Category Archives: Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama

Ofudesaki Part 9, verses 33–64

Illness, thing which are to be, and the truth of the free and unlimited workings of [Cosmic Space-Time]

(33) Look all over the world and through all ages. You will find many kinds of illnesses so-called.

(34) This time, no matter how serious your illness may be, I shall teach you the family recipe for your assured salvation.1 Continue reading Ofudesaki Part 9, verses 33–64

  1. OC 9:34 *Note: “Family recipe” (kaden) refers to the single-hearted salvation that cannot be found in other teachings.

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 200

200. Cherish It (taisetsu ni suru ya de)

On January 11, 1887, Kyuhei Kontani and some members of his confraternity set out for Jiba, carrying on their backs Her red garments and two large red cushions which all the confraternity members had made with sincerity. At Jiba, they stayed at Koyemon Murata’s house. Accompanied by Risaburo Yamamoto, they were granted an audience with Oyasama on January 13th. She was then resting in the raised chamber of the Resting House and Her eldest daughter, Omasa, was with Her.

Risaburo Yamamoto presented the garments before Her and said, “This is an offering that Kyuhei Kontani, a confraternity head from Shikama of Banshu Province, has brought for you to wear.” Oyasama accepted it and it was received in the raised chamber. Then, presenting the two cushions before Her, Yamamoto said, “They have also brought these for Your daily use.” Oyasama accepted these, too, with joy.

Then She told them to close the paper sliding-doors separating the raised chamber from the other room, and to step back. Yamamoto stepped back from the sliding-doors in the eight-matted room. Kontani waited in the room with the others, sitting respectfully. After a while, Omasa opened the sliding-doors and called Yamamoto. When he stepped up into the raised chamber close to Oyasama, She handed him a red garment and said:

“Give this to him.”

She continued:

“Never handle this carelessly. Cherish it. Treasure it.”

Yamamoto then said, “I will certainly tell him so.” Stepping down into the eight matted room, Yamamoto repeated to Kontani in detail what Oyasama had just said. This was how Kyuhei Kontani received the red garment.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 158–159

Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 200

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 199

199. Just One (hitotsu ya de)

Sei Honda, an official of the Heishin Shinmei-ko Confraternity, returned to Jiba in 1882 for the second time. She had chronic abdominal edema and her stomach was beginning to swell. Oyasama told her when She saw her condition:

“Osei, Osei, it must be very trying to carry that stomach. But this is not the dust accumulated in your present life. It has been carried over from your previous lives. God will surely save you. You must not change your heart. You must not let go of this string at any cost. Since you know nothing about your previous lives, just ask God for forgiveness and just thank God.”

From that day on, Sei could not stay still when she thought of all the dust that she had accumulated during her past three lives. Despite her swollen stomach, she went forth every day to do missionary work.

Sei poured water over herself even on the coldest days in winter before going out. As people gradually began to come to her in increasing numbers, she would offer water in the sake offering-bottle at the altar and then give it to them. By this means marvelous healings took place one after another. For several years, she went forth with zeal to do missionary work. But in the autumn of 1886, when she was forty-nine years of age, her abdominal edema became worse until she was in critical condition. She suffered so much that she alternately said, “Please let me sit up,” and, “Please let me lie down.” Hisakichi Hashida, who was the head of the confraternity, returned to Jiba. Through the arrangement of Gisaburo Nakata he was granted an audience with Oyasama, who said:

“Let me lie down. Let me sit up. You must have heard her wrong. What she meant was to enflame the confraternity with zeal. She will not die. Go back quickly and perform the service sincerely.”

So Hashida hurried back to Kobe. For three days and three nights, day and night, six times in twenty-four hours, he performed a special prayer service for her recovery.* The third day came but there was no sign of improvement. Another series of the special prayer service was performed for three days and three nights, but her condition became worse. From the sixth day on, she clenched her teeth and slept for twenty-eight days as if she had been dead. During this period she was given sacred water daily, and three sacred sugar candies were cooked and given to her through a bamboo tube three times a day.

