Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI: World Poet Laureate Ikeda
Posted by: tsukimoto ()
Date: September 09, 2011 08:26PM

Simplify, I read the interview with Andreas Schroeder. That was hilarious, how Schroeder and his friends deliberately created horrible, nonsense poetry in German, and the World Poetry Society published it -- and sent copies to the German language departments of several universities, much to the amusement of the professors of the German language and German literature, who could actually read it and understand what dreck the poems actually were.

Like you, I don't understand why the SGI membership doesn't see through Ikeda's grandiosity. This bit of being "World Poet Laureate" is just consistent with Ikeda's behavior. Middleway Press, owned by SGIkeda, mostly just puts out Ikeda's books, and sells them to a captive SGI audience. The irony is that Ikeda uses ghostwriters -- so how much has he even written of the works that go out under his name?

How many honorary degrees does he have now?

If you look on his website, he has many literary awards from various organizations, but again, how legitimate are any of these organizations? I was googling "poetry scams" and got a lot of hits -- apparently there are many organizations that do what I experienced: run a "contest," tell entrants that they're finalists, and that they'll be published in an anthology -- and then charge exhorbitant amounts for a bookful of mostly bad poetry. It's a big, and profitable business!

Ikeda has a public relations department that any executive, politician, or celebrity would covet. What SGI members are seeing is a manufactured image, non-accomplishments that are blown up and made to look like glorious achievements. "Poet Laureate of the World!" If I'd had that much money to give the National Poetry Library, or the World Poetry Society, I could have been World Poet Laureate. (Or at least Poet Laureate of the Western Hemisphere, I'm a modest woman.)

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI: World Poetry Society/Ikeda
Posted by: tsukimoto ()
Date: September 09, 2011 08:41PM

This is the link that Simplify posted -- the World Poetry Society Intercontinentall's website. I think it's important to post it here, in case it's ever deleted from the internet. "Voice for Peace" -- that sounds like SGI language. Why does this matter?

First, SGI does tout Ikeda's accomplishments, such as "Poet Laureate of the World." Well, if you are sponsoring (ie paying for) an organization -- how hard is it to get an award from them?

Second, Andreas Schroder described deliberately writing bad poetry -- which the World Poetry Society Intercontinental published and promoted as if it were quality literature. At best, the WPSI is not legitimate or taken seriously in the literary world -- they're just a business, and they don't give a damn about the quality of the work that they publish. At worst, they exploit the hopes and dreams of aspiring writers -- telling untalented writers that they're great poets -- just keep sending us money. And SGI was affiliated with this business (I believe that Schroeder said that WPSI is now out of business anyway, but similar businesses still exist.)

-----------------------------------------Beginning of Quote, World Poetry Society International's Website------------------------------------------------------------

Africa - Anglo-America - Asia - Europe - Latin America – Oceania
Whose Voice for Peace is "Poetry World".
(Founder - President : The Late Dr. KRISHNA SRINIVAS)

We publish Poetry Books and Poetry Monthly

International Monthly
Edited and Published by
S. Krishnan, M. E.,Secretary General of WPSI
(Which is continuation of POET International Monthly edited and published by
the late Dr. Krishna Srinivas for 48 full years, till 2008)

Under the patronage of
DR. DAISAKU IKEDA, President, S.G.I., Tokyo, Japan.

Title of poetry books and others pages under construction

Contact us at:
118, Raja Street, Dr. Seethapathi Nagar, Velachery, Chennai - 600042, INDIA
Phones: 9144-22432902, 9144-22433186.
E-mail < >
Website: []
---------------------------------------End of Quote-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2011 08:43PM by tsukimoto.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: tsukimoto ()
Date: September 10, 2011 03:43AM

The following is from Ikeda's website -- a list of literary honors that he's "won." We already know that the World Poetry Society, which selected Ikeda to be "World Poet Laureate" is "sponsored" by Ikeda. You can only wonder about the other organizations that have "awarded" Ikeda. How many does he, or SGI, actually own? How many have received donations from SGI? What kind of reputation do these organizations have among serious publishers, scholars and writers of literature, nonfiction, and poetry? What is their criteria for selecting a writer for the award?

