三ツ みなみてゐよそばなもの かみのすることなすことを
三つ 皆見ていよ傍な者 神のする事成す事を
Mittsu / Mina / mite iyo / soba na mono / Kami no / suru koto / nasu koto o
Three / All / keep watching / those [of you] nearby / Kami / matters does / matters bring about
Mina mite iyo soba na mono
This phrase can either be interpreted as “All (of you) nearby, keep watching” or “You nearby, keep watching over everything.” Ofudesaki verses that contain the directive “mite iyo” (keep watching) include:
- Be sure to be watching as Kami becomes the broom that sweeps the innermost hearts of the entire world clean (3:52).
- Watch the future (5:37, 5:42). Although (Kami) will speak of matters that do not yet exist (3:116), they will all come true (11:62). It is a wonder that you will see them (11:64).
- Regarding what (Kami) will teach from now on, watch as a mountainous number of unprecedented paths unfold (4:11).
- Regarding the path now, those of you within should not be concerned at all about Kami’s hastening. Be sure to keep watching (4:96).
- This path is quite difficult and unprecedented. Be sure to watch it (4:101).
- Watch the path as it unfolds in the future (7:12).
- If the two persons Cosmic Space-Time selected to become Shrines are given a separate room, be sure to be watching as Cosmic Space-Time will assuredly accept anything said to them and save you (9:5–6).
- As everything Oyasama does is because of Cosmic Space-Time’s sole desire to purify the heart-minds of the entire world and grant salvation, be sure to watch the future as the innermost hearts of one and all will be swept clean (12:77–9).1
Kami no suru koto nasu koto
There is a verse in the Ofudesaki that contains this very same phrase. To paraphrase it with the verse that precedes it: “In all matters, regarding Kami’s free and unlimited workings, Kami will enact and show you unprecedented phenomena. No matter how unprecedented this phenomena is, it is solely what Kami does and brings about.” (5:79–80).2
Other Ofudesaki verses containing the phrase “suru koto” include those that say:
- Kami is doing and saying everything Oyasama is involved in. It is not to be a cause for concern for those nearby (6:2).
- Because Kami/Cosmic Space-Time does everything, never think that it is a mere illness” (6:22, 14:20).
- No matter how high a place you may claim to be, everyone is a child of Cosmic Space-Time. Not knowing this, you prohibit and clear away what the Parent has done (8:64–5).
- Because human beings are shallow, there is no one who knows what Cosmic Space-Time does (12:23).
Verse that contain the phrase “nasu koto” include:
- Because you cannot see Kami with your eyes, there is not even the smallest chance for you to know what Kami says and brings about (3:25).
- Listen and try to ponder step by step what Kami says and does (3:119).
- As for these esoteric rituals from other religious traditions, do not wonder who is responsible for their results. They are brought about by Kami, who began this world (5:39).
- At this place, everything Oyasama says and brings about are all arise from Cosmic Space-Time’s intention (6:74).
- From now on, never consider what Oyasama says and does as human (7:56).
One commentator interprets verse 3 as “watch Oyagami set the hand movements of the Kagura Service that will bring forth the free and unlimited providence to rebuild this world into the world of the Joyous Life.”3 Another writes that what Kami does and brings about is related to verse 2’s “arawareru” (appear/become manifest) and verse 4’s “Tsutome suru” (perform the Service).4
The following passage from the Osashizu also reinforces the message of verse 3:
Observe well. Observe well what the path has been and what the path will become.
February 18, 1887
四ツ よるひるどんちやんつとめする そばもやかましうたてかろ
四つ 夜昼ドンチャン勤めする 傍も喧しうたてかろ
Yottsu / Yoru hiru / don chan / Tsutome suru / soba mo / yakamashi / utate / karo
Four / night day / boom clang / Service performed / even those nearby / noisy / bothersome / must be
In the Ofudesaki there are a pair of verses that go, “On the fifth day of the fifth month, a thanksgiving pilgrimage will occur. It will be so that you will be unable to tell night from day” (4:3–4).5 One particular commentator suggests the phrase means Oyagami’s workings are present night and day.6
“Don” mimics the sound of the taiko (drum) from the Service Narimono (musical instruments). “Chan” mimics the sound of the chanpon (cymbals) and/or surigane (gong).7 There is also a term “donchan sawagi” that means a loud racket8, which reinforces the meaning of “yakamashi” (noisy) that comes later in the verse.
