This is an excerpt from the 2006 September Monthly Service Sermon by Honbu-in Toshimi Imamura (All have I done here is post the excerpt here. I have no knowledge of who did the actual translation of this sermon.)
The following is a translation of Part 22 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the October 2004 (No. 430) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision.
Part 22: Oyasama as “Daruma”
One day, in the year 1884, Shirobei Umetani brought his third son Umejiro with him to worship at the Residence. Umejiro was seven or eight years old at the time. Umejiro was like his father Shirobei in his youth, a rascally and energetic child who knew no fear and said exactly what was on his mind.
23. A Command to Stop Working in the Fields
It is written that between 1882 and 1887 Izo did farming and forestry work and for these five years, he never had the luxury to sit and relax at a meal but ate his meals standing near the oven. But according to Yosaburo Miyamori (1857–1936):
“The Residence was not a busy place as it is now. So when Izo first moved to Jiba, it was not like he had a set schedule of tasks to do each day. He would help out when we went out into the fields. He also helped to dig ditches and plow the rice fields.
21. Izo’s Perseverance Working in the Fields
After Izo stopped working as a carpenter, he began to work in the fields. Despite the fact that he was unaccustomed to using a hoe, he worked alongside Shinnosuke Nakayama, the first Shinbashira, in doing physical labor and polishing rice grains. Although he was aware he was not good at farm work, he resolved to work at least half the amount of a typical farmer and worked no matter how hot or cold it was.
Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 21
20. “Treat Them with All Your Heart”
One night, Oyasama turned to Izo and Sato to say:
Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 20
19. “There Is No Need to Worry Over Your Children”
About 1883 when Oyasama’s Resting House was completed, Izo made wooden shrines at night for followers as a side job to raise money for his children’s education. Oyasama took Izo aside one day and gently said:
Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 19
17. Out Through the Back Door
The year 1881 was a year when there was much interference by the police at the Residence. It was the year when the two sections of the stone Kanrodai and some of Oyasama’s red clothes were confiscated.
Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 17
16. “Six Shall Move In and Serve”
“You may think your family consists of five people, but six shall move in and serve.”
At first it was a mystery to Izo and Sato what Oyasama’s words meant. They were only a family of five. Who could this sixth person be that Oyasama was referring to?
15. “Give All Your Possessions to Others”
“Give all your possessions to others. There is no need for you to bring a single thing. God will provide everything you need at the Residence.”
So Izo gave away most of his possessions. The only items that he brought with him from Ichinomoto were eight sliding doors, ten tray tables, a corner cabinet and 20 layers of bedding.
The Iburis Move Into the Residence
It has been said that Oyasama began to urge Izo to move into the Residence as early as 1867 or 1868. From about 1875, the year Kokan passed away for rebirth, the Residence increasingly became a busy place and Oyasama’s requests became ever more urgent. Although Izo would verbally accede to Oyasama’s requests, it took many years before he actually carried out this promise. At first it may take us by surprise that Izo, who was so widely known for his sincerity and honesty, would take so long to do so, but truth be told, there were many reasons for this.