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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 99

99. Wedding in Osaka

One day in March 1882, Unosuke Tosa abruptly left his home in Muya without telling his wife, carrying only the shrine of God the Parent on his back. This move was made after a long struggle with his adoptive parents who strongly opposed his single-hearted devotion to missionary work. Afterward he began to spread the teachings at Sangenya in Osaka.

Sometimes he felt forlorn and helpless when he thought of Masa, his wife, whom he had left at home, but he was glad that he was living closer to Jiba. It was his greatest joy to see Oyasama by returning to Jiba. Because nothing was more pleasant for him than being with Her as long as possible, he kept staying at the Residence. On such a particular day, Unosuke was weeding at the Residence in the warm spring sun. He was not aware that Oyasama was standing behind him until She spoke to him smiling:

“You had better return to Osaka quickly. There will be a wedding there.”

Unosuke said, “Yes, I see,” but he had not the slightest idea who was going to be married.

Thinking about Oyasama’s puzzling remark over and over, he returned to his lodgings in Osaka and found a new pair of woman’s clogs at the entrance. His wife, Masa, was there. She clung madly to her husband’s chest and wept and wept without saying a word. After a long time she looked up at him and tearfully begged him to return, saying, “Please come back to Muya with me. Your missionary work will be no problem. Forgive me, I’ve been so weak until now. But now I am resolved. I will persuade my parents to allow you to pursue your life of faith.”

Because Tosa knew well what would happen if he should return home and being determined not to be swayed by her love, he gave no answer. It was at that time that he suddenly recalled Oyasama’s words which he had heard at Jiba. He had not even considered being reinstated in the Tosa family. But when he thought it over carefully, he was able to understand the true meaning of Oyasama’s words that it was he himself who was the groom in Osaka. He finally resolved, “I was completely wrong in forsaking my family because of their opposition to my life of faith. I shall again return home and no matter how great the hardships may be, I will accept them all joyfully. Single-heartedly I will dedicate myself; even if I should die, I will be happy.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 81–83

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The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 59

The following is a translation of Part 59 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the November 2007 (No. 467) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision.

Part 59: A Church Construction Lays the Basis for Salvation

In 1908, the year after Fujinosuke Tanabe became the second head minister of Konohana Shikyokai, the criteria of organizing churches was renewed in accordance with Tenrikyo’s attainment of sectarian independence. As a result, Yuasa, a subsidiary church of Konohana, now met the criteria to be promoted to a shikyokai.1 Konohana, which had been a shikyokai itself until then, now found itself being required to become a “bunkyokai2 that befitted its position of being the supervising church of Yuasa by increasing its membership and going from leasing its building and property to owning it outright. Since Konohana had just recently relocated and there were a number of Konohana church officials (yaku-in) who were not happy with the fact that Fujinosuke, their new head minister, came from Yuasa (in Wakayama), the prospect of a relocation and construction appeared impossible. However, despite the fact that he was disowned by his family, Fujinosuke worked to persuade his mother to sell the home in Yuasa where she was born and raised and borrowed money from his in-laws (his younger sister’s family).

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  1. After Tenrikyo’s sectarian independence in 1908, a shikyokai referred to a place of worship with more than 500 member households.
  2. A bunkyokai was a place of worship that had over 2000 member households.