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History of Soka Gakkai International

Against the Regime - Opposition to Military Government

Soka Kyoiku Gakkai 1939
The first Soka Kyoiku Gakkai general meeting in 1939

The 1930s saw the rise of militaristic nationalism in Japan, culminating in its entry into World War II. The militarist government imposed the State Shinto ideology on the population as a means of glorifying its war of aggression, and cracked down on all forms of dissidence.

The refusal of Makiguchi and his closest associate Josei Toda (1900-58) to compromise their beliefs and lend support to the regime led to their arrest and imprisonment in 1943 as "Thought criminals."

Despite attempts to persuade him from his principles, Makiguchi held fast to his convictions and died in prison in 1944.

Gefängnis Makiguchi A prison cell similar to the one where Makiguchi spent the last days of his life

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