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.
A Rock-Like Conviction
When construction began on the Oyasato-yakata, Yoshiro participated as the personnel director for the Young Men’s Association Hinokishin Corps. On the day of Myodo’s July monthly service, he returned home in great pain. After being examined, he learned he was suffering from kidney inflammation.
Yoshiro then underwent a strict diet. Yet after two months, his condition was identified as nephrosis. He underwent a complete reverse therapy. He was already malnourished, and gained weight due to fluid retention in his stomach, intestines, and lungs. His weight swelled from 56.25 kg (124 lbs.) to 93.75 kg (206.7 lbs.). He suffered from intense pain.
Yoshinori thought over his successor’s physical condition. Yoshiro’s body could not absorb nutrients from food, which God bestows us. Because Yoshiro could not urinate, his body became swollen. Pondering this physical condition, Yoshinori perceived that Myodo was really not receiving the truth of the 70th Anniversary. He made up his mind for Myodo to come together as one and reach the full donation amount that had been resolved for the anniversary.
However, Yoshiro’s condition continued to worsen to the point kidney tissue began appearing in his urine. His illness reached the last stage.
Nothing tormented Yoshinori more as a father. Whereas grandfather Tomokichi passed away at a young age, he nevertheless was able to leave behind in a short time 20 years’ worth of efforts. This was not so in Yoshiro’s case. There was no way he could not let him pass away for rebirth right now. Not now.
So determined, Yoshinori went to tell Genjiro that from a medical standpoint, Yoshiro’s physical condition was hopeless. Genjiro leaned on his desk as he wrote. His anguish was visible on his face as he listened. He then thought over it for several moments.
“There’s nothing more painful than the prospect of living to 80 and having my grandson pass away before I do. I also earnestly prayed to Oyasama to cut short my term of life to save Yoshiro. However, I can’t make such an unreasonable request, as I’m someone who has been saved from certain death many times over.
“So I thought it over again.
“Yoshiro is still a young man. I have attained the highest rank as a headquarters executive officer. The merit I accumulate in this capacity is great. I can’t allow myself to get caught over Yoshiro’s physical condition. I will serve my last days as a headquarters executive officer. I realized that this is the path that would lead to Yoshiro receiving God’s protection.”
He continued: “Yoshinori, if we were to say an illness or causality is three inches deep, it is not enough to accumulate two inches of merit. I am thinking of accumulating merit that exceeds this illness and exceeds this causality.
“Yoshinori, don’t worry. Yoshiro will surely be saved. Now, you must show your concern for Yoshiro as well.
“I have repented several dozens of times and made donations on several dozens of occasions to make you into what you are today. Yoshiro will genuinely become God’s Yoboku through this.
“Your ambition for him to study English in the U.S. and philosophy in Germany just amounts to decoration. The first condition for someone to be God’s Yoboku is to internalize the insight that the human body is a thing lent, a thing borrowed from God. With this illness, this truth will enter and become a part of him.
“Yoshinori, don’t worry. Won’t you rejoice and pour your efforts in your duties?”
Yoshinori’s worries were cleared away at Genjiro’s firm, rock-like conviction. He made up his mind that Yoshiro would be saved in the end and went to tend to Myodo’s subsidiary churches.
Yoshiro and Kazuko heard about this and pledged that they would do their best to perceive the path that would be surely accepted by God. With this, the contractions that would give birth to Yoshiro Kashihara the Yoboku began at the utter depths.
- Next installment in this series: Salvation Work at Myodo Dormitory
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