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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 165

165. Buy Dearly (takō kōte)

Zenzo Miyata was so moved by a talk at the Shimmei-gumi [Confraternity] that he became a follower in the summer of 1885. Led by Seijiro Imagawa, he returned to Jiba soon thereafter and was received by Oyasama. Zenzo was then thirty-one years old, and running a hosiery shop at Shiomachi Street in Semba, Osaka.

Oyasama taught him with painstaking care. However, in the beginning, since Zenzo was a newcomer who had not experienced a marvelous cure himself, he listened to the teachings very casually while smoking his pipe. Then, without realizing it, he had put down his pipe and had slid forward into a deep bow. Among the words being spoken at that moment, he retained only the following:

“Merchants should buy dearly and sell cheaply.”

Zenzo could not understand its meaning at all. He thought, “If I should do business in such a manner, it would cost me my livelihood. She may be well informed on farming, but She knows little about business.” So saying to himself, he went home.

Later, when Zenzo entered his house after leaving Imagawa, his neighbor, he was struck with a sudden attack of vomiting and diarrhea. A doctor was sent for immediately but he was unable to remedy the situation. Umejiro Izutsu, head of the Shimmei-gumi [Confraternity], was asked to come by Imagawa. Sitting by at Zenzo’s bedside, Izutsu asked him, “Didn’t you complain of something on your first return to Jiba?” Zenzo then replied that he could not agree with what Oyasama had told him. Then Izutsu explained, “What God means is that the ideal of business is to buy dearly in order to please wholesale dealers, sell cheaply in order to please customers, and to be satisfied with a small profit.” Upon hearing this, Zenzo could fully understand the meaning of Oyasama’s words. He deeply apologized for harboring dissatisfaction in his mind and soon was marvelously cured.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 132

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 104

104. Faith in God

In the middle of September, 1882, fifteen-year-old Yonetaro, the first son of Denjiro Tomita, then forty-three years old, was in critical condition from a recurrence of stomach ailment. The elder followers in Wadasaki Town sincerely prayed for his recovery. Within three days, he was wondrously saved. In gratitude, Denjiro returned to Jiba for the first time, accompanied by his mother, Jun Fujimura, who was seventy-six years old.

When Denjiro was led by an intermediary to have an audience with Oyasama, She asked him:

“Where did you come from?”

“I came from Hyogo,” he answered. Then Oyasama continued:

“You did? Hyogo is such a faraway place, I am happy that you have come.”

Further, she asked:

“What is your occupation?”

“I am a konnyaku* seller,” answered Denjiro.

Then Oyasama said:

“You are a konnyaku seller, then you are a merchant, aren’t you? A merchant must buy dearly and sell cheaply.”

She further instructed:

“Faith in God is to believe in God just as you do in your own parent who gave you birth. Then your faith will become genuine.”

Denjiro did not understand what was meant by “to buy dearly and sell cheaply.” It seemed to him that he would suffer losses and could not help but go bankrupt if he ever followed Her words. Therefore he asked one of the seniors at the Residence, who explained as follows. “When one lays in a stock of goods from wholesale dealers, one should buy somewhat more dearly than others to avoid risk of their going bankrupt or having some other trouble; when one sells goods one should sell somewhat cheaper than others, making only a small profit; then, one’s wholesale dealers will prosper and one’s customers will be happy; one’s shop will also prosper. This is the principle of mutual prosperity with no suffering of losses in return.” Now Denjiro understood.

On the same occasion, She granted him sacred paper** and sacred powder of roasted grain. He gave these to his mother, Jun Fujimura, who brought them home to the town of Miki. By virtue of these grants, marvelous healings occurred one after another, and the teachings spread all over Banshu Province thereafter.

Konnyaku: a gelatin-like food made from the root of a certain plant.

** Iki-no-kami: literally, ‘paper of breath;’ paper which has been made sacred through the breath of Oyasama.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 87–88

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Buy Dearly, Sell Cheaply

The following excerpt is from Omichi no joshiki [Tenrikyo Fundamentals] (pp. 91–93) by Koji Sato 佐藤浩司, assistant professor at Tenri University and instructor at Tenri Seminary. Note: This translation is a provisional one at the moment and will most likely require further revision.

Buy Dearly, Sell Cheaply

Denjiro Tomita 冨田伝次郎 was a minister among several others who helped build the foundation of Heishin Grand Church 兵神大教会 in Kobe. Denjiro returned to Jiba for the first time to express his appreciation after his eldest son Yonetaro was saved from a life-threatening stomach disease.

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