Cornerstone: Chapter 18-2

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.

Another Trip around the World

Another general election took place during Myodo’s sanctuary construction. Yoshinori lost his seat, which brought his seven-year political career to an end.

What is government? When Yoshinori looked back on his time at the Diet, he felt empty inside. Government amounted nothing but making decisions about where to get money (taxes), where to spend it (plundering the budget and allocating tax revenues to local governments), as well as determining which post goes to whom (factions and personnel affairs). It could be called a world where people’s lust for power and competing interests swirled about in constant motion.

Once living in this world, Yoshinori was startled when he returned to church and discovered that he could no longer speak about single-heartedness with God as he did before.

Fortunately, Japan’s reconstruction was underway. She had made the miraculous first steps toward recovery. It was sufficient that it was a material recovery for the time being. The task of accomplishing the spiritual recovery remained. Yoshinori perceived that the season was ripe for him to end his political life and return as a man of faith.

Yoshinori rejoiced in his heart when Myodo’s magnificent sanctuary was complete. Yet he still felt some sense of disappointment, and this must have been outwardly visible as he had to put up with hearing consolatory messages about his election loss from every person he met.

When Rev. and Mrs. Teruo Mikuni came from Hawaii to attend the dedication ceremony, they saw how Yoshinori had to go through this. They encouraged him to come to Hawaii. Since Teruo worked for the U.S. government, he was able to obtain a visa for Yoshinori. Within a week, he had finished his travel preparations and departed Kobe on a passenger boat named President Wilson.

Yoshinori then left Hawaii for the United States. He met Yoshiro in Chicago. Yoshiro was finishing up his studies and they decided to tour Europe before returning home.

In New York, they boarded the SS Liberte for London. It was considered the 4th most luxurious ship in the world. The British capital was filled with tourists on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

The pair then went to France and spent three weeks in Paris. They went to Belgium and the Netherlands, the latter being the country where Spinoza, the subject of Yoshiro’s research, was from. The beer in Germany was delicious. They met Yale alumni wherever they went, revealing the fruits of Yoshiro’s study abroad.

From West Berlin they went to East Berlin, where Yoshiro sent a letter about his travels in East Germany to the Tenri Jiho newspaper. They also visited Heidelberg, a city renown as a philosophic center, where they met with eminent scholar Dr. Karl Löwith.

From Switzerland they headed to Italy. At the Pope’s mountain retreat eat of Rome, they listened to Pope Pius XII giving sermons in English, German, French, and Italian. Pope Pius XII asked questions from the pulpit and used them to begin his sermons. Yoshinori and Yoshiro were deeply amazed at the Pope’s command of languages.

The pair rode a Japanese mailboat from Marseille named the Kuritamaru. After they stood on the banks of the Nile in Cairo and basked in its unending history, their journey home took them through Aden, Pulau Pinang, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Manila before arriving in Kobe.

Yoshinori’s motive to encourage Yoshiro to study in the U.S. was to compensate for his bitter experiences and failures when he engaged in overseas missionary work. Yoshinori walked in many places in the U.S. but could not deliver sermons in English. Any genuine missionary effort was impossible at this rate, and he had Yoshiro master English.

What the first generation could not accomplish would be done by second-generation members. What the second generation found impossible would then be achieved by third-generation members. This is how the path progresses over endless generations.

This was how Yoshinori made his opening move in a game he sought to stretch across three generations. This took place during the activities leading to the 70th Anniversary of Oyasama.