The doctor refused to come, saying, “She will die this time.” However, during those twenty-eight days she urinated so frequently that it must have been over twenty times a day. On the morning of the twenty-eighth day, her younger sister, Sue Nadatani, was changing Sei’s clothes. Sue noticed that her sister’s swollen stomach had shrunk to its normal size. She was so astonished that she shouted out. Hearing Sue’s voice, Sei opened her eyes for the first time and looked around. Sue asked, “Can you hear?” Sei spoke for the first time, “How thankful I am! How thankful I am!”

A thin rice gruel was cooked and given to her. She ate two mouthfuls and said, “It is delicious. How thankful I am!” She then ate two bowls of the gruel with some pickled plums. She ate grated yam next. Day by day Sei regained her strength. But she was just like a baby, wetting the bed, and her memory was very short.

About a month later, Kichigoro Kataoka, another official of the [confraternity], returned to Jiba in her place to report it. He was granted an audience with Oyasama, who said:

“It is natural. It is natural. She is just one year old. She was reborn without having to die. She is still young. She is only one. She does not know anything yet. She will not know until she becomes two or three.”

Sei had lost her memory completely. When sewing a kimono, she would make mistakes in the measurement. She could no longer play the shamisen, she was that bad. But within two or three years she gradually began to understand things, and from the fourth year she was so blessed as to lead a normal life.

Thus, Sei was given a second life at the age of forty-nine, and she lived on for thirty years to the age of seventy-nine, devoting herself to saving others with yet greater zeal.

* This service consisted of the seated service and the entire teodori, and was performed three times during the day and three times during the night. As it was performed in this way for three days and nights consecutively, the performers went without sleep or rest.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 156–158

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 198

198. With Any Flower (donna hana demo na)

Once Yonosuke Shimizu, Shirobei Umetani, and Tora Hirano had gathered before Oyasama and were talking with each other about how their [confraternities] were not advancing as they had hoped. Oyasama said:

“With any flower, there are years when it blooms and there are years when it does not bloom. Even if it does not bloom one year, when the year changes it will bloom again.”

It is said that Oyasama comforted them in this way.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 155–156

Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 198

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 197

197. Hands that Work (hataraku te wa)

Oyasama always taught us:

“If all the people of the world help one another, there will be no worry or danger for the future. There are families with plenty of work to be done but with no one to do the work, and there are families with plenty of people to do the work but with no work to be done.

When apprenticed, think of all the work as your own instead of as your master’s, and work faithfully whether being watched or not. For example, in the fall, if you notice that it is a cloudy day, take care of the straw mats and any other things as though they were your own and be sure to put them away.

Because you work faithfully and help others in various ways, in the fall people will make new kimono to give to you and do other good things for you. When it reaches this stage it will be advantageous for both. If you are going to do work, do it as faithfully as you would do your own, whether being watched or not. Then people will say, ‘That person is considerate, so I will hire him.’ When you become such a person, there will be plenty of work for you.

The people living in this Residence work as though all the work here were their own; therefore, night and day each of them is thinking, ‘What is there to be done? What can I do next?’ They do the work thinking that it is their own work; therefore, it becomes their own. If you work with the thought, ‘This is my work; this is my home,’ then it will become your home. If you work only when you are being watched and become idle when not being watched, then soon you will not be able to stay here as if it were your home.

This Residence needs as many hands as possible that work and none at all that do not work.”

Also, one time She taught us:

“Work (hataraku) makes those close to you comfortable; for that, it is called hataraku (hata: those nearby, raku: comfortable).”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 154–155

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196. Maturing of the Child (kodomo no seijin)

Oyasama taught us again and again:

“It is not that the incorrigible child does not understand. It is that the teachings of the Parent have not reached him. If the teachings of the Parent reach every nook and corner, the maturing of the child can then be seen.”

Through the grace of Oyasama, the path was made in which those who could not understand would be able to understand, those who could not be saved would be saved, and those who were to suffer would not suffer.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 154

Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 196

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 195

195. Thank You for Your Trouble (go-kurō-sama)

Oyasama made no distinction between people and She was a very compassionate person. No matter what kind of person She met, She never showed any sign of discrimination. No matter what kind of person came to the Residence, She considered everyone to be Her child. No matter how great a man came, She said:

‘Thank you for your trouble.’

