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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 68

68. The Way Ahead Is Long 

In 1874, at the age of nineteen, Tatsujiro Hirano of Sakai became sickly and for the following six years, he was on a diet of wafers. Then in 1879, when he was twenty-four years old, the fragrance of the teachings was spread to him by Risaburo Yamamoto. He listened to the teachings of God and received such marvelous divine providence that he discontinued the wafer diet and on that day he ate thirty small fish for one meal.

He returned to Jiba in his great joy for being saved. There he enjoyed a steam bath, and later he listened to the words of God related by intermediaries. After he returned home, Tatsujiro promptly enshrined God in his own home and began to strive fervently to spread the fragrance of the words of God and to save others. Thus, he often returned to Jiba.

On one such day, he had an audience with Oyasama, and She said:

“One who is called Tatsujiro Hirano of Sakai, is that you?”

Then She extended Her hand and said:

“Hold My hand.”

When Tatsujiro reverently held Her hand, She said:

“Is that all the strength you have? Put forth more.”

So he gripped Her hand with all his might. Oyasama gripped back with much greater strength. Tatsujiro was utterly awestruck and deeply impressed by the greatness of Oyasama. At that time he received the following words from Oyasama:

“How old are you? It is remarkable that you have followed the path this far. The path ahead of you is long. No matter what you may encounter, do not become discouraged in faith. The future is all well.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 59–60

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 67

67. Poor Fellow

Tsurumatsu Nukuto was frail from childhood. In 1879, when he was sixteen years old, his chronic stomach ailment grew worse and soon reached the critical stage. His doctor gave him up as hopeless.

At this time, the fragrance of the teachings was spread to Tsurumatsu by Kiichi Asano through Higashio, a distant relative. At the recommendation of Kiichi, Tsurumatsu firmly resolved to follow the path. So, accompanied by his parents, he returned to Jiba for the first time, carried on a stretcher, over forty-eight kilometers of mountainous road. He rested overnight and the next morning, through the arrangements made by Jyukichi Nakayama, Tsurumatsu was received in audience by Oyasama with special permission to remain on the stretcher. Thereupon, Oyasama said:

“Poor fellow.”

She took off the red kimono-undergarment She was wearing and put it on Tsurumatsu, slipping it over his head.

At that moment Tsurumatsu felt the warmth of the red kimono under-garment and at the same time he felt as if dawn had come. Though his illness had been critical, from that moment he began to recover. He stayed one week; he received marvelous salvation and was soon cured completely.

It is said that all through his life Tsurumatsu recalled that moment and said, “Even now I cannot forget that warmth.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 58–59

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 57

57. A Boy Should Be Accompanied by His Father

In the summer of 1877, nine-year-old Narazo Yaoi of Izushichijo Village, Yamato Province, was playing with two or three neighborhood children in the Saho River that flowed on the west side of the village. Somehow his penis was bitten by a leech. It did not hurt much at the time, but two or three days later it became swollen. Although there was no pain, his parents were worried because it was such an important organ. Doctors were consulted, faith healing was tried and the best of care was given, but there was no sign of recovery.

Jirokichi Kita’s aunt, Ko Yaoi, of the same village, and Isaburo Masui’s mother, Kiku, were already devout followers at that time. So they urged Narazo’s grandmother, Koto, to join the faith. Being religious by nature, she readily agreed. But Narazo’s father, Sogoro, was only interested in farming and he laughed at those who were religious. Koto asked him, “Do you wish to cancel my sixtieth birthday celebration or do you wish to join the faith?* Please choose one or the other.” So Sogoro finally consented to join. It was January 1878.

Then grandmother Koto took Narazo to Jiba at once. They were received by Oyasama, who was shown his ailment. Oyasama gave them the following words:

“The pillar of the family. This is a trouble of the pillar. You will be saved according to your mind.”

From then on grandmother Koto and Narazo’s mother, Naka, took turns returning with him to the Residence, a distance of about six kilometers, every third day. But there was no sign of any blessing.

In the middle of March 1878, while Koto was visiting the Residence with Narazo, Chusaku Tsuji told them, “We are told that ‘a boy should be accompanied by his father.’ Please have Sogoro himself return here accompanying his own son.” Whereupon Koto returned home and asked Sogoro, “Won’t you please return to the Residence?”

So Sogoro returned to Jiba, accompanying Narazo, on March 25th and returned home that same evening. However, Narazo’s penis became swollen the following morning, just as it did when it was first bitten. But on the morning of the twenty-eighth he received the blessing of a complete cure. The whole family was happy beyond description. Narazo, then a boy of ten years, was thrilled from the bottom of his heart to have received the providence of God the Parent. This became the foundation of his devout faith for the rest of his life.


