Who will receive the inheritance said to be worth 200 billion yen… The “Battle of the Bones” Begins at Happy Science | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Who will receive the inheritance said to be worth 200 billion yen… The “Battle of the Bones” Begins at Happy Science

After the loss of an absolute charismatic figure, will it be his future wife or his eldest daughter who will lead his officially announced 11 million followers? ...... "The Family's Inner Circumstances" as revealed by his eldest son, Hiroyo.

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President Ryuho Okawa delivers a lecture on the campus of the University of Tokyo during the pioneer days of the Order. An audience of about 1,000 gathered in front of the Yasuda Auditorium.

Before his death, in addition to his words, ‘I will live to be 80 years old’ and ‘I will be active throughout my life,’ Ryuho said, ‘When I die, I will become a spirit and send instructions to the second president.’ Therefore, it is unlikely that he left a will. I believe that from now on, a bone fight will begin over Ryuho’s legacy and the right of succession to the cult.

On March 2, it was announced that Ryuho Okawa, 66, president of the religious corporation Happy Science, had passed away. Hiroshi, 34, who was Ryuho’s eldest son but parted ways with the cult in 2005 and now serves as a representative of the “Party to Protect the People from Cult Religions,” spoke of his father’s death in a matter-of-fact tone.

Born in Tokushima Prefecture in 1956, Ryuho graduated from the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Law and worked for a trading company before becoming aware that he was “El Cantare” (Earth God) in 1981.” He founded “Happy Science” in 1986, and the cult’s official number of followers now stands at 11 million.

After divorcing his ex-wife Kyoko (57, Tokyo University graduate), whom he married in 1988, in 2012, Ryuho remarried to Shio (now assistant to the president, Waseda University graduate), 29 years his junior, who was his secretary. He and Kyoko have three sons, Hiroshi (Aoyama Gakuin graduate), Sayaka (Ochanomizu University graduate, class of ’91), Masaki (Waseda University graduate, class of ’93), Yuta (University of Tokyo graduate, class of ’95), and Arisa (Tokyo University graduate, class of ’95), and a daughter, Arisa. (Class of ’97, Happy Science University graduate).

The total assets of the cult, which is said to have more than 700 branches around the world, reportedly amount to 200 billion yen, so it is highly likely that Ryuho’s personal assets are also enormous. If, as Hirohiro says, there is no will, it will be divided among his future wife and five children. ……

As for Ryuho’s personal assets, I honestly don’t know exactly what they are. However, when I was in the Order around ’16, I saw a document that listed the president’s annual income as 500 million yen. If we follow the legal inheritance, half of the property would be divided between his future wife, Shio, and the other half would be divided among his five children. However, I do not know whether the secretary at the religious affairs headquarters, who would be managing Ryuho’s assets, would readily give out the information, and I would not be surprised in the least if there is a legal battle between the relatives.
As for my eldest daughter and second son, I sent them a line saying, “What are you going to do now that Ryuho is dead? but I have not received any reply at this point. As for my third son, who is believed to be in exile in Korea, and my second daughter, who has left the church, I do not even have their contact information. But as for me, I intend to make my claim and receive all that I can get,” said Hirohiro.

As well as the inheritance dispute, who will be the new head of the cult is also attracting attention. Yoshiro Fujikura, a journalist familiar with the “Happy Science” organization, offers this view of the situation within the organization.

It is said that the number of believers was about 30,000 at its peak in the ’00s, so it is assumed that the current number is less than that. According to stories leaked from active believers about the current situation, the direction within the Order seems to be ‘believe in and pray for the President’s resurrection. For this reason, those who have visited the Shoshinkan, the Order’s large-scale facilities located throughout Japan, since Ryuho’s death say they have not sensed an atmosphere of sadness. As for how Mr. Ryuho will be resurrected, that is not known at this time.”

Who can give a spiritual speech?

