43. That Will Do
September 27, 1875, is the date when Oyasama’s daughter, Kokan, departed for rebirth. The people of Shoyashiki Village had often come to comfort her while she was ill in bed, and had rushed to her when her condition worsened. On the day of the funeral service, they came and helped from early morning.
On the following day, during the after-funeral dinner, they talked about their memories of Kokan, and recalled Oyasama’s words. In the course of their talk, one of them tearfully said, “Indeed, we have been doubtful of God until now and have no word to excuse ourselves.”
On hearing this, one of the seniors who worked at the Residence suggested, “Why don’t you form a [confraternity]?” Whereupon, the villagers talked, and agreed among themselves to form their own [confraternity]. When this was reported to Oyasama, She was very pleased.
Then they had to name the [confraternity], but at first the farmers could not think of a good idea. In the meantime, someone suggested, “Since this is the place of origin where God resides, how about naming it Tengen(divine locale)-ko?” Everyone agreed to this name, and they inquired of Oyasama about it. She said:
“That will do.”
And She took off Her red formal coat and gave it to them, saying:
“This shall be enshrined as the symbol of faith.”
In this way the Tengen-ko [Confraternity] was born. Without naming anyone in particular as head of the [confraternity], they held the monthly service on a fixed day each month at a different member’s house, bringing the red garment to that place.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 37.