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ERIC Number: EJ961604
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1542-7587
Lessons from Afar: A Review of, Official Website of Daisaku Ikeda
Arauz, Luis
Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, v9 n1-2 p157-164 2012
Daisaku Ikeda (1928- ) is a Buddhist leader, peace builder, school founder, and poet. His own biography and lifework provide a model for how one can transform adversity into alternative opportunities for some of the most disenfranchised students. Scrutinizing Ikeda's official website ( reveals an extensive collection of his essays, lectures, United Nations proposals, and poems in the areas of Buddhism, peace, culture, and education. The website also includes Ikeda's biography, an Ikeda quote page, a list of Ikeda's books translated into English, and a collection of his photography. Finally, it contains resources for the classroom and links to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), other human rights and peace-building organizations, and to the official websites of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, fellow Soka (value-creating) educators and, respectively, the first and second president of the Soka Gakkai, the Buddhist NGO of which Ikeda is the third president. Reviewing Ikeda's early history and development, his essays, and his creative and radical ideas regarding education as a liberating and transformative experience challenges educators in the United States to reconsider their teaching styles, build more effective curriculum, and push for more resources from the inside out for all students in general and for marginalized students in particular. More concretely, Ikeda's work in education suggests that a critical reinvestment and refocus on education is perhaps the most important service that should be provided by the nation-state. Instead of moving toward quick-fix private models and corporate structures, educators need to rethink and restructure education as transformative learning of what Ikeda calls "human revolution." Ikeda's proposals give educators new direction and focus. Instead of value being created through numbers and tests, they need to rethink value-creation through sociocultural differences and interconnection with the broader environment. Second, if the goal of bilingual education lies in tapping children's lived experiences (i.e., their homeland, identity, and customs) as a foundation to build literacy skills and second language acquisition, then it might be a prime discipline in which to implement some of Ikeda's ideas more broadly in a U.S. context. Ikeda gives educators a foundation and a model to begin rebuilding from the inside out an educational system that is broken at its very core. Unless they take Ikeda's ideas, learn from them, and transform them into a lived practice of value creation, educators remain merely cogs in a broader system, which will ultimately reproduce the same kinds of inequalities and unfairly target poor students of color.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A