Song Nine is about missionary work. It begins with the phrase go around once and twice in this wide world to engage in salvation work.
一ツ ひろいせかいをうちまわり 一せん二せんでたすけゆく
一つ 広い世界を打ち回り 一洗二洗で救け行く
Hitotsu / Hiroi sekai o / uchi mawari / issen nisen de / tasuke yuku
One / [This] wide world / clap and go around / wash once, wash twice / go to save
One commentator interprets “uchi mawari” as clapping our hands, making Oyagami joyous and spirited, asking for blessings from the Cosmic Providence and going around engaging in salvation work.1
There are several differing interpretations of what the “sen” of “issen nisen” potentially means.
The current English translation of “wash” (洗) is based on one commentator’s interpretation who explains it as washing the stained heart-minds of others by conveying the teachings and dancing the Teodori, replacing joyless minds with joyousness.1
Other interpretations of “sen” include: sen as 銭 or money. Meaning going out to engage in salvation work with just receiving pocket change. Although it may be noted that the 銭 coinage, subunit of yen was not implemented until the Meiji era, it still was used to refer to money before then as well.
The conclusive interpretation may come from the oral account of a woman named Yasu Inui. According to her, when someone asked Oyasama what “Issen nisen de tasuke yuku” meant, She answered:
“[Kami] is referring to money. Kami is also referring to one seat, two seats. Being persistent in talking about Kami’s teachings to people sweeping in front their homes or to people who don’t want to hear them will come back to afflict you, so it is best not to talk about the teachings who don’t want to hear them. Go and tell Kami’s teachings to those who appreciate them. It is useless to share the teachings to people who are spiritually like children and say, ‘I’ll believe when things get better for me.’ It is better that you do not go. Once you go to share the teachings with someone, wait a day before going again. This is what the phrase ‘one seat, two seats’ means.” Tsuji-san and Nakata-san followed what Oyasama commanded and went to Kawachi (presently Osaka prefecture) and went to explain the teachings in ‘one seat, two seats,’ waiting a day before going to share them a second time.3
二ツ ふじゆうなきやうにしてやらう かみのこゝろにもたれつけ
二つ 不自由無きようにしてやろう 神の心に凭れつけ
Futatsu / Fujiyū / naki yō ni / shite-yarō / Kami no kokoro ni / motare tsuke
Two / Hindrances / eliminate / [Kami] will do / Kami’s heart-mind / lean on
The word “fujiyū” refer to hindrances and inconveniences of a physical or circumstantial nature. It shares the same hand motions with nanjū (Song Two, verse 7), tsurai (Song Three, verse 8) and nangi (Song Five, verse 7).
The first half of verse 2 here is Oyagami’s promise to eliminate all hindrances and inconveniences. The condition we must fulfill, however is to “lean on Kami’s heart-mind,” which one commentator explains as Kami’s parental love that seeks to save all human beings.4 The term “motareru” (lean on) was covered in detail in my discussion of Song Three, verse 7.
三ツ みれバせかいのこゝろにハ よくがまじりてあるほどに
三つ 見れば世界の心には 欲が混じりてある程に
Mittsu / Mireba / sekai no kokoro niwa / yoku ga majirite aru hodo ni
Three / If [you] look / the world’s heart-minds / greed is mixed within
I feel the meaning of this verse is quite straightforward and needs little commentary.
四ツ よくがあるならやめてくれ かみのうけとりでけんから
四つ 欲があるなら止めてくれ 神の受け取り出けんから
Yottsu / Yoku ga aru nara / yamete kure / Kami no uke-tori deken / kara
Four / Greed if [you] have / stop please / Kami cannot accept / because
This verse can be interpreted to mean you can’t spread the faith with greed in your heart6 and prayers mixed with greed cannot be accepted.5 This latter interpretation reinforces what was taught in Song Three, verse 6.
