Nikkyo Niwano, cofounder of Rissho Koseikai, Japan’s second-largest lay Buddhist organization, left a taxable estate worth 2.954 billion yen following his death last year, it was learned Tuesday.
According to Tokyo tax authorities and sources close to Niwano’s family, Niwano, who died Oct. 4 at age 92, left the bulk of his estate to his five children, including his eldest son, Nichiko, chairman of Rissho Koseikai, and Nichiko’s wife.
Niwano’s estate was mainly his residence in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, savings and works of art, the sources said.
The estate paid 1.25 billion yen in inheritance taxes and donated 10 million yen to a social welfare fund in Niwano’s hometown in Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture.
Niwano founded Rissho Koseikai in 1938 with the late Myoko Naganuma. During his tenure as Rissho Koseikai leader until 1991, the organization saw its number of followers rise to 2.18 million households.
Niwano was also known for his international peace activities.
He chaired the first World Conference on Religion and Peace held in Kyoto in 1970, and repeatedly appealed for the abolition of nuclear weapons at U.N. disarmament meetings.
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