Sixth Assembly of RfP, held at Riva del Garda, Italy.
1995 January The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake occurred in Japan. Rissho Kosei-kai took part in relief activities.
1995 April Members of Rissho Kosei-kai from around the world assemble in Tokyo for the Second World Sangha Assembly.
1997 September President Niwano visits Bosnia and Herzegovina as an international president of RfP and holds talks for peace with religious leaders.

The Age of Cultivating the Fields in Our Hearts and Minds

Rissho Kosei-kai proposes that each member have as his or her objective realizing anew the Buddha Dharma, being aware of the preciousness of life, and then contributing to society.

1998 March Rissho Kosei-kai sets as its general goal “Cultivating the fields in the hearts and minds of each and every person.”
1999 October 4 Founder Niwano passes away at the age of ninety-two.
1999 November Rissho Kosei-kai attends the Seventh Assembly of RfP, held in Amman, Jordan.
2002 June Four Sri Lankan Theravadin prelates make a joint declaration for peace, “The Tokyo Statement,” supported by Rissho Kosei-kai.
2003 February–April Rissho Kosei-kai appeals to the Japanese government to resolve the Iraq War peacefully and begins a fund-raising campaign to support the restoration of Iraq.
2006 August Rissho Kosei-kai attends the Eighth Assembly of RfP, held in Kyoto.
2006 October Members of Rissho Kosei-kai from around the world assemble in Tokyo for the Third World Sangha Assembly.
2006 December Rissho Kosei-kai International is established as a division of the organization that will specialize in disseminating the faith internationally.
2008 July President Niwano attends the World Conference on Dialogue under the auspices of the Muslim World League.
2011 March The Great East Japan Earthquake occurs, causing a large tsunami and great loss of life and property; Rissho Kosei-kai participates in relief activities.
2012 November President-Designate Kosho Niwano joins the board of directors of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), which is founded by Saudi Arabia, Austria, and Spain.
2013 November Rissho Kosei-kai attends the Ninth Assembly of RfP, held in Vienna, Austria.
2016 May Members of Rissho Kosei-kai from around the world assemble in Tokyo for the Fourth World Sangha Assembly.

The Age of Getting Connected with People without Limit

Rissho Kosei-kai proposes that its members lead lives in which they connect with people without limit and willingly help others in their own societies and in the world, while acknowledging their own imperfections.

2018 May In Yangon, Myanmar, President Niwano takes part in a gathering of religious leaders who support peace in Myanmar.
2019 August Rissho Kosei-kai attends the Tenth Assembly of RfP, held at Lindau, Germany.