Song Five (expanded), verses 7–8

Verse 7

七ツ なんでもなんぎハさゝぬぞへ たすけいちじよのこのところ

七つ 何でも難儀はささぬぞえ 救け一条のこの所

Nanatsu / Nande mo / nangi wa / sasanu zoe / tasuke ichijo no kono tokoro

Seven / No matter what / suffering / [Kami] will not allow [us] to go through / this place exclusively dedicated to salvation (relief)

The gist of this verse is: No matter what we go through, it is not Kami’s intention to make us suffer since this place is the origin of single-hearted salvation.1 One particular commentator sums up this verse as: “No matter what, I (Kami) shall banish suffering. I have appeared at this time out of the desire to wholly save my beloved children and share in the joy of watching you lead the Joyous Life.”2 Another commentator writes that Oyagami never intends to torment us or allow us to suffer, reminding readers that Oyagami’s intention behind the creation of humanity was for us to see us endeavor on a joyous excursion and share in this joy.3

According to yet another commentator, this verse teaches that Oyagami will not allow us to suffer from a disease or other circumstances if we come to this place of single-hearted salvation, devote ourselves and perform the Tsutome, and express filial devotion to Oyagami, the Cosmic Parent. In other words, if we are to do what brings pleasure to Oyagami and nothing brings more pleasure to Oyagami than to provide spiritual relief to another.4


One commentator claims the difference between “nangi” (suffering) and “kurō” (hardship) as follows: Nangi is egoistic and self-centered failure whereas kurō is to suffer or sacrifice oneself to save someone.5

It is possible to conclude we will be blessed so not to experience torment if we have no greed (as stated in verse 4), brim with joyousness (verse 5), and become kindhearted.1 A particular commentator writes that verse 7 is a promise Oyagami will not allow us to suffer if we forget greed and have a gentle heart as we walk the path of shinjin (faith).7 In another context, he offers the following insight:

“This verse says that [Kami] never leaves us in suffering, which is very different from saying that [Kami] never puts s through difficult situations. That is an important distinction. Although [Kami] never leaves us in suffering or despair, [Kami] sometimes finds it necessary to put us through difficult situations to help us make progress in our spiritual growth.”8

Tasuke ichijo

“Tasuke ichijo” is a phrase that appears in a number of Ofudesaki verses and rendered as “single-hearted salvation” in most cases. There are other instances where it is translated as “single intent to save” (6:130; 8:22; 7:97) and “solely to save” (7:47). I happen to feel that “tasuke ichijo” can be more accurately translated as “exclusively dedicated to salvation.”

Kono tokoro

“Kono tokoro” (this place) is none other than the original Residence where Oyagami resides9 where the place of human conception, the Jiba, is located.10 It is also the place where Oyagami was first revealed and the base from where the everliving Oyasama works to bring about world salvation.11

The corresponding dance movements for “kono tokoro” are the same as that of the same phrase appearing in verse 2 and “mama arō” in verse 1. As noted earlier, the movements represent Oyagami extending a helping hand to children seeking relief.12

Verse 8

八ツ      やまとばかりやないほどに くに/\までへもたすけゆく

八つ 大和ばかりや無い程に 国々迄へも救け行く

Yattsu / Yamato / bakari ya nai hodo ni / kuniguni / made e mo / tasuke yuku

Eight / Yamato / not only / countries and regions / even to / [Kami] will go out to save

The gist of this verse is: Kami will not only go out to save those in Yamato but will work to bring relief to people in other regions and countries as well.


As mentioned in my discussion of Song One, verse 8, “Yamato” is the name which Nara Prefecture, where Tenrikyo Church Headquarters is located, traditionally went by. Nara Prefecture was established in 1887. Until then, the area was known as Yamato Province.

When this verse was written (1867), Oyasama had merely gained a reputation as a goddess of safe childbirth within the confines of Yamato Province and had yet to build a following in the surrounding provinces and beyond. But with the dawn of a new era known as Meiji (1868–1912), Oyasama’s teachings spread to nearby provinces and the rest of Japan.13

Yamato, being the mythological cradle of Japanese civilization, can also be interpreted to represent Japan as a whole.14

Kuniguni made e mo tasuke yuku

Shinnosuke Nakayama wrote that when “Yamato” is interpreted to mean Yamato Province, “kuniguni” means the rest of Japan. When “Yamato” is interpreted to mean Japan, “kuniguni” means the rest of the world.15

All commentators I looked at interpreted verse 8 to mean that salvation was not just limited to Shoyashiki, Yamato Province, or Japan but is to spread across the whole world.16 A number of commentators make explicit mention of how human beings are Oyagami’s beloved children.17

In the Ofudesaki:

To [Cosmic Space-Time], all of you throughout the world are My children. My only desire is to save you.


“Tasuke yuku” means to convey and spread Oyagami’s teachings to every single person in the Cosmos.19 The corresponding dance motion is a spin similar to “deke-mawasu” in Song One, verse 6. One particular commentator suggests this a direct representation of Oyagami’s intention to go and save people in “kuniguni” (all provinces and nations).20


  1. MST 198.
  2. Ono 140. “No matter what, I shall banish suffering” is a translation of the first half of verse 7 supplied in Saburo Morishita, Teodori: Cosmological Building and Social Consolidation in a Ritual Dance 54.
  3. Masui 159. “Joyous excursion” is my translation of yoki yusan.
  4. Ando 105.
  5. Tsutsui 32.
  6. MST 198.
  7. Nagao 131.
  8. Nagao E30 29–30.
  9. Masui 159; Ueda A 419.
  10. Fukaya 130 E86.
  11. Hirano 131.
  12. Ueda A 420.
  13. Fukaya 131 E87; Ueda A 421–2.
  14. “There are cases when Yamato can mean the nation of Japan. In a narrow sense, it refers to the vicinity of Jiba in Nara Prefecture” (Ando 106). See also Ono 142.
  15. Cited in MST 201 and Ueda C 64. This is comparable to the following statement from Ando 106: “There are cases when ‘kuniguni’ means countries outside Japan and when it refers to the many provinces in Japan.”
  16. Fukaya 132 E87; Hirano 131–2; Ono 141–2; Nagao 132; Ueda A 420, 421, 422; Ueda C 64; Yamamoto 147. Tsutsui writes that Oyasama’s teachings are for the entire human race to live happliy (63).
  17. Fukaya 132 E87; Hirano 132; Ono 142; Tsutsui 63; Ueda A 420; Ueda C 64; Yamamoto 148.
  18. Cite in Ono 142; Tsutsui 63.
  19. Ando 106.
  20. Yamamoto 147–8.