Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 140

140. Thank You Very Much (ōkini)

Kyuhei Kontani was healed of blindness and returned to Jiba for the first time to offer thanks to God for the cure. On the morning of February 16, 1884, Kontani and his wife, Take, accompanied by Koyemon Murata, were granted an audience with Oyasama.

Take offered some money wrapped in a sheet of paper to Oyasama, who then said:

“You are Otake from Banshu?”

And raising the gift to Her forehead She added:

“Thank you very much.”

Take is said to have told others later, “I would have wrapped more money if I had only known that Oyasama would be so pleased at that time.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 113-114

Supplemental information from Taimo (translation)

“Kontani Kyuhei: the first minister of Shikito. In 1883, he embraced the faith after hearing the teachings from Masaki Kunizo and receiving blessings from an eye ailment. In 1890, he established (Shikito) church. He passed away in 1930 at the age of 86.”

“Murata Koyemon/Koemon: embraced the faith in 1862 after being saved from stomach pain. Upon devoting himself to the faith with his wife Ie, in 1864 he received the Sazuke of the Gohei and the Sazuke of Fertilizer. Oyasama also taught him the Mikagura-uta (The Songs for the Service).

“In 1886, he passed away for rebirth at the age of 66.”

My take

The description of Oyasama raising the Kontanis’ donation to her head in appreciation reminds me of once reading that ministers of Tenrikyo Church HQ used to go around the sanctuary collecting donations in the same manner. The author who described this practice expressed his admiration of the ministers who would, irrespective of monetary value, bow and raise the donations they received to their heads in sincere appreciation.

Donation boxes are more prevalent now both at Church HQ and regional churches, but I wonder or not if something significant was lost for the sake of convenience. Yet it may have been more than possible that donation boxes were put in place to foster the idea of accumulating good virtue through anonymous donations. There is an implication here that unseen and unacknowledged good deeds (sometimes called intoku) are more worthwhile — akin to allowing seeds to sit in the soil until they can sprout and bear fruit — than deeds that are openly acknowledged and praised.

In any case, I would assume that Oyasama valued the sincerity of the person making the donation over the actual amount. Anecdotes no. 7 offers an example that suggests this must have been the case.


Tenrikyō Seinenkai, ed. 2007. “Oyasama: ōkini” Taimō 464 (August 2007), pp. 16-17.

Further reading

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama, no. 30: Ten Thousandfold 

Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi, no. 41