The following is a translation of an excerpt from the writings of Eitaro Imamura (1894–1969), who held several positions throughout his career as a Honbu-jun’in (senior official of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters), such as superintendent of Aomori, Akita, Iwate, and Wakayama dioceses, president of Doyusha, head of Publications Approval Office, and first head minister of Jibun Branch Church.
67. The Honseki’s Red Clothes
When Oyasama was still physically present, She once turned to Izo and said,
“When you deliver the Divine Directions, make sure to wear this.”
and gave him a set of Her red clothes.
There are a few Osashizu (Divine Directions) that mention in the subheadings that the Honseki was wearing red clothes while they were being delivered. One example is that of May 9, 1898. It can be assumed that he was wearing the same set of red clothes that Oyasama had given him.
When I was young, I heard from Yoshie Nagao the following about the Honseki’s red clothes:
* * *
“I once had a mysterious fever that would not subside. I tried repenting on a number of my shortcomings and tried other things but nothing happened. I believe the fever lasted about a week.
“One day I reflected on the possible cause of the fever. Then it suddenly dawned on me. I immediately hurried to Father’s room and took the red clothes from the dresser and placed it in a different drawer. I had placed the red clothes in the same drawer with Father’s everyday clothes. I realized my mistake and when I put the red clothes back where they should have been, lo and behold, my fever was gone. It disappeared as if I had no fever at all.”
* * *
The strict truth revealed in this story chilled me to the bone.
In the Osashizu (Divine Directions), there is a passage that says the following about the truth of the Honseki:
When I enter the body of the Seki, he is God. When I have not entered him, he is human.
Osashizu, April 12, 1907
Therefore, there is a clear distinction between the truth of Oyasama and that of the Honseki. Not only does the above story about the Honseki’s red clothes remind me of this distinction, I cannot help but be awestruck at the unyielding constancy of the Truth of Heaven.
(From Ojiba konjaku banashi by Eitaro Imamura pp. 73–74, 76–78)
- Next installment in this series: 68. Stone Steps to the Cemetery
*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.
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