----------------------------------------------------------Beginning of Quote-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Literary Awards, Daisaku Ikeda
Award / Conferring Organization Country Year

1. Poet Laureate, World Academy of Arts and Culture India 1981

2. Honorable Friend of the Bodleian Library for Life, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford UK 1989

3. Honorary Chairman, Kenya Oral Literature Association Kenya 1990

4. 1992 National Book Award, National Book Development Council Malaysia 1993

5. Non-resident Membership and Machado de Assis Medal, Brazilian Academy of Letters Brazil 1993

6. Noble Patron of the Arts, Pan-African Writers Association Ghana 1993

7. International Leo Tolstoy Gold Medal, International Association of Children's Funds Russia 1995

8. World Poet Laureate Award, World Poetry Society India 1995

9. Honorary Advisor, Society for the Study of Oriental Culture and Peking University Institute of Oriental Culture China 1997

10. Tagore Peace Award, India's Asiatic Society India 1997

11. Certificate of Commendation for New Art of Living-Discourses on Life, Health, Biomedical Ethics, and Education
University of Montreal Press Canada 2001

12. NAPRA Nautilus Awards, winner, "social change" category, (Networking Alternatives for Publishers, Retailers, & Artists, Inc.) USA 2002

13. 2001 Book of the Year Award, silver, "politics" category, For the Sake of Peace--Seven Paths to Global Harmony: A Buddhist Perspective
ForeWord Magazine USA 2002

14. 2002 Book of the Year Award, silver, "political science" category

15. Choose Hope: Your Role in Waging Peace in the Nuclear Age ForeWord Magazine USA 2003

16. International Literary Award for Understanding and Friendship, Chinese Writers Association and the Chinese Literature Foundation China 2003

17. 2003 Book of the Year Award, silver, "health" category, On Being Human: Where Ethics, Medicine, and Spirituality Converge
ForeWord Magazine USA 2004

18. Honorary Diploma, International Society of Greek Writers and Arts Greece 2005

19. World People's Poet, World Poetry Society Intercontinental India 2007

20. Honorary General Director, World Literary Association Republic of Korea 2008

21. Indie Book Award for Religious Non-fiction for The Flower of Chinese Buddhism
The Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group USA 2010

22. Special Member, The Camarajibense Academy of Letters Brazil 2010

23. World Peace Poet Award, World Poetry Society Intercontinental India 2010
---------------------------------------------------------------------End of Quote--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2011 03:47AM by tsukimoto.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI: World Poetry Society/Ikeda
Posted by: simplify ()
Date: September 11, 2011 03:15AM

Thank you so much Tsukimoto for following this up. As always you managed to bring clarity to my rather muddled post. I really look forward to your summaries and thoughtful and measured contributions!

Wow, P.I has a lot of literary awards to add to his hundreds of honorary doctorates. This really is a mockery, as he truly can't write in the literary sense.

I did want to point out however the reason I was so shocked that Ikeda called himself "World Poet Laureate", as I've realised my initial post on this might have sounded really over the top.

In England, the title Poet Laureate is a very special and honoured tradition. At school we are routinely taught about these great poets. The person appointed to the post is meant to be one of the greatest poets of his generation (if not the greatest) and since the mid 15th century this has included such as Edmund Spenser, Ben Johnson, Robert Southey, Wordsworth, Masefield etc. etc. Every school child, whether they are interested in poetry or not has to study at least some of the current living Poet Laureate's work. As this was an appointment for life until very recently, there have only been around 20 people given this honour in the last 500 years. That is a pretty rare honour.*

Apologies if this seems like a history lesson, I didn't mean to do that. I am just trying to explain how incredibly shocking it is to a Brit to see someone call themselves a 'Poet Laureate'. I would guess it is easier (statistically, at least) to be honoured with the Nobel Prize for Literature, or the Nobel Peace Prize, than it is to become a UK Poet Laureate. I know Ikeda wants the Nobel Peace prize but even he hasn't dared pretend to be awarded that (yet).

