8. Worship at Horyuji Temple
From his days as a carpenter in Ichinomoto, Izo attended the annual memorial service devoted to Shotoku Taishi on February 22 at Horyuji Temple. It was a custom for the carpenters in the Kinki area where Izo lived to attend as they considered Shotoku Taishi to be the founder of Japanese carpentry. When a pressing business kept him from going to the temple that day, he made it a point to worship the following day.
Even when making an offering, Izo was different from the average person. Most people would check their wallet to see how much they had before deciding how big a donation they would give. But Izo would never stoop to such behavior. He would instead make an offering with whatever he happened to find first in his wallet. If one thinks about it, the act of checking the contents stirs up the mind of greed. Therefore, it cannot be considered an act of merit.
But there were times when Izo had no nice-looking clothes to wear, and he was ridiculed that it was because he had begun to believe in Tenrikyo. Later, after he became the Honseki, Izo would come to Horyuji on a rickshaw and pay his respects at the Five Story Pagoda and the Main Hall together with a large entourage.
(Adapted from Shinpan Izo Iburi den by Ueda Eizo, p. 135 and Ten no jogi, ed. by Tenrikyo Doyusha, p. 148)
- Next installment in this series: 9. The Hesitant Blacksmith
*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.