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How the practice of Nichiren Buddhism sustained Tina Turner for 50 years

37 Comments
By Ralph H Craig III

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I’m guessing that Ralph H Craig III is a Soka Gakkai member.

22 ( +27 / -5 )

Indeed, reads like a propaganda piece. Soka Gakkai have a lot of influence on Japanese society especially when it comes to the economy and politics.

Japan has rules about the separation of religion and state yet Soka Gakkai created the Komeito party to carry out its will and has been part of the main government coalition giving them the power of kingmaker. They're also infamous for directly telling their members who to vote for in elections to best manipulate the outcome in their favour.

Much like the Moonies, Soka Gakkai and Komeito should be kept close tabs on.

22 ( +31 / -9 )

I haven't figured out which of these 4 are more annoying and dangerous, SG, Scientologists, Jehovah witness. Mormons.

All function the same way, befriend you often using some gimmick or as if they are helping, then at the time they think they notice a vulnerability they offer the solution in their religion.

Unlike mainstream religions that From the star push their God.

I am not interested in religion but at least the mainstream one's I can say bug of right away these 4 you have to be careful all the time.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

Wow, that I did not know. RIP Queen.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

People need to understand that whenever they:

shop at UniQlo;

purchase something at 7 Eleven;

ride a JR train;

visit Tokyo Disney Resort (aka Oriental Holdings);

watch a program on TBS;

read a Mainichi newspaper;

drive a Mitsubishi;

grab something from Daiso;

spend up at Don Quijote; or

sip on a coffee from Doutour, they are indirectly lining the pockets of this powerful cult.

Lists of Soka Gakkai owned and affiliated companies can easily be uncovered through a simple Google search.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Rugby league was Tina,s first religious passion, Buddhism a very close second. Tina was the face of Rugby League for over decade and penned the theme “Better than All the Rest” which is still played at all venues prior to the start of any match whether it Professional or junior. Rest in Peace Tina.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

This is from Japan's Constitution:

*Article 20.** Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority.*

No person shall be compelled to take part in any religious act, celebration, rite or practice.

The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.

Now would someone please tell me why the Komeito Party founded by Soka Gakkai is even allowed to exist, let alone function as the coalation partner in the Japanese government?

12 ( +17 / -5 )

I don't want to sound cynical, but I'm sure her personal wealth also contributed to her peace of mind spending her golden years in comfortable Swiss retirement and, as a successful performing artist, deservedly so.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

When the Soka Gakkai was a part of Nichiren Shoshu Tina Turner was a member of the NSA. Nichiren Shoshu of America., and the SGI

However, in 1992 there was a big split between Nichiren Shoshu and the Soka Gakkai when the High Priest Nikken excommunicated all the Soka Members.

After the split while Tina Turner continued her Buddhist practice but with less involvement in organisations.

“The sources do not indicate whether Tina Turner remained loyal to SGI or switched to Nichiren Shoshu after the split. However, one source mentions that she met with Daisaku Ikeda in 1987 and received words of wisdom from him². This suggests that she had a close relationship with the SGI leader before the conflict. Another source states that she continued to chant the basic prayer of Nichiren Buddhism, "nam-myoho-renge-kyo", until her death in 2023¹. This implies that she did not abandon her Buddhist faith despite the division.”

https://buddhiststudies.stanford.edu/tina-turner

“Therefore, based on the available information, it seems more likely that Tina Turner stayed with SGI rather than Nichiren Shoshu after the split. However, this is not a definitive answer and there may be other sources that provide more clarity on this question.”

https://jref.com/threads/tina-turner-rip.542884/

It is true that she practiced Nichiren Buddhism but she mixed it up with many other forms and ideas. She had Buddha statues in her home, something members of Nichiren Shoshu or the Soka Gakkai would have.

The teaching of the Lotus Sutra discourages the use of Buddha statues for religious purposes and should be in a museum, not homes.

Tina Turner never attend any SGI meetings nor held any meetings in her home.

Unlike Herbie Hancock, Orlando Bloom, Wayne Shorter, Courtney Love, and many others.