So Ikeda's claim really hit me hard and that is why I am so shocked that nobody at Taplow Court thought it was wierd to put this claim in print. Robert Samuels, General Director of SGI-UK used to be a teacher and so must be educated to degree level, yet he let this claim go out - I am astonished that he could do this. Even if he is so enmeshed with Ikeda that he thinks Ikeda 'deserves' the title, surely he can see just how awful the claim must look to the educated UK citizen? If there was no other evidence at all, this has shown me that SGI is a unquestionably a personality cult, and what's more it is a personality cult with a seriously flawed individual as its leader. After all if World Poet Laureate was a genuine honour, that would put Ikeda "above" all those great poets I mentioned, who are "merely" Poet Laureates of the United Kingdom. Actually, why did he skip Japanese Poet Laureate? That would seem a logical step on the way to "World" Poet Laureate.

Anyway, that's why I was so shocked and did all that ranting and research :-)

*I looked this up on wikipedia and see that now there are a few other countries, though not many, who have 'Poet Laureates', however this is a relatively modern thing starting in the 20th Century. This UK Poet Laureates are part of UK history going back a very long way.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: simplify ()
Date: September 11, 2011 04:00AM

Oh Oh Oh. I was looking at the list of Literary Awards you copied for us Tsukimoto and saw the

2. Honorable Friend of the Bodleian Library for Life, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford UK 1989

I had to go and investigate this as I studied in the Bodleian Library when I was at Oxford and wondered how on earth Ikeda could be honoured by such an unimpeachable organisation. His honours are mostly from Mickey Mouse organisations that nobody has ever heard of!

It just gets worse and worse. Ikeda has listed this as an 'honour'. As I guessed, this is a lie as it is not an awarded honour. I checked the Bodleian website and we can all be lifetime friends of the library. You pay your subscription and then you get various 'friends' priveleges. For £25 a year you can be a Friend and get all the sorts of benefits and goodies a 'friend' of any institutuion or museum or public gallery gets (access to lectures, newsletters etc.). Then after that the membership tiers go like this:

From the Bodeian Library website
Bodeian Library website address
Honourable Friend
£40 per annum
The benefits of individual membership plus two issues per year of The Bodleian Library Record, the Library’s scholarly journal containing articles on literary, historical and bibliographical topics, especially those concerned with the Library’s collections.

Honourable Friend (Dual Membership)
£70 per annum
The benefits of individual Honourable Friend membership for two people at the same address, including separate members’ cards, but only one copy of the Newsletter and other communications.

Life Friend
£500 as one payment
Life Friend (Dual membership)
£900 as one payment
The benefits of Honourable Friend membership for life

If you paid £500 for Honorable Friend Life membership of the Bodleian, would you put that on your CV under 'literary awards'? I'm a friend or member of several institutions including the Met in New York City, but I don't thnk of it as that an achievement to be published, or pretend that the Met honoured me.

Oh goodness, this is really winding me up! Is anyone from SGI-UK reading this? Surely staff must monitor this forum? Surely they must see how awful this sort of thing is????? They are asking their members to take a man as their 'Mentor in Life' who buys doctorates and lies about his awards. This is shocking, just utterly shocking.

It is going to take me a while to calm down from this.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Nichijew ()
Date: September 11, 2011 07:44AM

Simplify, all SGI leaders and members are either conmen or marks. I would like to think that I, myself, was a mark and not a conman [although I always had my doubts]. Certainly, the higher up one climbs in the organization , the more the "conman" designation and less the "mark" designation applies. That is why I sometimes give a new SGI member or low level leader some slack, despite their delusion. I am merciless with the top leaders because they are worse than Bernie Madoff, the biggest and most notorious conman in the history of the United States [from the perspective of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism].

