Tag Archives: humility

Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 58

58. The Mindset of the Honseki

A commentary by Yoshitaro Hirano (1849–1969) third head minister of Sakai Daikyokai on the Honseki:

A carpenter became a Tenrikyo sensei donning a formal montsuki. There are countless examples of such followers. However, it was Izo Iburi sensei who must be considered to have best embodied the teaching, “By saving a single person, you save tens of thousands.”

The mindset of the Honseki was continuously filled with joy due his practice of tanno. He often went about in a light-hearted manner, saying, “I used to be carpenter.” Outwardly, he spent his life without wearing a single adornment on his body. He was a living example of the proverb that claims a silk brocade of the mind amounts to a silk brocade worn on the body.

(From Ten no jogi p. 79)

*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.

Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 50

50. Remembering Modesty and Refusing to Succumb to Extravagance

Oyasama once told Izo not to worry over the future, that there would come a time when he could not endure hardships even if he wished to. This truly was the case when Izo became the Honseki. This was possibly because God the Parent accepted the sincerity he dedicated to the path. However, it is also possible to say that this was so because followers who did not have the opportunity to meet Oyasama firsthand when She was physically present made sincere efforts to serve and please the Honseki in Her stead.

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Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 33

33. “Third Class Is Fine”

Once when the Honseki was on a mission tour of several churches, someone who accompanied him asked before buying the train tickets whether he favored riding first, second, or third class. The Honseki then asked: “Which will get to our destination quicker? If there is no difference, third class is fine.”

(From Ten no jogi p. 101)

*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.

Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 31

31. “Thank You for Your Efforts”

The Honseki visited various churches throughout Japan. During these times, he talked with everyone in an informal manner. Because he was so easy-going with people he met for the first time, there were those who could not believe he was indeed God’s representative.

At one particular Grand Service when he was on his way to Oyasama’s gravesite, thousands of followers had sat and bowed along the road to give their respects as he passed by. The Honseki responded by taking off his hat and bowing his head over and over, saying, “Thank you for your efforts, everyone.”

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Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 28

28. A Comfortable Seat

The Honseki attended the entrance and graduation ceremonies of Tenri Seminary. Designated seats placed side by side in the front were always prepared for the first Shinbashira and the Honseki. But the Honseki would never sit at the seat designated for him at the front. He always chose to sit in the seat behind those designated for the Seminary instructors. People would then come to lead the Honseki to his designated seat. This was another example that clearly demonstrates the Honseki’s humility.

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A Humble Mind

The following is an excerpt from Omichi no joshiki [Tenrikyo Fundamentals] (pp. 32–36) by Koji Sato (佐藤浩司), assistant professor at Tenri University and instructor at Tenri Seminary. Note: This translation is tentative and may require further revision.

A Humble Mind

Chuzaburo Koda 鴻田忠三郎, a learned man who successively held several agriculture-related posts, began to serve at the Residence in 1883. At the time, the police considered Oyasama’s teachings as an aberrant faith and they often summoned Oyasama for questioning or arrest. Chuzaburo was also once summoned with Oyasama in March 1884 to Tanbaichi Branch Station and was sentenced to serve ten days of imprisonment with Her at Nara Prison.
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