* In Japan, the sixtieth birthday is a very auspicious event. It is customary for the children to provide the celebration for their parent, and the parent would lose face in the community if he was not celebrated.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 49–50.

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 48

48. Waiting, Waiting

Around two o’clock in the afternoon of November 9, 1876, Kajiro Ueda was leaving for the Tenjin Festival at Kayo. Suddenly his daughter Naraito, who was weaving, began to cry, “Iwagami-san of Furu with his great mass of hair is descending on me. I’m frightened.” Later, she was administered all possible medical treatment without success. Through the devoted efforts of Yahei Nishiura, a neighbor, the Ueda family entered the faith and Naraito gradually recovered. She returned to Jiba the following month and was received by Oyasama who graciously said to her:

“I have been waiting, waiting. You were My aunt who saved Me five generations ago.”

She was completely cured in three days. Naraito was then fourteen years old.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 42

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 42

42. By Saving Others

Early in April 1875, Eijiro Enomoto of Sugahama, Sando Village in Fukui Prefecture, visited the goddess of mercy of Hase, the eighth temple on the pilgrimage route through the western provinces. His purpose was to pray that his daughter Kiyo be cured of insanity. From the old woman of a teahouse he happened to hear that a living god resided in Shoyashiki Village. He then hurried to Shoyashiki through Miwa and visited the Residence. He asked an intermediary for an audience with Oyasama, who told him:

“You need not worry. Never! Go home quickly, as something wrong has happened in your home. Visit houses in your village one by one and save forty-two persons. Pray to God earnestly at each house, chanting, ‘Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto,’ and pressing your hands together in prayer. By saving others you yourself will be saved.”

Eijiro left Shoyashiki lightheartedly and, going through Kizu, Kyoto and Shiozu, arrived at Sugahama on April 23rd.

His daughter was hopelessly insane, but while he was praying, “Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto,” pressing his hands together in prayer, incredibly, she became calm by degrees. Then as Oyasama had instructed him, he visited every house in his village, spreading the fragrance of the teachings of God. He visited the homes of the sick repeatedly, praying for the healing of forty-two people.

Wonderfully, his daughter was completely cured. Also, people came from many homes to express their gratitude. Restored to sanity, his daughter married a man adopted into her family. Eijiro and the young couple returned to Jiba to offer their thanks and were granted an audience with Oyasama.

Later, they expressed their impression that Oyasama, wearing pure red garments and with Her snow-white hair plaited in the shape of a tea whisk, was a beautiful and noble figure.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 36–37

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 39

39. Much Better

In 1874, two-year-old Narazo, the eldest son of Yahei Nishiura, contracted diphtheria and was given up by the doctor as hopeless. Yahei was convinced of the teachings through the devoted efforts of Koyo, mother of Koshiro Murata of the same village. Help from the Residence was requested. Gisaburo Nakata came from the Residence at once to save the child and Narazo was marvelously saved. Father and son then visited the Residence immediately to express their gratitude. From that time on, Yahei was a fervent believer.

One day, after coming home from the Residence, Yahei went to bed late. Around midnight, he heard a noise under the floor. Thinking, “This is strange!” he quietly got up and looked around the house. With an exclamation of surprise, a man ran away into the dark. He left behind a large bundle of various precious items taken from Yahei’s home.

Yahei was very happy. The next morning he promptly visited the Residence and thanked Oyasama from the bottom of his heart, saying, “Because of your blessing, it turned out very well for me. Thank you.”

“Would it not be much better to let the people who need them have them?”

It is said that these words made a deep impression on Yahei’s mind.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 33–34

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 36

36. Firm Resolution

On the morning of December 4, 1874, as Rin Masui tried to get up, she strangely felt pain. Both of her eyes had become badly swollen. They grew worse each day. When the consulting doctor diagnosed it as glaucoma, she became frightened. She received medical treatment, but finally lost her eyesight. This happened two years after her husband passed away.

The whole family was overcome with grief. During the year-end and New Year’s season, twelve-year-old Ikutaro, the elder child, heard the news of a god from a fellow traveler at Tatsuta. The traveler said, “The god ‘Tenryu-san’ at Shoyashiki in Yamato will save anyone from any sickness. One has only to offer prayers for three days and three nights.” Upon Ikutaro’s return, the parent and child promptly began praying for three days and three nights, facing toward Yamato, but there was no sign of improvement. So they sent a man-servant, Tamehachi, to Shoyashiki to pray for the family. He left Ogata early in the morning, and arrived at the Residence before noon. Tamehachi saw Oyasama, who was wearing the red garments, and he prayed to Her. He listened to the teachings from the intermediaries and asked to have the main points of the teachings written down on paper to take home.

