31. “Thank You for Your Efforts”
The Honseki visited various churches throughout Japan. During these times, he talked with everyone in an informal manner. Because he was so easy-going with people he met for the first time, there were those who could not believe he was indeed God’s representative.
At one particular Grand Service when he was on his way to Oyasama’s gravesite, thousands of followers had sat and bowed along the road to give their respects as he passed by. The Honseki responded by taking off his hat and bowing his head over and over, saying, “Thank you for your efforts, everyone.”
A government official, who presumed the Honseki had to be stuck up as a result of leading Tenrikyo, watched this from the crowd and was impressed, saying: “I see, the representative of God who leads several thousands of followers is indeed different from others. Usually I don’t have much of an opinion about the average person, but I admire the Honseki’s actions at the time. At first I couldn’t see that he had a topknot since he was wearing a derby hat. I must say I was deeply impressed of the old man’s great virtue. I must say that a few of the people who were accompanying him were the ones that acted in a stuck up manner.”
(From Shinpan Izo Iburi den, p. 133)
- Next installment in this series: 32. The Honseki’s Topknot
*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.