一ツ いちにだいくのうかゞひに なにかのこともまかせおく
一つ 一に大工の伺いに 何かの事をも任せ置く
Hitotsu / Ichi ni daiku no ukagai ni / nanika no koto mo makase oku
One / First to / carpenter’s invocation / all matters / entrust
Daiku no ukagai
The dance motion for “daiku” is that of a carpenter making an ink line (equivalent to a chalk line in the West) with a tool called the sumitsubo. With “ukagai”, one takes out a folded fan, symbolizing the Sazuke of the Fan Oyasama bestowed on about 50 followers circa 1864.
There are two possible ways to interpret this phrase “the invocation of the carpenter”
This may refer to the time when Izo Iburi approached Oyasama to build a yashiro in appreciation of saving his wife, Sato, from a miscarriage in 1864. In response, Oyasama said, “There is no need for a shrine. Start building something small. It is to be a structure of one tsubo square. Additions can be made depending on your minds.” The details of the construction such as the ultimate size of the structure that eventually became the Place of the Service were left up to Izo and other followers.
This verse may be interpreted as one anticipating the day when Izo would become the Honseki and dictate the will of Cosmic Space-Time after Oyasama withdrew from physical life. It may be noted that ukagai was a common term referring to the act of formally making a request for Divine Directions through the Honseki. Note that this is my personal interpretation. None of the commentaries I looked at explicitly made such a suggestion. The closet any commentator came was one who merely mentions that Izo received a grant called the Grant of Divine Utterance that allowed him to convey Kami’s will.1. Records indicate Izo received this grant in 1875.
二ツ ふしぎなふしんをするならバ うかゞひたてゝいひつけよ
二つ 不思議な普請をするならば 伺い立てて言いつけよ
Futatsu / Fushigi na fushin o suru naraba / ukagai tatete ii-tsuke yo
Two / Wondrous salvation / if [you] do / make an invocation / and convey it
Tenrikyo-related construction—both at the Residence and at regional churches—serves two purposes. Whereas one purpose is to build a physical structure, it may be argued that this purpose is secondary.
Salvation is the primary purpose of construction in Tenrikyo. A construction provides opportunities for people to dedicate their sincerity, attain spiritual growth, as well as gain relief from physical disorders and adverse circumstances. Thus making all construction projects in Tenrikyo a “wondrous construction.” Because construction serves this primary function, one ought to first receive Oyagami’s permission before going forward.2
One way earlier followers did this was by gaining permission through a request for Divine Directions from the Honseki between 1887 and 1907. After 1907, the process has been formalized into the current sanction system that exists today.
One commentator gives his take as follows: “The carpenter to whom the details have been entrusted ought not to go ahead on his own, just because he has been placed in charge of the project. He should first inquire the Divine Will before giving instructions on what should be done…. the person who has been entrusted (with details regarding the construction) should not take affairs into his own hands. He should consult with his superiors to find out what they wish. Such is undoubtedly is the point which Oyasama wishes to convey in these lines.”3
三ツ みなせかいからだん／＼と きたるだいくににほいかけ
三つ 皆世界から段々んと 来る大工に匂い掛け
Mittsu / Mina sekai kara / dandan to / kitaru daiku ni / nioi-kake
Three / All the world from / gradually / to carpenters who come / emit fragrance
One commentator writes: “Ideally, people embrace the faith under their own initiative; it ought not to be forced on them. Nevertheless, people who are not aware of the path of single-hearted salvation based in Jiba will not know about it unless someone tells them. Just as beautiful plum blossoms carry a wonderful scent, a single word or action of a person advancing on the path of single-hearted salvation will emit a fragrance in of itself, thus guiding people to Oyagami’s teachings.”4
Therefore, verse 3 instructs, “Be sure to sprinkle the fragrance of the path of single-hearted salvation to the carpenters that gather one after another from the whole world to participate in the construction.”
四ツ よきとうりやうかあるならバ はやくこもとへよせておけ
四つ 良き棟梁があるならば 早くこ元へ寄せて置け
Yottsu / Yoki tōryō / aru naraba / hayaku komoto e / yosete-oke
Four / Good masters / if there are / quickly / to the origin / bring [them] over
五ツ いづれとうりやうよにんいる はやくうかゞいたてゝみよ
五つ 何れ棟梁四人要る 早く伺い立ててみよ
Itsutsu / Izure / tōryō / yo-nin iru / hayaku ukagai tatete miyo
Five / Someday / masters / four are required / quickly make an invocation
“Master.” One commentator defines “toryo” as a person who directs and advances the completion of a building by dividing the labor among carpenters to construct parts of a building.5
Verses 4 and 5 can be paraphrased as follows: “If you find good, capable masters, bring them immediately to Jiba, for ultimately, four of them are needed! Then quickly make a request for instructions (Divine Directions)!”
The number four in “four masters” is said to be symbolically connected with construction and framework6, possibly because you need at least four pillars7 and four walls to build a house. It may also be noted that the fourth aspect of Kami’s complete providence, Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto, has to do with support and propping something up.
I will explain more about the “four masters” after covering the rest of Song Twelve.
六ツ むりにこいとハいはんでな いづれだん／＼つきくるで
六つ 無理に来いとは言わんでな 何れ段々随き来るで
Muttsu / Muri ni / koi towa / iwan de na / izure dandan tsuki-kuru de
Against [your] will / come / do not say / someday / gradually / come to follow
The message in the verse is quite similar to the Song Seven’s verse 6, Song Nine’s verse 6, and following verse from the Ofudesaki:
I do not force you to come along if you do not wish to, but if you should, you will be blessed forever.
As already mentioned earlier, one ideally embraces faith under one’s own initiative. But this verse conveys the notion that ultimately, everyone will come to follow the teachings in due time. There is an implication people will do so, if not initially by their own initiative, then through the guidance of an illness or other trouble.