Educational Institutes Founded
Makiguchi Foundation for Education
The Makiguchi Foundation for Education, established in honor of founding Soka Gakkai president and educator Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, is a non-profit fund that offers grants and scholarships to international students pursuing masters programs in Japan. The foundation continues to provide financial support for national and international educational projects, institutions and exchanges, as well as for donations of books and classroom supplies to schools, mainly in Africa and Latin America. It also recognizes educators and institutions that promote excellence in educational research and instruction.
The Soka Junior and Senior High Schools established by Ikeda in Kodaira, Tokyo, in 1968, together with the founding of the Kansai Soka Junior and Senior High Schools five years later, represent the beginning of the development of the Soka School system, which today comprises kindergartens, elementary, and junior and senior high schools, a university in Japan and one in California, USA. Kindergartens have also been established in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Brazil. Both Kansai and Tokyo Soka High Schools (2015 and 2016, respectively) have been selected by the Japanese Education Ministry as two of 56 schools in the “Super Global High Schools” project.
The educational system is based on the pedagogy developed by founding Soka Gakkai President and educator Tsunesaburo Makiguchi. His belief that the core focus of education should be the lifelong happiness of the learner, his concern with the development of the unique personality of each child, and his emphasis on the importance of leading a socially contributive life describe the underlying ethos of Soka education today. [Kansai: www.kansai.soka.ed.jp; Tokyo: www.tokyo.soka.ed.jp]
Soka University, Japan, was founded by Daisaku Ikeda in Hachioji, Tokyo, in 1971, with the following mission statement:
- Be the highest seat of learning for humanistic education
- Be the cradle of a new culture
- Be a fortress for the peace of humankind
Soka University has a combined enrollment of around 8,000 as of May 2016, including 410 graduate students, as well as 21,000 enrolled in correspondence courses. Some 540 students are enrolled at the two-year Soka Women’s College (dedicated April 1985). Soka University has academic exchange agreements with over 180 universities in 54 countries, and its foreign student exchange program—in which over 500 students from some 50 countries currently participate—ranks among the largest of its kind in Japan. In September 2015, Soka University was named one of Japan’s “Top Global Universities” by the Japanese Ministry of Education.
As with every Soka School, the institution is open to all qualified students without regard to religious affiliation. [www.soka.ac.jp]
Soka University of America
Soka University of America (SUA) is a private, non-profit, four-year liberal arts college and graduate school located in Aliso Viejo, California. SUA offers an 8:1 student/faculty ratio, and a semester spent living in and learning another culture is included in tuition. The students come from some 40 countries. SUA is open to students of all beliefs, committed to diversity in its academic community and founded on the belief that student-centered education that fosters a global humanistic perspective of the world will advance the cause of lasting peace and lead to real solutions to humanity’s most pressing issues. US News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2015” ranked SUA in the Top Five in Best Value and Ethnic Diversity among National Liberal Arts Colleges, as well as top in Foreign Student Factor (highest percentage of International Students) and in Faculty Resources. [www.soka.edu]