Cornerstone: Chapter 15-3

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.

Note: This translation is presently incomplete.

The Case of Eijiro Hayashi

Let us look at the case of #14, Eijiro Hayashi.

On April 2, 1951, Kashihara administers the Sazuke while he is on Main Sanctuary duty. Eijiro, the 14-year-old second son of Yonekichi Yoshida, a follower of Koga Grand Church, was carried on the back of his elder brother.

Eijiro hurt his left ankle in June the previous year. He was not able to stand, let alone walk, since then. Kashihara shared his insight to him regarding the way a young person ought to handle his mind. “In the past, people used the word “o-ashi1 to refer to cash. Unless you work so that the school expenses your parents paid do not go to waste, your leg cannot be cured. You must not go against what your parents tell you.” Kashihara then administered the Sazuke and shouted, “Stand!” Eijiro stood on his own power and walked three steps. In front of him were six or seven ill persons enrolled in Shuyoka, who were astonished at the miracle they witnessed before their eyes.

On the evening of the same day, Eijiro returned on foot with a staff from Koga Dormitory to express his thanks. According to a letter written by his father, he prayed at Iwane Branch Church for six months but did not receive a blessing. Thus, he had Eijiro go to Church Headquarters to worship.

Eijiro Hayashi then went on to graduate from the Special Course of Tenri Seminary. He left on a missionary expedition to Osaka in 1961 and established a fellowship.

Eijiro Hayashi was born the second son of four boys to Yonekichi and Tami Hayashi. His home was located in Iwane, Kosei-cho, Koga County, Shiga Prefecture. The Hayashis ran a sundry store.

Eijiro enrolled in middle school in 1950. He was strong physically and loved playing sports. In June, he sprained his left ankle. His ankle not only grew worse but the injury also began to affect his right leg and he no long was able to walk.

This began a long battle with his physical condition. In the end, Dr. Taniguchi, the director of the pediatric department at Kyoto University, declared that Eijiro’s legs had to be amputated.

At the time, only Yonekichi had heard the Tenrikyo teachings. Yet through God’s tending, it finally came time for the family to make a desperate decision between following the doctor or following God.

At the time, Head Minister Sadajiro Tokuji and Yasunobu Takahata (the next head minister) of Iwane Branch Church came regularly to the Hayashi home to administer the Sazuke. The ministers came to the conclusion that there was no way but to carry Eijiro on a pilgrimage home to Jiba and rely on God the Parent and Oyasama. The family readily agreed. It was late March.

Out of Takahata’s busy schedule, April 2 was open.

However, it rained on the 1st and heavy rain was forecast on the 2nd, causing the family to waver. They wondered aloud if they ought to go when the weather was better. That evening, Takahata perceived that there would be no blessings if they were to change the day they resolved to go as it suited them and declared they would depart on schedule.

It rained heavily on the 2nd. Takahata carried Eijiro on his back and boarded a train that left Mikumo Station at 7:30 a.m. They reached Jiba at around 10:30 a.m. They went immediately to the Main Sanctuary. When they were coming down the steps in front of the South Worship Hall, a young Shuyoka student tapped on Takahata’s shoulder. She pointed at Eijiro and said: “This person here has an ailment of the feet. Fortunately, from 1:00 this afternoon, Rev. Kashihara will be administering the Sazuke in the Main Sanctuary. Why don’t you request for an administration of the Sazuke?”

Takahata felt as if she was God’s messenger. He and the other people accompanying him then said: “We couldn’t be more fortunate. If this is the case, let’s donate all the money we have, even what we were going to use to get back.” Takahata sat in front of the Kanrodai and laid out a white handkerchief to wrap the money in. After making this offering, their hearts leapt as they lined up behind about 60 people.

Before long, Genjiro appeared. He sat down, took a look around, and pointed at Eijiro.

“You, come here!”

Genjiro then gave a talk as described in Kiseki daicho and administered the Sazuke. When he was through, he shouted “Stand!” When Eijiro got up and was able to stand.

“You can walk. Walk!”

Eijiro walked as if he were swimming. He walked with all his might with his legs that were now thinner than his arms. At first he moved ahead like a toddler, slightly floating while clinging to whatever he could grab at his sides. He went out the Main Sanctuary to the eastern corridor. The soles of his feet had gotten soft after not walking for so long. A blister made him cry out in pain.

After he returned home, Eijiro he walked two kilometers each day to Iwane Branch Church. In a month, he had completely recovered.

The faith of the Hayashi family grew a result. Then, as his father Yonekichi had resolved on April 2, Eijiro devoted himself exclusively to the path and went to engage in missionary work in Osaka as a way of expressing his indebtedness. He established a fellowship in Nishikujo, Konohana Ward and committed himself to missionary work with his wife Utako (the second daughter of Head Minister Kazue Fumioka of Komiya Branch Church, a subsidiary church of Tono). Eijiro always remained mindful of the blessing he received and continued to spread the fragrance on foot in most instances.

Translator’s note

  1. Literally, “legs.”