One commentator notes that “yamete kure” (stop please) is a rather rare instance of a harsh phrase being used in the Mikagura-uta.8
五ツ いづれのかたもおなじこと しあんさだめてついてこい
五つ 何れの方も同じ事 思案定めて随いて来い
Itsutsu / Izure no kata mo onaji koto / shian sadamete tsuite-koi
Five / For any person it is the same / contemplate and commit / follow and come
The first half of Song Nine, verse 5 share exactly the same lyrics and hand motions with that of Song Seven, verse 5.
The phrase “shian sadame” appears in the Ofudesaki in a few verses translated as:
Until today, you have not been able to see any path whatever. It can be seen quickly. Ponder and resolve.
Now ponder! From now you must replace your mind. It will not do, not to ponder and resolve.
The command “tsuite-koi” also appears in Song One, verse 9.
六ツ むりにでやうといふでない こゝろさだめのつくまでハ
六つ 無理に出ようと言うでない 心定めの着くまでは
Muttsu / Muri ni / deyō to / yūde nai / kokoro sadame no tsuku made wa
Six / Against [your] will / come out / [Kami] does not say / heart-mind resolve
Verse 5 is an appeal to everyone to follow after contemplating to a certain degree whereas verse 6 is a message not to push ourselves to follow but to follow once we have made a deliberate resolution to.
In the Ofudesaki, there is a verse that goes:
I do not force you to come along if you do not wish to, but if you should, you will be blessed forever.
The hand and foot movements for “kokoro” here are the opposite of one another. When one brings the right hand to the chest, one steps with the left foot and steps with the right foot while bringing the left hand to the chest. This may symbolize the difficulty of carrying out what we resolved and the inherent danger of for our actions to become the opposite of what we resolved.
七ツ なか／＼このたびいちれつに しつかりしあんをせにやならん
七つ なかなか此の度一列に しっかり思案をせねばならん
Nanatsu / Nakanaka / kono tabi / ichiretsu ni / shikkari shian o senya naran
Seven / Sufficient / at this time / one and all / firmly contemplate / [you] must do
Depending on how we interpret the word “nakanaka” (much/sufficiently) this verse can either be interpreted as “At this time a sufficient amount of time has passed” or “At this time you must firmly contemplate to a sufficient degree.”9
八ツ やまのなかでもあちこちと てんりわうのつとめする
八つ 山の中でもあちこちと 天理王のつとめする
Yattsu / Yama no naka / demo / achi kochi to / Tenri-Ō no Tsutome suru
Eight / In the mountains / even / here and there / the Service of Tenri-O will be performed
This verse anticipates a time when the Service of Tenri-O, that is Services will be performed at churches all over away from Jiba, even “in the mountains” or places the path has not been paved yet.
九ツ こゝでつとめをしてゐれど むねのわかりたものハない
九つ 此処でつとめをしていれど 胸（旨）の分かりた者はない
Kokonotsu / Koko de / Tsutome o shiteiredo / mune no / wakarita / mono wa nai
Nine / Here / Service is being performed / [Kami’s] heart / knows (understands) / there is no one
“Koko” (here) means all the places where the Service is being performed.[Ueda A 560] Although the Service is performed at various places, no one fully knows or understands the “mune” Kami’s heart of the gist of the Cosmic Intention. This is historically speaking quite true as the Ofudesaki, which explains the importance of the Service and why it should be performed, was yet to be written at the composition of this verse. This sentiment that no one fully knows or understands the Cosmic Intention may be true even today.
In the Ofudesaki:
Looking all over the world and through all ages, I find no one who has understood My heart.
So should it be, for I have never taught it to you. It is natural that you know nothing.
とても かみなをよびだせば はやくこもとへたづねでよ
とても 神名を呼び出せば 早くこ元へ訪ね出よ
Totemo Kami-na o / yobi-dase ba / hayaku komoto e tazune deyo
That being said / Kami’s name / if you call out / quickly come to visit the origin
This verse is an appeal to everyone calling out Kami’s name of Tenri-O-no-Mikoto to come on a pilgrimage and seek the Jiba, the origin of the faith even though we may not fully understand the Cosmic Intention. According to one commentator, “komoto” is a word in the Yamato dialect that means “head family,” “the originator” or “original maker” (本家本元).10