Nichijew the former mark

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: tsukimoto ()
Date: September 11, 2011 07:52AM

Hmm, so my dog could be an Honourable Friend of the Bodleian if I sent them 40 pounds in her name -- and Ikeda's claiming it as some kind of great honor? It's shocking....but not surprising, given his track record. I wonder if he pays the 70 pounds a year so that Mrs. Ikeda gets to be an Honourable Friend of the Bodleian too. Probably not. One Honourable Friend in the household is probably enough.

Simplify, thank you for your posts. They've clarified this issue for me. I didn't know much about the Bodleian, and it seems that, while being Poet Laureate is an honor in America, it's a much greater honor in England. So it does make me wonder why the SGI-UK leadership just parrots Ikeda's claims of being World Poet Laureate and Honourable Friend of the Bodleian -- knowing that the first is outrageous, and the second is something that anyone with 40 pounds can do.

I'm very tempted to send 40 pounds to the Bodleian Library in my dog's name -- and then put a plaque on her doghouse:

Honourable Friend of the Bodleian Library

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI: Ikeda and Wordsworth
Posted by: tsukimoto ()
Date: September 11, 2011 08:17AM

The following is from SGI's website:

In May, 2006, a monument dedicated to world poet laureates was dedicated at SGI's Korea-Japan Friendship Training Center on Jeju Island, South Korea. The monument honored Ikeda, as well as Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, Italian poet Francesco Petrarca and British poet William Wordsworth. Can you believe this -- Ikeda's saying that he belongs in the company of such great poets as Tagore, Petrarca and Wordsworth?

Well...he has already equated himself with Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., in the Gandhi/King/Ikeda why not Petrarca, Tagore and Wordsworth? Lord, what next? Is he going to ask to be put in People Magazine's "50 Best-looking Men" Issue?

-----------Beginning of Quote,

May 2, 2006

Stone monument of world poet laureates in the SGI-Korea's Korea-Japan Friendship Training Center in Jeju Island

On April 30, SGI-Korea representatives gathered at their Korea-Japan Friendship Training Center in Jeju Island, South Korea, commemorating May 3, Soka Gakkai Day. On the occasion, a stone monument of world poet laureates, inscribed with a quote from SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's poem presented to SGI-Korea members, was unveiled. Bronze busts of Indian poet and educator Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941); Italian poet laureate Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374); and British poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850), were also unveiled.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Mr. Ikeda receiving the title of Poet Laureate (1981, by World Congress of Poets) as well as the 11th anniversary of World Poet Laureate Award (1995, by World Poetry Society). SGI-Korea General Director Yeo Sang Rak called on everyone to further develop peace and friendship in society. SGI General Director Yoshitaka Oba and SGI Women's Chief Kayoko Asano attended.
--------------------------End of Quote---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Nichijew ()
Date: September 11, 2011 08:21AM

Fifty Cents is a better poet than Ikeda. I like Thug Love far better than To My Young American Friends.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2011 08:24AM by Nichijew.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Nichijew ()
Date: September 11, 2011 08:40AM

Did you know, the top leaders used to push the YMD to memorize Ikeda's longest poems, hundreds of lines. The one who introduced me actually memorized To My Young American Friends, hundreds of lines. He too is no longer SGI, I believe. I love this part of one of Ikeda's poems. So filled with compassion:

The Victorious Future of Mentor and Disciple

I can see those who are like demons
Milling around what
Unbeknownst to them,
Is only an execution block

Having turned your backs
On the Daishonin's golden words,
Are you ready
To be burned in the fires
Of the Hell of incessant suffering?
To be imprisoned in a cavern
In the Hell of extreme cold?
To be shut off in the darkness
Of misery and strife, forever deprived of the sun's light? --Daisaku Ikeda

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2011 08:41AM by Nichijew.

Options: ReplyQuote

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.