Song Three, verses 7–8

Verse 7

七ツ      なんでもこれからひとすぢに かみにもたれてゆきまする
七つ なんでもこれから一筋(一条)に 神に凭れて行きまする
Nanatsu / Nandemo / kore kara / hitosuji ni / Kami ni motarete / yukimasuru
Seven / In all matters / from now on / in a straight line / Kami lean on / [I] will go

In discussing this verse, one commentator notes how for nine straight years beginning in 1864, Izo Iburi ate at the Residence, cleaned, and made preparations for New Year’s Day at the Residence on New Year’s Eve before returning to prepare for New Year’s Day at his home in Ichinomoto.1

Verse 7 can be considered as a follower’s statement of resolve that responds to the command “become so you have a straight heart-mind” in verse 6.2


“Motarete” is the only instance in the Teodori of a counterclockwise spin. Interpretations for this include:

  • To lean on Kami and act in accordance to the Cosmic Intention without switching our orientation from one direction to the next.3
  • The motion symbolizes the protection of returning to our former state from adverse circumstances, made possible through leaning on Kami.3
  • “I often hear the explanation, ‘One must transcend conventional human thinking before resolving to singly follow Kami. I believe the motion instructs us so we may understand with our very being that entrusting our entire being and spirit singly to Kami is the opposite of engaging in human thinking.’”5

It can also be said the counterclockwise spin symbolizes undertaking an action contrary to one’s conveniences or the world (the sekai dance motion in Yorozuyo).

Kami ni motarete

Although the term Kami will be covered in deeper detail in the discussion of verses 9 and 10, it will be noted here that there is significant symbolism in how the corresponding hand movement is the “Namaste” motion with our palms clasped together. One commentator writes that human beings were given ten fingers so we may be mindful of our indebtedness to each aspect of Tenri-O-no-Mikoto’s cosmic providence.6

The phrase “Kami ni motarete” is an important concept considering it comes after a verse that tells us not to make unreasonable wishes — wishes that are not backed up with a reasonable amount of effort on our part. “Kami ni motarete” is akin to a surrender, which does not mean “giving up” in this case but a metaphor for allowing anything outside of our direct control to take its natural course.

This phrase symbolizes the recognition that, although a degree of effort is required on our part to realize what we desire, there are limits to what we can accomplish alone. “Kami ni motarete” here essentially means, “I’ve done all that I’ve can, I entrust the outcome to the workings of the Cosmos.” It is passive in the sense we are surrendering the outcome to outside forces but active in the sense that we surrender only after having moved forward with a straight heart-mind and devoting a reasonable amount of effort in the areas under our direct control.7 We should then rejoice whatever the outcome may be.

The verb “motare” (lean on/surrender to) appears in several Ofudesaki verses.8

See also:

  • Song Nine, verse 2

One commentator mentions the difficulty of maintaining the resolve to “Kami ni motarete” (lean on/surrender to Kami), yet notes that we can do so if we acknowledge that the body is a thing lent, a thing borrowed. In turn, the experience of illness, covered in the next verse, verse 8, provides us the optimum opportunity to realize the body is a thing lent, a thing borrowed.9

Verse 8

八ツ      やむほどつらいことハない わしもこれからひのきしん
八つ 病むほど辛い事はない 私もこれから日の寄進
Yattsu / Yamu hodo / tsurai koto swa nai / washi mo / kore kara / hinokishin
Eight / as being ill / painful matter nothing / I, too / from now on / hinokishin

Yamu hodo tsurai koto wa nai

“There is nothing more painful than being ill.” Therefore, we ought to conclude that there is nothing we should be more grateful for than to be healthy, something we may take for granted in our daily lives. The following quote attributed to Oyasama sums up this notion quite well:

“In this world there are those who are suffering, unable to eat or even swallow water despite food piled high at their bedsides. If we think of them, how blessed we are, for when we drink water, it tastes of water. [Oyagami] has blessed us with exquisite gifts.”10

The meaning of “yamu” (falling ill) also can be expanded to refer to circumstances other than a physical disorder. It can be argued it represents the word “nayamu” (to distress over). One commentator writes that we suffer from disease and encounter misfortune because we do not express sufficient appreciation toward Oyagami and that we can equally end up ailing spiritually as well as physically. In fact, it is maintained that a physical disease is caused by an ailing spirit.11

See also the following for more on the topic of “yamai” (illness):

Washi mo

One commentator explains the identity of the “washi” (I) as Oyasama expressing verse 8 as a statement from a follower’s standpoint. The commentator writes that singing this portion allows us to melt into Oyagami’s intention, a display of her parental forethought.12

The “mo” or “I, too” implies that the person making the statement is joining an activity already in progress.

