27. Happy Day
On the morning of the tenth day of Oyasama’s visit to the Matsuo residence in July 1872, Ichibei and his wife went to Oyasama’s room to extend their greetings. Oyasama asked:
“Would you like to have God enshrined?”
Ichibei replied, “Yes, I would like to have God enshrined, but where would be the best place?”
Oyasama said, pointing Her finger to where the Buddhist altar was. It was so unexpected, like a bolt out of the blue, that Ichibei and his wife were speechless, thinking of their ancestors enshrined in the Buddhist altar. The couple exchanged glances and silently nodded their heads in approval. Ichibei asked, “Then where shall the Buddhist altar be moved?” Oyasama said:
“The ancestors will not be angry, nor will they oppose the move. Set it in a similar place in the other room.”
The other room was the old guest room. A carpenter was called at once to draw up plans for God’s altar in accordance with Oyasama’s directions. Preparations were made for the relocation of the Buddhist altar. The Buddhist priest was strongly opposed to their proposal, but they asked him to offer the prayer against his will. The relocation of the altar was completed that night without trouble. The following morning four carpenters came to build God’s altar.
“If you do not hurry you will not finish in time,”
Oyasama said to speed up the work. It was completed on the evening of the twelfth day of Her stay. The next morning, the couple went to Oyasama’s room to extend their greetings, but She was not there. When they went to the other room, they found Her sitting silently before the newly completed altar.
“You did well. This will be fine, this will be fine,”
Oyasama said, and then She went to the sickroom of their eldest son, Narazo, who was unable to move from his bed. As Oyasama sat beside him, She said:
“Your head must itch.”
She took Her own comb and began to comb Narazo’s hair slowly. Oyasama said as She returned to Her room:
“Today is a nice day, a happy day, because today God is to be enshrined,”
and She smiled happily. The couple was wondering how the enshrinement was going to be done when they heard someone at the front door. Haru went to greet the visitor and it was Shuji, Oyasama’s son. As soon as Shuji was escorted to Her room, Oyasama said:
“Arrangements for the enshrinement are complete, so please make the gohei, the sacred staff.”
When it was completed, Oyasama personally took the staff to the altar and offered Her prayers to sanctify it.
“God is going to be here also from today. How happy! This is truly wonderful,”
Oyasama said, overjoyed.
“I am returning home now,”
She said, and She returned to the Residence.
The Buddhist altar was completely removed from the home at a later date.