As Ikutaro read aloud to Rin the notes that Tamehachi had brought home, Rin said, “Since we have thus received God’s teachings, I don’t care what happens to my physical body. For the sake of eliminating the family innen I will engage in the work of single-hearted salvation, not minding the severe cold and heat, and even if I have to walk with the aid of two canes. We three, mother and children, will follow the path with joy, even through fire and water.” This was the firm resolution of the whole family.

Not only Rin, but Ikutaro as well as eight-year-old Tomie poured cold water over themselves as a form of ascetic ritual. The whole family joined in a three-day and three-night prayer. Facing Jiba, they chanted, “Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto,” over and over, and prayed earnestly.

The dawn of the third day came. Rin had been sitting before the brazier throughout the prayer, and Tomie, who was sitting beside her mother, noticed a ray of light through a slight opening in the door. She said, without thinking, “Mother, it’s daybreak.”

Hearing her daughter’s voice, Rin turned toward the front door. She saw a gleam of light through a slight opening in the door. Thinking that it might be a dream, she quickly stood up, rushed to the front entrance and rolled open the sliding door. Outside it was glittering with morning sunlight, just as it had been years before. She had received a wonderful blessing and had recovered her eyesight completely.

Rin returned at once to Jiba to offer her thanks. She thanked Oyasama through the intermediary, Gisaburo Nakata. Oyasama said:

“Sah, sah, you lost your eyesight during one night. Sah, sah, it is an innen, innen. God has drawn you to this Residence. Welcome, welcome home. Sayemon,* please explain the teachings in detail to her. Please explain to her.”

Rin stayed over that night. The next day she heard the teachings from Nakata. While she was learning the hand movements for the morning and evening service, she received Oyasama’s words:

“Sah, sah, your soul has an innen. When it is the divine will to use a person in God’s service, God will draw that person to this Residence by any means. Be thankful and follow the path joyfully, no matter what you may encounter. Persons who are destined to be used as instruments in God’s service will be drawn to this Residence even by means of physical pain. Because I must draw you even by means of giving you suffering, what I do is different depending on the person. It is natural that there is difference. Because of My intent, you never got any better. It was only natural that you never got any better because I do things differently. Your eyesight never improved. Sah, sah, it is an innen, innen. Sayemon, please explain in detail. You could not see because it was as if God’s hands were in front of your eyes. Sah, she says she cannot see ahead. When the hands are removed you can see at once. You can see, can’t you? Sah, sah, take heart, take heart. You will not have any hardships, even if you wish to undergo hardships. It is all up to the individual’s mind.”

Rin stayed over again that night. The next morning, she asked Nakata to tell Oyasama that she was returning to Kawachi, and she again received Oyasama’s words:

“You just heard a bit of the teachings and you have returned from a far place, passing through mountain trails and valleys. Sah, sah, I accept your firm resolution. Look ahead with joy, with joy. Sah, sah, I will provide you with clothing, food, and spending money. Remember you are to serve God for a long time. Sah, sah, look ahead, look ahead, look ahead with joy.”

Rin was speechless and was moved to tears. Rin Masui was then thirty-two years of age.


* Gisaburo Nakata was the former Sayemon Nakata. In or about 1873, due to the Japanese government’s edict abolishing names ending in “-suke,” and “-yemon,” “Sayemon” was changed to “Gisaburo.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 29–32

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 33

33. The Bridge Between Countries

Risaburo Yamamoto of Kashiwara Village, Kawachi Province, injured his chest in a village sumo-wrestling match in the autumn of 1870 at the age of twenty-one. For three years from that time he was sick in bed. Doctors were consulted and prayers were offered here and there at shrines and temples for his recovery. But it was to no avail. In fact, his condition became worse until he was on the verge of death. Just at that time, during the summer of 1873, his family heard of God the Parent from a sawyer named Kuma. He had come from Furu, Yamato Province, to work at the To Sawmill in that same village of Kashiwara. Upon hearing of God the Parent, Rihachi, Risaburo’s father, promptly returned to Jiba in place of his son. Oyasama said:

“This Residence is the Residence where mankind was first created. This is the birthplace of man. No matter how serious, any sickness will be cured. Bring your son here at once. I have been eagerly waiting for your coming.”

Receiving such encouraging words, Rihachi returned home and conveyed them to his son. Whereupon Risaburo began to say, “I want to go and worship the god in Yamato.” The family members tried to stop him by saying, “You will never make it to Yamato.” But Risaburo pleaded, “I don’t care, I still want to go. I want to be near that god.”

