Happy Science

Japanese

Since the Sarin Gas Attacks in March 20th 1995, shinshinshuko (“New New Religions”) have become a taboo among contemporary Japanese society. The mere mentioning of this term can quickly end a conversation. However, the post-war phenomenon of New Religions has, if anything, been exacerbated in the post-bubble climate.

I’m particularly interested in the development of “Happy Science” (kofuku no kagakaku). Founded in 1986 by Ryuho Okawa, Happy Science promises spiritual healing to the alienated and disillusioned middle-class. Happy Science is a fast growing religious organization whose leader has outspokenly declared himself a reincarnation God, Buddha, Jesus Christ  (to name a few). What separates this shinshinshuko from Aum Shinrikyo or Soka Gakkai, is the conservative right wing element to their organization. With the establishment of the “Happiness Realization Party” (kofukujitsukendo) just in this past summer, the organization’s militaristic and nationalistic elements should not be overlooked. Furthermore, as a student of East Asian studies, I believe it’s important to understand the cultural significance of “Happy Science” instead of simply labeling it a taboo.

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Timeline

  • 1860s: Bakumatsu period sees founding of Tenrikyo, Kurozumikyo, Oomoto
  • 1946: Emperor Showa (Hirohito) announces Ningen-sengen (Humanity Declaration), revealing that he is not living god, ending State Shinto.
  • 1956: Ryuho Okawa is born in Tokushima, Japan
  • 1981: Through Grand Enlightenment, “El Cantare” (the syncretic idol of various religious disciplines) reveals to Ryuho Okawa the religious mission of Kofuku no Kagaku.
  • 1984: Shoko Asahara forms Aum Shinrikyo in Japan.
  • 1986: Kofuku no Kagaku forms.
  • 1994: “Nostradamus’ Horrible Revelation” releases in Japanese theaters.
  • 1995: Sarin Gas Attack in Japan by Shoko Asahara’s guidance.
  • 1997: “Hermes’ Love is like the Wind” releases in Japanese theaters.
  • 2000: “The Laws of the Sun” releases in Japanese theaters.
  • 2003: “The Golden Laws” releases in Japanese theaters.
  • 2006: “The Laws of Eternity” releases in Japanese theaters.
  • 2008: Kofuku no Kagaku changes from a romanized name to “Happy Science” in Foreign Countries.
  • 2009: The Happiness Realization Party is founded with Ryuho Okawa as Prime Minister elect. There are 32 main temples (shojas or shoshinkans) and 200 local branches across the Japanese mainland.

Linkography

From “the New Japanese National Constitution” by Ryuho Okawa, Leader and Founder of Happy Science and the Happiness Realization Party.

Preamble,

We the Japanese people—with the hearts of the gods and Buddhas, the aim of peace and prosperity on Earth in both Japan and the world, and with the sanctity as Nature’s, Buddha’s and God’s children as the foundation for humanity—hereby establish the New Japanese National Constitution.

Article III,

Under this administration, a National Referendum by the People will enforce the Presidential system. The President’s electoral process and term limitations shall be fixed by the law.

Article IV,

The President shall serve as the country’s sovereign leader as well as the Chief Executive of the Country’s National Defense. The President shall also have the political power to appoint and dismiss the Cabinet Minister.

Article V,

On behalf of the protection of our citizen’s right to life, security, and property, defense forces such as the Army, Navy, and Air Force shall be organized. Domestic order shall continue to be the responsibility of the police force.

Article VII,

In the event of a contradiction between the Executive and National Diet, the leader of the Supreme Court shall intermediate. If consensus cannot be reached within a fortnight, the President shall take precedence over matters.

Article X,

The opportunity to equality and liberty shall be extended to all citizens with respect to the Law.

“Happy Science” (Ryuho Okawa, IRH Press, 2009)

幸福の科学 公式ホームページ

Happy Science’s Homepage

“The Happiness Realization Party” (The Happiness Realization Party, 05/23/09)

幸福実現党
The Happiness Realization Party

“Happy Science of Japan Establishes a New Political Party, the Happiness Realization Party” (Happy Science USA, 07/23/2009)

幸福の科学を始めた公党「幸福実現党」
Their new party, the Happiness Realization Party.

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Entry contributed by Daniel Wolfe

Post-Bubble Japan

The “Refresh” button has changed the world. For anyone, who has ever spent an evening wasting away clicking for WikiAnswers, or flipping through endless Facebook photos of complete strangers, or watching e-documentaries on Baby Geniuses, they are familiar with the despair and desire for the “Refresh” button. The 20th century gesture of a fag between your index and middle has made way for the kink-in-the-neck check of your latest txt msg. Virtually anything is possible. Everything is within reach. And you need more. We’ve made a messiah out of technology—this much is universal idea—but has it delivered us? Can a click of a button re-establish a connection, show us an image?

The Information age alone has brought with it countless social concerns. Overlaid with Japan’s bubble burst economy, the saccharine cute idols and animations of the post-war era, news footage random acts of violence in Harajuku or the Sarin Gas Attacks on the Tokyo Metroline, the information age itself calls into question what are we clicking for?

In this photo by Yoshitomo Nara, a prominent SuperFlat artist, you might be drawn girl’s immediate cuteness. Her frumpy glare and kitty costume. But what constitutes her cuteness? What forces have anthropomorphized this child and urinating in a plastic duck, while staring back at her voyeur? In Post-Bubble Culture, one can find a somber reflection on the implications on a world electronically wireless and tuned out. How can we then, “refresh”?