Her story

https://lotus-happiness.com/tina-turner-the-miracle-of-daimoku-to-transform-life/

When Tina Turner regained her life after her husband Ike I think she was not going to let anyone control her ever again. She practiced Nichiren Buddhism to the end but she also had her own ideas. She supported the SGI without being an active part of it.

How would you describe your long journey of life?

I faced all the difficulties as they were, and I overcame them. My life is a love story!

https://nichirenbuddhism.home.blog/2019/09/11/interview-with-tina-turner-my-life-is-a-love-story-published-on-living-buddhism-monthly-from-the-sgi-usa-of-august-2018-original-title-the-queen-of-hope-translation-from-buddhism-and-society-n/

Tina Turner

Tina Turner, known as the Queen of Rock, has practiced Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddhism since 1973. Tina shares her chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (Homage to the Dharma of the Lotus Sutra) with the world. She also made a CD, "Beyond: Buddhist and Christian Prayers, " in collaboration with Regula Curti and Dechen Shak-Dagsay.

Stanford

The Ho Center for Buddhist Studies

https://buddhiststudies.stanford.edu/tina-turner

What is true, Tina Turner was the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, a great woman and humanitarian and a GOAT of the music world, and a Nichiren Buddhist to the end of her days.

NMRK

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Soka Gakkai and Soka Gakkai International are not involved in any business other than the publications it makes. Individual members have their businesses but are not part of any organisation.

There are many Catholic shop owners and business people but that does not make them part of the Vatican.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Soka Gakkai and Soka Gakkai International are not involved in any business other than the publications it makes.

Thanks for your contribution, Wally. How enlightening to have your Soka Gakkai representation right here on JT.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

In over 30 years in Japan, every encounter with SG especially foreigners has followed the same pattern.

Step #1

They seem friendly ready to help, conversation are normal everything follows normal beginning of a friendship.

Step #2

Then they will say, " you should meet someone friends of mine" " lets all go out (or meet at his friend's place)".

Step #3

Once you meet the group they will start the pitch for SG.

My latest encounter was quite recently, the start was as I described, but because I suffered a life threatening medical issue he was unable to proceed to step step #2 he moved to plan B and started sending emails of support peppered with SG prayers and philosophy.

Click the red warning light went on!

The interesting thing is as nice as it starts off the instant you say " I know SG I am not interested but if you keep it to yourself and don't push it on me we can still be friends " their attitude changes.

Suddenly they are bad-mouthing you to anyone that they encounter, they do not take being rejected!

I am not basing any of this on one or even 2 encounters but on over a dozen all Foreigners members of SGI.

So be forwarded.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Whatever religion you belong to is going to bring you the ire of those who wish to discredit the organization that you belong to.

I do not believe that this is a propaganda piece. There are many celebs that follow the practices of SGI and Nichiren. Orlando Bloom. "OH NO, not that guy. I love his movies". He's SGI. Shall we hate him now?

Tom Cruise and his Scientology. "Scientology....yuck". Can't wait to see Top Gun: Maverick though.

We all have to find our way to peace and happiness. What works for someone else, may not work for you. The old lady has 10 cats in her house. She must be sniffing the catnip with them. NO, over the years people stopped visiting BEFORE she had all those cats. Probably lost her faith in humanity.

Live and let live.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The number of non-Japanese living here and members of the SGI are very low. In their thousands, not tens of thousands. I have never heard of any foreign members trying to enlist other foreigners. They are not like Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Readers, posts that do not focus on the story will be removed.

…and she was not some sort of "SGI poster girl"…

Who said she was?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

   and she was not some sort of "SGI poster girl"…

After reading the article it makes Tina Turner look like a "SGI poster girl" which I personally know is not correct. I think she was very much her own person rather than part of any organisation.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Like most "celebrity" Soka followers she probably had little or no knowledge of what the organization is really like in Japan or how it is truly regarded. In any case, RIP.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Tina Turner was a Proud Mary and a Proud Nichiren Buddhist. It saved her life after the dreadful relationship with her husband Ike. But her interest was very broad and an avid reader of books on subjects that interested her.

She needed a kidney transplant donated by her husband Erwin Bach, in 2017. There are no accounts of him practicing Nichiren Buddhism.

