Kokonotsu / Koko made / tsuite-koi
Nine / Until here / follow and come
The hand motions of verse 9 as a whole has the right hand go up three levels of increasing height (the height of the hip, chest, and shoulder), evoking spiritual growth and progress.2 The first Shinbashira has written that “koko made” (until here) does not refer to a specific physical place, but “a spirit that is in accordance with the Kami’s intention.”3 Other commentators similarly identify “koko” as a spiritual state or stage in one’s faith.4
It might be worthy to note here that this theme of making spiritual progress can be seen in surviving narratives describing how Oyasama bestowed the Grant of Fertilizer to Chusaku Tsuji and Chushichi Yamanaka.
In the case of Chusaku Tsuji, he first received what was called the “han-goe no Sazuke” or Grant of Half Fertilizer. This form of the Grant only supplied half of the amount of fertilizer a field required. Whereas half the fertilizer would be covered by the aforementioned mixture of rice bran, ashes, and soil, the other half would have to be covered with conventional market-purchased fertilizer. Chusaku explained he received the Grant of Half Fertilizer because he only went to the Residence at night while he farmed during the day. Therefore he received a grant that only supplied half the amount of blessings. He then worked until he received the Grant of Full Fertilizer (“maru-goe no Sazuke”).5
Oyasama also initially bestowed the Grant of Half Fertilizer to Chushichi Yamanaka on 8/19/1865 when she visited his home in Mamekoshi Villlage. She then told him to apply conventional form of fertilizer to half his field while applying the Grant of Fertilizer to the other half while chanting “Namu Tenri-O-no-Mikoto” and compare the results. Chushichi was later astonished to see the half of his field where he applied the Grant of Fertilizer reaped a greater harvest.6 On 9/28 the same year, Oyasama bestowed to Chushichi a Grant of 70% Fertilizer and said, “Now I have bestowed you 120% Fertilizer.”7
Tsuite-koi is the imperative form of the compound verb tsuite-kuru (follow-come). The hand motion for “koi” is a beckoning motion.
One commentator suggests that the dance motions of verse 9 correspond with the “sadame” (resolve) motion in verse 3.8 Verse 9 has a whole can be interpreted as a command that goes, “Now, come and follow, maintain and progress in your commitment until the entire world can reap a rich harvest.”9
Another commentator writes we have the obligation to make the effort to bring a rich, abundant harvest about. To do so we must replace the mind and return to the Residence to receive the Sazuke.10 Yet others have associated verse 9 with the teaching that maintains Oyagami reduces our large misfortunes to small ones and small misfortunes to nothing at all11 and as a directive for us to follow Oyasama’s Model path.12
• Song Two, verse 5
• Song Three, verse 4
• Song Six, verse 4
• Song Nine, verse 5
• Song Twelve, verse 514
Tōdo / Torime ga / sadamarita
Ten, finally / the amount reaped / has been fixed
This does not only mean “ten” but also evokes the word tōtō 到頭 or “at last,” “finally.”15
Torime ga sadamarita
“The amount reaped has been fixed” as a rich harvest.16 The third Shinbashira, in his Instruction issued to the mark the lead-up to the 90th Anniversary of Oyasama, explained that “torime ga sadamaru” refers to the world of the Joyous Life that lasts for endless generations. One can receive this protection when one resolves to follow the beckoning of Oyagami to “come and follow until this point.”17
The Ofudesaki reinforces verse 10’s message in a verse that can be paraphrased as: “Another salvation I wish to teach you about is the crops to be reaped all over and everywhere will always be an abundant harvest” (12:96).18
Song One Summary
Song One is said to have been written in the first lunar month of 1867. Thus, it may have been natural for the New Year’s to be mentioned in the opening verse. It may also reflect the overall feeling of the age that great change was imminent (i.e., eejanaika, Ise Pilgrimage). It may be significant that the Meiji Restoration occurred the following year.
It also has been noted that 1866, the year before 1867 when Song One was composed, was a poor harvest year. With this in mind, Song One must have made a strong impression on followers with its verses that promise rich harvests.19 The Song ought to resonate with us today as well since global warming and dwindling sources of freshwater potentially threatens our ability to produce food for a growing global population.
