The leader of the Japanese sect “Happy Science”, which claimed to be able to communicate with spirits, died

Ryuho Okawa (AFP)

ryuho okawaleader of the Japanese sect “Happy Science”which claimed power communicate with spirits from around the world, from Jesus to Donald Trump, passed away this Thursday at the age of 66, local media reported.

He was rushed to a hospital after collapsing at his Tokyo home earlier this week, and his death was confirmed Thursday, according to major media outlets, including the national network. nhk and the press agency hihi.

The cause of death is not yet known, according to fujitv.

Okawa was the singular leader and founder of the group happy science (Happy Science), created in 1986 and which claims to have members in more than 168 countries.

The group believes in spiritual reincarnation and in the construction of a global utopiabut he faced public opposition for the cult of personality surrounding Okawa, including from his own son Hiroshi.

ryuho okawa
Ryuho Okawa (AFP)

In 2020, he declared to the New York Times that his father had “relentlessly lied to his followers”.

“I think what my father does is a complete nonsense”.

Among the Japanese public, Okawa was perhaps best known for claiming to be able to channel the spirits of the rich and famousas well as for the books of his authorship based on what he claimed the spirits were telling him.

His most recent publications include Speeches from the Spirits of Russian President Vladimir Putinabout his decision to invade Ukraine, from Jesus Christ about the pandemic and the leader of Queen Freddy Mercury after the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

Although Okawa stayed away from the popular media, he was a constant presence in newspapers that ran ads for his latest books, as well as the occasional movie and music.

He claimed to have had a epiphany at age 24when he acquired the ability to communicate with spirits and realized that his mission was “lead humanity to happiness”.

Okawa threw a politic party in 2009 advocating for small government based on religious teachings, along with containing the rise of China and limiting the rights of the LGBTQ community.

The match “Happy Realization” it has yet to win seats at the national level, although its members have won seats in local assemblies.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's portrait is seen at the altar during his state funeral at the Nippon Budokan, in Tokyo, Japan, September 27, 2022. Eugene Hoshiko/Pool via REUTERS/File
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s portrait is seen at the altar during his state funeral at the Nippon Budokan, in Tokyo, Japan, September 27, 2022. Eugene Hoshiko/Pool via REUTERS/File (POOL/)

Historically, fringe religious groups have been able to operate in Japan with relatively few restrictions, but they have come under renewed scrutiny since the assassination of the former prime minister. shinzo abe.

Apparently, his alleged murderer, tetsuya yamagamiwas targeting Abe for his ties to the Unification Church.

Following the assassination, links between the Church and high-ranking politicians were revealed, and the Japanese government passed new legislation aimed at prevent religious groups from obtaining massive donations from their followers.

Okawa was born in 1956 in the rural Tokushima region. He graduated from the University of Tokyo, the best academy in Japan, and joined a business company before leaving to found the sect.

(With information from AFP)

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