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.
Seventeen Paraplegics Stand
Genjiro would causally speak to worshipers and administer the Sazuke not only when he was on counseling duty but also when he was on duty at the Main Sanctuary or Foundress’ Sanctuary. Miracles would occur occasionally, as revealed in the Kiseki daicho. Let us look at some entries until 1953.
Date Place Name Miracle
- 6/25/1947 Foundress’ Sanctuary Koji Yoshida stands
- 8/5/1947 Foundress’ Sanctuary Mitsuo Sato stands
- 12/24/1947 Foundress’ Sanctuary Nobuyoshi Nishioka stands
- 12/24/1947 Foundress’ Sanctuary Isao Yasui stands
- 4/1/1948 Foundress’ Sanctuary Isamu Hirakuri stands
- 4/17/1948 Main Sanctuary Kokichi Funato stands
- 4/20/1948 Main Sanctuary Yasu Terajima stands
- 4/28/1948 Foundress’ Sanctuary Koji Hara stands
- 5/18/1948 Main Sanctuary Yonekichi Yoshida stands
- 9/26/1948 Main Sanctuary Shikako Masuda stands (arthronosos)
- 11/27/1948 Foundress’ Sanctuary Shigeyoshi Seike stands
- 7/28/1949 Besseki Hall Tsugi Kaneko stands
- 12/10/1950 Main Sanctuary Gonpachi Nishimoto stands
- 4/2/1951 Main Sanctuary Eijiro Hayashi stands
- 10/24/1952 Foundress’ Sanctuary Kozo Murata stands (polio)
- 2/25/1953 Main Sanctuary Tomio Motoyama stands (polio)
- 8/19/1953 Main Sanctuary Masaaki Yonemaru stands
Entries for each of these miracles are accompanied by a description in Kiseki daicho. For instance, the log for #1, Koji Yoshida, reads as follows:
On June 25, 1947, in the Hall of the Foundress’ Sanctuary, seeing that a man being led by a woman had difficulty walking in both legs, Headquarters Executive Official Kashihara, who was on duty, asked what his illness was and guided him to the Foundress’ Hall to administer the Sazuke.
The man needed help to sit and stand the last three years due to a syphilis infection affecting the sciatic nerve. Once standing, the man could move forward in small steps. So he came to attend his first Besseki lecture. His household comprised of his aged mother and aunt, who belonged to the working class.
Kashihara explained the teaching of a thing lent, a thing borrowed to the man as well as the teaching that the origin of illness lies in the mind. He shared the insight that becoming sidetracked by sexual desire led to syphilis and that it was also a manifestation of being unfilial to one’s parents. When Kashihara asked the man how he got by without working the last three years, the man answered that his aged mother worked to provide for him.
Kashihara then asked the man how much education he had. He answered that he finished three years of middle school. Kashihara then tells him, “If you have finished three years of middle school, you must know the maxim ‘The raven expresses its indebtedness to its parents and the dove sits three branches below its parents.’ Even ravens and doves are filial to their parents. You are a human being, the apex of creation and yet you have been unable to work for three years because you contracted syphilis. You are in the prime of your life but you have allowed your aged mother to provide for your household. This is a serious violation of your filial duty and is making your illness even more serious.” The man then mentions that the doctor told him five days earlier that he would not recover.
Kashihara explained that in Song Three, verse eight, “There is nothing so trying as illness; So from now on I, too, will devote myself…” one makes the motions for wrapping a towel around one’s head. This symbolizes making a firm resolve to forget greed and devote oneself exclusively to the path. Kashihara then administered the Sazuke to the man’s lower back and legs. He then shouted in a loud voice, “Stand!” The man stood up on his own using his hands and walked nine meters (about ten yards) toward Oyasama’s altar and sat down on his own. After praying to Oyasama in tears he stood up and walked back to the Foundress’ Hall. There were about 30 people there.
Kashihara then asked for the man’s church affiliation, name, and age. He replied he was Koji Yoshida, age 37, of Yodo Branch Church.
The man was led again by his wife home. The man has since returned every month thereafter to attend nine Besseki lectures and has received the Sazuke. He is now making great efforts for his church.
The log for #4, Isao Yasui, goes as follows:
At 4 p.m. on December 24, 1947, a woman named Yasui, a follower of Hino Grand Church, came with her eldest son Isao, five years old. The boy contracted an illness that affected the joints six months ago. Unable to walk, he crawled on all fours with his mother to the Foundress’ Sanctuary. She made a request for the Sazuke to be administered by Headquarters Executive Official Kashihara, who was on duty that day.
Ms. Yasui explained that her husband passed away the previous year and that she lived in abject poverty with her aged mother-in-law and brother-in-law. Her mother-in-law and relatives have encouraged her to remarry her brother-in-law. While her brother-in-law agreed, she could not submit to their wishes. Kashihara then explained that there was no harm in it, as there were many examples of women remarrying their brother-in-law. He told her it was not good for her to refuse to submit to their wishes because she felt her brother-in-law was a person of inferior character compared to her husband. Kashihara advised her to ponder her causality of being unable to live in happy union with her late husband she so deeply respected. He told her to joyously accept her situation and immediately resolve to respect her mother-in-law’s wishes to remarry her brother-in-law. The widow then agreed.
Kashihara administered the Sazuke to the five-year-old boy Isao and immediately had him stand on his feet. There were about five or six people there. The widow brought her son, who was able to walk on his own, to worship again the next morning.
In Kiseki daicho, there is a record of a miracle witnessed by Tokujiro Yanai (the first head minister of Chuo Grand Church), who was appointed to the Church Headquarters Altar Sermons and Counseling Section after Genjiro. To give an example:
On January 30, 1948, at the North Worship Hall sermon office, Headquarters Senior Official Yanai administered the Sazuke on a Mr. Tsutsui, 31 years old, belonging to Gimi Grand Church. The man suffered from a stomach ulcer, kidney disease, and anal fistula for seven years. He resolved to quit his business and donate his assets of 180,000 yen to Gimi Grand Church. The next day, he received the miraculous blessings of a recovery. He enrolled in the class B seminar** in February and has exclusively devoted himself to serving the path.
This “Mr. Keiichi Tsutsui, 31 years old” refers to none other than Keiichi Tsutsui, the founder of Etsumi Branch Church. The account above describes his day of origin of the faith.
Tsutsui ran his business after graduating from Shoka University in Tokyo. After suffering through the war, he began another business in Gujo Hachiman in the remote mountainside of Gifu Prefecture. Yet his business failed after someone cheated him and his child was struck and killed by a car. He then was burdened by many illnesses and was about to commit suicide before someone spread the fragrance to him.
Tsutsui then spread the fragrance to Koji Hara (#8) that April. He carried Mr. Hara, weighing 67.5 kilograms (148.8 lbs.) to Jiba himself. Mr. Hara contracted myelitis three years ago and had not been able to walk since then. After Genjiro administered the Sazuke in the Foundress’ Sanctuary, Mr. Hara was able to walk on his own and was able to commute to Shuyoka for three months on foot.
After exclusively devoting himself to the path, Tsutsui began a daring missionary effort in the Buddhist stronghold of Hachiman-cho. He refused to budge like a tick on a dog and was blessed with a church on January 1951.
When William Woodard’s International Institute for the Study of Religions held a seminar in the Hakone area, there was a discussion about proselytization in the modern age. A Buddhist monk attending from Hachiman-cho declared with admiration that Tsutsui’s missionary efforts were superhuman.
- Next installment in this series: The Case of Eijiro Hayashi