Third Installment of “Savoring the Realm of the Mikagura-uta” Lecture Series, part 2

The third installment of part two of the “Savoring the Realm of the Mikagura-uta” lecture series, sponsored by the Oyasato Institute for the Study of Religion, was held at 13:00 on June 25. The lecturer was Harumichi Fukagawa sensei and he was assigned to discuss Song Seven (Nana Kudari-me) of the Mikagura-uta. The title of the lecture was “Denji no iranu mono wa nai” (There is no one… who does not desire to own a field).

Here is the current translation of Song Seven:

First, A single word can be hinokishin. I simply sprinkle My fragrance around.

Second, As My intention is so profound, No one should prevent it.

Third, There is no one in the world, Whose mind does not desire to own a field.

Fourth, If there is a good field, Everyone equally will desire to own it.

Fifth, It is the same with everyone, I, too, wish to own such a good field.

Sixth, I never compel you to do this or that. That is left to your own heart.

Seventh, I wish to get the field by any means, No matter what the price may be.

Eighth, As this Residence is the field of God, Every seed sown here will sprout.

Ninth, Since this is the field of this world, I, too, will sow the seed devotedly.

Finally, This time, I am glad to see that all of you equally Have come here to sow the seed;

Those who have sown the seed, Shall reap a rich harvest without fertilizing.

Lecture Three: “Denji no iranu mono wa nai” (Song Seven) by Harumuchi Fukagawa (translation of Tenri jiho article, July 12, 2009 edition, p. 6). English translations of particular terms, phrases, and my additions to the text are put in brackets.

Song Seven begins with a verse mentioninghinokishin.” A common interpretation is that even conveying “A single word” amounts to doing hinokishin. 

Yoshinaru Ueda sensei interprets this verse by taking all ten verses into consideration, writing, “This Song appears to talk about fields and sowing seeds, but if one were to read and examine its contents with great care, it talks about hinokishin.”

I’d like to discuss various interpretations regarding the theme of this lecture, [the verse] “There is no one in the world, Whose mind does not desire to own a field” (verse 3).

In terms of its meaning, we can conclude that it means, “Seeing into the minds/hearts of all people in the world, there is no one who does not want a field” (Mikagura-uta no sekai o tazunete [Inquiring into the world of the Songs for the Service], Doyusha ed.).

Here, an especially important is the expression “denji” [field, literally, rice field]. Beginning with Oyasama, the majority of followers at the time were occupied in farm work. So it can be imagined that Oyasama used this word that referred to the land farmers made rice as a metaphor.

This use of “denji” as a metaphor would mean that it can be referring to a place important to one’s livelihood, such as a shop for a store owner or a worksite for a craftsman. Further, there is also an interpretation of denji meaning the human “mind/heart”; that one is provided with fruits (a good future) by planting and growing good seeds.

Among those who interprets denji in this way, Kanenobu Takeya sensei has stated: “In an intangible sense, it refers to the field of the mind/heart, the mind of true sincerity. In a tangible sense, it means one’s physical field or body. Here, however, I feel that it is better to take it as God’s mind, in other words, shukyo [religion]” (Mikagura-uta kaigi).

It is possible to perceive this “religion” as the teachings of the path. Further, if “iranu mono wa nai” [there is no one who does not desire] means “something that is necessary for anyone,” it is possible to interpret that God the Parent and Oyasama are aching to have the teachings of the path conveyed to the people of the world.

If we also take Takeya sensei’s way of thinking, [and apply it to] “good field” (verse 4), is it not possible to think it to mean “good religion” (the path)? Then, “Tare de mo hoshii de arōgana” [Everyone will desire to own it] can also mean that everyone is desirous of learning about the path.

Continuing to the next verse, we have the expression “ano ji” [literally, “that field”]. Linguistically, “ano” is called a demonstrative attributive (rentaishi) denoting a distant object. It is used to refer to an object that is far away. Considering this, it is possible to think of “that field” as referring to the world of the “Joyous Life,” which is not an easy task to bring into reality. Further, there is a view that promotes the interpretation of the “Washi” [I] of “Washi mo ano ji o motometai” [I too, wish to own such a good field] as referring to Oyasama Herself [and thus not necessarily a “universal I”].

Furthermore, as we find in “Yashiki wa Kami no denji ya de” [this Residence is the field of God] (verse 8), verses eight to ten are thought to be about sowing seeds (fusekomi [i.e., dedicating oneself]) in God’s field.

To say what God’s field refers to, it is the place where God the Parent’s blessings of salvation are set into motion. That is, Jiba. We are taught that the seeds sown here will all sprout.

In other words, it is important that we followers till our own “denji” [fields] and cultivate unwavering faith and conviction.

In this way, by engaging in hinokishin and dedicating one’s sincerity at “Jiba = God’s field,” we will be shown God’s splendid blessings.

(End of translation)

Comment: It just occurred to me that it is more than possible to connect Song Seven with the central lesson of Anecdotes of Oyasama 30. Since “denji” in Song Seven literally means rice field, it is quite significant that Oyasama took a rice seed to teach Izo Iburi the lesson of ichiryu manbai, a single seed multiplying ten thousandfold.