Song Eleven, verses 5–10 & Summary

Verse 5

五ツ      いつ/\までもつちもちや まだあるならバわしもゆこ

五つ 何時何時迄も土持や まだあるならば私も行こう

Itsutsu / Itsuitsu made mo tsuchimochi ya / mada aru nara ba / washi mo yuko

Five / Always / carrying of earth / still if there is / I too will go


Commentators have connected this with the notion of the endless construction (Song Twelve, verse 7).1

Mada aru naraba washi mo yuko

This represents the ideal state of mind that is absent of greed when one engages in hinokishin. It also teaches the value of taking the initiative to contribute through hinokishin.

As noted in earlier Songs, the “washi” (I) here in verse 5 may best be interpreted as Oyasama, expressing from a follower’s standpoint, the ideal of how one ought to respond to the notion that the opportunity to carry earth will always be there.2 One ought not to respond by saying, “Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow.” Or “I’ll contribute next time.” The ideal response is, “As long as there’s hinokishin still to be done, I’m there.”

Sah, sah, if you begin, things will start to happen. Do not let the children worry. They will return from distant countries. For the path, they will return with delight. Because of the one truth which exists here, they will return. I cannot bear to see you so filled with worry, I cannot bear it. Nothing I tell you is wrong. Understand well. I have been telling you this from long ago. Speaking of carrying earth, carrying earth…. They will return here daily with their hearts full of delight, regardless of their struggles, regardless of the responsibilities where they live. For carrying even one basket of earth, how great their reward! It cannot be fathomed! Unite your minds and make diligent efforts. If you start to worry, there will be no end. To tell your worries to someone else is not a good thing. You must understand this well. I have always told you this.

Osashizu, March 13, 1907


Verse 6

六ツ      むりにとめるやないほどに こゝろあるならたれなりと

六つ 無理に止めるや無い程に 心有るなら誰なりと

Muttsu / Muri ni / tomeru ya / nai hodo ni / kokoro / aru nara / tare nari to

Six / Forcefully / stop / do not / mind / if (you) have / anyone

This verse is an instruction not to forcibly stop anyone who has taken this initiative to engage in hinokishin at the Residence. One should not stop people from participating on any basis whatsoever, such as, for example, insisting that people are not working fast or hard enough. So long as one’s heart is in it or as long as a mind to, anyone ought to be allowed to participate.3

Verses 7–8

七ツ      なにかめづらしつちもちや      これがきしんとなるならバ

七つ 何か珍しい土持や これが寄進となるならば

Nanatsu / Nanika / mezurashi / tsuchimochi ya / kore ga / kishin to / naru naraba

Seven / Something / extraordinary / earth-carrying / this is / contribution / becomes


八ツ      やしきのつちをほりとりて ところかへるばかりやで

八つ 屋敷の土を掘り取りて 所変えるばかりやで

Yattsu / Yashiki no tsuchi o / hori-torite / tokoro kaeru / bakari ya de

Eight / Residence’s earth / dig up / place change / all it is


As mentioned in the commentary in verse 3, tsuchimochi, or earth-carrying, while having a historical basis, is a metaphor symbolizing the ideal of what hinokishin should be: Regardless of what form it may come in, it should be inclusive and anyone who is willing should be allowed to participate.


As I noted in my discussion of Song Three, verse 8, “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. Kishin were usually reserved for those who had ample financial resources.”

In contrast, the carrying of earth does not require any special talent, skill, or ability on one’s part. After all, it merely consists of carrying dirt from one place to another. What makes it so extraordinary is that this carrying of earth amounts to being a kishin.4

It is notable that when Unosuke Tosa first came to Jiba and expressed his desire to offer a traditional kishin such as a gate or lantern, Ryosuke Yamazawa told him:

“No, no. There is no need for such things. [Kami] here is the true Parent of the world’s people. Her only desire and delight is to see Her beloved children live the Joyous Life and She has long undergone a series of Hardships. Do you understand? If you wish to express your indebtedness and gratitude, there is no other path than to help save others so that they can live lives of joy.”5

Tokoro o kaeru

This phrase can be interpreted to mean “churches receiving the truth of the Residence (Jiba) will be established.” (It can also be interpreted as “change the place where the earth-carrying hinokishin is being done.”)

One commentator makes the case that hinokishin done at regional churches are equal to hinokishin at Honbu in his discussion of verse 16 and quotes the following Osashizu passage:

Think deeply and try to see the one truth. The truth of Church Headquarters and the truth of the churches: these are a single breath. Unless you settle this unity in mind, Heaven cannot work. Heaven sees into your minds, each and every one of them. From now on, settle in your minds the truth of this unity. You must go through the path, solely relying on the teaching. Sah, you know the truth of the everliving Oyasama. Understand everything by this truth and settle it in your mind.

