Yamada Koki manuscript

Serendipitiously, a Koki manuscript written by Ihachiro Yamada was recently made available online so I went ahead and translated it.1

On Ihachiro Yamada2

Born in Kaei 1 (1848) in Deyashiki of Kurahashi Village, Toichi County, Yamato Province (Deyashiki, Kurahashi, Sakurai City). He was the eldest son of Ihei, head of the village’s richest farming family, and Taka. Ihachiro embraced the faith in 1881 after his marriage to Koiso Yamanaka. He would walk 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) to Jiba to directly receive instructions from Oyasama at each significant development and wrote these instructions in valuable documents such as Tenrin-Ō-no-MikotoBunmonki (Record of inquires and questions), and Oyasama o-kotoba (Words of Oyasama).

Ihachiro forms the Shin’yu-gumi in December 1811. Fervent salvation efforts (o-tasuke) through the Service Dance help spread the faith to Uda, Yoshino, and on to Mie and Wakayama. Ihachiro went on to be installed the second head minister of Shikishima Bunkyokai in 1899, which was made a daikyokai in 1909. In 1911, he was appointed a Honbu-in (Tenrikyo Church Headquarters executive staff member). He excelled in his knowledge of doctrine and was described “the tanno minister.” Further, he dedicated himself solely to Jiba during the construction heading to the 30th Anniversary of Oyasama (1906) and the later relocation of Shikishima followers dormitory.

Here is the translation:

This world we live, its true origin was a muddy ocean where there were nothing but loaches. The original Kami3, Tsuki-Hi-sama.4 Then, Tsuki-sama thought, “Nothing will come of it if it is just both of us. Let us somehow create a world and human beings with arms and legs that they can move as they please as well as the ability to speak words. If we watch and enjoy the joyous excursion of these precious human beings, what a delight it would be.” (Tsuki-sama) discussed this with Hi-sama and turned to the landscape (kunitoko) and ascertained it. This is the reason Tsuki-sama is called Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto-sama, Kunimisadame-no-Mikoto-sama, and the venerable Thousand-Armed Kannon. From that moment, (Tsuki-Hi-sama) made arrangements to prepare the instruments and models to create the world and create human beings.

When (Tsuki-Hi-sama) looked very carefully in the muddy ocean, a Uo5 and Mi6 were mixed within. This Uo had a human face and no scales. His body had the texture of human skin and for this reason was called a merman. He is also called gigyo (salamander). There were gills on this Uo’s shoulders. This Uo would not drift sideways nor did he backtrack. He would simply move forward and ahead. Seeing his straight and unwavering heart-mind, (Tsuki-Hi-sama) gained his consent and received him as seed of human beings. A sacred name was given to this life form, the Kami Izanagi. For an instrument to train this seed, (Tsuki-Hi-sama) looked very carefully and there was a shachi in the northwest. Seeing the forceful and strong nature of this shachi, (Tsuki-Hi-sama) thought, “We’ll utilize him as the male primary instrument. And look at what a handful he is! We’ll also use him as the instrument for bones in the body.” Both Tsuki-Hi-sama drew this life form, gained his consent, consumed him, and tasted the flavor of his heart-mind. Tsuki-sama entered the body of Gi-sama and began to work.

Further, the Mi had a human face and her body had the texture of human skin. This Mi was a white snake. (Tsuki-Hi-sama) ascertained her straight and unwavering heart-mind and gained her consent as the seedbed of human beings. A sacred name was given to this life form, the Kami Izanami. For an instrument to train this seedbed, when (Tsuki-Hi-sama) looked very carefully, there was a great turtle in the southeast. This turtle’s hide was strong and she did not fall to her side. Her footing was also strong and there was a turtle shell (ko) on her back. This is the reason why the vagina is called omeko. With these qualities, (Tsuki-Hi-sama) trained her to become the female primary instrument and utilized her as the instrument of skin and joining in the body. Both Tsuki-Hi drew this life form, gained her consent, consumed her, tasted and received the flavor of her heart-mind. Hi-sama entered the body of Mi-sama and began to work.

