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The Nichiren Shoshu of America

John Kie-chang Oh
Review of Religious Research
Vol. 14, No. 3, Belief Systems in Action (Spring, 1973), pp. 169-177
DOI: 10.2307/3510804
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3510804
Page Count: 9
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The Nichiren Shoshu of America
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Abstract

The United States has become a mission territory for the Japan-based Nichiren Shoshu (the orthodox sect of Nichiren). Since 1960, a sizable number of Americans has been converted to this alien faith. As a Buddhist movement in the United States it represents a small portion of the energetic propagation efforts of the gigantic Sokagakkai (the Value-Creating Society) of Japan, which believe that only its version of "True Buddhism" can assure salvation for all mankind because other world religions have become absolete and irrelevant to most contemporary men. Although Nichiren Shoshu tenets, rituals, and commandments are relatively simple, this faith demands that it be urgently shared with others, a fact that drives each convert to become a zealous missionary. A series of random sample surveys conducted among these Buddhists in the Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York areas indicates, among other things, that relatively youthful, fairly well-educated Americans are eagerly embracing the Nichiren Shoshu for some striking reasons, and that it is a vital religious force that deserves scholarly attention.

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