Daisaku Ikeda (池田 大作, Ikeda Daisaku, born 2 January 1928) is a Japanese Buddhist philosopher, educator, author, and nuclear disarmament advocate. He has served as the third president and then honorary president of the Soka Gakkai, the largest of Japan’s new religious movements. Ikeda is the founding president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), the world’s largest Buddhist lay organization with approximately 12 million practitioners in 192 countries and territories.Ikeda was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1928, to a family of seaweed farmers. He survived the devastation of World War II as a teenager, which he said left an indelible mark on his life and fueled his quest to solve the fundamental causes of human conflict. At age 19, Ikeda began practicing Nichiren Buddhism and joined a youth group of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist association, which led to his lifelong work developing the global peace movement of SGI and founding dozens of institutions dedicated to fostering peace, culture and education.Ikeda’s vision for the SGI has been described as a “borderless Buddhist humanism that emphasizes free thinking and personal development based on respect for all life.” In the 1960s, Ikeda worked to reopen Japan’s national relations with China and also to establish the Soka education network of humanistic schools from kindergartens through university level, while beginning to write what would become his multi-volume historical novel, The Human Revolution, about the Soka Gakkai’s development during his mentor Josei Toda’s tenure. In 1975, he established the Soka Gakkai International, and throughout the 1970s initiated a series of citizen diplomacy efforts through international educational and cultural exchanges for peace. Since the 1980s, he has increasingly called for the elimination of nuclear weapons.By 2015, Ikeda had published more than 50 dialogues with scholars, peace activists and leading world figures. In his role as SGI president, Ikeda has visited 55 nations and spoken on subjects including peace, environment, economics, women’s rights, interfaith dialogue, nuclear disarmament, and Buddhism and science. Every year on the anniversary of the SGI’s founding, 26 January, Ikeda submits a peace proposal to the United Nations.