Then, both Tsuki-Hi-sama drew 9 hundred million, 99 thousand, 9 hundred and 99 loaches, gained their consent, consumed them, tasted and received the flavor of their heart-minds and made them the souls of human beings. For their drinking, eating, and elimination, (Tsuki-Hi-sama) looked very carefully and there was a fish called an eel in the east. When (Tsuki-Hi-sama) grasped this eel in the middle, she would slip through from her backside or head. Moreover, whatever she ate…7 Based on this strong nature of hers, both Tsuki-Hi-sama drew her, gained her consent, consumed her, tasted and received the flavor of her heart-mind to utilize her for humans’ drinking, eating, and elimination. Next, for an instrument for breath (Tsuki-Hi-sama) looked very carefully and there was a fish called a righteye flounder in the southwest. This fish was a fish with a thin body. One cannot produce a wind with something that is round or cornered. This fish’s body was thin. Because this fish’s body was thin, waving it produced a wind. Both Tsuki-Hi-sama drew him, gained his consent, consumed him, and received his flavor of heart-mind for the instrument of breath in the body. He was also utilized the instrument of wind in the world.

Human beings were complete at this point, but (Tsuki-Hi-sama felt) it will not do for them to always be breathing and living. For an instrument to cut the ties of death and birth, again (Tsuki-Hi-sama) looked very carefully and there was a fish called a fugu. This was a fish that had a hearty appetite (taishoku). It was also a fish that caused food poisoning. Both Tsuki-Hi-sama drew her, gained her consent, and consumed her. After tasting and receiving her flavor of heart-mind, utilized her as the instrument to cut the ties of death and life. For this reason, she is also called the scissors of this world.

Because human beings were complete at this point, they could not grow without food. For this, (Tsuki-Hi-sama) looked very carefully and there was a black snake in the west. To pull forth this food, (one would use this snake,) for if this snake was used to pull forth something, it would be able to pull it out despite how large it was. With this, he was utilized as the instrument to pull forth food and sow the seed in farmers’ fields. He pulls out the bud from the seed and his also called the True Word.8 He is also called Otonobe-no-Mikoto. Further, merchants are either experts or novices based on this principle. This set of instruments were utilized at the very beginning. For this reason, when you now invite someone, they will not come unless you provide meals for them.

Then, with the spot of the Kanrodai at center and their heads placed in the direction of the Place for the Service, (Gi-sama and Mi-sama) each laid down, one after the other, and pressed close together, saying “Namu Namu.” Over 3 days and 3 nights, a number of 9 hundred million, 99 thousand, 9 hundred and 99 human beings were conceived. This conception was the beginning of east, west, south, and north. When Gi-sama came, (Mi-sama saw) his face (and said,) “Kita ka, so you’re here.” With this, they knew (she was in) the direction of north (kita). Because of this, we do not say “So you’re here” when we don’t see a person’s face. The direction which Gi-sama and Mi-sama turned was the west (nishi). The origin for this is that the core (shin) of human bodies, the primary (function) is the eyes. The direction both Gi-sama and Mi-sama faced was the west, called nishi because it was the direction their core (shin) or eyes turned to. This is the beginning of east, west, south, and north.

At this spot, Jiba, (Mi-sama) stayed for 3 years and 3 months and she grew heavy. (These areas are) now called Nara and Hase.9 In the surrounding area 7 ri10 square, (Mi-sama) gave birth over 7 days. This is the reason why this area is known as “Kamigata” (the Divine Residence). (She then) gave birth in the remainder of Yamato Province over 4 days. This period of 11 days is called obi-ake. Then (Mi-sama) gave birth in the three provinces of Iga, Kawachi, and Yamashiro over 19 days. This period of 30 days is hanyumi hanmakura. (Mi-sama then) gave birth in the remaining provinces over 45 days. This is the reason why there is (the custom of a mother remaining) for a period of 75 days in a birthing room (after childbirth). The places that (Mi-sama) gave birth at this time are all shrines. Human beings were born 5 bu11 tall and equally matured to (a height of) 3 sun12 and died.

