The Sazuke of Speech
In the following year, Oyasama resumed writing the Ofudesaki after a break of four years. The beginning verses of part three gave instructions for another construction project, the building of the South (Nakaminami) Gatehouse:
At this time, set about quickly to clear away the structure from within the gate.
When you have completed the sweeping, please rope off the ground plan quickly.
Rev. Tatsuzo Yamochi has explained that God the Parent hastened the removal of “the structure from within the gate,” a shed with a surface area of six tatami mats. Once the shed was dismantled and the grounds of the Residence swept clean, the verse instructs to “rope off the ground plan quickly” and prepare the layout for the construction of a building. Oyasama delivered further instructions about the construction, saying:
At the present moment, I cannot immediately greet My children who return to the Residence. Some of them may feel hesitant to come in and see Me. It will be difficult to fully satisfy them if things remain as they are. So I soon wish to have a place near the entrance where I may greet My children.1
She further said:
Once the 75 performers of the Kanrodai Service assemble, there will be a need for a “storehouse” where they can stay. It is common in most places for a storehouse to have windows. But do not include a window.2
The construction schedule for the South Gatehouse closely followed that of the Place for the Service. The groundbreaking took place on lunar 9/13 and the ceremonial raising of the ridge-beam was held on the lunar 10/26.
In the spring of 1874, Sato discovered she was pregnant. As Oyasama predicted, Sato gave birth to a baby boy on lunar 12/26. When a woman named Toku who frequented the Iburi household came to the Residence with this news, Oyasama said:
It’s a boy, isn’t it? I have already named him.3
Oyasama reminded everyone that She had previously named the child “Masajin” several years before. When Izo brought Masajin to Oyasama, She described the mysterious causality of the boy infant, saying:
Masajiro has returned. Before that, he was Tomejiro (the son of Oyasama’s eldest daughter Masa). God received him and he was reborn as Masajiro. At that time, he was endowed with the soul of Kashikone-no-Mikoto.4
Also in 1874, probing policemen and Shinto priests became a common sight at the Residence, marking the beginning of Oyasama’s mission to the “high mountains.” Instead of concealing Herself from the increasing scrutiny, Oyasama donned Her red clothes to openly show She was the “Shrine of Tsukihi.” The day when Masajin was born also happened to be the day Oyasama began to wear red clothes.
In June 1875, Oyasama identified the Jiba in order to advance the construction of the minds of Her children to accompany the physical construction of the South Gatehouse. When Oyasama’s youngest daughter Kokan became ill later that year, followers placed at the Jiba the model of the Kanrodai Izo had made to pray for her recovery. The model Kanrodai was subsequently utilized in the next few years as a symbol of worship. On the completion of the South Gatehouse, The Life of Oyasama reads:
“The work on the interior of the gatehouse was completed by the end of the year. Oyasama moved from the north room with the raised floor to the gatehouse. She occupied the ten-mat room on the west side of the gatehouse, where She conveyed the will of God the Parent day and night to those who came.”5
Oyasama bestows the Sazuke of Speech on Izo
In addition to the truth of the Sazuke of the Fan and Gohei Izo received in 1864 when he entered the faith, Oyasama also bestowed the truth of the Sazuke of Speech on Izo in about 1875. From that time on, Izo began to convey the words of God the Parent through his lips, which often occurred in the dead of night. When Izo suddenly delivered these revelations, Yoshie and the other children would become frightened and hide under their blankets. Yet whenever Izo was asked about these revelations the next morning, he was unable to recall anything that had happened.
One night, Izo uttered the following revelation from God the Parent:
I shall say a few words about the future. Pilgrims will come from all over, holding flags and lanterns bearing names of various churches and districts. People from the world over will praise the Path once these flags and lanterns are in place. People will be amazed at how great the Path of Tenri has become. They will see that there is no place that is not represented. This one says Edo (Tokyo). This one is from Nagasaki, this other one from Awa (Tokushima).6
When Izo was later told about the revelation, he could not help but wonder, “Will things really turn out that way?”7
In 1875 and 1876, it was difficult to imagine the changes that were in store for the Residence. But by 1888, these predictions had largely come true.
- Next installment in this series: Part Seven: The Iburis Move Into the Residence
*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.
- Okuya Bunchi 奥谷文智, ed. Honseki-sama 『本席さま』, pp. 73–82.
- Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. The Life of Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo, pp. 81–82, 85–101.
- Tenrikyo Doyusha 天理教道友, ed. Ten no jogi: Honseki Iburi Izo no shogai 『天の定規―本席飯降伊蔵の生涯』, pp. 22, 52.
- Ueda Eizo 植田英蔵. Shinpan Iburi Izo den 『新版飯降伊蔵伝』, pp. 53–54, 56–58, 89–92.
- Yamochi Tatsuzo 矢持辰三. Kohon Tenrikyo Oyasama den nyumon jikko 『稿本天理教教祖入門十講』, pp. 286–288.