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.
On a Mission Tour in His Dreams
One night, a half-awake Genjiro posed the following to Sono, “What does it mean to be married?”
When she instantly answered, “It is to respect and help the other,” he said: “That’s right. It’s exactly as you said. A husband helps his wife, a wife helps her husband. This is how things should be in every household. Do you understand?”
In late January, Genjiro felt a little better. At 3:30 a.m. on the 29th, he suddenly said to Sono: “There are many followers who have returned from Brazil. I am going give a sermon to them, so please help me sit up.”
“You don’t have to sit up. I’m sure it will be fine for you to stay as you are.”
“You think so?”
Genjiro slowly began giving a sermon in a loud voice. Sono rushed to find a pencil and writing paper to write down what he said.
“I embraced the faith when I was eight years old and for nearly 80 years until today, I did nothing worldly. I singly devoted myself to the path of single-hearted salvation taught by Oyasama.
“These are the teachings which Oyasama will use to level the ground of the world.
“Today, when people talk about Japanese religion, they usually mention Tenrikyo first. It is all thanks to Oyasama that such is the situation today.”
“I am but one minister of the path. Today I am a headquarters executive officer. Seventeen people who were paralyzed stood up before me. This too is all thanks to Oyasama.”
“All of you have returned from Brazil in great numbers yearning for Jiba and for Oyasama. Please work as hard as you can to bring as many people home like this every year. Then spread this path across the Earth.
“Tenrikyo is the number one religion in Japan. This happened because people were saved from illness after hearing Oyasama’s teachings went on to establish churches. God uses us as instruments. We are being used as God’s instruments. That is how people are saved. That is how we are saved. We are saved by the truth of saving others.
“Tenrikyo grew to what it has become today even after being ridiculed in various ways.”
He then turned to Sono and asked, “How old am I? Eighty and how much?”
“You are 83.”
“I am so old I’ve forgotten my age. As I have received much of God’s favors, as long as I am alive, I will engage in salvation work. This ends my sermon.”
About the time Genjiro’s thoughts were on the overseas mission, Shizue had a dream in Hawaii. On the morning of January 5, she dreamed of Genjiro sitting at his desk. When she mentioned this after morning service, Eiko said, “I also dreamed about Grandpa hurrying under the corridors saying that he was busy, busy with salvation work.”
An uneasy feeling remained with them when a letter from Shuto informing Taiheiyo Church of Genjiro’s physical condition arrived. When they wondered why no one bothered to let them know about it, followers living in the U.S. had repeatedly asked them to visit. When they sent a telegram to Myodo Grand Church, they received a reply, “Do not worry. Please go.”
They learned later that Genjiro gave an instruction, saying: “They’re on a trip to a distant place. Don’t let them know I’m sick. I’ll have recovered completely by the time they get back in the spring. I’ll be able to talk with them about the blessings we received and tell them about the donation I was able to make to Church Headquarters.”
Shizue went to the U.S. by plane and attended the January grand service at the Mission Headquarters in America.
- Next installment in this series: To the Far Ends of the Earth