There are records indicating that from 1874, Kagura Service and Teodori (service dance) practices were conducted day and night.9 Further, although only the Service for Germination and Safe Childbirth are currently conducted at night on selected occasions apart from daily evening services10, it may be noted that it was once a widespread practice to dance the Twelve Songs at the bedside of those who were ill.11 In extreme cases, followers conducted the entire Mikagura-uta six times in 24 hours over a three-day period.12
Soba na mono / Soba mo
The phrases “soba na mono” from verse 3 and “soba mo” from verse 4 suggest a group of people who are close in proximity to Oyasama, either physically, spiritually, or both. Commentaries have identified “soba na mono/soba” as people nearby who lack faith13 but also family members, neighbors, and devout followers.14 Yet another commentator suggests that “soba” refer to people nearby serving Oyasama who express concern over mounting outside suppression and attack.15 It is further claimed in one commentary that “soba na mono” in verse 3 is directed inward while verse 4’s “soba” directed outward.16
In the Ofudesaki, the term “soba” is often used to describe people who, despite their proximity to Oyasama,
- Question what she does because they do not know the future (1:40)
- Do not know of Kami’s profound intention (4:44), Kami’s efforts to lay the path (5:58), or the extent of Cosmic Space-Time’s concern (12:37)
- Consider the events occurring around Oyasama as worldly (5:60) or are still thinking in a worldly manner (7:51, 11:12)
- Are depressed and languishing despite how greatly the mind of Cosmic Space-Time is hastening (7:48, 14:2)
- Lack understanding despite the extent Cosmic Space-Time’s thought (7:104) or daily hastening (13:100) or irrespective of how much Cosmic Space-Time requests (9:41)
The Ofudesaki chushaku defines “soba no mono” as the people close to Oyasama. It can be interpreted in a narrow sense to mean members of the Nakayama household or in a broad sense to include all the people who gathered to worship at the Residence.17
Some of the themes presented above are reinforced in Song Four, verse 6.
“Yakamashi” means “noisy.” “Utatekaro” is an inflected form of the adjective “utatei,” which in the Yamato region means bothersome or annoying.18
On the night of 3/28/1868, villagers burst into the Residence and ran riot during a service dance practice.19 One commentator notes that villagers complained about the sound of the taiko and demanded that it be stopped since it woke them from their naps in the summer.20
The same commentator later notes that just as a radio not on the correct wavelength is only able to pick up static and noise, a person with a clouded reception will merely perceive the precious sounds of the Service as noise. If a person who lives joylessly on a daily basis hears the uplifting music of the Mikagura-uta, because their mental state is so far removed from the joyousness of the Service, they will fail to understand it and may even become enraged at hearing it.21
- Other verses containing the phrase “mite iyo” that were not presented above are 10:9, 11:79, and 17:33. ↩
- Cited in MST 172. ↩
- Fukaya 105 E71. ↩
- Ueda A 333. ↩
- Cited in Ueda A 343. ↩
- Ando 83. ↩
- Keiichiro Moroi, cited in MST 173; Yamamoto 124. ↩
- MST 173. ↩
- The Life of Oyasama Chapter Six; Yamamoto 20. ↩
- Ueda A 340. ↩
- Ando 84. ↩
- From my handwritten notes in Ueda C 49. ↩
- Shinnosuke Nakayama, cited in MST 170 and 174. ↩
- Ueda A 332. ↩
- Ono 110. ↩
- MST 170. ↩
- Ofudesaki chushaku 11, note for 1:40. ↩
- MST 173–4. ↩
- MST 13; The Life of Oyasama, Chapter Five. ↩
- Ueda A 247. ↩
- Ueda A 344–5. ↩