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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 74

74. Following God’s Path

Oyasama vigorously urged the performance of the Service in the autumn of 1880. When people were hesitating to comply with Her words because it was a period of strict vigilance and interference by the police, Oyasama sternly urged them to comply through this Timely Direction:

“Crushing God’s path by excessive concern for man’s obligations is not the path at all. The true path consists in standing up for the path of God, not for the path of man. Sah, will you crush the principle of God and stand up for the principle of man? Will you not stand up for the principle of God rather than the principle of man? Now answer one of these.”

After discussing the matter, everyone decided to make a firm resolution to perform the Service. However, there was no definite assignment as to who was to perform the Kagura Service, although they had been practicing the dance movements individually. They decided to ask Oyasama about this matter.

Oyasama already had chosen the performers for the women’s musical instruments. They were Yoshie Iburi for the shamisen, Naraito Ueda for the kokyu and Tomegiku Tsuji for the koto. However, the men’s musical instruments had not been practiced either individually or as a group. Since it was so sudden, they discussed what should be done. It was clear that they would not be able to choose the performers themselves, so they decided to ask Oyasama about this matter also. They received the following words from Oyasama:

“Sah, sah, musical instruments, musical instruments. For the present, even if you play ‘two’ in the place of ‘one,’ or ‘three’ in the place of ‘two,’ God will forgive. God will accept the harmony of the hearts of the performers. Understand this well.”

Everyone was relieved to hear this, and they all performed joyously. Tamezo Yamazawa danced all twelve chapters.1 It took place in the eight matted room just south of the north raised room in the building called the Place for the Service.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 64–65

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  1. “Twelve chapters” refers to the Twelve Songs (Juni kudari). The composition of the Twelve Songs is the main theme of Anecdotes 18 and 19

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 55

55. Kokyu, Kokyu*

In 1877, Naraito Ueda, then fifteen years old, happened to be back at her parents’ home in Sonowara Village when her body began to sway for no apparent reason and would not stop. Her father and elder brother tried hard to hold her still but their efforts were in vain. Instead, their bodies also began to sway as they tried to stop her. So Naraito’s father took her to the Residence and inquired of Oyasama about it. Oyasama said:

“Kokyu, kokyu.”

The moment Naraito answered, “Yes,” her swaying stopped.

In this way, Naraito started to take lessons on the kokyu from Oyasama and subsequently took part in the Service.


* Kokyu: a three-stringed instrument played with a bow in a vertical position.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 47–48

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 54

54. Play It with All Your Heart

Yoshie Iburi had been learning the shamisen from Oyasama Herself since 1877, when Yoshie was twelve. During the three years of learning, Yoshie was also given instructions in spiritual attitude. Oyasama taught:

“You must get all the instruments at any cost.

“Even if you have not practiced enough, be seated in front of the instrument and play it with all your heart. God will accept your heart.

“Dear Yoshie, pluck ‘position three’ and ‘position two’ in succession. It makes a tune for hito-o-tsu.* In this way, practice the shamisen.”


* Hitotsu: literally, ‘one.’ This word begins the first verse of eleven of the twelve chapters of the Sacred Songs for the Service.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 47

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 53

53. From This Residence

One day in 1877, when Yoshie Iburi was twelve years old, her fingertips ached unbearably. She asked Oyasama what to do. Oyasama said to her:

“Learn to play the shamisen.*”

She decided to learn at once. However, in those days at Takashina in Ichinomoto there was no place to learn the shamisen. So she asked Oyasama, “Shall I go to Koriyama or some other place to learn?” Oyasama said to her:

“I am not sending you anywhere to learn, or inviting anyone to teach you. All things are to be learned in this Residence. There is nothing that can be learned from the world. Because it is first taught from this Residence, there is truth in what is learned.”

Oyasama personally taught her how to play the shamisen. This was to become the shamisen part for the Service.

* Shamisen: a three-stringed instrument similar to a lute which is plucked with a plectrum.

Note: Yoshie Iburi was married in 1888. Her married name was Yoshie Nagao.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 46–47

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 52

52. Learn the Koto*

In 1877, Oyasama told Tomegiku Tsuji, who was then eight years old:

“Learn to play the koto.”

But her father, Chusaku, ignored the instruction, saying, “As we are farmers, she does not need to learn to play the koto.”

After several days, Chusaku developed a large boil on his right arm. He reflected on his condition and realized that he should have his daughter learn to play the koto. So he made up his mind and went to Koriyama to buy a koto.

While he was talking with the shopkeeper at the music shop, the boil on his right arm burst and the pain stopped completely. He realized that this indeed had been God’s intention. Carrying a big koto on his shoulder with the arm which had hurt until shortly before, he went home in high spirits.


* Koto: a thirteen-stringed long zither which is plucked with picks. This instrument is one of the women’s instruments used in the performance of the Service.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 45–46

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