Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren


  • Suzana Ramos Coutinho
  • Frank UsarskiEmail author
  • Rafael Shoji
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08956-0_115-1


Reiyukai (Society of Friends of the Spirits) is a Nichiren-associated neo-Buddhist group of Japanese origin.

Key Information

Reiyukai is considered one of the Japanese new religious movements and probably the oldest of the major modern Nichiren sects (Clarke 2013, p. 203). It was founded by Kakutaro Kubo (1892–1944) in 1924 as an informal association, and its first president was Kimi Kotani (1901–1971). She married Kubo’s brother, Yahukichi Kotani, in 1925.

Reiyukai was formally inaugurated in Tokyo in July 1930 and was incorporated as a religious juridical person in March 1946. According to the group, Mr. Kubo believed that the teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha would be a very good way to stop the social and cultural upheaval that Japan was going through. Western culture was making an impact, “there was rapid industrialization, social liberalism, economic crisis and the destruction caused by the Kanto earthquake of 1924” (Clarke 2013, p. 203). A combination of rapid urban...


Buddhism Japanese new religion Japan Nichiren 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Clarke P (2013) Bibliography of Japanese new religious movements – with annotations. Routledge, NYGoogle Scholar
  2. Hardacre H (1984) Lay Buddhism in contemporary Japan, Reiyukai Kyodan. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Reader I (2006) Japanese new religious movements. In: Juergensmeyer M (ed) The Oxford handbook of global religions. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Shoji R (2004) The nativization of East Asian Buddhism in Brazil. PhD. University of Hannover, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  5. Watanabe M (2008) The development of Japanese new religions in Brazil and their propagation in a foreign culture. Japanese Journal Religious Studies 35(1):115–144Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzana Ramos Coutinho
    • 1
  • Frank Usarski
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rafael Shoji
    • 2
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciência da ReligiãoMackenzie UniversitySão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciência da ReligiãoPontifical University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil