Kita Koki manuscript

This week, I am posting my English translation of the Kita manuscript of the Divine Record (Koki), which was also once available on the Tenrikyo Resource Wiki. While the Kita manuscript is also generally judged to have been written in 1881, it is decidedly longer than the Nakayama manuscript. Moreover, Jirokichi Kita wrote in katakana instead of hiragana and his manuscript contains more kanji than other versions, which may stem from his educational background.

The Kita manuscript bears the inscription “Meiji 14, year of the serpent (1881), August 1” on its cover. This is followed by a diagram of the Kanrodai, its dimensions, and its meaning.1 Unfortunately, these diagrams were not included with the reproduced text I based my translation on.2

On Jirokichi Kita3

Jirokichi Kita (1852–1917) was born in the Yaoi household of Izushichijo Village, Yamato Province. He received instruction in penmanship from a Confucian scholar between the ages of eight and 14. He was relatively large in height (182 cm or six ft.) and learned the secrets of the Yagyu school of swordsmanship.

His first brush with Oyasama’s teachings was through an eye disorder when he was 16 but he did not become deeply involved until later. In the meantime, the financial situation of the Yaoi household became dire and Jirokichi once trained as a sumo wrestler at a stable in Osaka with an intention to earn money for his parents. However, the sumo lifestyle did not suit him. He then fell ill in 1874 after returning home. Oyasama’s teachings made a deep impression on him this time around and he began helping at the public bath that was operated by Shuji Nakayama as a pretense to allow people to gather at the Residence without running afoul of the law. Jirokichi took on the surname Kita after marrying Yoshi Kita in 1877.

Jirokichi began making salvation efforts and taught the Service dance. He formed the Seishin Confraternity in 1880 (the precursor of Harumichi Grand Church). When Shuji formed the Tenrin-O-Kosha, Jirokichi was named manager.

The Honseki Izo Iburi bestowed Jirokichi the Sazuke of Water on March 24, 1887. Jirokichi later was entrusted with overseeing followers in outlying areas and worked as a staff member of the early Tenrikyo organization in a variety of posts such as head minister of Shimagahara Bunkyokai (now grand church) and superintendent of Osaka Diocese.

Without further ado, here is my translation:

At the beginning when neither the world nor human beings existed, there was Cosmic Space-Time (Tsuki-Hi) alone in a muddy ocean. Cosmic Space (Tsuki-sama) surveyed the landscape and consulted with Cosmic Time (Hi-sama) and embarked on the preparations to create human beings.

From that point, they looked carefully in the muddy ocean and found a Uo4 and Mi5 mixed within. Discerning their natures, they had human faces. The Uo refused to comply and was drawn against his will. His face was that of a human and the texture of his skin was smooth without scales. He also was called a gigyo (salamander). The heart-mind of Tsuki-sama entered him and he became the seed, called Izanagi-no-Mikoto. Further, the Mi had (no) scales, had human skin, a long body, and called a white snake. The heart-mind of Hi-sama entered her and she became the seedbed of human beings, called Izanami-no-Mikoto.

As (Cosmic Space-Time) looked elsewhere, there was a fish called a shachihoko. This life form was very robust. (Cosmic Space-Time) drew him, gained his consent, and consumed him. Upon discerning the flavor of his nature, he was trained to become the primary male instrument. The heart-mind of Hi-sama entered the white snake. As (Cosmic Space-Time) looked further, there was a turtle. This life form had truly strong footing and had strong skin. (Cosmic Space-Time) gained her consent and consumed her. Upon discerning her nature, she was trained to become the primary female instrument. They became Kami, husband and wife, known as Izanagi and Izanami. At this moment, this revered Parent is 84 years of age.

To prepare human beings required various instruments and models. As (Cosmic Space-Time) looked further, there was an eel. Her quality of skin was slippery and after (Cosmic Space-Time) received her, she was used as the instrument of drinking, eating, and elimination. She was called Kumoyomi-no-Mikoto. Further, there was a righteye flounder. His body was thin. After (Cosmic Space-Time) gained his consent, consumed him. Upon discerning the flavor of his nature, he was used as the instrument of breathing. He was called Kashikone-no-Mikoto. Further, for the instrument of bones, the robust shachihoko was used as the instrument of bones. He was called Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto. The aforementioned turtle, she was also used as the instrument of skin and muscle. She was called Kunisazuchi-no-Mikoto.

From that point, loaches became the souls of human beings. Izanagi-sama then took the seeds of 9 hundred million, 99 thousand, 9 hundred and 99 children; they were conceived over 3 days and 3 nights and (their mother Izanami-sama) stayed for 3 years and 3 months. (Izanami-sama) gave birth in the 7 ri6 between Nara and Hase7 in Yamato Province over 7 days. (She then) gave birth in the remainder of Yamato Province over 4 days. This is the reason why this area is known as “Kamigata” (the Divine Residence). From that point on (Izanami-sama) gave birth in the three provinces of Iga, Kawachi, and Yamashiro over 19 days. It is for this reason (30 days after childbirth the mother’s) body feels light and (ritual impurity?) departs. (Izanami-sama then) gave birth in the remaining provinces over 45 days. This is the reason why there is (the custom of a mother remaining) 75 days in a birthing room (after childbirth).

These human beings were born 5 bu8 tall and equally matured to (a height of) 3 sun.9 At that time Izanagi-sama hid himself and the human beings too died. {*marginalia: The places where (Izanami-sama) gave birth are shrines.} By the divine providence already taught her, the number of children mentioned earlier were conceived in the same womb. (The beings) were born 5 bu tall and equally became 3 sun and 5 bu10 and again all died. {*marginalia: The places (Izanami-sama) gave birth the second time are graves and cemeteries.} Then, in the same womb (Izanami-sama) conceived a third time. (The beings) again were born 5 bu tall and equally became 4 sun.11 Seeing this, their revered Parent thought to herself, “At this rate they will become human beings 5 shaku tall12,” smiled, and hid herself. The human beings again died. {*marginalia: (The places they were born) the third time are temples and places of worship.} These beings were reborn three times and (lived for) 99 years (each time).

From that point on, the seeds of human beings died and were reborn as birds and mammals 8 thousand and 8 times. These beings also all died. All that remained was a single monkey that could more or less imitate a person. The heart-mind of Kunisazuchi-sama entered her. With the providence of the revered Parent, 5 boys and 5 girls, or 10 children at a time were born. These children were also 5 bu tall. The places she gave birth are first shrines, second cemeteries, and third temples and are all places we pay our respects.

These beings (grew) equally to 1 shaku and 8 sun13, whereupon the water and earth separated. They then matured to (the height of) 3 shaku (14, whereupon the sky and the earth, ocean and mountains separated until they would be distinguished from one another. Heaven then blessed these beings with food. This is the reason why at age 315 human beings begin to speak and develop wisdom. {*marginalila: These beings then came upon the lands of the periphery and beyond.} From that point on, human beings were born two at a time in the same womb, a boy and a girl. When human beings reached five shaku16, they were blessed with crops and began to be born from the womb one at a time.

Not knowing this, presently human beings believe their bodies are their own but this idea is misguided. Our bodies are things borrowed from the venerable Kami. These borrowed things include eyes/moisture and warmth. Skin/joining and the bones that form the core (of the body). Drinking/eating/elimination and breathing. These (functions) are things borrowed from the Kami. These Kami are the six foundational Kami. These six Kami are the venerable Kami that were instruments when human beings were begun.

Tsuki-sama (Moon-Space) provides the moisture of the eyes. As this venerable Kami surveyed the landscape (kunitoko) at the beginnings of origin, this Kami is named Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto-sama. Hi-sama (Sun-Time) provides the protection of warmth. This venerable Kami became heavy with children (omotate) and became the seedbed for human beings. It is for this reason she is called Omotari-no-Mikoto. These two Kami became the seed and seedbed and are the true Parents.

