Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 31: The Great Path to World Peace [31.29]

31.29 An Age of Humanitarian Competition

In this selection, President Ikeda discusses “humanitarian competition,” a visionary idea for peace and creative coexistence that was set forth by founding Soka Gakkai president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi in his work Jinsei chirigaku (The Geography of Human Life).

The main message of Jinsei chirigaku (The Geography of Human Life) is for all human beings to live as global citizens, sharing an awareness that the world is our home, our stage of action. As its title indicates, the book is a great exploration of the links between humanity (human life) and the world (geography).


In this work, Mr. Makiguchi defined four stages of the development of human society. The first three stages are military competition, political competition, and economic competition. This has proven to be true. He categorized the world of his day as being in the stage of economic competition, when all things are measured by the criteria of profit and loss. But this, he argued, was not the final stage of human development. According to his analysis, the fourth stage, following that of economic competition, will be one he labeled “humanitarian competition.”1

This, he explained, would be a time when the power of humanitarianism, rather than the struggle for military, political, or economic supremacy, would be the dominant factor in world affairs.

He really was a man of tremendous vision.


The path of hope for humankind, the great path of Buddhism, lies in locating the means to strengthen the power of our character and humanity, which will take precedence over military might, political power, or economic growth.

As Mr. Makiguchi so astutely foresaw, the light of humanism is now beginning to illuminate our world. Humanism is the only way forward for humankind. Let us strive to usher in a brilliant age of humanity through our efforts to promote peace, culture, and education based on the principles of Nichiren Buddhism.

From a speech at an SGI general meeting, Tokyo, October 22, 1993.

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.

  • *1Translated from Japanese. Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Jinsei chirigaku (The Geography of Human Life), in Makiguchi Tsunesaburo zenshu (Collected Writings of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi), vol. 2 (Tokyo: Daisanbunmei-sha, 1996), pp. 398–99.