College of Education > About > Centers & Initiatives > Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education > About Daisaku Ikeda
As the founder of a network of 14 Soka schools across seven countries in Asia and the Americas, as founder of six institutes of peace, culture and educational research across three countries in Asia, Europe and the U.S., as a prolific educational philosopher, and as an engaged advocate for truly human education, Daisaku Ikeda has demonstrated excellence in both professional service and interpretive scholarship relating Makiguchi’s and Toda’s approach of soka, or “value-creating,” pedagogy to practice in and outside the context of schooling. Because of Ikeda’s efforts in these areas, value-creating pedagogy has gone from being practiced solely by Makiguchi, Toda and a few colleagues in 1930s Japan to becoming one of Japan’s most internationally practiced educational approaches, and Ikeda himself has become the focus of extensive scholarship globally and the recipient of over 350 honorary doctorates and professorships.
Makiguchi was an elementary school teacher and principal who theorized value-creating pedagogy in The System of Value-Creating Pedagogy (1930-34), which Josei Toda edited and published. In The System of Value-Creating Pedagogy, Makiguchi argued that the aim and purpose of education should match that of life—happiness. Makiguchi taught at a time of increasingly militarized education in Japan and thus reconceptualized the neo-Kantian value system (truth•good•beauty) into a practical educational philosophy of value creation (gain•good•beauty), asserting that education should seek to foster independent and contributive world citizens, not subjects of a militarizing and colonizing state. He and Toda were imprisoned as thought criminals for such ideas and practice; and Makiguchi died in prison.
Toda’s influence on Ikeda is particularly strong with regard to the latter’s focus on education. It was Toda’s “constant and impassioned plea” for a type of education that would liberate humanity from war toward “an eternally unfolding humanitarian quest” that led Ikeda to consider education as “the final and most crucially important undertaking of my life.” It was also Toda who sparked the flame in Ikeda’s heart to establish Soka schools to actualize on a large scale the practice he experienced personally with Toda.
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