Tag Archives: outside interference

Cornerstone: Chapter 7-6

The following is a translation of an excerpt from Ishizue: Kashihara Genjiro no shinko to shogai (Cornerstone: The Faith and Life of Genjiro Kashihara) by Teruo Nishiyama. Note: This translation is a provisional one and may need to undergo further revision.

Saving a Couple from Leprosy

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Cornerstone: Chapter 2-2

The following is a translation of an excerpt from Ishizue: Kashihara Genjiro no shinko to shogai (Cornerstone: The Faith and Life of Genjiro Kashihara) by Teruo Nishiyama. Note: This translation is a provisional one and may need to undergo further revision.

Seinen No. 1: Muya’s First Live-In

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 183

183. A Stormy Wind (akufū to iū mono wa)

About 1885 or 1886, opposition from Buddhist and Shinto priests and other people became stronger in proportion to the rapid expansion of the path. Some of the followers lost their patience to such an extent that they suggested active resistance. One day during such a period, Kuyemon Hayashi, head of a [confraternity] in Kire Village, Settsu Province, returned to Jiba to seek counsel on the matter. Then, an intermediary consulted Oyasama, who said:

“Sah, sah, I will tell you, comparing it to a stormy wind. A stormy wind never lasts forever. Therefore, wait by crouching down when it is blowing and set out after it stops.

If you try to walk against it, you might stumble or fall to the ground. So stay still. If you set out slowly after the storm stops, you can go.”

A few days later, a request for support came from followers in Wakasa Province who were caught in the same persecution. Oyasama answered to an inquiry:

“Sah, it is the flash flood, the muddy water. Try to pour a glass of clear water into it. Even if you wish to try to purify the muddy water with it, the muddy water will not be cleared.”

The people, it is told, calmed themselves after hearing Oyasama’s words.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 144

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 153 and 154

153. The Day of Release (o-demashi no hi)

This incident took place around 1884. When the date of Oyasama‘s release from prison was known, people began gathering in front of the prison gate long before the release was to take place. In spite of the police prohibition against worshiping Oyasama, they clapped their hands in reverence each time they caught a glimpse of Her. Police officers with drawn swords tried to stop them from doing so, saying, “We do not allow worship of a human being as a god.” But they clapped their hands behind the officers’ backs. There was no way of stopping them from worshiping Her. When the officers left, the worshipers said to each other, “We cannot refrain from worshiping Her, as we were saved from death. We will worship even if we are thrown into prison.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 125

154. God Brings Them to the Residence (Kami ga tsureta kaeru no ya)

Some of Oyasama’s words are as follows:

“When police officers come, it is God bringing them home to the Residence. When I go to the police, it is God taking Me there.

“They constantly come boisterously to interfere. This is like coming to dig for a precious jewel buried in the ground.

“It is not that police officers come here to interfere. It is God bringing them to the Residence.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama. p. 125

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 139

139. With Flag Flying (furafu to tatete)

Kunisaburo Moroi, with a group of ten persons, started to return to Jiba for the third time on January 21, 1884, and arrived at Toyohashi on the twenty-second. The boat was not scheduled to leave till evening, so he took a walk around town, and caught sight of a lantern maker. An idea occurred to him then, and he bought about a hundred and twenty centimeters of extra wide Indian cotton. With this he placed an order for a flag with the lantern maker.

The flag had a white background with a red sun in the center, within which was written, in bold black letters, “Tenrin-Ō-Kosha.” At the lower left was written in small letters, “Totomi Shimmei-gumi [Confraternity].” Flying the flag at the front of the group, they crossed Ise Bay staying overnight at various places on the way, and arrived at Tambaichi* on the twenty-sixth to spend the night at Shobei’s inn, the Ogiya.

The next morning, the twenty-seventh, Moroi led a procession of six rickshaws. He rode in the first one with the flag and was followed by five rickshaws with two persons in each of them. When they reached the road leading to the main gate of the Residence, a police officer on guard questioned them, but since their answers were very clear, he merely noted their names and addresses.

Arriving at the Residence, they learned that for several days Oyasama had been saying:

“Ah, I feel tired, tired. Children will be coming home from afar. Ah, I can see them coming with a flag flying.”

The people around Her were wondering what it was all about. But when they saw the flag they were deeply impressed by the fact that Oyasama was able to see the flag long before it came into sight.

* Tambaichi is now a part of Tenri City.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 112-113

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 138

138. You Must Treasure Things (mono wa taisetsu ni)

Oyasama endured hardships in police stations and prisons about seventeen or eighteen times. Gisaburo Nakata accompanied Her several times.

