Rev. Jiro James Morishita, head minister of Tenrikyo Brotherhood Church in Los Angeles, passed away for rebirth at 9:45 p.m. P.S.T. on August 30.
To quote his peer Rev. Marlon Okazaki: “We have just lost a Giant, we have just lost a dear friend. We will miss him dearly. Let us keep his light alive in our mission. I know that’s what he would want.”
Even though in the last days it was sadly apparent that there would be no miraculous recovery for Jiro sensei, I still feel numb and am at a complete loss of words. Roughly 72 hours after we heard the news, I am still in the process of digesting the reality that he has gone into the embrace of our Divine Parent.
He was a man of enormous spiritual and physical strength. I allowed myself to become too awed by his presence and intensity to open myself fully to him, so I unfortunately have little stories to share here. And besides, I honestly cannot begin to give his memory due justice in a single website post.
I instead offer two links to his writings which we have the fortune of having on the web:
- PDF of Tenri Forum 2006 Unit 2-2 (Contains Rev. Morishita’s Plenary Address: “The Tenrikyo Church and the Community: Connecting with the Teachings, Connecting with the Community”)
I consider it to have been an honor of knowing him and basking in his presence on a number of occasions. I hope everyone who was inspired by his hot, bright flame of faith will keep it burning for generations to come.
I offer my deepest condolences to his family and the congregation of Brotherhood Church and pray that they will arise from this “knot” stronger than ever.
Update: I also include the following link to one of Rev. Jiro Morishita’s sermons: