Song Five

Verse 1

一ツ ひろいせかいのうちなれバ たすけるところがまゝあらう

一つ 広い世界の内なれば 救ける所がままあろう

Hitotsu / Hiroi sekai / no uchi nareba / tasukeru tokoro ga / mama arō

One / [This] wide world / within / places that save / there are many


In the Teodori, there are four different corresponding dance motions for the word “sekai” (the world).

  1. The uplift or “isami” hand motion
  2. Holding up the left index finger and turning the body slightly leftward (as done in the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo)
  3. A clockwise spin motion while holding the right hand near the left cheek (Song Eight, verse 3)
  4. Moving forward while holding the open folding fans upright (Song Three, verse 3)

The sekai of Song Five, verse 1 corresponds to the first movement above.1 Thus, the “world” as danced in the Teodori is not just any world but a world Cosmic Space-Time protects so we may live the Joyous Life.2

Tasukeru tokoro ga mama arō

One commentator explains this verse as when we look around with a mindset that seeks to bring relief, we will find there are many places requiring salvation. If we look around seeking help, we will find that there are quite a few places that offer relief. Thus, Oyagami in every age provides places of “tending and fertilizing” in the world that offers help and relief.3

This verse is saying in this wide world, there are many places one can go to seek help and find salvation. These places of help/salvation can range from those that offer spiritual forms of salvation such as temples, shrines, churches, and other places of worship to places such as hospitals and clinics that offer tangible forms of relief.

Another potential interpretation of this verse is there are many places that require salvation and relief4 but I favor the first interpretation when taking the following verse into context.

Verse 2

二ツ ふしぎなたすけハこのところ おびやはうそのゆるしだす

二つ 不思議な救けは 此の所 帯屋疱瘡の許し出す

Futatsu / Fushigi na tasuke wa / kono tokoro / obiya hōso no / yurushi dasu

Two / Wondrous salvation / at this place / safe childbirth and [prevention of] smallpox / Grants are offered

“Kono tokoro” (this place) refers to where Oyagami resides, that is, the Jiba.5

While there may be places that offer various forms of relief, forms of salvation such as the Grant of Safe Childbirth and the Grant to prevent smallpox (presently represented by the child’s Amulet)6 are only offered at Jiba.

In the Ofudesaki, there are verses that go:

Even until now, the blessings of safe childbirth and freedom from smallpox: what were your thoughts about them?


From now on, I shall save you completely from the rigors of childbirth. You shall give birth quickly and without distress.


What do you think this salvation is about? I am preparing the amulet to protect you from smallpox.

Another salvation: My free and unlimited workings for the time of childbirth, either to delay or quicken.


What do you think this salvation is? It is My assurance of your freedom from smallpox.


Verse 3

三ツ みづとかみとはおなじこと こゝろのよごれをあらひきる

三つ 水と神とは同じ事 心の汚れを洗い切る

Mittsu / Mizu to Kami to wa / onaji koto / kokoro no yogore o araikiru

Three / Water and Kami / are the same / stains of the heart-mind / wash away completely

This verse compares the quality of Kami to that of water to wash away the impurities of the heart-mind (namely the eight dusts).10 This water is not just any water, but just as the accompanying hand motions suggest, it is running, flowing water.11 The key here is for the “water” to be constantly renewed, symbolizing new sources of inspiration or a faith that constantly renews itself, fresh like a source of fresh water and unlike a body of stagnant, impure water.

In the Ofudesaki:

What do you think this path is about? It is to cleanse the heart of everyone in the world.


Verse 4

四ツ よくのないものなけれども かみのまへにハよくはない

四つ 欲の無い者無けれども 神の前には欲は無い

Yottsu / Yoku / no nai mono / nakeredomo / Kami / no mae ni wa / yoku wa nai

Four / Greed / those who have none / there is no such thing / Kami / in front of / greed / there is none

“Yoku” (greed) is the only dust out of the eight dusts that is singled out by name in the Mikagura-uta. It is widely believed that “yoku” in the Twelve Songs does not specifically refer to greed per se but represents the remaining eight dusts and self-centered ways of using the heart-mind in addition to greed (namely miserliness, covetousness, hatred, self-love, grudge-bearing, anger, and arrogance).12

A person who sincerely prays to Kami knows no selfishness but merely shows gratitude for his or her situation.13 Further, as long as we are focused on Kami, which washes away the impurities of the heart-mind, we will not succumb to self-centered manners of thinking.14

Verse 5

五ツ いつまでしん/\゛したとても やうきづくめであるほどに

五つ 何時まで信心したとても 陽気尽くめである程に

Itsutsu / Itsumade shinjin shita totemo / yōki zukume de aru hodo ni

Five / Always / believing / even if [you] do / joyousness / brimming

No matter how much we believe, despite the outward motions of faith we may go through, it is of no use unless our heart-minds brim with joyousness.15

In the Ofudesaki:

When God accomplishes the sweeping of all humankind, you will be spirited and full of joy.


