Founder and CEO of the Happy Science Group
Master Ryuho Okawa was born on July 7th, 1956 in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from The University of Tokyo, a prestigious university, he joined an international trading company based in Tokyo. While he worked at the company’s New York headquarter, he studied international finance at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
On March 23rd, 1981, Master Okawa attained Great Enlightenment and awakened to the hidden part of his consciousness, El Cantare, whose mission is to bring true happiness to all humanity.
In July 1986, Master Okawa renounced a promising career as a businessman. He decided to devote his life to spreading the Truth, and established Happy Science (Kofuku-no-Kagaku in Japanese), which was registered as a religious organization in 1991 in Japan.
Master Okawa’s first lecture took place on November 23rd, 1986. In 1987, the foundation of the teachings was laid out in his publications – The Laws of the Sun, The Golden Laws and Nine Dimension: Unveiling the Laws of Eternity.
On November 18th, 2007, Master Ryuho Okawa gave his first official oversea lecture in Hawaii, entitled “Be Positive.” This marked the beginning of Master Okawa’s world missionary tour, and he has given lectures in English in all of the five continents.
Since then, Master Okawa has been lecturing around the world as a World Teacher.
His teachings based on universal religious Truths expand to cover concrete proposals for resolving worldwide political and economic situations, and he has given over 3,000 lectures in both Japanese and English.
His lectures have been published as books, and a number of them have become bestsellers. He has published more than 2,500 books, including The Laws of the Sun, which sold a million copies. He has held numerous seminars and produced 18 films based on his teachings. In 2011, he recorded in the Guinness World Records as “the most books written in one year by an individual,” after publishing 52 books in 2010 alone. His publications continued to increase after that, and he published 161 books in 2014. Furthermore, his books have been translated into 31 languages, beginning with English, German, French, Portuguese, Chinese and Korean, and for the readers all over the world.
Happy Science activities mainly take place at the local branches, local temples and the Shojas, on the content of education, politics, and making further publications to bring improvements to society.
He has also laid the foundation for ideal politics and education by establishing the Happiness Realization Party in 2009, and the Happy Science Academy – the Nasu Main Campus in 2010 and the Kansai Campus in 2013.
Additionally, he is also the founder of Happy Science University (HSU), which opened as an unaccredited institution of higher education in April 2015.
Happy Science currently has more than 10,000 local branches and temples and the Shojas around the world, and we are actively involved in charity works. For instance, the HS Nelson Mandela Fund is established to support people who cannot receive education due to poverty or racial and caste discrimination, people who are oppressed by their government and people who cannot receive medical treatment.
Find out more about Ryuho Okawa
The Story of Master Ryuho Okawa
When Master Ryuho Okawa was in second grade, his homeroom teacher told his parents that his IQ was equivalent to that of a twenty-year-old (an IQ of over 200). However, the young Master Okawa never boasted about his God-given intelligence, and stuck to a spirit of diligent perseverance as he felt it was one’s duty to find joy in such manner of living. To this day, he does not rely on his tremendous psychic abilities but keeps to the spirit of self-effort, inspiring and guiding many to emulate his attitude and follow in his footsteps.
Diligent Childhood and Adolescence
Ryuho Okawa was born July 7th, 1956, around 7am, in the town of Kawashima (known as Yoshinogawa city today) of Tokushima Prefecture, Japan. From a young age, Ryuho Okawa blazed his own trail with diligence and effort. His aunt, who was a writer, described him as being “a man of effort.”
In addition to such manner of studying, Ryuho Okawa also served as a Student Body President, as a head of the tennis club, and of the school newspaper committee. “He never breaks his promise,” “He’s proper even when people are not looking,” “He has something that makes the class come together” – these were the opinions of Ryuho Okawa expressed by the people around him. He was trusted very much by his parents, teachers, and peers. When he reached his teenage years, he was already known for his depth of character and of high integrity that would later be translated into “religious magnetism.” At age 11, Ryuho Okawa read The Autobiography of Albert Schweitzer and was inspired by Schweitzer’s commitment to devote his life to others.
