This week, I present a trial translation of Isaburo Masui’s manuscript of the Divine Record (Koki). Written in 1883, it is obviously more elaborate than earlier Koki manuscripts. Continue reading Masui Koki manuscript
137. A Single Word (kotoba hitotsu)
Oyasama taught Isaburo Masui the following:
“Some are good within yet bad without, and there are also people with the opposite character. To be sure, anger, selfishness and irritability are unadvisable. A single word is important. One achieves harmony in the family by the way one breathes in and out to form the very words one speaks.”
“Isaburo, you are gentle and sociable to everyone outside your house. When you are home and face your wife, you become angry and shout at her; that is the worst thing you could do. Never do it again.”
Masui suspected that his wife might have complained about him, but on considering that God knows and sees through everything, he simply decided he would never get angry again. Thereafter, he was never irritated by anything his wife said.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 111-112
122. As Long as There Is Virtue (Japanese title: Ri sae aru nara)
A great drought struck all of Yamato in the summer of 1883. At that time, Isaburo Masui, who was still farming in Izushichijo Village, was staying at the Residence every day to help with the farm work. By and by, a messenger from his own home came to ask Isaburo to return home, saying, “At the village people are busy drawing water into the rice fields. They are complaining that all the villagers are out doing the work except Isaburo. Can’t you come home just for a while to show your face?”
Isaburo had already resolved, “I do not care what happens to my own field,” so he flatly refused, saying, “It was very kind of you to come but I cannot leave,” and sent the messenger back home. However, later, Isaburo thought, “I am contented because I feel that it is the best thing for me to be able to put even a bucket-full of water into the field of the Residence during this drought. But if my neighbors are discontented on account of this, it will not do.” So he reconsidered, thinking, “I already said ‘no,’ but I will go back and at least show my face,” and he went to tell Oyasama his decision. Thereupon, Isaburo received these words from Oyasama:
“Even if it does not rain from above, as long as there is virtue, I shall make water rise as vapor from the ground below.”
When he went back, the whole village was in great commotion day and night with everyone busily drawing water from the wells in the fields. Isaburo and his wife, Osame, went out together to the fields and drew water until late into the night. However, no water was drawn into Isaburo’s own field; it was all drawn into the fields of others.
Osame mixed the water she had received from the water hole near the Kanrodai with the water from her house, and day and night, twice a day, she sprinkled it around her family rice field with a dried rice stalk. A few days later, Osame, wondering how her family rice field was faring, made the rounds before dawn and to her surprise found the field which she had not watered filled with water rising from the ground. Osame remembered afresh the words of Oyasama and was deeply moved with the realization that Oyasama’s words were indeed always true.
That year, the crop of the entire village was bad but the Masui family was blessed with a good harvest of about twenty-two kilograms per are.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 100-101
16. The Child’s Concern for the Parent
Kiku, mother of Isaburo Masui, became ill. Her condition gradually worsened and reached the critical stage. After waiting impatiently for daybreak, Isaburo left Izushichijo Village early in the morning and, walking about five and a half kilometers, he returned to the Residence. When he was received by Oyasama, he asked, “Please, save my mother from her illness.” Oyasama replied:
“I am sorry, Isaburo, in spite of your request she cannot be saved.”
As this reply came from Oyasama Herself, he excused himself from Her presence, saying, “I see, I understand,” and returned home. However, when he saw his mother suffering from illness, he was overwhelmed with the thought, “Oh, I want her to be saved at any cost.”
Therefore, he again returned to the Residence and asked earnestly, “Please, I beg of you, I wish to have my mother saved however difficult it may be.”Oyasama replied again:
“Isaburo, I am sorry, she cannot be saved.”
When Isaburo was so told by Oyasama, he was convinced for the time being that nothing could be done. However, when he came home and again saw his mother suffering, he could not bear to sit by and do nothing.
So again, he trudged back the five and a half kilometers. When he arrived at the Residence it was already dark. He was told that Oyasama was already in bed, but he implored again, “I understand that my mother cannot be saved but somehow, please, save her.” Then, Oyasama said:
“The child comes for the sake of his parent to ask that the life, which cannot be saved, be saved at whatever cost. This is sincerity itself. If sincere, God will accept.”
With these gracious words, Kiku, Isaburo’s mother, was saved from the life that could not be saved otherwise, and lived to be eighty-eight.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 11–12
The following excerpt is from Omichi no joshiki [Tenrikyo Fundamentals] (pp. 94–97) 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.
Mind of Sincerity
In the summer of 1883, rain was scarce throughout Japan and this deeply affected the harvest that year. The absence of a major river in Yamato Province especially made the region susceptible to drought. It was a matter of life-or-death for many farmers.
The following is a translation of Part 18 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the June 2004 (No. 426) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision.
Part 18: “If Sincere, God Accepts”
Kiku Masui of Izushichijo Village (currently, Izushichijo-cho of Yamato-Koriyama City, Nara Prefecture) traveled near and far for her husband’s asthma whenever she heard about a miracle at a certain shrine or temple. However, when she was troubled that her prayers did not have their intended effect, she heard from a neighbor about “the living god of Shoyashiki Village.” In 1863, Kiku visited Oyasama for the first time, who at the time, said to Her: