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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 159

159. The Residence: The Place for Single-Hearted Devotion to God (Kami-ichijō no yashiki)

One day, Shirobei Umetani, who had been sitting by Oyasama‘s side listening to the teachings of the path, unintentionally began to speak of worldly pleasures. “Right now,” he said, “there is a very popular play being presented at Dotombori and…,” Oyasama interrupted him here and admonished him:

“From the age of forty-one until today I have never spoken of anything worldly. God says there is no need in this Residence for any talk other than the talks of single-hearted devotion to God.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 128-129

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 123

123. Is Man the Object? (Japanese title: Hito ga medo ka)

Oyasama told Shirobei Umetani soon after he became a believer in the faith:

“Become a person with a gentle heart. Save other people. Change your habits and temperament.”

He was hot-tempered by nature.

Shirobei was working at the Residence, plastering the wall of Oyasama’s Resting House which was under construction in 1883. When he heard people maliciously gossiping that “the mason from Osaka, who cannot get work there, has had to come as far as Yamato for work,” he became very indignant. In the middle of the night, he quietly gathered his belongings and started to return to Osaka.

Walking on tiptoes, he was about to leave through the main gate when he heard Oyasama cough from her room in the Nakaminami-Gatehouse.

“Ah! Oyasama!” he thought; his feet stopped and his anger disappeared.

Next morning, while he was having breakfast with the rest of the people at the Residence, Oyasama appeared and said:

“Shirobei, is man the object? Or is God the object? Remember that God is the object.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 101-102

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The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 9

The following is a translation of Part 9 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the September 2003 (No. 417) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. Note: This is a tentative translation may require further polishing and revision.

Part 9: Oyasama’s Cough

Shirobei Umetani worked as a plasterer in Osaka. He converted to the faith after returning to Jiba for the first time on February 20, 1881, and became a devoted follower. On May 14 of the same year, he received permission to form a confraternity of about 60 followers, which was named “Meishin-gumi.”
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