The following is a translation of an excerpt from “The Mythical Interpretations of Moto no ri” by Mieko Murakami. Continue reading The Mythical Interpretations of “Moto no ri” 3
173. All Days are Lucky Days (mina, yoi hi ya de)
Oyasama taught Naokichi Takai:
“There is not a single day which you ought to complain about. All days are lucky days. People choose a lucky day for a wedding or for raising a house. But the luckiest day is the day when everybody is spirited in mind.”
First: It Begins
Fourth: Happiness Comes
Fifth: Providence Comes Forth
Sixth: Peace Settles
Seventh: Nothing to Worry About
Eighth: Expanding in All Directions
Ninth: Suffering Disappears
Eleventh: Sufficiently It Begins
Twelfth: Sufficiently Abundant
Thirteenth: Sufficiently Nourished
(and so forth)
Twentieth: Sufficiently Abundant Abundance
Twenty-first: Sufficiently Abundantly It Begins
(and so forth)
Thirtieth: Sufficiently Abundant, Abundant Abundance
Thirty days make a month, twelve months make a year.
And not one day in the year is unlucky.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 138-139
92. Husband and Wife Together
Shirobei Umetani was received by Oyasama one day soon after his conversion to the faith. Oyasama told him:
“Husband and wife together, have faith in God.”
As soon as he got home, he said to his wife, Tane, “Since I have just been taught that it is not good if only one of us follows this path, you and I must both follow the path together.” Whereupon Tane obediently agreed. So just as he was taught by the seniors, Shirobei and Tane filled a rice bowl with water, faced the Jiba, chanted, “Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto,” three times, and each drank half of the water as a token of their vow that as husband and wife they would always be together in their faith.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 77–78
77. Chestnut Festival
One day Oyasama said to Rin Masui:
“The ninth of September is said to be the day of the Chestnut Festival. The Chestnut Festival is for sufferings to disappear. The bur of the chestnut is rough and prickly. Take away the bur and inside it there is a shell and then there is a bitter coating. Shell it, then peel the coating, and you will find a tasty nut. If a man listens to the truth and discards his bur and his bitter coating, his mind will become indescribably delicious.”
Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 66
60. Sacred Sugar Candy
When Oyasama gave the sacred sugar candy, She explained:
“This place is the Oyasato, the parental home where all human beings were originally conceived. Therefore, at this place I give you the sacred sugar candy*.”
She also taught:
“The first packet is the truth of initiation. The truth of the reason for the three pieces in a packet is the beginning of being nourished. The second packet is the truth of firm protection. The third packet is the truth that after being fully nourished, sufferings disappear. is the truth of the providences coming forth. Three fives is fifteen; therefore, it is the truth of the sufficiency of the providences coming forth. The seventh packet is the truth of nothing to worry about. Three sevens is twenty one; therefore, it is the truth of fully settled peace. The ninth packet is the truth of the disappearance of sufferings. Three nines is twenty seven; therefore, it is the truth of nothing at all to worry about.”
57. A Boy Should Be Accompanied by His Father
In the summer of 1877, nine-year-old Narazo Yaoi of Izushichijo Village, Yamato Province, was playing with two or three neighborhood children in the Saho River that flowed on the west side of the village. Somehow his penis was bitten by a leech. It did not hurt much at the time, but two or three days later it became swollen. Although there was no pain, his parents were worried because it was such an important organ. Doctors were consulted, faith healing was tried and the best of care was given, but there was no sign of recovery.
Jirokichi Kita’s aunt, Ko Yaoi, of the same village, and Isaburo Masui’s mother, Kiku, were already devout followers at that time. So they urged Narazo’s grandmother, Koto, to join the faith. Being religious by nature, she readily agreed. But Narazo’s father, Sogoro, was only interested in farming and he laughed at those who were religious. Koto asked him, “Do you wish to cancel my sixtieth birthday celebration or do you wish to join the faith?* Please choose one or the other.” So Sogoro finally consented to join. It was January 1878.
