Early Life

Daisaku Ikeda was born in Tokyo on January 2, 1928, the fifth son in a poor working-class family that harvested seaweed.
As a youth he suffered from poor health, including a life-threatening battle with tuberculosis.

He was in his teens when Japan plunged into the Second World War.
The destruction of the war and the loss of his elder brother in combat left him with an indelible hatred of war and the resolve to devote his life to the cause of global peace.

Joining the Soka Gakkai

In 1947, at the age of 19, Ikeda attended a lecture given by Josei Toda.
Deeply impressed by Toda’s character, his clear philosophy and his record of anti-militarist resistance, Ikeda decided to join the lay Buddhist association, the Soka Gakkai (Society for the Creation of Value), of which Toda was the leader.
Toda, whom Ikeda was determined to learn from, came to have a decisive influence on his life.

Studying Under Josei Toda

From his youth, Ikeda had a deep interest in literature and began composing poetry in his teens.
When he became unable to continue his college education, Toda, who was not only a Buddhist philosopher but also an educator and publisher, offered to tutor him.

Ikeda also worked at his mentor's side for more than a decade to develop the Soka Gakkai and to consolidate its foundation.
After Toda’s death he became the third president of the Soka Gakkai.

Personal Life and Interest

Ikeda pursues an interest in photography and poetry.
He has two sons, Hiromasa and Takahiro, and lives with his wife, Kaneko, in Tokyo.