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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 158

158. Monthly Period Is the Flower (tsuki no mono wa na, hana ya de)

Once when Rihachi Yamamoto was in attendance of Oyasama, he was asked by Her:

“Rihachi, won’t you go and look outside?”

In those days, the Residence was under heavy surveillance by the police; therefore, thinking that Oyasama was concerned, he looked around carefully but saw no one. He returned and reported, “Oyasama, there is no change outside. There are pumpkins in the field yonder and in the field hither there are many eggplants.” At that, Oyasama patted Her knee and taught him:

“That is it. Did you notice those pumpkins and eggplants? They are big, aren’t they? The plants bear fruit because the flowers bloom. Not a single plant bears fruit without its flower. Now ponder deeply. The world says woman is unclean, but there is nothing unclean about woman. Man and woman are equally children of God and there is no discrimination. Woman has a duty, a duty to bear children. Her monthly period is the flower. Without the flower there is no fruit. Understand this well. Take the pumpkin; if its big flower is gone, that is the end of it. In many things, there are flowers that bear no fruit. But to bear fruit without any flower is impossible. Ponder deeply. There is nothing unclean about it.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 127-128

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The Monthly Period is the Flower

The following is an excerpt from Omichi no joshiki [Tenrikyo Fundamentals] (pp. 59–61) 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.

The Monthly Period is the Flower

I am sure there is no one today who considers menstruation to be unclean. Yet until the modern period, the bleeding that accompanied childbirth and menstruation was seen as unclean and thus abhorred as “defiled blood” and was a cause of discrimination against women in Japan.

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