Cornerstone: Chapter 9-3

The following is a translation of an excerpt from Ishizue: Kashihara Genjiro no shinko to shogai (Cornerstone: The Faith and Life of Genjiro Kashihara) by Teruo Nishiyama. Note: This translation is a provisional one and may need to undergo further revision.

Saving a Woman from Paralysis

Genjiro saw many examples of people succumbing to paralysis after they had drowned themselves in liquor and sexual desire. On one of his mission tours, a 50-year-old woman suffering from paralysis asked him to save her from an intense pain that racked the left side of her body.

Genjiro went to her home and the woman insisted that she shouldn’t have to suffer from paralysis, saying: “When I first married my husband, his family only owned 0.165 hectares (0.4 acres) of rice fields. But I endured and worked as hard as I could. Today, we own almost 3 hectares (7.352 acres) and have built a warehouse. We’re one of the richest farmers in the village. Until this time, I haven’t had a single enjoyable memory. I worked earnestly all this time. I can’t accept that I have to become paralyzed.”

“I see. Your 30 years of hard work led to heaven providing for you in becoming a good family owning 3 hectares of rice fields. Your years of service conform to the truth of heaven. This is not the cause your disease.”

“Then what is the cause?”

“The condition of the left side of your body is serious. I have been taught that an ill condition of a woman’s left side of the body stems from the dust of mind she has toward her superiors. The first thing that comes to mind is that your illness is a result from not fulfilling your duty towards your husband.”

Then, the woman’s husband, who was at her bedside, appeared as if Genjiro had read his mind. “What you say is absolutely correct. My wife has had me sleep on the second floor for the last ten years. She doesn’t let me sleep downstairs or lets me near her. I’m 61 now, so it doesn’t inconvenience me now, but I had a really hard time when I was 57 or so.”

The woman snapped back: “Well, what happened is your fault.”

Genjiro looked back and forth at them. He asked the woman, “Why do you say that?”

“It happened ten years ago. When he harvested the rice, he hired a girl day-laborer and had sexual relationship with her. I became angry and decided not to have my filthy husband come near me anymore.”

Genjiro said: “Wait a moment. Did your husband continue to have relations with this girl ten years until now?”

“No, the girl went home after a month. I can’t bear the memory of her.”

“Granted, it was wrong for your husband to have a sexual relationship for a month. But ma’am, wasn’t it absolutely harsh for you to make your husband suffer ten years for something he did for a month? It’s such willfulness that amounts to dust. I perceive that such a use of the mind has led to you become paralyzed. You must thoroughly repent!”

“I see. Now that you say it that way, I was being too willful. I apologize to my husband. Please forgive me.”

The woman replaced her mind and was saved. Genjiro also saw many examples of mistakes stemming from sexual desire and alcohol that led to psychological disorders.

There was a reason Genjiro did not walk near red-light districts. He believed that those who held respectable jobs inevitably woke early and those who worked shameful occupations more or less slept in. A red-light district was representative of such a lifestyle and was the source of all kinds of dust. He avoided even taking a step inside such places could bring harm.

There is a saying that goes, “A wise man keeps away from danger.” One time, Genjiro denied that he was a “sage in a village,” saying: “When Headquarters Executive Official Tsuchisaburo Itakura was younger, he went to Koriyama to engage in missionary work in support of Rev. Narazo Hirano. He lived for three years in a house where a prostitute lived, and he didn’t make any wrong moves. Now that’s what I call admirable. I can’t even begin to emulate anything like that. So, it’s best that someone like me never goes near a red-light district.”

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