Master Ryuho Okawa enrolled as a student in the Department of Law at The University of Tokyo. During his college years, he read many books on law, politics, sociology, history, philosophy, economics, business management, natural science, international relations and so on. He strived to become like Plato and Socrates, and often reflected by comparing himself with these great figures, as he wanted to write works that would last for thousands of years. He spent his days reading books on philosophy and religion, in an effort to find the purpose and meaning of life. He also read many notable books in its original language such as English and German. By the time he reached his twenties, he had accomplished reading more than 1,000 books.
The Moment of Great Enlightenment
Sometime after 2 pm on March 23rd, 1981, while he was relaxing in the warm spring sunshine and reflecting on his life, he suddenly experienced a spiritual phenomenon. “Suddenly, I sensed an invisible presence with me in the room, and almost simultaneously understood by intuition that whatever it was, it wished to communicate with me. I ran to get a pencil and some blank cards. My hand holding the pencil began to move as if it had a life of its own. On card after card it wrote the words, “Good News, Good News, Good News”… I realized then that I had just experienced some sort of religious awakening.” That was the moment in which Ryuho Okawa reached Great Enlightenment at the age of twenty-four, the beginning of his spiritual awakening. However, in spite the fact that he attained Great Enlightenment, Ryuho Okawa made the choice to pursue a career with the trading company.
Days at Work with the Company
In 1981, Master Okawa joined a major trading company. He was stationed in the Foreign Exchange Section of the company’s headquarter in Tokyo. The following year, he was promoted to become a trainee at the company’s New York Headquarter, a rare case for a second-year employee. While working in the International Finance division on the 40th floor of the 1st World Trade Center, he also studied the Theories of International Finance at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
While he rapidly ascended the path of an elite, his communication with the heavenly world continued. As he debated with himself whether to continue in the path of becoming an entrepreneur, or to stand as a man of religion, he constantly contemplated on the words, “Love, Nurture, and Forgive” in his heart – one of the messages he received during his communications with the High Spirits. He contemplated these words for about three years, and when he was twenty-seven, he developed it into the philosophy of “The Developmental Stages of Love.” He submitted this philosophy as an article on the company newspaper, and it was met with great enthusiasm and was even reprinted in the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, the Japan Business and Technology Daily Newspaper.
In 1984, Ryuho Okawa was transferred to the Nagoya branch, as it was customary for potential future executives. It was around this time that the thoughts about publishing spiritual messages started to surface, and in August 1985, he published his first book, Spiritual Messages from Nichiren* (available only in Japanese), under his father’s name.
* Nichiren (1222 - 1282): A Japanese Buddhist monk who founded a sect of Buddhism called Nichiren school.
Deciding to Become a Man of Religion
While he worked at the trading company, he accumulated both spiritual wisdom and practical experiences. After six years of working at the company, on June 17th and 18th of 1986, high spirits came down one after another from the heavenly world to tell Ryuho Okawa that it was time to pursue his true mission in life. Just a week after his 30th birthday, on July 15th, he handed in his letter of resignation and stood up alone for the salvation of all humanity at the expense of his personal life. This was the first step towards establishing Happy Science.
Then, Master Ryuho Okawa published the Basic Sutra of Happy Science, The Dharma of the Right Mind, which was written by automatic writing and contains the condensed core teachings.
It was when he received spiritual inspiration that Master Okawa began writing each of his books, and realized it was his destiny. The first book he wrote was The Laws of the Sun in 1986. The book holds irreplaceable value not just for its ideas, but also as Master Okawa’s first book written by automatic writing.
Soon thereafter, he began to write The Golden Laws, followed by The Nine Dimensions: Unveiling The Laws of Eternity, which became the trilogy of Happy Science, along with his first book.
On November 23rd, 1986, Master Ryuho Okawa gave his first lecture at Nippori Shuhan-Kaikan in Tokyo, which came to be known as the celebration of the First Turning of the Dharma Wheel.