97. Tobacco Field
Once Oyasama said to Kozaburo Murakami of Izumi Province:
“I will show you a vision.”
She showed him the inside of the sleeve of the red garment She was wearing. Kozaburo looked into the sleeve as instructed. There he saw a scene of deep green tobacco leaves growing luxuriantly in his tobacco field. When he came back home from the Residence, he went straight to his tobacco field. There he saw the tobacco growing just as luxuriantly as he had seen it inside Oyasama’s sleeve. Feelings of relief, joy and gratitude welled up within him and before he knew it, he was bowing deeply toward the Residence.
This incident took place when Kozaburo returned to Jiba during the time he had been directing his efforts solely toward saving others and had entrusted the farming entirely to his hired hands. The hired hands worked diligently at growing the tobacco plants and wanted Kozaburo to see the luxuriant field at least once. However, as Kozaburo was devoting all his time to the salvation of others he did not have any spare time to go and see the field. Naturally he was concerned; the thought of the tobacco field was always in the back of his mind. Kozaburo was all the more deeply moved by the omnipotent workings of God the Parent and by God’s parental love in taking care of God’s children.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 80–81
Translation of “Sawa’s note”
“Kozaburo Murakami was from Higashi-Toki Village, Senboku County, Osaka Prefecture. He received the name Shinsei-ko for his confraternity. [He is the founding minister of] Tenrikyo Sento Bunkyokai (affiliate of Takayasu).”
I don’t ever recall reading anything about Oyasama having a mini next-generation plasma TV in her kimono sleeve, but a similar story is described in Anecdotes 76.
All kidding aside, in this earlier story, it could be speculated that it perhaps only took some sleight of hand on Oyasama’s part to create the illusion that caused a follower to see a field of peonies since her kimono sleeve and the flowers are both red in color.
Anecdotes 97 has a story element that someone may have to either accept or dismiss at face value. Or, perhaps the tobacco field that Kozaburo Murakami sees in Oyasama’s kimono sleeve is a sophisticated optical illusion something along the likes of what are called green flashes or green rays.
In any case, the description of Kozaburo seeing a green tobacco field in Oyasama’s red kimono sleeve is peripheral to the rest of the story. The vision Oyasama lets Kozaburo see seems to have prompted him to go straight to his own fields when he went home.
During the period Kozaburo was “directing his efforts solely toward saving others,” the health of his fields was nevertheless something that he was concerned about. When he sees that his worries were unfounded and his tobacco crop was growing healthily as he had seen earlier with the help of Oyasama’s vision, his natural reaction was to turn toward Jiba and express his appreciation.
Instead of being distracted by the implausibility of Oyasama’s magic kimono sleeve, the notion that God takes care of anyone who puts one’s own matters aside to devote oneself to a greater cause is clearly a more central religious theme in Anecdotes 97. Also worthy of note is how Kozaburo seems to demonstrate more awe at God’s “omnipotent workings” and “parental love” than he does with the vision that Oyasama showed him.
But one wonders: What about the efforts of the hired hands? (Hmmm….)
- Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. 1976. Anecdotes of Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo. Tenri: Tenrikyo Church Headquarters.
- Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 72: Destined to Be Saved
- The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 24: “Destined to Be Saved”