About the Yoko Civilization Research Institute (YCRI)

Principles and Objectives

The development of science and technology has brought enormous material prosperity to human life. However, it is clear to everyone today that humankind is facing unprecedented crises, including environmental destruction, the population explosion, economic disparity, desolation of the spirit and morals, and more.

Kotama Okada (founder of Sukyo Mahikari, a religious organization) predicted that such crises were bound to come if modern civilization continued its disproportionate emphasis on material prosperity to the detriment or even exclusion of spiritual values. In 1959, he established the L.H. Yokoshi no Tomo Association (the meaning refers to an association of bright, positive people) for the purpose of creating a new civilization – basically, a new way of living - in which everybody enjoys true happiness based on a high level of understanding of spirituality. He was an early proponent that humankind must change its way of life from “a material-centered way, which pursues material wealth by exploiting nature,” to “a spiritually oriented way.” He promoted a vision of realizing eternal peace by promoting a new civilization that is harmonious, integrative, and holistic, and overcomes conflicts and disintegration. He emphasized that such a civilization is only possible when humankind establishes and lives up to “the principle of the cross.” This is a principle that harmonizes the spiritual aspect and the material aspect as they are two sides of the same reality and are meant to function together as one. In order to accomplish this vision, he called for the formation of a forum that consolidates and expands the principle of the cross. This forum was called “the forum of the cross.”

The Yoko Civilization Research Institute (YCRI) was established in 1985 by Keishu Okada (the first president of the Institute) to serve as the forum of the cross. In order to find solutions to today’s problems, it is necessary that leaders in different fields, regardless of their race, nationality, religion, and ideology, come together to the forum of the cross and share their acquired wisdom. Conducting studies with its own research teams, and organizing international conferences and symposia, the YCRI pursues the role of the forum of the cross and works toward the establishment of a new civilization – that is, a new way of living - that will bring about eternal peace for humankind.

*Yoko civilization: yo = yang, sun, positive, bright; ko = light. The yoko civilization is another way of referring to the spirit-centered civilization advocated by Kotama Okada, the founder of the Mahikari organization.

Areas of Research

The Yoko Civilization Research Institute strives to determine and study the causes of the problems society faces today and carries out research on how to translate the principle of the cross into concrete actions and proposals to rectify the problems.

  1. As modern materially oriented science has prevailed, humankind has forgotten the spirituality within them. The YCRI seeks to understand what the true nature of being human means. The Institute conducts research into the areas of brain and mind, material and mind, and parapsychology, and also brings a new viewpoint of spirituality into the field of life sciences.
  2. The Institute explores the coexistence of humankind and nature by seeking approaches to science and technology that work harmoniously with natural systems. Preserving the global environment and establishing sustainable industrial systems are some of the major topics of this effort.
  3. The existing theories about history that we read today are only part of the deep history of human beings. What is missing is the common foundation that all human beings share. That this common foundation is still veiled in mystery has created conflicts among people. The YCRI studies ancient history in order to seek out the true history of humankind. The Institute reviews existing theories about the origin and evolution of humankind and evaluates them based on the latest findings of academic research about the universe and the earth.
  4. Religions, which came into existence to help people live together harmoniously and to bring peace to people’s minds, have often become the causes of wars and conflicts. The Institute explores values that can be shared by everyone. The Institute strives to find universal values by studying and comparing teachings, principles, and practices of the world’s religions.
  5. The Institute seeks out issues and topics necessary to achieve its objectives and seeks answers. Furthermore, it integrates all the types of studies listed toward the ultimate goal of eternal peace for all humankind.



The Yoko Civilization Research Institute conducts research by its own research teams and also coordinates international conferences, symposia, workshops, and seminars where academics and specialists from all over the world exchange their latest study results and analytic frameworks. The results of these meetings are published as reports, proceedings, and books.


The Yoko Civilization Research Institute operates as an affiliated organization of the Sukyo Mahikari organization. It has its own independent rules and regulations. The administrative board operates under the president Kōō Okada and decides the policy and direction of the Institute’s activities. The Institute also receives advice from the board of trustees. The Institute is administered by the director, assistant directors, some staff members, and volunteers. Based on projects to be accomplished, necessary task forces are organized.

The Yoko Civilization Research Institute does not interfere with one’s religion or faith. Anyone who shares the vision of the Institute can join its activities.

Contact Information:

Yoko Civilization Research Institute
Dorumi No.2 Bldg. 401,
1-57-4, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku,
Tokyo 151-0053, Japan
Tel (03)3374-2772, Fax(03)3374-2822

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