“The pillar of the family. This is a trouble of the pillar. You will be saved according to your mind.”
From then on grandmother Koto and Narazo’s mother, Naka, took turns returning with him to the Residence, a distance of about six kilometers, every third day. But there was no sign of any blessing.
In the middle of March 1878, while Koto was visiting the Residence with Narazo, Chusaku Tsuji told them, “We are told that ‘a boy should be accompanied by his father.’ Please have Sogoro himself return here accompanying his own son.” Whereupon Koto returned home and asked Sogoro, “Won’t you please return to the Residence?”
So Sogoro returned to Jiba, accompanying Narazo, on March 25th and returned home that same evening. However, Narazo’s penis became swollen the following morning, just as it did when it was first bitten. But on the morning of the twenty-eighth he received the blessing of a complete cure. The whole family was happy beyond description. Narazo, then a boy of ten years, was thrilled from the bottom of his heart to have received the providence of God the Parent. This became the foundation of his devout faith for the rest of his life.
* In Japan, the sixtieth birthday is a very auspicious event. It is customary for the children to provide the celebration for their parent, and the parent would lose face in the community if he was not celebrated.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 49–50.
40. Stay Here
The year was 1874. Yonosuke Okada (later known as Yosaburo Miyamori), at the age of eighteen, had a severe pain in his arm. He visited this and that doctor but the pain did not ease at all. He leaned against the bedding and suffered day and night. Looking at his suffering, Wasa, his married sister from Miwa, conveyed the teachings to him, suggesting, “Why don’t you try to go to Shoyashiki?”
“Yonosuke, welcome home.”
Upon receiving these words, the pain in his arm instantly stopped. He spent all that day at the Residence and went back to Higai Village that night.
However, when he returned home, he began to feel pain in his arm again. He waited impatiently for daybreak and returned to the Residence. Then, incredibly, the pain in his arm stopped.
These same events occurred repeatedly and during three years he returned to the Residence almost every day. Toward the end of this period, Oyasama said gently:
“Yonosuke, stay here.”
And so, in accord with Her words, he stayed at the Residence and helped with the work there. He remained there because unless he did so, the pain in his arm would return.
It was in this way that Yonosuke began to work at the Residence.
Q: I happened to live at a local Tenrikyo kyokai while on a study abroad program in Japan (or what’s called “home stay”). I was always curious about what was going on during the daily services: Why clap four times during prayer? Isn’t four a bad luck number in Japan? What is going on when they are bowing their heads down? What do the words and gestures of the daily services mean? Is there any significance behind why the first song is repeated 21 times, the second one done just once, and the third one is repeated in three sets of three?
submitted by Freshly Made Friends (real name withheld)
A: Hey Freshly, you’re asking at least five different questions there! You only get to ask just one…. Maybe two at most!
I’m kidding. Your questions are somewhat correlated, so I’ll be more than happy to answer them. But I will start by explaining how kyokai sanctuaries are set up for those of you out there who’ve never been in one before.
The following is an excerpt from Omichi no joshiki [Tenrikyo Fundamentals] (pp. 116–120) 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.
All Days Are Lucky Days
In Japan today it is customary to plan a wedding on an auspicious day and avoid certain days that are considered unlucky. The same goes for funerals, as certain days are considered inappropriate. Such long-held customs emerged when the Chinese calendar that was brought to Japan took on a life of its own and began to regulate the lives of the Japanese people.
The following is a translation of Part 16 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the April 2004 (No. 424) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This is a tentative translation and may require further revision
Part 16: A Prayer for Rain (1 of 2)
Genjiro Ichijo converted to the faith after he was saved from a life-threatening illness. In 1897, he accompanied Rev. Kunisaburo Moroi, the head minister of Yamana Bunkyokai, to Taiwan and was appointed to become the head minister of Taichu Shikyokai. Genjiro was thus placed in a position to proselytize the faith to people living in Taiwan.