In 1930, educator Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871-1944), the founding president of Soka Gakkai, published the first volume of The System of Value Creating Pedagogy. “Soka” in Japanese means value creation (“gakkai” means society or association). In essence, to create value means to enhance life. To strive for good, toward peace; to persevere in the challenges to uphold and protect human dignity; to be undaunted by hardship—the essential ideals of Soka education exist in the effort to nurture such creative humanity.
Fellow educator and Makiguchi protégé, Josei Toda (1900-58), succeeded Makiguchi’s philosophy of value creation; Toda’s vision and values, in turn, was succeeded by Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai’s third president. In 1971, Ikeda founded Soka University, actualizing the goals and ideals of Soka education and put forth the following founding principles: Be the highest seat of learning for humanistic education. Be the cradle of a new culture. Be a fortress for the peace of humankind.