Song Seven touches upon “hinokishin” and “spreading the fragrance” before using agricultural metaphors such as “denji” (rice fields), “yoki-ji” (good field), “ano ji” (that field), “tane” (seeds), and “koe” fertilizer. The contents of Song Seven include sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings, the ideal way faith ought to be, care for the children of the path, the tending and fertilizing, as well as contribution and dedication. Even though it is not mentioned outright, the theme of Song Seven is “fusekomi” or dedicating ourselves to the path and to Jiba specifically.
The structure of Song Seven is that of a dialogue between Kami and human beings. Verses 1 to 4, 6, 8, and 10 are sung from Kami’s viewpoint whereas verses 5, 7, and 9 are expressed from a follower’s standpoint.
Further the “washi” (I) in verses 5 and 9 are claimed by one commentator to be Oyasama expressing sentiments from a human standpoint.1
一ツ ひとことはなしハひのきしん にほひばかりをかけておく
一つ 一言話は日の寄進 匂いばかりを掛けて置く
Hitotsu / Hitokoto hanashi wa hinokishin / nioi bakari o / kakete-oku
One / A single word is / hinokishin / fragrance only / emit
Hitokoto hanashi wa hinokishin
Even conveying a single word of Kami’s teachings can be considered hinokishin. It can also be interpreted as: what Kami is saying in a few words (namely in Song Seven), is about hinokishin. The conventional interpretation goes “To speak even a single word of Kami’s teachings is hinokishin. Be sure to sprinkle it, even if it is just a fragrance.”2
One commentator writes: “We can do hinokishin even while we are ill and unable to move in a hospital bed. A simple “Thank you” and a smile to express our joy at being kept alive is also an admirable form of hinokishin” (Sato Koji in Omichi no joshiki, 251).
Nioi bakari o kakete-oku
Whereas the term “nioigake” (spreading the fragrance) presently means to actively propagate the faith, it is unknown whether Song Seven verse 2’s is meant to convey this active propagation. In the Ofudesaki, “nioi” does not carry this meaning of propagating the faith but Oyagami sending a message to us:
That is why I put the fragrance even into your dreams. Quickly ponder over it, please.
Until now, whatever talks I gave and whatever I said were but a fragrance.
However, the hand motions for “nioi bakari” are the same as Song Five, verse 8’s “kuniguni made e mo” (even to other countries and regions), suggesting we ought to emit the fragrance of the teaching of hinokishin as much as possible to far off countries and regions.
Further, the hand movements for “kakete-oku” (emit) are the same as “arawarete” (appear) as danced in the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo. This can be taken to mean if we cast the fragrance of hinokishin to distance countries and regions, they will one day appear like buds sprouting from seeds.
二ツ ふかいこゝろがあるなれバ たれもとめるでないほどに
Futatsu / Fukai kokoro ga aru nareba / tare mo tomeru de nai / hodo ni
Two / Profound heart-mind / if there is / no one will stop / to the point of
It is uncertain whether the “fukai kokoro” (profound heart-mind) is Oyagami’s or a human being’s. Either interpretation is possible from a grammatical standpoint. 3
Although the phrase “fukai kokoro” does not appear in the Ofudesaki, there are two instances of the phrase “fukai omowaku” (deep concern/profound intention):
Know that the mind of [Kami] is truly filled with deep concerns for you day after day.
Never take it as a trivial matter. The intention of Heaven is profound.
It is certain from the context of these verses that “fukai omowaku” is Oyagami’s.
The following interpretations are possible for verse 2:
- Be sure not to hinder emitting the fragrance of Oyagami’s profound intention that wishes to save everyone in the entire world
- “Fukai kokoro” refers to human beings’ profound devotion. If we are devoted enough in our efforts, there ought to be no one that stands in our way
- If you has the profound sincerity that seeks to dedicate and contribute despite what the situation may be, no matter how bad your causality, Oyagami will accept that mind and render large misfortunes into smaller ones. There is no way for Oyagami to hinder that person from following the path… so do not do anything that hinders yourself to follow the path[1. This last interpretation is Masaichi Moroi’s, quoted in Umeda, 12 to 27)