191. Welcome Home (yō, harubaru)
On May 5, 1886, Torakichi Tagawa and people of twenty-six families of Tanokuchi Village in Tajima Province, formed a [confraternity]. He was selected as its head. At that time, he was seventeen years old. This was the start of the Tenchi-gumi Seventh [Confraternity] (later renamed the Ninth).
On August 29th of the same year, Tagawa and eight others set out from the village for Jiba. They arrived in Osaka on September 1st. That evening, while staying at an inn, Tagawa suffered acute stomach pains. He had a continuous attack of vomiting and diarrhea throughout the night. At that time cholera was prevalent in Osaka. The party members were shocked and extremely apprehensive. They performed the prayer service, and prayed all night for his complete recovery. At last his condition began to improve as dawn drew near. They set out that morning before daybreak. With [Tagawa] still in bad condition, the group went through the Jusan Pass and through Tatsuta to Shoyashiki Village and stayed at Jukichi Nakayama’s house. That night, Chusaku Tsuji and Risaburo Yamamoto came from the Residence to give a talk. Chusaku Tsuji administered the Sazuke to Tagawa. After that Tagawa did not suffer from any pain.
The next day, the party visited the Jiba of Origin and worshiped at the Place for the Service. They were led to the Resting House and were granted an audience with Oyasama. When they met Her, She was wearing Her red garments and sitting very erect. She said:
“Welcome home from such a distant place.”
Oyasama’s gracious words moved Tagawa to tears. Never forgetting this feeling for the rest of his life, he actively pursued missionary work with all his heart and soul.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 150–151