In their discussions of Song One, commentators have identified its main theme as the Sazuke20 and claim the Song provides us with instructions on how to reap a rich harvest21 and how to attain the Joyous Life.22 One commentator writes that he feels Song One expresses Oyagami’s fervent parental desire to transmit the joy of faith to agriculturalists who did not necessarily know how to read through a description of tangible benefits that can be attained through practicing the faith.23
Commentators also touch upon a variety of overlapping subthemes that deal with the quality of mind we are to maintain (a state of spiritual uplift24 and receptiveness25) and/or appropriate actions to take (acknowledging our indebtedness or expressing gratitude for the blessings we receive26, the importance of building merit27, serving at the Residence 28 and “sowing seeds,” i.e., contributing and dedicating ourselves to Oyasama’s path29).
I personally feel the general sense conveyed in Song One is Oyagami’s desire to guarantee blessings of a rich harvest for everyone. The terms that evoke farming and the growth of crops — “fertilizer” (verse 1), “bursting forth” (5), “grown and gathered” (7), “rich harvest” (8), “amount yielded” (10) — can be interpreted metaphorically to symbolize prosperity and good fortune in general, not just in the agricultural realm.
Further, Song One teaches that these promised blessings will not be granted unconditionally. For the blessings to be granted, the following conditions must be met: Consciously resolve an ideal quality of mind (3), impartially exerting sufficient effort (7), as well as maintaining and making progress in one’s commitment (9).
To sum up the general meaning of Songs One:
[1st verse] At this dawn of a new age, the Sazuke (of Fertilizer): Oh how extraordinary and unprecedented this is!
[2nd verse] A smile at the bestowal of the Sazuke: Oh how promising this is!
[3rd verse] Consciously resolve and maintain the heart-mind of a three year old (or, a heart-mind that is pure and unattached). Then, [4th verse] in the world [5th verse] blessings will burst forth, [6th verse] unlimitedly producing abundance all over.30
[7th verse] If impartial efforts are made to grow and gather any and everything, then [8th verse] Yamato and the rest of the world will experience a rich harvest.
[9th verse] Come and follow until such blessings can be reaped, then [10th, finally] the amount yielded (each year) will be fixed as an abundant harvest.
- Tsutsui 24. ↩
- MST 116. ↩
- Cited in MST 116. ↩
- Fukaya 66–7; Nagao 74 E29:57; Ueda C 29; Yamamoto 74. ↩
- Masui 71–2. This Grant is called koe marukiri no Sazuke in Nagao 63 and Ueda C 23. ↩
- This narrative is comparable to Anecdotes of Oyasama 12. ↩
- Fukaya 60. ↩
- Keiichiro Moroi, cited in MST 116. ↩
- Shinnosuke Nakayama, cited in MST 116. ↩
- Masui 90. ↩
- Ono 63. ↩
- Hirano 73–4. ↩
- Cited in MST 116; Ueda C 29. ↩
- Verses from the Ofudesaki that contain the compound verb “tsuite-kuru” and its variant “tsuki-kuru” include:
I do not force you to come along if you do not wish to, but if you should, you will be blessed forever.
Today is the beginning of marvelous things. All of you will come along with Me because of the original causality.
- MST 117. ↩
- Ono 64. ↩
- 諭達第二号(Instruction Two, Zenye Nakayama), 6. Cited in Nagao 75–6; Ono 64–5. ↩
- Cited in Fukaya 67 E46; Nagao 75; Ueda A 149; B 13; Ueda C 30; Yamamoto 76. ↩
- MST 118. ↩
- Masui 69; elaborated in 75–7, 83, 88–90. ↩
- Ueda A 137. ↩
- Fukaya 68. ↩
- Fukaya 57–8. ↩
- Fukaya 63; Masui 84–5; Ueda 145–7, 157–8, 159, 161. ↩
- Masui 84, 86, 91. ↩
- Ando 34–6, 38; Hirano 65, 67, 70–1, 74; Ueda A 159. ↩
- Masui 91, Tsutsui 20, 22, 24; Ueda A 151. ↩
- Masui 72. ↩
- Hirano 69; Ono 54–6, 59–61. ↩
- The conventional way to interpret these set of verses would be: “Consciously resolve and maintain the heart-mind of a three year old (3). Then, the blessings that bring about the favorable circumstances of a bumper crop (yonnaka) will burst forth (4 & 5) unlimitedly all over (6).” ↩