Title

On Happy Science and Nationalism and How El-Cantare Used the Post Bubble Economy to Change the World

Presenter Information

Braxton KoehlerFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Business Administration/Japanese

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Hatakeyama; Dr. Romero-Gonzalez

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

On Happy Science and Nationalism and How El-Cantare Used the Post Bubble Economy to Change the World

In the last 50 years there has been a rise of nationalistic tendencies and neo-new religious movements in Japan. Following the economic bubble collapse in the early 90’s, these trends have both experienced rapid expansion across the country. Following the bubble burst was a grassroots right wing movement in the early 90’s. In reaction to this economic and societal change, the Japanese government has taken to a more closed off and nationalistic attitude towards the domestic and international landscape. At the same time the various neo-new religious organizations also had to react to the new reality of the Japanese economic condition and their own role in both the country and members lives. Koufuku no Kagaku, or Happy Science, is one such religious movement that rose to prominence during this time period. Their leader, Ryuho Okawa, stands against the nationalist movement and pushes for globalization. Instead of Japanese ethnic or cultural superiority, he teaches that Japan and its people should rise to become spiritually and morally great so they can lead the world into an era of peace and happiness. Despite being an organization of over one-million people, there has been little research done on Happy Science. There are virtually no studies from the past 5 years and little regarding the early 90’s ideological and organizational change from a company like organization focused on “spiritual study” to a salvation focused religion. My paper uses research from a variety of prior studies to find how the nationalist movement has affected Happy Science and if perhaps it was the cause for the organizations rise to prominence. This study concludes that the post bubble economic situation and nationalist movement greatly contributed to the structure and ideology of Happy Science and serve as a great motivator for the religion and its members. It also argues that these same motivators will see the Happy Science religion stagger in growth and potential for the near future.

Fall Scholars Week 2019 Event

GLT 400

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

On Happy Science and Nationalism and How El-Cantare Used the Post Bubble Economy to Change the World

On Happy Science and Nationalism and How El-Cantare Used the Post Bubble Economy to Change the World

In the last 50 years there has been a rise of nationalistic tendencies and neo-new religious movements in Japan. Following the economic bubble collapse in the early 90’s, these trends have both experienced rapid expansion across the country. Following the bubble burst was a grassroots right wing movement in the early 90’s. In reaction to this economic and societal change, the Japanese government has taken to a more closed off and nationalistic attitude towards the domestic and international landscape. At the same time the various neo-new religious organizations also had to react to the new reality of the Japanese economic condition and their own role in both the country and members lives. Koufuku no Kagaku, or Happy Science, is one such religious movement that rose to prominence during this time period. Their leader, Ryuho Okawa, stands against the nationalist movement and pushes for globalization. Instead of Japanese ethnic or cultural superiority, he teaches that Japan and its people should rise to become spiritually and morally great so they can lead the world into an era of peace and happiness. Despite being an organization of over one-million people, there has been little research done on Happy Science. There are virtually no studies from the past 5 years and little regarding the early 90’s ideological and organizational change from a company like organization focused on “spiritual study” to a salvation focused religion. My paper uses research from a variety of prior studies to find how the nationalist movement has affected Happy Science and if perhaps it was the cause for the organizations rise to prominence. This study concludes that the post bubble economic situation and nationalist movement greatly contributed to the structure and ideology of Happy Science and serve as a great motivator for the religion and its members. It also argues that these same motivators will see the Happy Science religion stagger in growth and potential for the near future.