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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 20

20. Birth of a Girl

Early in March 1868, Chushichi Yamanaka stayed overnight at the Residence. The next morning, when he went to extend his morning greetings to Oyasama, She said:

“Chushichi, a girl was born at your home last night. They are all waiting for your return. Hurry home to them.”

Chushichi had not expected the baby to be born that soon, so he had stayed overnight at the Residence. Therefore, when Oyasama informed him of the birth he was half in doubt, but he acknowledged Her words, saying, “Oh, I see, thank you.” However, when he met his son, Hikoshichi, on the way and was told the news of the birth, he realized fully the truth of Oyasama’s words. When he further learned that it was indeed a girl, he was filled with awe.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 14–15

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The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 66

The following is a translation of Part 66 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the June 2008 (No. 474) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision.

Part 66: Prepared to Risk His Life

“I will do it.”

Yosaburo Miyamori was prepared to risk his life.

In September 1880, police surveillance over the Residence became increasingly severe and it troubled Shuji very much. Out of his desire to allow followers to perform the Service in the open and prevent Oyasama sentenced to police detention, Shuji decided to create a religious fraternity named the Tenrin-O-Kosha affiliated with the temple Jifukuji located on Mt. Kongo.
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The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 63

The following is a translation of Part 63 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the March 2008 (No. 471) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision

Part 63: “Record It In Your Mind”

A Mankichi Miyoshi lived across the street from the home of Tokichi Ueda, the head of a Tenrikyo confraternity in the section of Imadezaike in Kobe. While Mankichi’s vision was incapacitated for 18 years, he regained vision in the corners of his eyes due to Zenkichi Tachibana’s salvation work (o-tasuke).

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The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 44

The following is a translation of Part 44 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the August 2006 (No. 452) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision.

Part 44: “God Will Make Everything Work Out”

There was a time when Genjiro Fukaya, the first head minister of Kawaramachi Grand Church, tripped over a hammer when he was still working as a blacksmith and hit his forehead, leaving a large bump on his forehead. Genjiro instantly shouted out, “Oh, how it hurts. How thankful I am, how thankful I am!”

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Post-26 Report (July 2008)

Fourth Installment of “Savoring the Realm of the Mikagura-uta” Lecture Series

The fourth lecture of “Savoring the Realm of the Mikagura-uta” lecture series sponsored by the Oyasato Institute for the Study of Religion was held at 13:00 on July 25. (It was held on the sixth floor of the Tenrikyo Doyusha building.) The lecturer this month was Kazuhiro Hatakama sensei and he was assigned to discuss the so-called “Section Three” or “Third Section” (Dai-sansetsu) of the Mikagura-uta:

Ashiki o harōte tasuke sekikomu ichiretsu sumashite Kanrodai

(“Sweeping away evils, hasten to save us. All mankind equally purified, the Kanrodai”).

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The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 13

The following is a translation of Part 13 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the January 2004 (No. 421) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This translation is tentative and may require further revision.

Part 13: “With a Flag Flying”

In January 1884, Kunisaburo Moroi made his third pilgrimage after his conversion, bringing ten people along with him. The group left Enshu (western Shizuoka) on January 21.

On the way Kunisaburo had a sudden idea in Toyohashi. He bought four feet (1.2 meters) of cotton sheeting and made a flag with a red sun and the characters “Tenrin-O-kosha” 天輪王講社 (Tenrin-O Confraternity) in the middle with the words “Totomi-kuni Shinmei-gumi” (Shinmei-gumi of Totomi Province) on the side. He led the group with this flag flying the rest of the way heading to Jiba.

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The Life of the Honseki Izo Iburi, Part Ten

Izo As the Honseki

In early 1888, followers quietly made preparations for the First Anniversary of Oyasama. They began the ceremonies by performing the Kagura Service and the Teodori from five in the morning.

Just as they were about to begin a Shinto-styled memorial service, a Shinto priest from Omiwa Kyokai came and demanded to know why they had conducted the ceremony without his knowledge when Omiwa priests had presided over Oyasama’s funeral the year before. The followers explained that they sent an invitation to Omiwa Kyokai but received a message that no one would be able to attend the ceremonies. The priest then left with the warning, “You will regret this.”

Soon, police from Ichinomoto Station intervened. They ordered followers to immediately stop the memorial service and forced followers who were not related to the Nakayamas to leave the premises.

The chief of the Ichinomoto police expressed his regret about having had to take such measures, but insisted the law was the law and the first Shinbashira Shinnosuke Nakayama lacked prefectural permission to allow people to gather in large numbers. The chief of police then advised Shinnosuke to obtain official recognition to allow followers to gather.

Leading followers subsequently held a conference where they decided it might prove easier to apply to establish a Tenrikyo headquarters in Tokyo instead of Nara or Osaka and petition to relocate the headquarters to the Jiba at a later date. Shinnosuke approached the Honseki to inquire of God the Parent and received the following words:

I shall wash clean this place of origin. I shall wash until the difference between silver and gold becomes clear. I shall make the truth of this Residence clear. The one truth in the Residence, the one truth of the Jiba, is to stand alone. But for the time being I allow another place… I shall allow those who are concerned to come together and begin the procedure. But you must keep in mind the original intent and the path of God.

