Cornerstone: Chapter 12-4

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 presently incomplete.

Yoshinori Studies in Okayama and Tokyo

Genjiro calmly conveyed the teachings as Yoshinori sat in a humbled and respectful manner. Genjiro also explained Yoshinori’s causality. Genjiro told Yoshinori with a cheerful heart that he wanted him to devote himself in order to cut the negative causality of the Kashihara family.

Yoshinori’s legs felt heavy when he left for school the next day. Rev. Hayashi came to meet him halfway when he was on his way home from school.

This continued for about six months. Through this expression of sincerity, Yoshinori gained a sense of the warmth and beauty of the human heart. He promised never to leave again, no matter what.

Around this time, Yoshinori began studying harder and began showing improvement. He received the blessing of a complete recovery for his head injury that Genjiro had prayed for. As Yoshinori silently poured himself into his studies, he suddenly began to distinguish himself above his peers like a large mountain towering above the clouds.

Yoshinori also made his first pilgrimage home to Jiba around this time. The sunny expression on Genjiro’s face made a lasting impression on him.

In 1919, Yoshinori enrolled in Okayama’s Dairoku Higher Academy (predecessor of Okayama University), which was considered In July, when school started at that time, Genjiro wrote down the following six instructions. 

  1. Yoshinori, * 神庭に狐声を挙げ、神粟をmillet食み成人せし者なれば、do not forget about God’s blessings even for a moment.
  2. If getting an education is used to save others as intended by Oyasama at Tenrikyo’s founding, then do not be led astray by worldliness.
  3. Your father has not smoked for 20 years, if he continues this until your studies are over, thus helping cover the majority of your tuition, then do not turn your back on his aspirations for you.
  4. Do not lose followers’ confidence in you.
  5. Do not do anything to damage your grandfather’s reputation.
  6. Take care of your health. 

Genjiro sent several hundred letters to Yoshinori during his time in Okayama. They were an outpouring of words regarding faith. Each time he got a letter, Yoshinori was filled with the desire to admirably finish his studies, return to Myodo, and bring joy to Genjiro and Rev. Hayashi. The desire to try his luck in the world at large had completely disappeared from his third year at middle school.

At Dairoku, Yoshinori was on the boating team. The hard practice was agreeable to the physically energetic Yoshinori. During a break, he took out a letter from his father out his pocket and began reading it. He became moved at his father’s ardent and heartfelt dissemination of the teachings that revealed his love for him and tears came to his eyes.

His professor-coach was watching and asked him if he was worried about something. Yoshinori was at a loss at how to answer, so he silently handed the letter to his professor. After reading it, he movingly said: “Kashihara, you’re very fortunate. You have a wonderful father. If you go to university, you’ll probably read hundreds of books, but none of them will match the living truth written in that letter.”

Yoshinori went on to study at Tokyo Imperial University. He did read hundreds of books, but the more he sought knowledge, the more questions he had. None of them had said anything about how to go about saving people’s minds.

Around this time, Rev. Hayashi visited Tokyo for his last time. He gave a sermon at a follower’s home in Bancho. There were a few famous intellectuals in attendance. Yet no one could compete with the ease and dignified manner in which Rev. Hayashi spoke about the teaching of a thing lent, a thing borrowed.

For Yoshinori, who had studied philosophy and social science, it was nothing short of a miracle. Further, Rev. Hayashi, an ordinary man close to him, was doing this without the slightest sense of apprehension. Yoshinori remembered the words from his professor in Okayama were taken aback how much they rang true.