In response to his earnest pleas, a stretcher was prepared. When it became dark, he was quietly carried out of the gate. However, on the way, when they came to a big bridge over the Tatsuta River, Risaburo stopped breathing, and so they turned back. But when they reached home, he miraculously started to breathe again. Because he pleaded, “I don’t care if I die,” the family, according to custom, drank water from a sake cup at what might be a final parting. Carrying him on the stretcher, they again departed for Yamato late at night with lanterns. It was a dark night.

The group finally reached Jiba on the evening of the following day. The gates of the Residence were already closed, so they sought lodging in a nearby home. The next morning, Risaburo, who was on the verge of death, was brought before Oyasama. She said:

“You need not worry. You shall be saved for sure if you decide to dedicate your whole life to serve this Residence.”

Continuing, She gave him the following words:

“The bridge between countries; a rough log bridge. Without a bridge, a river cannot be crossed. Will you dedicate your life, or not? Arakitoryo, arakitoryo!*”

Oyasama ordered a bath for Risaburo, and said:

“Take a bath now.”

When he returned from the bath, Oyasama said:

“You must now feel fresh and lively.”

Although he had been in no condition to take the bath, he had no trouble doing so. In fact, Risaburo’s suffering disappeared and his pain faded away. He heartily ate three bowls of the rice gruel that Oyasama gave him. Due to Oyasama’s warm parental love, Risaburo received God’s blessing and regained his health on the sixth day. After staying a month he returned to Kashiwara. The villagers were struck with admiration when they saw his vigorous health.


*Arakitoryo: literally, ‘the master wood cutter’; it has the meaning of ‘pioneer missionary.’

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 26–28 Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 33

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 24

24. I Am Glad You Have Come Home

Hikotaro Matoba of Nigo Village, Yamato Province, had a fine voice and was good at leading a chorus. During the bon festival season, he sang on festival towers in Nagataki, Chishawara, Kasa and other neighboring villages.

In 1871, when he was nineteen years old, Hikotaro was told that he needed to expand the volume of his voice in order to produce truly wonderful sounds. So he practiced by a waterfall in Yokkawa, singing, “Ko-o-rya! korya! korya!” at the top of his lungs.

As it was after the day’s hard work in the fields, he invigorated himself by licking a paste made of charred vipers, soybeans and dried sesame. On the third night of the practice, he suddenly lost his sight. He had developed an eye disease, probably amaurosis.

Guided by his mother, Hikotaro went to Hase, barefoot, to pray for the aid of the goddess Kannon. But his prayers were not answered at all. His mother, Shika, grieved at seeing his condition, said, “You cannot see even the white chicken at your feet, can you?” His condition remained unchanged for over three months. Then, he was told, “There is a new god in Shoyashiki who is able to cure any illness. That god will save you in an instant.”

Before long, he returned to Jiba. When he was received by Oyasama, She gave him three packets of the sacred powder of roasted grain and said:

“I am glad you have come home. This world remains in complete darkness as long as you are blind. But you shall certainly be saved if you do as God tells you.”

Hikotaro answered, “I cannot go on living like this. I will do anything if God will save me.” Whereupon, Oyasama said:

“So, if that is your wish, do no worldly work. Go with God, and devote yourself to the salvation of man for the rest of your life.”

No sooner had he replied, “I will do so,” than his sight was slightly restored. Within a few days, he had completely recovered. From then on, with great joy he devoted himself day and night to spreading the fragrance of the words of God and saving others. He was so wondrously saved that even at the age of eighty-seven he needed no glasses for close reading.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 17–18 Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 24

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 11

11. God Has Drawn You to this Residence

It was about the middle of January 1864 when Chushichi Yamanaka was thirty-eight years of age. Chushichi’s wife, Sono, had been suffering from severe hemorrhoids for over two years. Her condition became so critical that for several days she could not even drink any liquids. Two doctors had given up hope of recovery. Just about this time, Chushichi learned about the teachings of God from Seibei of Shiba Village. He immediately returned to the Residence* and was granted an audience with Oyasama. She said:

“You have an innen** with God and God has drawn you to this Residence. You need not worry about your wife’s condition. I will save her in an instant, but in return, you must be willing to serve God.”


* In Tenrikyo, Jiba, or the Residence, is the place of Creation. Therefore, it is said that a person ‘returns’ to Jiba even if it is the first time that he goes there in his life.

** Innen: literally “destiny” or “cause and effect.” Man’s original innen is to live a joyous life. Being allow free will, man has used his mind to pursue selfish goals, incurring dust which results in bad innen. In order to change his bad innen into a good one, man must gain merit by using his mind in accord with God’s will.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 6–7.

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