The selection of a successor is expected to proceed mainly with Shio, his future wife and assistant to the president, and his eldest daughter, Sayaka. Why have no other children been mentioned as candidates for succession? Mr. Hirohiro reveals the history of the Okawa family and the Order.

First of all, my mother, Kyoko, divorced about 10 years ago and left the cult. I think it was around the time of my junior high school entrance exams that my parents began to fall out. Both Ryuho and Kyoko graduated from the University of Tokyo, so they thought that I, their son, was a ‘one in a thousand genius. However, I was not good enough and failed the junior high school entrance examination. I remember that we had a lot of arguments, and that is how we ended up divorcing.

After the divorce, Mr. Ryuho soon remarried Shio, who had been his secretary.

The mission was originally for Ryuho by Ryuho and for Ryuho by Ryuho, and this became even more pronounced with the departure of Kyoko, who had been in charge of the practical side of things. Perhaps because I was no longer comfortable with her meddling in the management of the Order, I was removed from my key position in ’17. And when the eldest daughter, Sayaka, was appointed as the next successor after me, the second son, third son, and second daughter were also left one after another. Probably, this was to make the position of the eldest daughter more solid. Until then, younger brothers and sisters had been regarded as reincarnations of gods or great historical figures, but they were all downgraded to kappa or yokai, right?”

So, is the eldest daughter, Sakuyaka, the definitive successor?

On February 26, just before Mr. Ryuho’s death, it was reported that Sayaka had been transferred to the left from her position as vice-chairman of the board. In fact, Sakuyaka’s profile has been removed from the organization’s website. Originally, Sakuyaka was believed to be the reincarnation of ‘Amaterasu,’ but I have heard that a spiritual message from Ryuho has been announced that he was actually ‘Otafuku the Monster,'” said Fujikura.

Hirohiro predicts that there is a possibility of a split in the organization between Shio and Sayaka, the assistant to the president.

In my opinion, it is Sayaka who is more popular among the followers. After all, he is her own son, and she has been the next successor for a long time. Even though he has been transferred to the left, if Shio succeeds him, Sakuyaka will not remain silent. I think there is a good possibility that he will leave Shio and create a branch of his own.

In deciding on a successor, the “spiritual speech” is considered to be an important point. Mr. Hiroshi continues, “The ‘spiritual speech’ is the key to ‘happiness.

The “Reigensetsu” is the basis of “Happy Science. It is a religion that originally started from there. However, as far as I know, only two people, my third son and I, have been licensed by Ryuho to give ‘Reigyo’ talks. I was given the license around the time I was a senior in college. One day, in front of about 300 followers, Ryuho suddenly said, ‘Today, Hiroshi will give a spiritual discourse on Kukai. I had always interviewed Ryuho for his ‘spiritual speech,’ so I greeted him by saying, ‘This is Kukai,’ just as I had seen him do before. Then Ryuho said, “This is in. It’s done.
However, neither Shio nor Sakuyaka should have received a license for ‘Reigyo’. Without ‘Reigyo,’ ‘Happy Science’ would not be possible. Therefore, I believe that whichever of them will take over the cult, the followers will gradually leave.

In the future, who will lead the “11 million” followers: the future wife, the eldest daughter, or ……? The battle between the two is about to begin.

Mr. Hiroyo responds to an interview. He was raised by Ryuho as his “successor,” but his situation changed when he failed his junior high school entrance exam.
Ryuho Okawa and his wife Kyoko were married in 1988. Kyoko was also the leader of the Happiness Realization Party, but divorced and left the cult.
In the “15th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Order” magazine owned by Hirohiro, there are many images of Ryuho speaking to his followers in luxurious clothing.
A photo of Assistant to the President Shio Okawa on the Order’s website. He is from Tokushima, the same prefecture as Ryuho, and is known for his love of pandas.
The “Birthday Ceremony” held at Tokyo Dome in July 1991. He delivered an impassioned speech before an audience of about 50,000 believers.

From the March 24, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Takayuki Ogawauchi (Mr. Hiroshi)

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