Even when beggars came, She would say:

‘Thank you for your trouble.’

Her attitude and manner of speaking never changed. She considered them all to be Her loving children. Once a person met Oyasama, no matter what kind of person he was, he would be moved by Oyasama’s parental love and be reformed at once. Perhaps they were moved by Oyasama’s compassion.

For example, even a police officer who came to investigate and a local ruffian had been converted to the faith. After just one visit, many either entered the faith or experienced a change of heart. These are recollections of Naokichi Takai.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 153–154

Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 195

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 194

194. Her Favorite Dishes (o-meshi-agari mono)

When She was advanced in age, Oyasama from time to time ate raw sweet potatoes grated with a horseradish grater. Also, She occasionally drank sweet rice wine from a small cup. Her favorite brand was made by the Matsumoto brewery in Senzai. So people in the Residence went with a gourd-shaped flask to buy sweet rice wine for Oyasama.

Her favorites were dishes of rice with assorted vegetables. Among these were rice with sweet potatoes, rice with beans, rice with dried gourd shavings, with matsutake mushrooms, and with pumpkins.

If people came by chance while She was having one of these rice dishes, She would make a rice-ball and offer it to them.

She was also fond of kakinoha zushi, marinated fish and rice wrapped in persimmon leaves which are plucked when they have a pleasant aroma after new buds have sprouted.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 152–153

Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 194

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 192 and 193

A kite in flight (Image source: Wikipedia Japan)

192. A Kite Cries “Toh, Toh” (tonbu tōto)

This is a story about Sotaro Kajimoto, Oyasama‘s great-grandson, which took place in approximately 1887 when he was about seven. Oyasama gave him a section of a tangerine, turning it inside out by inserting Her finger. She said:

“The kite cries ‘toh, toh,’ and the crow, ‘caw, caw,’ “

and continued:

“Stick out your finger.”

When he stuck out his finger, She placed the section on his finger. Sotaro enjoyed eating it that way.

When he received another section of the tangerine, he, imitating Oyasama, put it on his finger, and then he stuck it out in front of Oyasama. She enjoyed eating it that way.

193. By Himself Soon (hayō hitori de)

These are incidents reminisced by Sotaro Kajimoto:

Receiving some cookies or candies from Oyasama, we, children at that time, went toward the Main Sanctuary and ate them while playing together. When the sweets were gone, we ran back to Oyasama. We held out our hands and She gave us more. We ate them up and ran back to Her again. We must have said, “Grandma, may we have some more?” and I believe we ran back to Her three or four times.

However, She never once said, “Didn’t I just give you some?” Neither did She give the sweets to us all at once to avoid the bother. She gave us just enough to eat, a little at a time. Oyasama loved children very much. When I asked Hisa Yamazawa, my wife’s mother, she agreed.

Now and then Oyasama visited the Kajimoto family in Ichinomoto. On such occasions, she brought some sweets in Her purse to give to the children of the family and to the children of the neighborhood.

Among great-grandchildren of Oyasama, I was the first born of the boys. Among the girls, there was Omoto. Now, it is said that Oyasama said of me:

“Oh, I hope that he will be able to come by himself soon!”

It is also said that when my younger brother Kunijiro Shimamura was born, Oyasama said:

“My, what a fair-complexioned fine boy!”

and held him in Her arms. I often heard of these incidents from both my mother, Uno, and my mother–in-law Yamazawa.

Once Oyasama carried both Manjiro Yoshikawa and me on Her back at the same time. There was a time when She came to the east side of the Nakaminami-Gatehouse wearing zori similar to fujikura-zori (thongs which are knitted with rush at the front).

Oyasama’s voice was sweet and gentle. She had a slender figure. Her face was oval and Her mouth and chin were identical with that of Her daughter, Omasa, although Omasa’s face was a little rounder. Now in regard to their figure, Omasa was on the masculine side but Oyasama was on the feminine side. Oyasama’s back was not bent.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 151–152

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