Kore kara

The corresponding hand motions to verse 8’s “kore kara” (from now on) is unique to this verse. The motions mimic the tying of a hachimaki around one’s head and represents the replacing of the mind and following through what one has resolved in high spirits.13


Traditionally, kishin referred to a contribution to a temple or shrine that came in the form of cash, material goods, or a construction project. Stone lanterns carved with donors’ names are a common example of a kishin.14 Kishin were usually reserved for those who had ample financial resources on special occasions.

In contrast, hinokishin can mean one’s contribution for the day, contribution devoted over a day-to-day basis, or contributing one’s day(s).

One commentator writes:

“Hinokishin is a kishin done day after day. It is the expression of our indebtedness as well as our daily joy and appreciation for Oyagami’s grand protection. Hinokishin is not a special contribution reserved for special people at a special occasion. It is something that anyone can do anywhere and anytime in their everyday lives.”15

Another commentator defines hinokishin as:

“A follower’s overflowing joyful attitude toward life that comes from the awareness the body is a thing lent, a thing borrowed…. It is a daily state of being of someone who has settled the mind of joyous acceptance. The forms it can take are various; it is not limited to physical labor. Whether a person takes up a pen or a sewing needle, anything can be called hinokishin. It all depends solely on how a person handles the mind.”16

As we become deeply involved in Tenrikyo, it is a given that we will be asked to contribute our hinokishin in some form or another. In some cases, we may find the tasks we are asked to do as wearisome or tedious and even make a deliberate effort to avoid participating. Yet if we later have the misfortune of falling ill for a prolonged period of time, as we find ourselves yearning to regain our health, we will deeply regret not participating in any hinokishin that we had avoided to that point. It is ironic that, as with many other things we may take as a given in life, we tend to only fully appreciate the blessings of good health after falling ill.17

In the context of Song Three, the “hinokishin” in verse 8 is likely alluding to the building of the wondrous Place for the Service that has been initiated by those who feel compelled to express their indebtedness for the blessings of restored health.

Further discussion on the subject of hinokishin will be reserved for later, when Songs Seven and Eleven are covered.


  1. Hirano 100.
  2. Ono 98; Ueda A 280; Ueda C 43; Yamamoto 109.
  3. MST 157.
  4. MST 157.
  5. Yamamoto 109–10.
  6. Ueda A 281.
  7. This section on surrender was partly inspired by the writings of James Altucher. For an example, see “I Surrender.”
  8. These include the following:

    Each of you, after pondering over the body, resolve the mind and lean on {Kami}.


    Truly be spirited and ponder. Then lean on {Kami} and do the Joyous Service.


    All of you children who lean on {Kami}, quickly make preparations to go out into the open.


    Ponder over your sufferings of the body and then ponder the mind that leans on {Kami}.


    When {Cosmic Space-Time} begins the workings, however strongly a person may oppose Me,

    He will truly understand and be purified in mind, and will lean on the Parent in all matters.


    From now on, you must firmly lean on {Cosmic Space-Time} in all matters whatever.

    In doing anything, so long as you lean on {Cosmic Space-Time}, there will be no danger.


    Today, being aware of nothing, you have used only the human mind and worried yourselves.

    From now, firmly replace that mind, lean on {Kami}, and do the Joyous Service.


    From now on, you must not turn away from whatever {Cosmic Space-Time} says. You must lean on {Kami}.


    If I only begin the workings, everyone, whoever one may be, will lean on the Parent.


  9. Fukaya 94–5 E62.
  10. The Life of Oyasama, Chapter Three. Cited in Fukaya 95 E63; Ueda C 43; Yamamoto 110–1.
  11. Ando 75.
  12. Hirano 102.
  13. Ueda A 283.
  14. See Ueda A 229 for a brief mention of this phenomenon.
  15. Hirano 101–2.
  16. Fukaya 96 E63.
  17. A similar sentiment is expressed in Ono 100.

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