Osashizu, March 9, 1888

On April 5, Shinnosuke applied for official permission to establish the Tenri organization in Tokyo Prefecture. The long efforts to gain official recognition finally came to fruition on April 10, 1888, when permission to found the Tenri Kyokai, then an organization under the Shinto Honkyoku, was granted.

Although Shinnosuke and other leading followers recognized the importance of being connected with the Jiba and knew very well the “headquarters” in Tokyo was to be a temporary one, they were hesitant to enact the petition to the government to relocate the headquarters back to Jiba for the time being. They feared if they acted too soon, it would appear as a “shallow trick,” and nullify their legal sanction.

Soon, however, the illness of the Honseki in July 1888 urged them to abandon their hesitancy, put their trust in God the Parent, and turn in the papers to obtain permission to relocate the headquarters to Jiba. When the followers stated their resolve to do exactly so, God said:

Now I shall settle the truth at the Jiba. There is a vast difference between the truth of the Jiba and the truth of the world. They change the place and call it the headquarters. Even the authorities say this. People say the headquarters is over there but they do not understand anything at all. Because the one truth exists at the Jiba, peace will reign in the world… If you have a mind of true sincerity, purified through and through and through, then hurry, hurry.

Osashizu, July 2, 1888

Shinnosuke immediately turned in the application to Nara Prefecture for permission to relocate the headquarters and it was granted on July 23, 1888. The Inauguration Ceremony of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was held on November 29 (10/26/1888).

Then in late 1888 and 1889, the first directly supervised churches such as Koriyama, Heishin, Yamana, Senba, Kawaramachi, Muya, and others were founded.

The construction of the Honseki’s new residence

On July 15, 1888, the Honseki’s daughter Yoshie gave birth to Tatsue, his first grandchild. Yoshie gave birth to another daughter, Kinue, on February 5, 1892.

The Honseki’s family lived in the South Gatehouse since 1883, but in May 1889, the Honseki moved into a small building (approximately 15 feet square) constructed as his residence. Still, the Honseki continued to use the South Gatehouse for some time as the place where he bestowed the truth of the Sazuke and where he delivered the Divine Directions and granted divine sanction for church affairs. So, in 1892, God the Parent expressed the need to build a larger hall for the Honseki to conduct these procedures. God’s words were as follows:

This construction that is about to begin, it is to be a temporary building. Nevertheless, build big. Let me instruct you to think big as you embark on this project, the numbers will assemble according to the truth of your minds.

Osashizu, September 5, 1892, trial translation

Sato passes away for rebirth

However, before the construction of the hall was completed, Sato, who supported her husband, the Honseki, for 30 years since they joined the faith in 1864, passed away for rebirth on March 18, 1893, due to a sudden illness. She was 60 years old. God’s words at the time were as follows:

This is a setback just for the time being, there is no reason to grieve. You must look at the situation in the future, the situation of the world at large and have tanno. She will return tomorrow, she will return soon. There is no reason to grieve. You must rejoice.

Osashizu, March 18, 1893, trial translation

Despite God the Parent’s instructions to Izo not to grieve, it truly must have been difficult. Sitting by Sato’s bedside, Izo said, “Sato, you served me well for such a long time. Thank you. Please come back soon.”

The Honseki moved into his new residence on December 3, 1893, following the Autumn Grand Service (conducted on the lunar 10/26).

Later, Rin Masui was chosen to become the Honseki’s personal attendant.

*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.


  • Fukaya Tadamasa 深谷忠政, ed. Jijo satoshi, pp. 577–578, 605–608.
  • Nakayama, Zenye. Guideposts, pp. 10–17.
  • Okuya Bunchi 奥谷文智, ed. Honseki-sama 『本席さま』, pp. 173–183.
  • Tenrikyo Doyusha 天理教道友, ed. Ten no jogi: Honseki Iburi Izo no shogai 『天の定規―本席飯降伊蔵の生涯』, pp. 71–76, 161.
  • Tenrikyo Kyogi oyobi Shiryo Shusei-bu 天理教教義及資料集成部 (Tenrikyo Department of Doctrine and Historical Materials]) ed. Kohon Nakayama Shinnosuke den 『稿本中山眞之亮伝』, pp. 57–80, 82–98.
  • Tenrikyo Overseas Mission Department. Selections from the Osashizu (revised edition), pp. 23–27.
  • _________. Tenrikyo: The Path to Joyousness, pp. 56–58.
  • Ueda Eizo 植田英蔵. Shinpan Iburi Izo den 『新版飯降伊蔵伝』, pp. 118–121.
  • Yamamoto Kunio and Nakajima Hideo 山本久二夫・中島秀夫. Osashizu kenkyu, pp. 114–120.

A Humble Mind

The following is an excerpt from Omichi no joshiki [Tenrikyo Fundamentals] (pp. 32–36) 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.

A Humble Mind

Chuzaburo Koda 鴻田忠三郎, a learned man who successively held several agriculture-related posts, began to serve at the Residence in 1883. At the time, the police considered Oyasama’s teachings as an aberrant faith and they often summoned Oyasama for questioning or arrest. Chuzaburo was also once summoned with Oyasama in March 1884 to Tanbaichi Branch Station and was sentenced to serve ten days of imprisonment with Her at Nara Prison.
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