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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Buddhist War Resister

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1942-1944      Buddhist  War  Resister
1942 Feb 15 71

At his home, winter 1942

Japanese troops capture Singapore.
  May 10   Final issue of Value Creation. more>>  
  May 17   The Fourth Soka Kyoiku Gakkai General Meeting in Kanda, Tokyo, attended by 400 people. more>>  
  June 4-7     The U.S.A. wins decisive naval victory in the Battle of Midway.
  Nov 22   The Fifth Soka Kyoiku Gakkai General Meeting in Kanda, Tokyo, attended by 600 people. In his address, Makiguchi stresses the distinction between believers and practitioners, strongly criticizing Nichiren Shoshu priests who refused to engage in propagation efforts for fear of the reaction of society and the authorities. more>>  
1943 May 2 72 The Sixth Soka Kyoiku Gakkai General Meeting in Kanda, Tokyo, attended by 700 people.  
  June 27   Summoned to Taiseki-ji by the Nichiren Shoshu administrative office along with Toda and six other directors. more>>  
  June 29   Two Soka Kyoiku Gakkai directors are detained by the police.  
  July 6   Makiguchi is detained by two officers of the Special Higher Police in what is now Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture, on charges of violating the Peace Preservation Law and committing acts of blasphemy against Shinto and the emperor. On the same day, police raid Makiguchi's house in Tokyo, seizing documents and other materials. Also on the same day, Toda is detained on the same charges in Tokyo, along with other leaders of Soka Kyoiku Gakkai. more>>  
  July 7   Transferred from Shimoda to police headquarters in Tokyo. more>>

Charges brought against Makiguchi under the Peace Preservation Law, 1943

  Sep 25   Transferred to Sugamo Prison in Tokyo. In transit, he briefly encounters Toda, their last meeting.

Tokyo Sugamo Prison (Photo by Tokyo Kochisho)

      Makiguchi spends about 400 days in Sugamo Prison. In intervals in the intense interrogations during his imprisonment, Makiguchi continues to explain the principles of Buddhism to the guards, and debates his theory of value with the interrogators. He is permitted to send postcards to his family periodically. Old age and malnutrition weaken him. The interrogators several times suggest he be moved to the prison hospital, but he refuses until the very end.

A solitary confinement prison cell

1944 Oct 13 73 Final postcard to his daughter-in-law, Sadako. more>>

Makiguchi's final postcard from prison

  Nov 17   Transferred to the prison hospital, insisting he walk rather than be carried.  
  Nov 18   Shortly after 6:00 am, Makiguchi passed away in his hospital bed, aged 73, of old age and malnutrition.  
1945 Mar 9-10    

The Yalta Conference, Feburary 1945

Firebombing of Tokyo leaves more than 100,000 dead.

U.S. air raid, 1945

  July 3   Toda is released from prison.  
  Aug 6     Atomic bomb destroys Hiroshima.

  Aug 8     The Soviet Union attacks Manchuria, Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands and Korea.
  Aug 9     Atomic bomb destroys Nagasaki.
  Aug 15     The emperor announces Japan's surrender on national radio.