December 13, 1906

Verse 9

九ツ      このたびまではいちれつに      むねがわからんざんねんな

九つ この度迄は一列に 胸(旨)が分からん残念な

Kokonotsu / Kono tabi made wa / ichiretsu ni / mune ga / wakaran / zannen na

Nine / At this time / all over / (Kami’s) heart/gist / does not know / how unfortunate


As in Song Nine, verse 9, “mune” can be interpreted either as 胸 (heart) or 旨 (instruction/gist). This verse can in turn be paraphrased as: “How unfortunate it is that until this moment, you did not know about the importance of dedicating your sincerity at the Residence through hinokishin.”3 Also: “It is truly unfortunate that, you could not know of Kami’s parental intention (affection) because of your self-centeredness.”8

Verse 10

十ド      ことしハこえおかず     じふぶんものをつくりとり      やれたのもしやありがたや

到頭 今年は肥置かず 充分物を作り取り やれ頼もしい有難いや

Tōdo / Kotoshi wa / koe / okazu / jūbun / mono o / tsukuri-tori / yare / tanomoshi ya / arigata ya

Ten, finally / This year / fertilizer / do not apply / sufficient / crops / make and reap / oh how / promising / grateful

The concluding verse here brings to mind Song Seven, verse 10, Song One verses 1 and 2, as well as the Sazuke of Fertilizer Oyasama bestowed to followers who were too busy to purchase and apply fertilizer to their fields since they spent much of their time away from their homes to spread the fragrance. One commentator notes that it was not an easy proposal for those who served the path exclusively to purchase fertilizer (kinpi), thus making the grant a valuable one for followers to have.9 The message of this verse is that although one may not be able to afford the time to metaphorically apply fertilizer to one’s fields (taking extra steps to secure the source of one’s livelihood), the intangible, symbolic “primary fertilizer” attained through one’s hinokishin efforts will nevertheless allow one to reap a sufficient harvest.

It was discussed in Song Seven, verse 10 that “not applying fertilizer” may metaphorically mean the blessings of good health and “not needing medicine or medical assistance.”

There are many potential interpretations of “Kotoshi wa” (This year). It could be the year one embraces the faith. I personally assume it is the year that one goes balls out and contributes to the path to the point one is unable to fully attend to one’s field or one’s business (basically anything that allows one earn a livelihood. See also Anecdotes of Oyasama 97 for an example.

Another commentator writes that koe (fertilizer) can be interpreted as “voice,” and giving the following potential paraphrase: “without Kami ever having to say, demand, encourage, or give a word of support. Mono o tsukuri-tori can be interpreted nurturing human resources, Yoboku. Arigata ya symbolizes both joy of human beings and Kami’s satisfaction.10

Song Eleven Summary

To summarize the meaning of Song Eleven:

(1st verse) At Shoyashiki in the origin of the Sun, the ground is being prepared for the construction of a structure that will become Kami’s abode.

(2nd verse) Husband and wife, working together in hinokishin, this becomes the primary seed, the source of blessings that are most needed in the time of greatest need.

(3rd verse) Look! People of the world come in increasing numbers bearing straw baskets to engage in hinokishin.

(4th verse) Forgetting greed, we (they) engage in hinokishin. This becomes the primary fertilizer, the symbolic fertilizer that further nourishes the symbolic seeds we have (that have been) sown.

(5th verse) The carrying of earth that will continue forever: so long there is earth-carrying that remains to be done, I will go as well.

(6th verse) Be sure you do not force anyone to stop. So long as they have the heart to, anyone can participate in the earth-carrying.

(7th & 8th verses) How extraordinary this earth-carrying is, as it does not require anything but digging up earth in the Residence and transporting it from one place to another.

(9th verse) Until now, all of you did not understand (no one understood) any of this. How unfortunate!

(10th verse) This year, we yielded an ample harvest without actually buying and applying fertilizer. How encouraging this is! How thankful we are!


Song Eleven communicates the several key ideas regarding hinokishin:

  • It is to be done in a unity of mind by a married couple (2)
  • Ideally, it allows us to eliminate greed (4) by focusing our attention outward on a single purpose
  • It is to be done out of one’s own initiative (5 & 6) (10 too if you interpret “koe o okazu” as “Kami will not say”)
  • Ideally, it is something that can be done by anyone without any skill (8)

Song Eleven has thematic connections with Song Three (Hinomoto & hinokishin) as well as Song Seven (sowing seeds without fertilizer, hinokishin, working with the earth—albeit Song Seven is farming in a field vs. preparing a ground for construction).


  1. Ueda B 48.
  2. Hirano 219.
  3. Ono 234.
  4. Ono 235.
  5. See Footsteps of Our Predecessors 52.
  6. Ono 228.
  7. Ono 234.
  8. Fukaya 223 E149.
  9. Fukaya 224 E149–50.
  10. Hirano 226.

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