155. If You Are Saved (jubun ga tasukatte)
Sometime in 1884, at the age of thirty, Tsurumatsu, the eldest son of Matashiro and Seki Moriguchi of Kaichi Village in Yamato Province, had very painful nodules of anthrax on his back. He went to see a doctor because they had begun to form pus. The doctor, giving up on him, said, “This is the end of this man’s life. Let him eat anything he likes.” Tsurumatsu returned to the Residence where he had come to worship before, and received a blessing directly from Oyasama, who affixed to his sores a piece of sacred paper on which She had breathed.
Two or three days later, Tsurumatsu called out from his bed, “Will someone take a look? The bedding has stuck to my body and will not come off.” The family came and saw that the nodules had opened and the pus had drained all over the bedding. Then, the family replaced the sacred paper with another which Tsurumatsu had received from Oyasama. This was repeated several times and the anthrax healed completely.
When he returned to the Residence to thank Oyasama, She gave him these words:
“So it is. How wonderful to be saved from death. If you are saved and are very grateful, then go out to save others.”
Tsurumatsu was deeply impressed by these words and thereafter devoted himself to spreading the teachings of God and saving others.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 126
Supplemental information from Taimo (translation)
“Moriguchi Tsurumatsu: Born in 1859. He was the founding minister of Nagara Bunkyokai, an affiliate of the Shikinori lineage.
“He inherited a fervent faith from his parents. In 1889, he formed the Nagara-gumi Confraternity. In 1892, he was appointed as a director and head of accounting at Shikinori. In 1896, he established Nagara Bunkyokai. He passed away for rebirth in 1920 at the age of 62.” (added on January 21)
Anecdotes no. 155 is an account that can be said to exemplify Tenrikyo’s missionary spirit which was later expressed in the following Divine Directions:
The saving of those whom doctors are unable to save is the foundation of the path.
Osashizu, October 17, 1893
Saving those who are considered hopeless by doctors and are left to die is God’s salvation.
Osashizu, May 1, 1896
In Anecdotes no. 72, Oyasama is described as teaching: “It is neither money nor material things. If you are happy because you have been saved, then with that joy go out to save people who are praying to be saved. That is the best way to repay the favor.”
In Anecdotes no. 100, Oyasama is described as having advising a man to “Save others” when he asked how he could repay the favor of having been cured from a long bout with illness. When he asked what he was to do to accomplish this task of saving others, Oyasama replied, “Earnestly tell others how you were saved.”
A Tenrikyo publication entitled Ikiru kotoba happens to elaborate on Oyasama’s words “If you are saved and are very grateful, then go out to save others” with the following explanation:
Another person offered to buy a gate or lantern to express his appreciation for having been saved. However, he was taught that the way to do so was not by money or material objects, but by saving others. The man later dedicated himself to missionary work and established a grand church. If he had been allowed to merely express his appreciation through a physical object, it is possible that no one would have heard from him again (p. 104).
I have a suspicion that the person in question may have been Tosa Unosuke. Please refer to The Footsteps of Our Predecessors, Part 52 for an account that describes his initial encounter with the Tenrikyo faith.
Tenrikyō Dōyūsha, ed. 1995. Ikiru kotoba: Tenrikyō kyōso no oshie. Tenri: Tenrikyō Dōyūsha.
Tenrikyō Seinenkai, ed. 2006. “Oyasama: jibun ga tasukatte kekkō yattara, hito-san tasuke sashite morai ya.” Taimō 454 (October 2006) pp. 16-17.