In my time in Japan I have met a lot of strange individuals, and encountered a lot of strange experiences, but by far my strangest experience has been my relationship with the Japanese Buddhist organisation Soka Gakkai. I have heard that nearly 10 per cent of the people in Japan are members of this sect, and that is has a tremendous amount of political power (it is in a coalition with the LDP now to keep Koizumi in power). But the odd thing is, I can't find any references to Soka Gakkai on Gaijin Pot. That is why I decided to start my own thread, which I can cultivate. I am interested in finding out from Soka Gakkai members: why did you join this group?; and what has it done for you? Has it really changed your life? What is the deal with Soka Gakkai leader Daisaku Ikeda? (If you are not familiar with his name you are probably familiar with his face, hanging from ads in almost every train carriage in Japan, usually posing with some foreign dignatory like Nelson Mandela, with a cheesy peacy grin on his face.) Why do so many Japanese people consider Ikeda to be a god? (He looks like just another salary man to me, but many Japanese worship the ground that he walks on.) For example, my boss said he would willingly sacrifice his life if Ikeda-sensei commanded it. To me, Soka Gakkai seems like just another cult. But there are millions and millions of people in Japan who would argue otherwise. So to all the Soka Gakkai and SGI International members out there -- I am waiting for your contributions. Do you really think Ikeda-sensei can change the world? Let me know what you think!