From now on, firmly replace the mind and become the mind of joyousness.


Verse 6

六ツ むごいこゝろをうちわすれ やさしきこゝろになりてこい

六つ 酷い心を打ち忘れ 優しき心に成りて来い

Muttsu / Mugoi kokoro o / uchiwasure / yasashiki kokoro ni nari te koi

Six / cruel heart-mind / cast away and forget / kind heart-mind / become

This verse is an appeal/command for us to cast away a cruel heart-mind and adopt a heart-mind of kindness and generosity instead.

Verse 7

七ツ なんでもなんぎハさゝぬぞへ たすけいちじよのこのところ

七つ 何でも難儀はささぬぞえ 救け一条のこの所

Nanatsu / Nande mo nangi wa sasanu zoe / tasuke ichijo no kono tokoro

Seven / No matter what may happen / suffering / [Kami] will not allow [us] to go through / salvation (relief) / single-hearted / this place

No matter what we go through, it is not Kami’s intention to make us suffer since this place is the origin of single-hearted salvation.17

One commentator claims the difference between “nangi” (suffering) and “kurō” (hardship) as follows: Nangi is egoistic and self-centered failure whereas kurō is to suffer or sacrifice oneself to save someone.18

Verse 8

八ツ      やまとばかりやないほどに くに/\までへもたすけゆく

八つ 大和ばかりや無い程に 国々迄へも救け行く

Yattsu / Yamato / bakari ya nai hodo ni / kuniguni / made e mo / tasuke yuku

Eight / Yamato / not only / countries and regions / even to / [Kami] will go out to save

Kami will not only go out to save those in Yamato but will work to bring relief to people in other countries and regions as well.

Verse 9

九ツ こゝはこのよのもとのぢば めづらしところがあらはれた

九つ 此処は此の世の元の地場 珍しい所が現れた

Kokonotsu / Koko wa kono yo no Moto no Jiba / mezurashi tokoro ga arawareta

Nine / Here is / this world’s / Jiba (locale) of Origin / extraordinary place has appeared

This place is the Jiba, the origin of the world. An extraordinary place has been revealed.

Verse 10

どうでもしん/\゛するならバ かうをむすぼやないかいな

どうでも信心するならば 講を結ばや無いかいな

Dōdemo / shinjin suru nara ba / kō o / musubo ya / nai kaina

By all means / believing / if [you] will do / confraternity / form / won’t [you] do?

If you plan to believe by all means, won’t you come together to form a group for collective worship?

I once wrote elsewhere that a confraternity is a lay social group from the late 19th century that either grouped around the (1) worship of a particular deity or Buddhist figure, (2) devotion to a particular pilgrimage site, and (3) a form of religious devotion.

Examples of (1) include confraternities dedicated to the worship of Amitabha (Amida) or Kannon, (2) confraternities dedicated to pilgrimages to Ise or Mt. Fuji and (3) confraternities dedicated to the practice of the Nenbutsu or chanting of Amitabha’s name.

Tenrikyo confraternities in this case were devoted to the (1) worship of Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, (2) encouraged pilgrimages to Jiba, and (3) focused on the performance of the Tsutome.

Early confraternities gradually became “kyokai” (churches) after Tenrikyo was legally recognized as a religious movement in 1888.

I feel that it is highly symbolic to fold the folding fan up after Song Five and to have it tucked in the service kimono for the rest of the Twelve Songs. Church ministers may know that during their ordination ceremony, a fan is bestowed to the new head minister. I feel that Songs Six to Twelve are messages especially directed to those who commit themselves to forming or heading a confraternity or church.

*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication. Most recently revised on August 22, 2015.


  1. Fukaya 119 E 81.
  2. Ueda A 383.
  3. Ueda A 384.
  4. MST 187
  5. Ando 98.
  6. Hirano 124.
  7. Cited in MST 190.
  8. Cited in Ueda A 390.
  9. 8:32 Cited in Hirano 124; Ueda A 389.
  10. Hirano 125.
  11. MST 191.
  12. Keiichiro Moroi in MST 193.
  13. Ueda A 405.
  14. MST 193.
  15. MST 195.
  16. Cited in Hirano 128.
  17. MST 198.
  18. Tsutsui 32.

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