Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 83

83. Many, Many Years

Yosaburo Miyamori received an urgent call from Oyasama while he was working in the rice fields of the Residence. It was so unexpected that he wondered what it was all about. He hurried to Oyasama in his work clothes. Oyasama bestowed the sazuke on him then and there.

“Thank you for having worked these many, many years,”

were the words given to him by Oyasama in appreciation.

Note: It was in May 1881 that Yosaburo Miyamori was granted the sazuke.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 69

Translation of “Sawa’s note”

“Miyamori embraced the faith in 1877 due to a pain in his left arm. He went to the Residence nearly every day for the next three years. He moves in after Oyasama tells him, “Stay here.” He is said to be one of the first young men, along with Naokichi Takai, to have moved into the Residence as live-in help. He went to south Yamashiro (currently Umetani in Kizu, Soraku County, Kyoto Prefecture) to conduct missionary work in 1881. He helped build the foundation of the present Umetani Daikyokai. He later became the second head minister of Umetani Daikyokai.”

My take

Oyasama had begun bestowing Sazuke or Grants that gave her adherents the ability to pray for the cure of others’ illnesses in 1874.1 Yet police oppression and interference in subsequent years made it difficult for her to bestow these Grants as widely as she would have liked. Anecdotes 83 is a rare account describing her bestowing the Sazuke post-1874.

I imagine Oyasama discerned that Yosaburo Miyamori was deserving of the Sazuke after he had shown courage when he accompanied her son Shuji to Jifukuji [ “Earth-fortune-temple”] on Mt. Kongo.

Shuji had gone to the temple to obtain legal patronage for his mother’s religious activities but Oyasama herself had declared that “If you do such a thing, God the Parent will withdraw” or that he would die if he made such an attempt. After Shuji passed away in April 1881 and his widow Matsue in November 1882, it is said that Miyamori expected that he would soon be next. (Please see “Further reading” below for links to related posts and discussions.)

That Oyasama had bestowed the (truth of the) Sazuke to him (an action that is arguably comparable to ordaining a person as a full-fledged missionary) not long after Shuji’s passing suggests to me that she had great expectations for this young man, who would go on to make many contributions toward transforming Tenrikyo from a regional faith movement into a religious organization that is national and multinational in scale.


  • Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. 1976. Anecdotes of Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo. Tenri: Tenrikyo Church Headquarters.
  • _________. 1996 [1967]. The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo (third edition). Tenri: Tenrikyo Church Headquarters.

Further reading


  1. See “The Sazuke bestowal of December 26, 1874” section in Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 35 for more.