Happy Science: Linkography

“Happy Science” (Ryuho Okawa, IRH Press, 2009)

幸福の科学 公式ホームページ

Happy Science’s Homepage

“The Happiness Realization Party” (The Happiness Realization Party, 05/23/09)

幸福実現党
The Happiness Realization Party

“Happy Science of Japan Establishes a New Political Party, the Happiness Realization Party” (Happy Science USA, 07/23/2009)

幸福の科学を始めた公党「幸福実現党」
Their new party, the Happiness Realization Party.

Wolfe, Daniel

Portfolio Page for Daniel Wolfe

Daniel Wolfe Research Introduction: Happy Science

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「幸福の科学」・年表

English | Japanese

  • 1860時代・幕末時代:天理教と黒住教と大本教も創立した。
  • 1946年・昭和21年:昭和天皇が人間宣言という新日本建設に関する詔書,を言い切たので、国家神道が終わらせていった。
  • 1956年・昭和31年:日本の徳島市で大川隆法が生まれた。
  • 1981年・昭和56年:大悟から、「エル・カンターレ」という「幸福の科学」の宗教が諸説統合できる呼称した本尊、が大川隆法に「幸福の科学」の宗教的使命を言っていた。
  • 1984年・昭和59年:麻原 彰晃がオウム真理教創立した。
  • 1986年・昭和61年:幸福の科学創立される
  • 1994年・平成6年「ノストラダムス戦慄の啓示」という映画が公開
  • 1995年・平成7年:地下鉄サリン事件。
  • 1997年・平成9年:「ヘルメス愛は風の如く」という映画が公開
  • 2000年・平成12年:「太陽の法」という映画が公開
  • 2003年・平成15年:「黄金の法」という映画が公開
  • 2006年・平成18年:「永遠の法」という映画が公開
  • 2008年・平成20年:他国で、幸福の科学がローマつづり「Happy Science」に変わった。
  • 2009年・平成21年:創立したばかり幸福実現党」が大川隆法首相指名した。日本中に三十党精舎があるし、二百党分極(という何となくお寺みたい場所h)のもある。

“Happy Science” A Timeline

English | Japanese

  • 1860s: Bakumatsu period sees founding of Tenrikyo, Kurozumikyo, Oomoto
  • 1946: Emperor Showa (Hirohito) announces Ningen-sengen (Humanity Declaration), revealing that he is not living god, ending State Shinto.
  • 1956: Ryuho Okawa is born in Tokushima, Japan
  • 1981: Through Grand Enlightenment, “El Cantare” (the syncretic idol of various religious disciplines) reveals to Ryuho Okawa the religious mission of Kofuku no Kagaku.
  • 1984: Shoko Asahara forms Aum Shinrikyo in Japan.
  • 1986: Kofuku no Kagaku forms.
  • 1994: “Nostradamus’ Horrible Revelation” releases in Japanese theaters.
  • 1995: Sarin Gas Attack in Japan by Shoko Asahara’s guidance.
  • 1997: “Hermes’ Love is like the Wind” releases in Japanese theaters.
  • 2000: “The Laws of the Sun” releases in Japanese theaters.
  • 2003: “The Golden Laws” releases in Japanese theaters.
  • 2006: “The Laws of Eternity” releases in Japanese theaters.
  • 2008: Kofuku no Kagaku changes from a romanized name to “Happy Science” in Foreign Countries.
  • 2009: The Happiness Realization Party is founded with Ryuho Okawa as Prime Minister elect. There are 32 main temples (shojas or shoshinkans) and 200 local branches across the Japanese mainland.

ウルフ・ダニエル

日本語 | English

2006年の夏頃、ウィリアム・アンド・メアリ大大学に来ましたら、私の若い頭がや未来人生を全然知らなかったです。その感じあったけど、三年後でアメリカ文学と東アジア研究という選考を決めたし、未来仕事を考えはじめました。

ベ トナムから来た母し、私は文化がまったく好きし、少し日本語勉強したので、去年日本に初めて留学することをしました。そのプローグラムで三ヶ月ごろ交渉時 という京都のお寺で仏教を勉強したり、練習しました。そして、”てんぞ教訓”という道元善事の有名な本を使ったら、精進料理とモダ料理をリーサーチをして いました。人ヶ月後で、授業の生徒たちの前に説明する時に、”本当に文化を全然べんきょうしたい”と覚ったばかり。今学期、まっすぐ仏教や日本文化を勉強 するので、子服の科学という新興宗教を勉強する予定です。

この頃、その感じが心で親切に住んでいます。今同一同、私の人生でなんとなく文化研究をように仕事をしていると思います.

Daniel Wolfe

日本語English

This is a photo of Daniel J. Wolfe

One humid afternoon outside of Hopkins in downtown Baltimore, a dilapidated car came to a brake-squeaking stop in the potholes of Charles St., and let out a dozen Vietnamese refugees into the sun. From his apartment deck, a Grad. student put out his cigarette and kept his Norwegian Elk-hound (Teiga) from barking, while he squinted through thick lenses at the near-comical lineup. At the end of the line was a, then, 17-year old version of my mother, Mai Nguyen, safe-guarding deep within, one precious egg that would carry her haploid genes until a seventh of century later when I would be conceived after two practice babies had popped out already into the world.

What follows then is a short bout through public education, continuing on present day, as I conclude my fourth year at the College of William and Mary. I’ve studied Japanese here, as well as Insects and Society, Red Scare era black listed films and even the politics of feminine hysteria in Dostoevsky’s translated works. Having recently come back from a stint in Kyoto, muttering Heart Sutras and eating burnt mochi like a pro-monk, while studying religions both archaic and new, I’m looking forward to a completion of my B.A. here. Until then, I will continue to walk around this campus like a teen-refugee in Charm city.