Tsunesaburo Makiguchi
Value-Creating Education

Rather than provide knowledge itself, we must encourage the joy and excitement that arise from learning.

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Tsunesaburo Makiguchi
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Interrogation Report

Excerpts from the records of Makiguchi’s interrogation by the Special Higher Police

I personally disliked the idea of formally becoming a priest. If I were to become ordained and have a temple, I would be confined in my actions to the teachings of Nichiren Shoshu. It would hardly be appropriate for me to promote my theory of value at a temple. I believe that my real purpose is fulfilled in remaining a lay believer and introducing my theory of value into the faith principles of Nichiren Shoshu. This is where the unique characteristics of the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai are to be found. [1943]1

Although the Lotus Sutra was taught and revealed by Shakyamuni 3,000 years ago, the Buddhist Law in the Lotus Sutra is not something created by Shakyamuni. Without beginning or end, it is a law governing and giving vitality to the constant flow of all phenomena since time without beginning. What is called Buddhism are simply acts and practices that accord with this already existing law or principle. [1943]2

This means even if a monarch such as His Imperial Majesty were to believe in and practice the Lotus Sutra, if he should allow this Law to disappear from the land eventually various calamities such as civil war, revolution, famine and pestilence will occur and the nation will be destroyed.

In the light of past history we can see that Japan is now experiencing national disaster approximating this state of affairs. The current conflict in China and the war in the Pacific have also resulted from the Japanese nation's slander of the Buddha's Law. [1943]3

Q: If His Imperial Majesty were to embrace the mandala [of Nichiren's Lotus Sutra faith], would this not obstruct his freedom of will when it came to ruling the nation as his own heart advises?

A: Not at all. During discussion meetings of the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai and in individual conversations with members I have often spoken of the emperor being a common mortal, an ordinary human being who attended the Gakushuin as Crown Prince to learn what he needed to know in order to be emperor.

The emperor makes mistakes like anyone else. I have spoken of the first years of the Meiji period, in which Tesshu Yamaoka is said to have cautioned the Meiji emperor on a number of occasions and pointed out his mistakes. And I believe Yamaoka was entirely right to do this.

If the emperor did embrace the mandala of the eternal Buddha, however, I believe he would naturally develop his wisdom, allowing him to conduct his political affairs without error. [1943]4

Just as His Imperial Majesty must, in the event of illness, graciously accept the advice of doctors to recover his health, he must adopt a way of life that will ensure he does not become ill; he must obey the laws of cause and effect. If His Majesty should come to a clear understanding of this great and fundamental Law, the nation is certain to flourish and enjoy peace and stability. [1943]5