Jōsei Toda’s Gohonzon Butsudan


Jōsei Toda


Household Shrine


Committing self to causes of the masses


Faithlessness incites physical turmoil


Burning Incense


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A self-taught substitute teacher, Toda hardlined individualized teaching for students over an entrance exam mentality. Toda began practicing Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism and quickly became captivated by its teachings. He was imprisoned during World War Two under lèse-majesté (offending the ruler’s authority) for two years; suffering from malnutrition and abuse, Toda experienced a spiritual reawakening and became fully devoted to the majesty of Buddha. After his release, he promised to reinstall Shoshu’s teachings as second President of religious order Soka Gakkai.

Prewar membership expanded from 3000 to three-quarters of a million under his lead. He pushed forth an aggressive form of conversion called "shakubuku", which treated an outsiders’ past knowledge as false, incorrect and heathen-like. Applying the utmost conviction in his beliefs, Toda appointed organizational leaders, funded the order, and reached out to thousands of marginalized minorities to reestablish faith.

Gohonzon is a general term referring to any sacred religious article in Japanese Buddhism. Many practicing households have shrines like the butsudan, a wooden cabinet meant to protect any gohonzon and to provide easy access for times of prayer. A regular butsudan may also come with its own paraphernalia, including candles, incense, bells and cups.


Burns a bright smoke that makes inhalers act upon the desires of the common people, sporadically attaining a state of bliss when successful. Larger amounts of adherents by the magnitude of hundreds, and latter thousands, will make the user more persuasive in their campaigns for communion, regardless of the ruling class. If the user does not initially possess any faith in the deeds of mankind and any chance for redemption, they will suffer debilitating physical and psychological torment until they adjust or perish.

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