The following is an excerpt of “The Life of the Foundress” by Yoshinaru Ueda as it appears in Tenrikyo: Its History and Teachings (1966), pp. 33–6. Note that this excerpt has been slightly revised to reflect current translation styles.
The following is an excerpt of “The Life of the Foundress” by Yoshinaru Ueda as it appears in Tenrikyo: Its History and Teachings (1966), pp. 30–33. Note that this excerpt has been slightly revised to reflect current translation styles.
I realize it has been a reeaaallly long time since I posted anything or made any updates to this website. I offer my apologies.
I stumbled upon a translation I did some time ago that I felt could be useful to researchers of Tenrikyo and burakumin in general. I am unsure if this post will lead to more activity on this website down the road or not.
153. The Day of Release (o-demashi no hi)
This incident took place around 1884. When the date of Oyasama‘s release from prison was known, people began gathering in front of the prison gate long before the release was to take place. In spite of the police prohibition against worshiping Oyasama, they clapped their hands in reverence each time they caught a glimpse of Her. Police officers with drawn swords tried to stop them from doing so, saying, “We do not allow worship of a human being as a god.” But they clapped their hands behind the officers’ backs. There was no way of stopping them from worshiping Her. When the officers left, the worshipers said to each other, “We cannot refrain from worshiping Her, as we were saved from death. We will worship even if we are thrown into prison.”
Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 125
154. God Brings Them to the Residence (Kami ga tsureta kaeru no ya)
Some of Oyasama’s words are as follows:
“When police officers come, it is God bringing them home to the Residence. When I go to the police, it is God taking Me there.
“They constantly come boisterously to interfere. This is like coming to dig for a precious jewel buried in the ground.
“It is not that police officers come here to interfere. It is God bringing them to the Residence.”
Anecdotes of Oyasama. p. 125
144. The Virtue Which Reaches Heaven (ten ni todoku ri)
Oyasama was detained in Nara Prison from March 24 through April 5, 1884. Chuzaburo Koda was also kept in custody for ten days. While imprisoned, Chuzaburo was ordered by a jailor to clean the toilets. When he came back to Oyasama after he had finished cleaning, Oyasama inquired:
“Koda, what do you think of having been brought to this kind of place and even having been made to clean such filthy places as toilets?”
“I think I am serving God whatever I do. So I am very happy,” he answered. Oyasama said:
“You are right. If you do something with gratitude, no matter how hard or unpleasant it may be, your virtue will reach heaven. Virtue which is accepted by God will be turned into joy. But no matter how hard or trying the work that you do may be, if you do it complaining, ‘How hard it is, how I hate it,’ the complaints will also reach heaven and be returned to you in kind.”
Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 116
106. Symbolic Serving
Oyasama was confined in Nara Prison for twelve days starting from October 29, 1882. While Oyasama was in prison, Shirobei Umetani stayed at the Residence. Every day during the twelve days, he got up before dawn and walked some eleven kilometers to Nara Prison with Shinnosuke, the first Shimbashira, and other seniors to bring things to Oyasama. About the time they arrived at Nara, the sky would begin to turn gray. It would be about nine o’clock when they returned to the Residence after delivering the things.
One day, the party of three were attempting to pass the gate of the jail without greeting the gatekeepers. They were stopped and threatened that they would not be allowed to go home because they had not greeted the gatekeepers. The three persons apologized and knelt down with their hands in the muddy ground, after which they were allowed to go.
At the Residence, visitors were harassed by police officers on guard at the entrance. In addition, different officers would come to investigate as often as three times during a night, so that people in the Residence could sleep for only two hours or so each night.
On November 9th, Oyasama was met by numerous persons when She returned to the Residence. She called Umetani to Her and said:
“Shirobei, thank you very much for your trouble. I did not feel hungry at all, thank you.”
In the prison they could only deliver things for Oyasama and were not allowed to see Her. No one could have told Her that it was Shirobei who had delivered the things. Therefore, Umetani wondered how She knew that it was he.
While Oyasama was in prison, Shirobei’s wife, Tane, in Osaka also prepared meals for Oyasama and served Her symbolically every day, calling to mind Oyasama’s hardship.
It was on the next day, the tenth, and thereafter that Shirobei was allowed to make personal inquiries of Oyasama without an intermediary.
56. Thank You for Your Trouble Last Night
One time, while Sadahiko Izutsu was on duty at the Main Sanctuary, he said to Tsuchisaburo Itakura, “You have undergone hardships many times in police stations and jails. It’s a wonder that you were able to continue in your faith under such circumstances.” Tsuchisaburo Itakura replied, “During my third visit to the Residence three police officers came and threw us into the Tambaichi Branch Jail. That whole night we discussed the idea of quitting the faith. However, I thought I would wait until I could see Oyasama one more time. So I returned to the Residence. When Oyasama saw me, She smiled and said compassionately:
‘Thank you for your trouble last night.’
Just these few words of Oyasama made me resolve to undergo any hardship any number of times.”
This is the story Izutsu heard from Tsuchisaburo Itakura in 1931 or 1932, when the Main Sanctuary consisted only of the North Worship Hall.
Note: As Tsuchisaburo Itakura began to have faith in 1876, it is assumed that he received Oyasama’s words in 1876 or 1877.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 48
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.