Woman accuses Japan Buddhist leader of rape

Honolulu Star Bulletin/June 24, 1996

Tokyo -- A former senior member of Soka Gakkai, the nation's largest Buddhist organization, said today she has "decided to bear the shame" of revealing that she was raped by group leader Daisaku Ikeda, because she wants people to know what kind of person he is.

"Mr. Ikeda is regarded as one of the top religious figures in Japan, but his power is based on his money, which came from annual donations by followers," said Nobuko Nobuhira, 69, in a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

A news release today by Soka Gakkai International, whose president is also, Ikeda, said the accusations that were brought by the couple against him are "groundless and completely fabricated."

Nobuhira and her 74 year-old husband Junko filed a damages suit against Ikeda, 68, honorary chairman of Soka Gakkai, with the Tokyo District Court on June 5, seeking $750,000 in compensation.

She said she was raped three times by Ikeda in June 1973, August 1983 and August 1991.

Postscript: The Nobuhira lawsuit against Ikeda was dismissed by a Japanese court in 1996 and in 2006 that lower court decision was upheld by the Supreme Court.

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