The one that provides muscle and skin is Kunisazuchi-no-Mikoto-sama. The one that provides the protection of bones is Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto-sama. Drinking, eating, and elimination is Kumoyomi-no-Mikoto-sama. The one that provides breathing is Kashikone-no-Mikoto-sama. These personages became the instruments at the beginning of origin of human beings and were given sacred names.

Further, the Kami called Otonobe originally was a black snake. Upon discerning his long nature, he became the Kami providing protection for crops and the providence of pulling forth in manifold matters. For this reason, this Kami is called Otonobe-no-Mikoto. Further, the one called Taishokuten was a fugu. She gained the providence of cutting. Upon discerning her nature, she was entrusted with the task of cutting all ties including that of death and birth. She is called Taishokuten-no-Mikoto for the reason she provides this protection. These Kami are the Kami of the 8 directions.

Further, on the origin of “Namu Amida Butsu,” “Namu” in our faith is Kunitokotachi-sama and Omotari-sama. In the Buddhist faith they are the Amitabha triad17 and Mahasthamaprapta. “Ami” in our faith is Kunisazuchi-no-Mikoto-sama and Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto-sama. In the Buddhist faith they are Samantabhadra and the bodhisattva Hachiman. Further, “da Bu” in our faith is Kumoyomi-no-Mikoto and Kashikone-no-Mikoto-sama. In the Buddhist faith they are Manjushri and Vairocana Buddha. “Tsu” is Taishokuten-no-Mikoto. In the Buddhist faith, she is Akasagarbha. As for Otonobe-no-Mikoto, in the Buddhist faith, he is Acala.

These Kami discerned the original locale (Jiba of Origin) 45 years ago since it was the year when the years equal to the number of firstborn human beings at the beginnings of origin had elapsed. This original locale is the Residence known as Nakayama in Shoyashiki in the county of Yamabe, Yamato Province — this is the locale of the beginnings of origin of this living world. The heart-minds of venerable Cosmic Space-Time descended swiftly on 10/26 in the 9th year of Tenpo (1838), the year of the rooster.

Manifold forms of salvation are not to be accomplished through medicines, prostrations, or incantations.18 Wondrous blessings will be made available just through the venerable Kami’s teachings. {*marginalia: Among these teachings is to set up the Kanrodai as the proof of the beginning of the world and human beings where neither existed.}

There ought to be nothing to be called illness in human bodies. In the world, they call it illness but there is nothing to be called illness, it is a path of the misguided heart-mind. These paths are likened to dust and are covetousness, miserliness, self-love, hatred, bearing grudges, anger, greed, and arrogance. {marginalia: Because these pile up and accumulate, they appear on human bodies.} If we sincerely repent of any of these dusts we believe we have accumulated since the age of 15 and swiftly sweep it away {*marginalia: and an entire household together prays to the venerable Kami,} we can escape any disease, distress, or misfortune.

If one were to discuss this in further detail, these dusts can be accumulated between parent and child, brothers and sisters, husband and wife. Further, lies told even among neighbors are included in these eight dusts. If we reform ourselves of these uses of the heart-mind, sincerely repent, and pray with all our might, there will not be any prayer that will go unanswered. Not knowing this, the people of the world wonder what this path is about and think it to be false. This is the cause of the prime regret of the venerable Kami.

Further, as proof of revealing this salvation, the Grant of Safe Childbirth eliminates the need to follow the three customs of leaning on a bundle of straw, wearing an abdominal band, and abstaining from certain foods. After a mother gives birth, her body is as it usually is without any ritual impurity. Another proof is the elimination from the need to follow regulations concerning the 8 directions. Even if you search the entire Three Thousandfold World, you will not find another revered Kami that will free you from these three customs.

