114. You Went Through Much Difficulty (Japanese title: yō kurō-shite kita)
One day, Tokichi Izumita was held up by three highwaymen on the Jusan Pass. At that time the teaching, “A thing lent, a thing borrowed,” which he had often been taught, flashed across his mind. So he obediently took off his coat, kimono, and everything just as he was told. Putting his wallet on top of his clothes, he knelt and bowed respectfully before them. “Please take them all,” he said. When he raised his head, the three highwaymen were gone. They must have felt uneasy because he was too obedient, and they left without taking one single thing.
Izumita then put his clothes back on and continued to Jiba. When he was granted an audience with Oyasama, She said:
“You went through much difficulty. Because you have achieved harmony in the family, I grant you the Sazuke of Ashiki-harai. Receive it.”
This was how Tokichi was granted the sazuke.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 95
Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 114
64. Smoothed out Gently
Yearning for Jiba, Tokichi Izumita (nicknamed Kumakichi) returned one day and found Oyasama smoothing out small pieces of crumpled paper on Her knee. Oyasama said to him:
“These crumpled pieces, if smoothed out gently like this, become neat and can be used again. Nothing is useless.”
Receiving this instruction, Izumita cheerfully went back to Osaka to continue his work of saving others even more earnestly.
However, it was hard to save others and spread the teachings. Accordingly, whenever his confidence was shaken, he poured water over himself to encourage himself on to further efforts. At midnight, during the coldest season of the year, he would immerse himself in the Yodo River for as long as two hours, and climbing up on the bank, he would dry himself in the wind, as he thought drying with a towel would spoil the effect. It was not so cold in the water, but the blowing north wind would severely and coldly sting his wet body. However, he patiently continued these cold water ablutions for about thirty nights. He would also remain all night in the water holding onto a post of the Tenjin Bridge before walking about to save sick people, as he was once told that he must first torture himself.
One day he returned to Jiba and was received by Oyasama, who said to him:
“Kumakichi, on this path you must not torture yourself.”
Hearing these words filled with parental love, Izumita was able to fully understand the preciousness of the human body, a thing borrowed from God the Parent.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 56
The following excerpt is from Omichi no joshiki [Tenrikyo Fundamentals] (pp. 146–149) by Koji Sato, professor at Tenri University and instructor at Tenri Seminary. Note: This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision.
Many religions have established forms of ascetic training to deepen one’s faith and to cultivate the mind. There are some that are life-threatening and actually have taken the lives of a number of people.
Continue reading Ascetic Training
The following excerpt is from Omichi no joshiki [Tenrikyo Fundamentals] (pp. 73–76) by Koji Sato 佐藤浩司, assistant professor at Tenri University and instructor at Tenri Seminary. Note: This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision.
People each have their individual traits and different ways of thinking and perceiving. One comes to the conclusion that society is made up and held together by such gatherings of people. Yet a society cannot hold together if every person refuses to meet others halfway after asserting their opinion or point of view. Laws and courts function to find ways to settle conflicts between two opposing parties that have exhausted all means of finding a solution on their own. Continue reading Reconciliation
The following is a translation of Part 5 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the May 2003 (No. 413) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35.
Part 5: The Conversion of Tokichi Izumita (2 of 2)
One day, Tokichi Izumita (also known as Kumakichi or “Lucky Bear”), who was staying at a cheap lodging house, went to the fields that were already buried in three meters of snow. He stripped off his clothes, sat facing Jiba with the snow still falling on him and prayed, “If I am not allowed to save anyone, please take this worthless life of mine in a week.”
Continue reading The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 5
The following is a translation of Part 4 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the April 2003 (No. 412) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35.
Part 4: The Conversion of Tokichi Izumita (1 of 2)
Tokichi Izumita (also known as Kumakichi, literally “Lucky Bear”) went to Jiba to worship in the 2nd lunar month of 1871 on his way home from seeing the water-drawing ceremony at Nigatsudo in Nara.
While he was impressed with the teachings as conveyed to him by Ryosuke Yamazawa, he did not make the faith a part of his daily life at the time. However, circa the summer of 1877, his son became sick and he himself was suffering from stomach cancer. Ihei Yamamoto came to visit and recommend him to have faith in God. Ihei also gave Tokichi Izumita the following instruction, before offering his prayer, “What you love is your enemy, you must quit what you love.”
Continue reading The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 4
The following is a translation of Part 2 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the February 2003 (No. 410) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35.
Part 2: “I’m Not Doing the Saving”
In 1882, Tokichi Izumita established the Fourth Ten’e Confraternity in Minami Ward of Karahori. After converting to the faith in 1877, he spent some time engaging in missionary work in the Hokuriku region of Japan. After building his confidence after spending many snowy days there, he returned concentrate his missionary efforts in Osaka.
Continue reading The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 2