65. The Honseki’s Playful Side
The Honseki was fond of anything that was joyous. He also went to see local plays from time to time, especially during his later years. He also loved to tell jokes and make people laugh. He liked to pass the time playing Japanese chess and go.
Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 65
64. Thoughts on Seeing the “Hermit of the Village”
The following is a recollection of Tojin Okajima (1894–1961), who once was president of the Doyusha, Jihosha, and Yotokusha publishing companies:
“When I was small, I saw the Honseki every now and then with his distinctive topknot, a hairstyle that appears in old ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock) prints.
Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 64
63. Dancing in the Dead of Night
The Osashizu (Divine Directions) mentioned from time to time that the Honseki was like a three-year-old child. The truth of these words may not be readily apparent, but the story of someone who stayed at the Honseki’s residence one night gives credence to God’s words.
Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 63
62. Treating Everyone in an Equal Manner
The Honseki treated everyone in the same manner, whoever they happened to be. He showed compassion particularly to those who were not well off. He liked to give things to others, so when he passed away for rebirth he had but only a few coins in his possession. But there was never a time when he failed to offer anything to God the Parent.
Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 62
61. A Cough for the Nightwatchman
Like today, the seinens (male attendants) at Church Headquarters made nightly rounds of the Residence each hour. The Honseki sympathized with the seinens who were on duty each night. The Honseki would call out to the seinen making the rounds, saying, “Thank you for your hard work,” when they passed his room, even when it was one or two in the morning.
Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 61
60. A Gift to be Handed 16 Years Later
The Honseki’s attendance at the ceremony on April 15 enshrining a set of Oyasama’s red clothing at Kochi Bunkyokai was the highlight of his 1894 missionary tour of the western provinces. Arriving on April 14, he stayed until the 18th.
Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 60
59. Honseki Rain
On his tour of the western provinces, there was an occasion when the Honseki was making his way through Kochi where it was raining from morning. Yet there was the unexplainable phenomenon of the rain stopping wherever his procession happened to be traveling by and would resume once again after it passed by. Only the area around the Honseki’s palanquin would be free from rain. Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 59
58. The Mindset of the Honseki
A commentary by Yoshitaro Hirano (1849–1969) third head minister of Sakai Daikyokai on the Honseki:
A carpenter became a Tenrikyo sensei donning a formal montsuki. There are countless examples of such followers. However, it was Izo Iburi sensei who must be considered to have best embodied the teaching, “By saving a single person, you save tens of thousands.”
The mindset of the Honseki was continuously filled with joy due his practice of tanno. He often went about in a light-hearted manner, saying, “I used to be carpenter.” Outwardly, he spent his life without wearing a single adornment on his body. He was a living example of the proverb that claims a silk brocade of the mind amounts to a silk brocade worn on the body.
(From Ten no jogi p. 79)
*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.
57. A Scene from a New Year’s Day
Four a.m., New Year’s Day. The sliding doors between the Honseki’s eight-mat bedroom and the hallway are opened. Rin Masui and a seinen (male attendant) enter. The seinen massages the Honseki’s shoulders; Rin Masui his feet. The morning drum signaling everyone to assemble at Church Headquarters sounds.
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56. An Example of the Honseki’s Deference to the Shinbashira
In the afternoon on one particular New Year’s Eve Day, the Honseki asks a seinen (male attandant), “Has the maku been put up yet?”
The Honseki was referring to the purple entrance curtain decorated with the Nakayama family crest.
Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 56