I think Buddhism saved her spirit but I think it was Mick Jagger and David Bowie who took her music to greater heights, going on to become the "Queen of Rock n Roll".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

One can practice Nichiren Buddhism without being part of an organisation like Soka Gakkai. SGI doesn't have the sole mandate to propagate Nichiren Buddhism.

Many people dislike SGI but that doesn't mean that the teachings of Nichiren are false. One can never understand anything properly without giving it a try, and if Nichiren Buddhism was easy to practice it would have had billions of believers.

Having said that, SGI has been the most successful because others didn't even try. Most people wouldn't have heard of NMRK without SGI.

there was a big split between Nichiren Shoshu and the Soka Gakkai when the High Priest Nikken excommunicated all the Soka Members.

SGI has tons of study material focusing on their side of the story discrediting the priesthood, but they don't mention that they got a lot of support from Nikken during the period between 1979 (when Ikeda was forced as President of SG) and 1991.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

EvilBuddha

One can practice Nichiren Buddhism without being part of an organisation like Soka Gakkai. SGI doesn't have the sole mandate to propagate Nichiren Buddhism.

I agree with you 100%. You don't need to be part of any organisation or group to study and practice Nichiren Buddhism, and I know people who do just that.

Many people dislike SGI but that doesn't mean that the teachings of Nichiren are false. One can never understand anything properly without giving it a try, and if Nichiren Buddhism was easy to practice it would have had billions of believers.

The strong critics are the ones who know the least.

Having said that, SGI has been the most successful because others didn't even try. Most people wouldn't have heard of NMRK without SGI.

The SGI is responsible for taking the Nichiren Buddhist Teaching to 192 countries, and opening centers in those countries.

there was a big split between Nichiren Shoshu and the Soka Gakkai when the High Priest Nikken excommunicated all the Soka Members.

> SGI has tons of study material focusing on their side of the story discrediting the priesthood, but they don't mention that they got a lot of support from Nikken during the period between 1979 (when Ikeda was forced as President of SG) and 1991.

The priesthood received very large donations from the SGI. Some of the priesthood broke away and formed their own group.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

My parents follow the tenets of  Nichiren Buddhists and introduced me to it when I was quite young. However they refused to belong to SGI and I have never done so. I like to think I still follow the main principals of Buddhism though, as I see them, 'Do no Evil, 'Think no Evil, 'Say no Evil'.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are many who are critical of SGI Nichiren Buddhism without any knowledge or experience of what it is about.

China allows the practice and there are several centers. Exchange meetings happen between the leaders.

The SGI is a big supporter of the arts which is why many artists are attracted to it. There are the Fujii Art Museums and the Min On Concert association with a museum in Tokyo.

https://www.fujibi.or.jp/en/index/

“Music knows no barriers. It transcends national borders, language, culture, and ethnicity, bringing hearts together in a symphony of peace. This is the reason that Min-On has successfully engaged in cultural exchanges with ninety countries and territories [as of 2003]. To me, this great road of cultural exchange uniting people is a “spiritual Silk Road.” — Daisaku Ikeda,"

https://www.min-on.org/

An exhibition last year marked the 50th Anniversary of the Normalization of China-Japan Relations

https://www.sgi-usa.org/2022/09/26/exhibition-marks-50th-anniversary-of-normalization-of-china-japan-relations/

The SGI is an organization for peace.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Why does the SGI continue to attract so many highly talented artists like Tine Turner?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I'm sure the millions of dollars in the bank had something to do with it as well.......

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@wallace

Why does the SGI continue to attract so many highly talented artists like Tine Turner?

That is nothing different from any other cult... they all do it... they deliberately entice celebrities so they can use them to attract more members.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

As I myself am an expert on Buddhism and a professional musician, this article was fascinating. Not knowing Tina was involved with Soka Gakkai was surprising. Previoulsy, I had learned Herbie Hancock was also a practitioner and went so far as to gift the SGI founder, Ikeda Daisaku, a grand piano. Haters in the comment section are dissing SGI, but they did great things spreading the Buddhism all over the world. It kept Tina alive during tough times and helped her, and countless many others, to flourish, as well. What the Buddha taught can benefit anyone, and is especially effective with genius musicians such as Ms. Turner, David Bowie, Herbie Hancock, etc. Great reporting!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

CarlosTakanakana

@wallace

   Why does the SGI continue to attract so many highly talented artists like Tine Turner?