On one such occasion, She had a scrap of writing paper brought in and She made twisted paper strings out of it. With it, She wove a net basket to carry a sake bottle. It was very strong and beautifully made. When She left the jail to return home, She gave it to Nakata, saying:

“You must treasure things. You must make good use of everything. Everything is a gift from God. Now, keep this as your family treasure.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 112

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 102

102. I Myself Will Call on Her

On June 18, 1882, hearing that Matsue Nakayama’s elder sister, Saku Matsumura of Kyokoji Village in Kawachi Province was suffering from gout, Oyasama said:

“Since this is the suffering of the elder sister, I Myself will call on her.”

Oyasama, dressed in red, accompanied by Izo Iburi and one other attendant, set out by rickshaw. Traveling the Kokubu Road, Oyasama arrived at the home of Eijiro Matsumura and stayed there for three days, tenderly taking care of Saku.

However, when word of Oyasama’s stay spread, many followers gathered at the Matsumura residence. So great was their number that officers were sent from the Kashiwara Branch Police Station, who ordered the gates closed and then maintained guard. In spite of this, many followers managed to get inside the house and pay their respects with coin offerings. Oyasama said:

“Those who come will come no matter how they are stopped. This will become a place of worship. It will become an uchiwake-basho, a place of salvation.”

Three days after Saku heard the teachings from Oyasama she returned to Jiba, and was completely cured in less than three weeks.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 86

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 73

73. Holy Fire for Invocation

On September 22, 1880, the Buddhist ritual of burning a holy fire for invocation1 was being performed in front of the main gate as part of the opening ceremonies for the Tenrin-Ō-Kosha. Oyasama, wearing Her usual red garments2, appeared at the six matted room located east of the north raised room3 which had the dais. She sat down, watched the proceedings for a short while with a smile, and then returned to Her room.

Concerning the establishment of the [confraternity], Oyasama previously had said:

“If you do such a thing God shall withdraw.”

Despite Her words, Shuji established the [confraternity] at the risk of his life. When one considers Oyasama’s acceptance of Shuji’s sincerity by Her gracious presence at the invocation, one cannot help but think of Her boundless parental love and be filled with deep emotion.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 63

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  1. “Buddhist ritual of burning a holy fire for invocation” is a gloss for “o-goma 大護摩 o taiteiru.” I assume an o-goma is a larger-scale version of the goma fire ceremony that “symbolically burns away passionate delusions” (Miyake 1993, p. 42), a ceremony central to both Shingon Buddhist and Shugendo traditions.
  2. See Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 35 for a discussion regarding the significance of Oyasama’s red garments/clothes.
  3. “Raised room which had the dais” is a gloss of jodan no ma 上段の間. It refers to a room in the structure known as the Place for the Service. It has also been glossed as “raised floor.” Not to be confused with a room with the same name (in Japanese) was also built in Oyasama’s Resting House (completed in 1883). This room in the Resting House is referred in English as the “raised room” (The Life of Oyasama) or “raised chamber” (Anecdotes).

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 56

56. Thank You for Your Trouble Last Night

One time, while Sadahiko Izutsu was on duty at the Main Sanctuary, he said to Tsuchisaburo Itakura, “You have undergone hardships many times in police stations and jails. It’s a wonder that you were able to continue in your faith under such circumstances.” Tsuchisaburo Itakura replied, “During my third visit to the Residence three police officers came and threw us into the Tambaichi Branch Jail. That whole night we discussed the idea of quitting the faith. However, I thought I would wait until I could see Oyasama one more time. So I returned to the Residence. When Oyasama saw me, She smiled and said compassionately:

‘Thank you for your trouble last night.’

Just these few words of Oyasama made me resolve to undergo any hardship any number of times.”

This is the story Izutsu heard from Tsuchisaburo Itakura in 1931 or 1932, when the Main Sanctuary consisted only of the North Worship Hall.

Note: As Tsuchisaburo Itakura began to have faith in 1876, it is assumed that he received Oyasama’s words in 1876 or 1877.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 48

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 28

28. Clear the Path from the Bottom

Thinking of the future of the path, Chushichi Yamanaka said to Oyasama one day, “The path will become so much better if it is cleared in the high mountains.” Whereupon Oyasama taught:

“If the path is cleared from up above, can the people down below get near? If the path is cleared from down below both the people up above and the people down below can easily get near, can they not?”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 23 Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 28