Born January 2, 1928
Daisaku Ikeda is a Japanese peace builder, philosopher, and activist. Coming of age during World War II, Ikeda is widely praised for his efforts to rebuild a culture of peace in Japan and to rebuild Sino-Japanese relations after the war. To do so, he founded numerous educational and peace-building institutions, and he is now an honorary citizen of over 800 municipalities. An accomplished author in his own right, Ikeda is also widely recognized for publishing seventy-five dialogues with other peace-pertinent people.
The Human Revolution
The real struggle of the twenty-first century will not be between civilizations, nor between religions. It will be between violence and nonviolence. It will be between barbarity and civilization in the truest sense of the word.
Crying out in opposition to war and nuclear weapons is neither emotionalism nor self-pity. It is the highest expression of human reason based on an unflinching perception of the dignity of life.
Peace is not simply a matter of living a quiet, detached or carefree life. Peace exists in action ― courageously, nonviolently fighting against the injustice that makes people suffer. It is only in such action that we find peace. When the majority of people lose the will to resist injustice and become indifferent and apathetic, it may be said that society starts to tilt in the direction of war.
Conflict and tension do not in themselves render dialogue impossible; what builds the walls between us is our willingness to remain ignorant of others. This is why it is crucial to be the one to initiate dialogue. Everything starts from there.
Human dignity does not shine in isolation. It comes to full brilliance through our efforts to cast a bridge connecting the opposing banks of self and other... Actions taken to illuminate the dignity of others inevitably generate the light that reveals our own highest aspects.