Tag Archives: Hirano Narazo

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 189

189. The Hearts of Husband and Wife (fūfu no kokoro)

In the summer of 1886, Narazo Hirano and his wife, after abandoning the family occupation, were devoting themselves to missionary work in utter poverty with the resolve, “When we think of Oyasama, we never mind going for four or five days without food.” As it was summer, they had no possessions with them except the light summer clothing they wore: one cotton kimono each and a summer kimono for Narazo.

One day, when they returned to the Residence, Oyasama gave them these words:

“In this path the hearts of husband and wife are the foundation. I have discerned your sincerity which could thrust through a great tree or pierce a huge stone. One year from now, I will grant you an uchiwake-basho, a place of salvation.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 149

Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 189

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 188

188. Permanent Staff of the Residence (yashiki ni jōzume)

Around noon on August 25, 1886, a short and stocky man came to the Residence and announced himself as the head of the Nara Police Station. He was received by Oyasama, and afterward left the Residence.

That night, someone pounded at the gate of the Residence, almost to the point of breaking it. Yoshie Iburi asked who it was, and the answer came, I am the head of the Nara Police Station. I visited here this afternoon. Open the gate!” Although Yoshie thought it was strange, she opened the gate and suddenly five or six ruffians rushed into the kitchen, all shouting, “Let’s set fire to this Residence and burn it down tonight.” Yoshie was shocked, ran into a room and shut the door behind her. The room led to Oyasama’s room.

The ruffians then hurled the brazier from the kitchen, raising a storm of ashes in the room. Bowls and dishes were smashed. Intermediaries who were sitting in conference upstairs heard the rumbling sounds and screaming voices, and rushed downstairs. They fought the ruffians at the risk of their lives.

This happened to be the day of Ohimachi,* and villagers were meeting in a neighbor’s house. They also heard the uproar and hastened to the scene in a crowd. They helped to overcome the ruffians and then informed the police of the situation.

Narazo Hirano, took the six ruffians to the Tofuya Inn and, after giving them a serious lecture on their misconduct, released them.

On that day, Oyasama paid Her tribute of praise to Hirano:

“It was a chance for you to show your courage. Starting tomorrow you shall join the permanent staff of the Residence.”

* Ohimachi originally was an overnight gathering where people purified themselves and on the following morning worshiped the sunrise. Later it became a festival where villagers feasted together after rice-planting or harvest.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 148–149

Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 188

Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 75

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.)

75. At the Garden of Koriyama Followers Dormitory

Toward the end of the Honseki’s life, Rev. Narazo Hirano, who adored the Honseki from the bottom of his heart, came up with the idea of showing appreciation for the hardships that the Honseki had undergone. Knowing that the Honseki loved gardens, Rev. Hirano built an outstanding garden at Koriyama followers dormitory. He invited the Honseki to the garden’s completion ceremony, and gave him a heartwarming reception. Soon the time for the meal came, and a full-course meal with second and third entrees was set out before the Honseki. I am sure that the wide variety of delicacies served to the Honseki were the fruits of true sincerity dedicated by Koriyama followers from all parts of Japan.

Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 75

The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 47

The following is a translation of Part 47 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the November 2006 (No. 455) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision.

Part 47: The Conversion of Narazo Hirano

On the lunar New Year’s Day of 1886, Oyasama mentioned to the people around her:

“I will bring home a great person tomorrow. There is no knowing what workings I will do from this point on by bringing this person home.”

Continue reading The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 47

The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 6

The following is a translation of Part 6 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the June 2003 (No. 414) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. Note: This translation may require further polishing and revision.

Part 6: “Suit Yourself!”

There was a great cholera epidemic in the Kinki Region of Japan in the early autumn of 1886. It was a contagious disease that was deeply feared by the populace since there was no appropriate treatment for it at the time.
Continue reading The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 6