Izanagi-sama passed on at that point. After that, in her womb, Izanami-sama conceived the original number of beings by the divine providence that was once taught to her. These beings too were born 5 bu tall and equally matured to (the height of) 3 sun and 5 bu13 and died. Again in the same womb, the original number of beings conceived for a third time. These ones too, were born 5 bu tall and gradually became 4 sun14 (in height) and died. At that time, Izanami-sama too, joyfully smiled, rejoicing to herself, “From now on they will become beings 5 shaku 15 tall” and Izanami-sama hid away. The timespan these beings (lived) were 99 years 3 times. The places (Izanami-sama) gave birth the second time are graves and cemeteries. The third time are (statues of) Jizo on street corners as well as Konpira-sama and Koshin-sama. All the places (these beings) were born those three times are places of worship. Shrines first, graves second, and temples third: these are places and worship.

From that moment on, (the beings) were reborn 8 thousand and 8 times as birds, mammals, and beasts. For this reason, people can more or less imitate (the sounds and behavior of other animals). During this time, the protection of Tsuki-Hi-sama allowed this to come to pass. Then one monkey remained. This was Kunisazuchi-sama. In this monkey’s womb human beings, 5 boys and 5 girls, were conceived. They were also born from 5 bu and became 8 sun.16 When they reached 8 sun, the water and earth separated.

When they became 1 shaku and 8 sun17, the sky and earth, the ocean and mountains, and the Sun and the Moon separated so they could be distinguished. Until they reached 1 shaku and 8 sun, ten human beings were born from one womb at a time. Then, until they reached 3 shaku18 they were born two at a time from a single womb, one boy and one girl. At 3 shaku these human beings began to speak and develop wisdom. For this reason, now human beings cannot begin to speak and develop wisdom until the age of 3.19

From this moment on, (human beings were born from) a single womb one at a time, establishing the current norm. These human beings were born in the 7 ri square area between Nara and Hase. In accordance with their maturity, these human beings began eating about, spread throughout the province of Yamato, and came upon land. The human beings born in the remainder of Yamato began eating about in accordance with their maturity, went to all the other provinces, and came upon land. The human beings born in outlying provinces also began eating about in accordance with their maturity and came upon land. These people all became the people of the periphery and beyond.20 As proof of the original Kami, the three customs of childbearing are abolished. The true origin of these human beings, the living world began from childbirth. (sic)

At this original childbirth, proof of the original Kami is revealed.21


  1. A Japanese text can also be found in 敷島大教会資料集成部『山田伊八郎文書』.
  2. Information from Noguchi Shigeru. “Isami-gokoro: 84 ‘Minami han-goku’.” In Itsuwa-hen ni manabu iki-kata 2, 103 note 2.
  3. “Kami” can be understood as deity. See discussion of Song Three, verses 9–10 for more.
  4. Tsuki-Hi literally means Moon-Sun or Months-Days. I have rendered this as “Cosmic Space-Time” elsewhere on Tenrikyology.com. Sama: An honorific suffix. Rendered as “venerable” and “revered” elsewhere in the translation.
  5. Rendered in the English Ofudesaki as “fish.”
  6. Rendered as in the English Ofudesaki “serpent.”
  7. There is a passage here that I have left untranslated at this point because I am baffled at what it potentially might mean: “ひふかかりてもいかず、でるとてもおなじ事、つふれふと出入せぬバならん。”
  8. In Japanese: Shingon, a sect of Buddhism.
  9. Hase refers to Hasedera, a temple in present-day Sakurai City.
  10. A distance of about 4.85 km or 2.8 mi.
  11. About half an inch.
  12. About 3 inches.
  13. About 3 and a half inches.
  14. About 4 inches.
  15. About 5 feet.
  16. About eight inches.
  17. About one foot and eight inches.
  18. About three feet.
  19. This would correspond to the Western count of one or two years old.
  20. Japanese: Kara and Tenjiku.
  21. I suspect “childbirth” (obiya) in these last two sentences should read o-Jiba.