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.
Lifelong Core Beliefs
Prior to the 30th Anniversary of Oyasama, Genjiro’s heart was filled with certainty, yet Myodo’s subsidiary churches were not necessarily experiencing an upswing in enthusiasm. Followers had faith because they were grateful for having been saved but the number of people who were spiritually mature enough to take it upon themselves to express their gratitude to God in action remained very few.
This was quite evident when it came to how much donations for the construction of the Main Sanctuary were coming in. Genjiro keenly felt he was personally responsible as Myodo’s head minister. He then regretted that he had not yet sufficiently built a foundation to lead people ahead.
Then, the following verses from the Mikagura-uta came to him:
You are calling this place the Jiba, the home of God, in Yamato;
But you do not know of its origin.
If you are told of this origin in full,
Great yearning will come over you, whoever you may be.
God’s intention, the importance of Jiba, and consequently the significance of the Main Sanctuary construction were not things that he could easily persuade people of just by describing once or twice. God says, “If you are told of this origin in full.” Once or twice was not enough. He had to talk about it “in full.” The rest of the song teaches that when this is done, God will come out into the open and work, making the people of the world will become spirited.
Above all, Genjiro then began to lean toward conveying God’s teachings until everyone could be persuaded of them.
The number of sermons Genjiro gave during this time was as follows:
- 1910: 682
- 1911: 674
- 1912: 768
- 1913: 701
- 1914: 537 (The Main Sanctuary was completed on April 24 this year.)
Genjiro poured his efforts by giving sermons on his mission tours. Yet Myodo fell quite short of fulfilling its resolution during the first round of collection. Genjiro received a strict instruction from Muya: “They may say, ‘The work will be finished after the blacksmith eats his supper,’ but this is not the season to be satisfied when things are finished but be willing to wait a little bit if it’s not. This is not a shortage of money. This is a shortage of willingness to express one’s gratitude to God. Pull yourself together!”
Genjiro deepened his resolve even further and staked his life on his mission tours. As a result, a couple was saved from leprosy at Yutaka Propagation Office in Kyushu. The husband donated 2,000 yen of his own money, which was Myodo’s biggest donation during the 30th Anniversary of Oyasama.
The next highest single donation, 1,000 yen, came from the Nakata family, who served as head minister of Inotsu Propagation Office. The majority of donations were mostly 1 yen, 2 yen, 5 yen, and 10 yen contributions. Very few individual donations came in 100 yen-units, but because there were so many of these small donations, Myodo did well enough that Genjiro had no regrets regarding what had been accomplished.
Genjiro learned several things leading up to the 30th Anniversary of Oyasama:
- One can be saved from certain death by expressing one’s gratitude to God during a construction.
- God will surely work if the head minister, as the pioneer and “core” of the church, resolutely stakes his life on something.
- Contributions are born from instances of salvation.
- That it accords with God’s intention to gather the sincerity of many poor people rather than the sincerity of a few rich people.
- Based on the growth of subsidiary churches after they made their contributions, those that resolved to contribute so much after great difficulty are the ones whose congregations increased the most.
While Genjiro learned much more, the final point listed above was where he had witnessed the most wondrous of God’s workings. It would remain as one of Genjiro’s lifelong core beliefs.
- Next installment in this series: “By Any Means”