At the time of childbirth, the Kami that cuts the ties (between the mother and child) in the womb is Taishokuten. The Kami that pulls (the child out of the womb) is Otonobe-no-Mikoto-sama. After (the child is pulled out), the Kami that enables joining is Kunisazuchi-no-Mikoto-sama. These three Kami are together are called Akken-Myo-O.

Cosmic-Space Time is the same as the skies and the earth. We live in the revered Parent’s body and borrow our bodies. We believed they were our own but this belief is mistaken. At this time, we should listen to this teaching, become enlightened by its truth, and not turn away from it. Although it is said that human beings die, we do not die but return what we borrowed. Not knowing this, why do you think why humans die? This is the cause of Kami’s regret and divine anger. This regret appears throughout the world. Not knowing this, people believe it to be incurable illnesses.

The matters that are thought to be fearsome and dangerous in the world would not be so if we step into the revered Parent’s Residence of Origin and sincerely lean on the Kami. If everyone in the world, one and all, hears this, they will come to pay respects to the Parental Home. If everyone truly helps one another in all matters, the Kami will also immediately grant salvation.

To our greatest delight, the original Kami are now alive, appearing as human beings. If you doubt this, you will not receive blessings. If you sincerely believe this to be true, doctors, medicines, prostrations, and incantations will not be necessary. These are places to express our indebtedness in this living world, and forms of tending and fertilizing. If you ponder this and come to inquire, there will be nothing that you will not know.

No matter how strong, powerful, or clever you may be, you will not be able to stand up against our revered Parent’s regret. If the entire world, one and all, forgets greed19 and equally becomes spiritually uplifted, there will be nothing for the Parent to feel regretful over. It is the sole desire of the Parent to have the heart-minds in all nations to be purified and to grant salvation. If we hear this matter in detail, we should quickly act to completely purify our heart-minds as Kami desires.

Further, trees (are governed by) Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto, fire by Omotari-no-Mikoto, earth by Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto, metals by Kunisazuchi-no-Mikoto, and water by Kumoyomi-no-Mikoto. These are the five elements. The five generations of earthly Kami are Amida-Butsu. The seven generations of sky Kami are Amida-Butsu, Izanagi, and Izanami. Although they say we mix the Kami with Buddhism, if we were to use the metaphor of a tree, there are 8 branches and 1 root.20 Although they say the periphery is extraordinary, this nation is the origin of the world whereas the periphery are the ends of branches.21


  1. Shozen Nakayama. Koki no kenkyu 87–8.
  2. This reproduced text appears in Koki no kenkyu 89–102.
  3. Information paraphrased from Tomoji Takano. Disciples of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo 37–9.
  4. Rendered in the English Ofudesaki as “fish.”
  5. Rendered in the English Ofudesaki as “serpent.”
  6. A distance of about 4.85 km or 2.8 mi.
  7. Hase refers to Hasedera, a temple in present-day Sakurai City.
  8. About half an inch.
  9. About 3 inches.
  10. About 3 and a half inches.
  11. About 4 inches.
  12. About 5 feet.
  13. About 1 foot and 8 inches.
  14. About 3 feet.
  15. This would correspond to the Western count of one or two years old.
  16. About five feet.
  17. I assume this triad to be Amitahba flanked by Mahāsthāmaprāpta and Avalokiteśvara on each side.
  18. “Prostrations and incantations”: a translation of ogami-kito. Rendered in the Ofudesaki as “formulas of worship.”
  19. The phrase “yoku o wasurete” (forget greed) also appears in Mikagura-uta Song Eleven, verse 4.
  20. The Shinbutsu bunri edict in 1868 forcibly separated Buddhism and “Shinto,” which were deeply integrated with each other at many religious centers. The early Tenrikyo movement was occasionally oppressed for running afoul of this edit. Regarding “8 branches and 1 root,” there is a similar phrase in Ofudesaki 12:15, “From one trunk, there are eight branches.”
  21. See Ofudesaki 3:88–90; 5:36–43.