> That is nothing different from any other cult... they all do it... they deliberately entice celebrities so they can use them to attract more members.

Really. So according to you talented educated people, musicians, artists, doctors, professors and so many others in 191 countries are enticed by what means? All of these people are more than capable of thinking for themselves. What if any is your direct experience?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Matt

I'm sure the millions of dollars in the bank had something to do with it as well.......

Who has millions of dollars? The Japanese Soka Gakkai is an NGO. In other countries, it is an NGO or registered charity. Laws and rules have to be followed.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Tina Turner had millions of dollars and the best care on offer.

She moved to and passed away in Switzerland, not a cheap country to live in for foreigners.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nichiren Buddhism, like other schools, is not a religion or a cult. There are no Gods to worship. The third president of the SGI, Daisaku Ikeda with his wife lives in a small wood traditional house in Tokyo which he rented until he was able to purchase it. He also lived there with his three sons, before two moved out and the third died. This is not a man who loves luxury and does not live in a mansion house. His personal life is very simple. He does not own a car but until he got too old could be seen on his bicycle.

Criticism is positive except when based on hate or false info.

You will also have people you accuse others of doing something when in fact they do the same themselves.

"Where philosophy is more involved in a study of the "fundamental" nature of reality and existence, Buddhism is involved in understanding the "ultimate" nature of reality and existence, and that is YOU! The end result of philosophy is a continuation in reality and existence, the end result of enlightenment is an escape from the continuation. Nothing religious about this."

Buddhism is often referred to as a religion, although it can also be understood as a philosophy or a way of life. The classification of Buddhism as a religion depends on how one defines religion.

However, it is important to note that Buddhism is diverse, and different cultural and regional expressions of Buddhism may have varying degrees of emphasis on religious aspects. Some individuals may practice Buddhism primarily as a philosophy or a spiritual path, focusing on practical teachings and meditation practices, while others may engage with it in a more religious sense, with rituals and devotional practices.

Ultimately, whether one considers Buddhism a religion or not depends on individual perspectives and definitions of what constitutes a religion.

The Unification 'Church' is a religion and a cult.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

kurisupisu

Tina Turner had millions of dollars and the best care on offer.

> She moved to and passed away in Switzerland, not a cheap country to live in for foreigners.

When Tina Turner fled in the night from her ex-husband Ike after another beating she had only 35 cents in her pocket. July 4, 1976, American Independence Day and she grabbed hers while still having a life.

https://www.centraltrack.com/45-years-ago-in-dallas-tina-turner-left-ike/

The article is as much about Tina Turner as anything else. A great role model for all women who suffer from DV.

From locals in Switzerland, they had nothing but praise for her warm generous nature making donations to the community and always greeting people.

Tina Turner earned millions from that 35 cents.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I’m guessing that Ralph H Craig III is a Soka Gakkai member.

You're right.

"Ralph has practiced Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddhism for eighteen years."

https://liveyogawellness.com/ralph-h-craig/

This article seems more about the glories of SGI than about Tina Turner herself.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I'm going to guess that for Turner, Nichiren was a 'personal' form of spiritualism and that she didn't want to get involved in SG as an organization. I can only speak of when I heard her talk about Buddhism. She mentioned Nichiren but I never heard her talk about SG.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"In 1990, the Nichiren Shōshū administration excommunicated the Soka Gakkai with which it had been affiliated since 1952. In 2014, the Soka Gakkai rewrote its bylaws to reflect that it no longer had any relationship with Nichiren Shoshu or its doctrine."

It seems that not everyone in "Nichiren Buddhism" wants to affiliate or be affiliated with the pseudo cult Soka Gakkai and its leader-for-life, Ikeda "Sensei". Similarly, it seems that the writer of this article knows this well, yet nevertheless tried very hard in their headline to mask the actual, and historically problematic, religious group to which Tina Turner adhered. Gosh, I can't image why...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

AS

not a single mention from you about Tina Turner. I would have thought you would have much to say about her life, the DV, and in the end her great music success.

You could post some actual facts and base your criticism on those.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wisdom, courage, and compassion are vital for worldbuilding.  Respectful farewell to Tina Turner.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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