Late Honorary President
Niwano Peace Foundation
The late Nikkyo Niwano was born in Niigata Prefecture, in northern Japan, in 1906. He founded the lay Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei-kai in 1938. Of all the Buddhist scriptures, he was especially moved by the teaching of the One Buddha Vehicle in the Lotus Sutra, which holds that despite their differing viewpoints, ideologies, and beliefs, all human beings are equally capable of attaining buddhahood. His religious activities were underpinned by the firm belief that the way to true world peace, transcending differences of race, nationality, and religion, is for people the world over to agree on the importance of achieving peace while retaining their diversity. In 1978 he established the Niwano Peace Foundation as a vehicle for a variety of peace activities, including the presentation of the annual Niwano Peace Prize. His entire life, which ended in 1999, was dedicated to furthering world peace.