Tag Archives: 1880

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 74

74. Following God’s Path

Oyasama vigorously urged the performance of the Service in the autumn of 1880. When people were hesitating to comply with Her words because it was a period of strict vigilance and interference by the police, Oyasama sternly urged them to comply through this Timely Direction:

“Crushing God’s path by excessive concern for man’s obligations is not the path at all. The true path consists in standing up for the path of God, not for the path of man. Sah, will you crush the principle of God and stand up for the principle of man? Will you not stand up for the principle of God rather than the principle of man? Now answer one of these.”

After discussing the matter, everyone decided to make a firm resolution to perform the Service. However, there was no definite assignment as to who was to perform the Kagura Service, although they had been practicing the dance movements individually. They decided to ask Oyasama about this matter.

Oyasama already had chosen the performers for the women’s musical instruments. They were Yoshie Iburi for the shamisen, Naraito Ueda for the kokyu and Tomegiku Tsuji for the koto. However, the men’s musical instruments had not been practiced either individually or as a group. Since it was so sudden, they discussed what should be done. It was clear that they would not be able to choose the performers themselves, so they decided to ask Oyasama about this matter also. They received the following words from Oyasama:

“Sah, sah, musical instruments, musical instruments. For the present, even if you play ‘two’ in the place of ‘one,’ or ‘three’ in the place of ‘two,’ God will forgive. God will accept the harmony of the hearts of the performers. Understand this well.”

Everyone was relieved to hear this, and they all performed joyously. Tamezo Yamazawa danced all twelve chapters.1 It took place in the eight matted room just south of the north raised room in the building called the Place for the Service.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 64–65

Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 74

  1. “Twelve chapters” refers to the Twelve Songs (Juni kudari). The composition of the Twelve Songs is the main theme of Anecdotes 18 and 19

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 73

73. Holy Fire for Invocation

On September 22, 1880, the Buddhist ritual of burning a holy fire for invocation1 was being performed in front of the main gate as part of the opening ceremonies for the Tenrin-Ō-Kosha. Oyasama, wearing Her usual red garments2, appeared at the six matted room located east of the north raised room3 which had the dais. She sat down, watched the proceedings for a short while with a smile, and then returned to Her room.

Concerning the establishment of the [confraternity], Oyasama previously had said:

“If you do such a thing God shall withdraw.”

Despite Her words, Shuji established the [confraternity] at the risk of his life. When one considers Oyasama’s acceptance of Shuji’s sincerity by Her gracious presence at the invocation, one cannot help but think of Her boundless parental love and be filled with deep emotion.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 63

Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 73

  1. “Buddhist ritual of burning a holy fire for invocation” is a gloss for “o-goma 大護摩 o taiteiru.” I assume an o-goma is a larger-scale version of the goma fire ceremony that “symbolically burns away passionate delusions” (Miyake 1993, p. 42), a ceremony central to both Shingon Buddhist and Shugendo traditions.
  2. See Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 35 for a discussion regarding the significance of Oyasama’s red garments/clothes.
  3. “Raised room which had the dais” is a gloss of jodan no ma 上段の間. It refers to a room in the structure known as the Place for the Service. It has also been glossed as “raised floor.” Not to be confused with a room with the same name (in Japanese) was also built in Oyasama’s Resting House (completed in 1883). This room in the Resting House is referred in English as the “raised room” (The Life of Oyasama) or “raised chamber” (Anecdotes).

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 72

72. Destined to Be Saved

From around April 1880, Kosaburo Murakami of Izumi Province, in the prime of his manhood, began to lose the use of his hands and feet due to sciatica. The pain was so severe that he completely lost his appetite. He went to see doctors and sought as many various kinds of medical treatment as possible but he found no effective cure. His whole family, as well as he himself, lived from day to day in deep depression, feeling as if they had fallen into an abyss of misery.

Out of his ardent desire to be cured, Kosaburo went to Jinnan Village near Tatsuta, as he had heard that a noted herb doctor lived there, but was disappointed because the doctor was not home. At that moment he remembered his servants and the route merchants often speaking of the living god of Shoyashiki and so he decided to return to Shoyashiki Village since he had come thus far.

Thus he returned and was warmly received by Oyasama, who said:

“You will be saved, will be saved. You are destined to be saved.”

Oyasama further told him the teachings which he had never heard before. Then, at the time of his departure, he received three sweet bean dumplings placed on a sheet of paper, and some sacred water. Kosaburo, refreshed with the feeling that his body and mind were cleansed, left for home.

Although he had ridden in a rickshaw over a long distance, he was not tired at all when he reached home; on the contrary, he felt delighted. Then praying, “Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-MikotoNamu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto,” he rubbed the water he had received from Oyasama on his aching hip. As if in a dream, the pain disappeared on the third day.

For the next half a year, each time he returned to Jiba his condition improved a little more, and in January of the following year, 1881, he held a celebration for his recovery. Kosaburo was forty-two years old. Feelings of gratitude naturally made his feet turn toward Jiba.

Returning to Jiba, Kosaburo immediately asked Oyasama how to repay Her for the favor. Oyasama replied:

“It is neither money nor material things. If you are happy because you have been saved, then with that joy go out to save people who are praying to be saved. That is the best way to repay the favor. Strive courageously for the salvation of others.”

Kosaburo firmly pledged to strive for the path of single-hearted salvation of others by following Oyasama’s words.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 62–63

Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 72

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 71

71. In Such a Heavy Rain

On April 14, 1880, Umejiro Izutsu and his wife, accompanied by their daughter Tane, returned to Jiba for the first time. It had been raining hard when they left Osaka the previous morning but the weather cleared up toward noon. They stayed overnight on the way and arrived at the Residence around four o’clock in the afternoon on the following day. They were granted an audience at once by Oyasama, who patted Tane on the head, saying:

“It is very good of you to have come in such a heavy rain.”

Oyasama added:

“You’re from Osaka, aren’t you? You are drawn here by the marvelous God. God is letting the roots of a great tree take firm hold in Osaka. You need not worry about the child’s illness.”

Afterward She placed a sheet of sacred paper on the affected area of Tane’s body which had not yet been completely cured. Needless to say, she was very soon completely cured.

The deep emotion which Umejiro felt when he met Oyasama and the marvelous cure kindled in him a passion for the faith and inspired him to spread the teachings and save others with single-hearted devotion.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 61–62

Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 71