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.
Genjiro’s Resolution Leading to the 70th Anniversary of Oyasama
The “three years, one thousand days” period leading to the 70th Anniversary began in 1953. Myodo had completed its sanctuary construction in December the previous year, but since it was a crash job, payments still needed to be made. There was a general feeling that Myodo would begin dedicating itself to activities in Jiba once the shortfall was taken care of.
When Genjiro heard this, he summoned Matsuemon Suzuki, the treasurer at Myodo. He told him: “I’m sure there’s a shortfall from the sanctuary construction to take care of, but I don’t care how much it is. It will be fine to carry it until the 70th Anniversary is over. You must not use one cent of donations from our subsidiary churches leading to the 70th Anniversary to make up for the construction shortfall. If we can’t do this, the completed sanctuary will burn down. Don’t let the sanctuary burn down. I’m warning you because we can’t afford to make any mistakes in dedicating and expressing our sincerity.”
To have a building burn down symbolizes the loss of God’s protection. Although people tend to take the easy way out, doing so loses sight of the eternal path.
Myodo’s course of action for the 70th Anniversary was clearly decided. Still the general feeling that pervaded was a resignation that Myodo might not be able to fulfill whatever amount that was resolved for the anniversary since it was immediately after the sanctuary construction.
Genjiro personally made a resolution to donate one million yen when the anniversary season was announced. Genjiro made these resolutions without giving any consideration to what his circumstances were and would plainly reveal the amount he resolved to others. If one were to investigate how he dedicated himself to accomplish this goal, one could turn to his notes that he titled “God the Parent’s Breast Milk” (possibly his way of referring to the commission he received). Here is an excerpt:
- July 27: 2,600 yen
- July 29: 3,900
- August 2: 5,405
- Total: 11,905
- Donated: 10,000
- Remainder: 1,905
- August 4: 1,400
- August 6: 1,720
- August 10: 2,000
- Total: 7,025
- Donated: 7,000
- Remaining: 25
One imagines that Genjiro enjoyed how he steadily and diligently dedicated himself without considering the size of his donations even for a moment. ** 一時の大を思わず While he accumulated his donations in this way, in late May 1954, a thief broke into the head minister’s residence at Myodo Dormitory.
The thief made away with Genjiro’s boston bag that he took on his mission tours, a wristwatch, as well as a pair of shoes, suit jacket, and white collared shirt Yoshiro had bought for him in the U.S.
For several days, Genjiro quietly sat straight in front of his desk and thought about the matter. On June 1, he went to worship and made a pledge that after he was done with donating a million yen, he would make another hinokishin donation of the same amount. Although it took Genjiro some time before he came to any decision, his approach was to completely follow through on whatever he resolved to do.
On July 1, Genjiro was a lecturer for a seminar course at Church Headquarters that was attended by 600 people. Toward the end of the lecture, Genjiro suffered an intracranial hemorrhage and lost the ability to talk. He made it back to the waiting room with great difficulty and recovered after resting for an hour.
What Genjiro thought at this time was that he was someone who ought to have passed away for rebirth on July 1. He felt that he received God’s protection because when God utilized a thief in late May to inform him of the divine intention, he made a resolution to dig deeper into his personal causality and vigilantly advance further on the path to spiritual maturity.
When the young Yoshiro faced the same knot, even while he saw and heard about Genjiro’s demeanor, he took it lightly, thinking to himself: “Ah, a stroke of bad luck. It can’t be helped.”
Yoshiro’s physical condition became critical three months later.
- Next installment in this series: A Rock-Like Conviction