2. About Us
  3. Greetings


Message from Ryohei Tanaka

Director of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda envisaged the establishment of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP) when he visited Buddhagaya in 1961, in the middle of journey for the 'Westward Transmission of Buddhism.'

He saw the fundamental activities of the IOP as going in three directions. The first was to deepen research on the Lotus Sutra, which has enriched the inner lives of people in East Asia for several thousand years. The second was to conduct comparative research on Buddhist thought with other religious thoughts, as well as with science. The third was to establish the theory of Buddhist humanism and pacifism to help resolve contemporary and global issues.

The first direction of research on the Lotus Sutra came to life with the creation of the exhibition “The Lotus Sutra and Its World — Buddhist Manuscripts of the Great Silk Road.” The exhibits contained manuscripts of important sutras including the Lotus Sutra which belongs to the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences. A number of Japanese and European Buddhist researchers offered high praise to this rare opportunity. The exhibition was also held in Austria and Germany. Moreover, another exhibition, “The Lotus Sutra—A Message of Peace and Harmonious Coexistence,” has been held in Hong Kong, Macao, India, Spain, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Brazil, the UK, Taiwan, Malaysia, Argentina, South Korea, Peru and Japan.

The IOP has also worked on editing the original texts of the Lotus Sutra in collaboration with Soka Gakkai. With the support of many professionals in Japan and throughout the world, we have conducted research and given commentary on various original texts of the Lotus Sutra, which are preserved at various institutions including Lüshun Museum, the National Archives of Nepal, Cambridge University Library, the General Library of The University of Tokyo, the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the Société Asiatique, the British Library and the National Archives of India. These collaborative efforts of the ‘Lotus Sutra Manuscript Series’ have resulted in the publication of facsimile editions and Romanized texts such as the Gilgit Lotus Sutra Manuscripts from the National Archives of India, Facsimile Edition and Sanskrit Lotus Sutra Fragments from the Lüshun Museum Collection, Facsimile Edition and Romanized Text. The IOP has also published the following critical editions: A Critical Edition of the Sanskrit Lotus Sutra Based on Gilgit-Nepalese Manuscripts (C3 Collated Text) and A Critical Edition of Sanskrit Lotus Sutra C4 with Comparison Readings from Nepalese, Gilgit and Central Asian Manuscripts.

To implement the second direction of activities, the IOP has held joint symposia with universities and academic institutes such as Harvard University’s Center for the Study of World Religions and the Institute of World Religions of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The IOP has also signed academic exchange agreements with institutions such as the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Dunhuang Research Academy, and the Centre for Civilisational Dialogue at the University of Malaya. IOP research fellows have also presented their research at various academic societies and conferences. We believe that such unity and scholarly activities will become even more important in today’s increasingly volatile world.

Regarding the third direction of activities, the IOP will contribute to the establishment of a theoretical formation of Buddhist humanism and pacifism by holding annual academic conferences and publishing the Toyo Gakujutsu Kenkyu (The Journal of Oriental Studies) and the Bulletin of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy. We will continue to offer online public lectures, hold Lotus Sutra exhibitions, and share various content through our website and social media platforms in order to make these projects of the Institute widely available to the public. The IOP will continue to work tirelessly to create a ‘culture of peace’ in the 21st century, carrying on the spirit of its founder.


Director, Chairperson of the Executive Board of Trustees of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy
(Prior, he has held the positions of Professor at Okayama University, Soka Women’s College, and Soka University, as well as Executive Vice-President of Soka University)

Area of Specialization:  German language and literature, Goethe
Degrees:  Master (Letters), The University of Tokyo
Academic Background:  The University of Tokyo Graduate School, Faculty of Letters

Main Publications

ゲーテとドイツ精神史 Gete to Doitsu seishinshi
(Goethe and the History of the German Spirit) co-authored (Chisen Shokan, 2020)
ゲーテ=シラー往復書簡集 Gete Shira ofuku shokanshu
(Correspondence between Goethe and Schiller) co-authored (Ushio Publishing, 2016)
時を超えた詩心の共鳴ーーゲーテと池田大作 Toki o koeta shigokoro no kyomei: Gete to Ikeda Daisaku
(Goethe and Daisaku Ikeda) (Daisan bunmeisha, 2009)