119. Children Returning from Afar (Japanese title: Enpō kara kodomo ga)
One day in April or May 1883, a follower came to offer rice cakes. When an attendant presented them before Oyasama, She said:
“Today some children are returning from afar, so leave some rice cakes for them.”
Those who were there followed Her directions but were in suspense, wondering who would be returning. Then that same evening, Takai, Miyamori, Izutsu, and Tachibana, who had been in Enshu doing missionary work, returned. Moreover, the four said that they had arrived at Igaueno at about lunch time and had thought of taking lunch there, but because they wanted to reach Jiba as early as possible, they had gone without lunch. Not only were their legs tired but they were very hungry indeed. Feeling the warmth of Oyasama’s parental love even in the rice cakes which they ate, they shed tears of gratitude.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 98
My research / take
The Tenri jiho newspaper feature I referred to in the last post actually contains information pertaining to Anecdotes no. 119. Here is this information in translation/paraphrase:
Moroi Kunisaburo, after having met with Oyasama, was said to have solidified his faith even deeper. He went back to Enshu (Shizuoka) and formed a confraternity with the people who had been blessed with the help of Kichimoto’s prayers.
In the third lunar month of 1883 (or April-May according to the Gregorian calendar), Takai Naokichi, Miyamori Yosaburo, Izutsu Umejiro, and Tachibana Zenkichi were dispatched from the Residence to teach members of the new confraternity the dances for Yorozuyo and Song One. The confraternity was named the Totomi Shinmei-ko and although incomplete, members began conducting regular services.
Kunisaburo would learn the rest of the Twelve Songs in four days when he made his second pilgrimage to Jiba about half a year later. Iburi Izo, by virtue of the Sazuke of Speech (also known as the Grant of Divine Utterance), delivered a message from God pronouncing that if Kunisaburo went back to his home province and put in the required effort, he would draw sixty percent of the people living in his province. Whether it would turn out as foretold depended upon his heart alone.
Anecdotes no. 119 describes the return trip from Shizuoka of Izutsu et al. The narrative suggests that Oyasama was aware that the dispatched team would be arriving in Jiba and had gone without lunch, so she instructs that a batch of mochi brought by a follower earlier that day to be left for them. This forethought of hers is a sign of her “parental love,” another feather in the cap of her “Divine Model.”
It may also be mentioned that the distance between Igaueno and Tenri is roughly 42 kilometers or 26 miles according to my highly unscientific guesswork. If I’m correct, this means Izutsu et al. covered the distance of a marathon without lunch. I would have been starving even without traveling that far!
Moroi Michitaka. 2009. “Itsuwa no kokoro tazunete: gendai ni ikiru Oyasama no oshie.” Tenri jihō No. 4138 (July 12, 2009), p. 3.
 Could this be a misprint? I thought the name of the confraternity was the Totomi Shinmei-gumi. Ah, it’s a minor detail.
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