Tag Archives: Oyasama and children

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 192 and 193

A kite in flight (Image source: Wikipedia Japan)

192. A Kite Cries “Toh, Toh” (tonbu tōto)

This is a story about Sotaro Kajimoto, Oyasama‘s great-grandson, which took place in approximately 1887 when he was about seven. Oyasama gave him a section of a tangerine, turning it inside out by inserting Her finger. She said:

“The kite cries ‘toh, toh,’ and the crow, ‘caw, caw,’ “

and continued:

“Stick out your finger.”

When he stuck out his finger, She placed the section on his finger. Sotaro enjoyed eating it that way.

When he received another section of the tangerine, he, imitating Oyasama, put it on his finger, and then he stuck it out in front of Oyasama. She enjoyed eating it that way.

193. By Himself Soon (hayō hitori de)

These are incidents reminisced by Sotaro Kajimoto:

Receiving some cookies or candies from Oyasama, we, children at that time, went toward the Main Sanctuary and ate them while playing together. When the sweets were gone, we ran back to Oyasama. We held out our hands and She gave us more. We ate them up and ran back to Her again. We must have said, “Grandma, may we have some more?” and I believe we ran back to Her three or four times.

However, She never once said, “Didn’t I just give you some?” Neither did She give the sweets to us all at once to avoid the bother. She gave us just enough to eat, a little at a time. Oyasama loved children very much. When I asked Hisa Yamazawa, my wife’s mother, she agreed.

Now and then Oyasama visited the Kajimoto family in Ichinomoto. On such occasions, she brought some sweets in Her purse to give to the children of the family and to the children of the neighborhood.

Among great-grandchildren of Oyasama, I was the first born of the boys. Among the girls, there was Omoto. Now, it is said that Oyasama said of me:

“Oh, I hope that he will be able to come by himself soon!”

It is also said that when my younger brother Kunijiro Shimamura was born, Oyasama said:

“My, what a fair-complexioned fine boy!”

and held him in Her arms. I often heard of these incidents from both my mother, Uno, and my mother–in-law Yamazawa.

Once Oyasama carried both Manjiro Yoshikawa and me on Her back at the same time. There was a time when She came to the east side of the Nakaminami-Gatehouse wearing zori similar to fujikura-zori (thongs which are knitted with rush at the front).

Oyasama’s voice was sweet and gentle. She had a slender figure. Her face was oval and Her mouth and chin were identical with that of Her daughter, Omasa, although Omasa’s face was a little rounder. Now in regard to their figure, Omasa was on the masculine side but Oyasama was on the feminine side. Oyasama’s back was not bent.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 151–152

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 134

134. Recollections (omoi-de)

About 1883 or 1884, Tamae, granddaughter, and Moto, great-granddaughter, who was two years younger,’* appeared before Oyasama and begged Her, “Grandma, please give us a snack.” Oyasama shaded Her eyes with Her hand and looked toward them, saying:

“Ah, Tama and Omoto. Wait a minute, dears,”

and She took something out from the small cupboard in the back and placed it in the palm of their hands. It was always sugar candies.

On another day, the two of them went to visit Oyasama as usual, and She said:

“Tama and Omoto, won’t you two come here? Let me carry you,”

and She carried both of them on Her back. In their childlike minds both were impressed with the thought that their grandmother was so strong.

* Tamae was then seven or eight, and Moto was five or six.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 109-110

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 129

129. Healing of the Skin Disease (Japanese title: Hana-kaisen no o-tasuke)

In 1883, when Yasu, the eldest daughter of Seijiro Imagawa, was nine years old, she contracted a serious contagious skin disease of the variety that became infected with pus. Accompanied by her parents, she returned to Jiba and had an audience with Oyasama. Oyasama called to her:

“Come over here.”

When Yasu timidly moved forward, Oyasama said:

“Come closer, come closer.”

Finally, when Yasu had moved to Oyasama’s side, Oyasama moistened Her own hands with Her mouth and then stroked Yasu’s whole body three times, each time chanting:

Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto.”

Then, again three times and three times again, She stroked Yasu and chanted in the same manner. Yasu, although young, was overwhelmed and felt the graciousness of Oyasama with her body and mind.

The next day, when Yasu woke up, the skin disease had marvelously disappeared, without leaving a trace. Even though Yasu was only a child, she thought, “What a truly wondrous God!”

Yasu’s feeling of gratitude for Oyasama’s compassion in not minding even such a filthy condition as hers was, grew deeper and deeper as she grew older. It is said that in performing her duty as a yoboku* she always recalled this feeling of gratitude and strived to respond to the compassion of Oyasama.

* Yoboku: literally: ‘timber’, referring to those who engage in missionary work consisting of healing and spreading the teachings of God the Parent.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 106

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 128

128. Oyasama’s Room (Japanese title: Oyasama no o-ima)

Until 1883, Oyasama lived in the ten matted room on the west side of the Nakaminami-Gatehouse, which was on the left as one faced the building. By the window of that room was a large storage chest on which Oyasama always seated Herself. The chest was about three tatami mats in size with a height of eighty centimeters, containing various drawers and storage places. When someone visited Her with children, Oyasama would take sweets out from within the chest and give them to the children.

In 1883, Oyasama moved to the Resting House. The building consisted of two parts separated by paper sliding-doors: an eight matted room, and a four matted raised chamber in which Oyasama stayed. It is said that when this separate building was completed, the followers were pleased because they could now offer Oyasama a larger and more suitable residence than before.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 105

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 121

121. New Kimono for Your Daughter (Japanese title: Ito ni kimono o)

In early June 1883, Ihachiro Yamada and his wife, Koiso, returned to the Residence with their first daughter, Ikue, in order to offer their thanks for Ikue’s first birthday. Oyasama was very pleased and said:

“Please make a new kimono for your daughter.”

And saying this, She gave them one of Her red garments.

Koiso took it home and used the material of its two sleeves to make the shoulders, sleeves and strings of Ikue’s new kimono. In late June they returned again to the Residence to offer thanks for the first wearing of the new kimono.

It was only three days after Chobei Murata started out as a bean curd maker in a newly built house with a straw-thatched roof. Oyasama said:

“I wanted to see the water well of the bean curd maker, but I did not want to go alone. I hoped that someone like the little girl from Kurahashi Village would come. And just as I expected, you came.”

Then She went out to see the well, carrying Ikue on Her back. Oyasama always talked in such a polite manner not only to adults but to children as well. Returning from the well, She said:

“Thanks to you, I was able to see it.”

The rest of Oyasama’s red garment was placed in the Yamada family shrine as a symbol of worship.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 99-100

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 117

117. With His Father and Mother (Japanese title: chichi haha ni tsurerarete)

Shirobei Umetani returned to the Residence with his five or six-year-old son, Umejiro, in 1882 or 1883. When they were received by Oyasama, who was wearing Her red garments, Umejiro said, “Daruma-san, Daruma-san.” He must have recalled the red-clad daruma doll in the well-known advertisement for tobacco of that period. Shirobei was so embarrassed that he did not take Umejiro along the next time he returned to the Residence. Then Oyasama asked:


“What happened to Umejiro? The path will be cut off.”


After Shirobei received these words, Umejiro always returned happily to the Residence with his father and mother.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 97

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 101

101. Do Not Stop on the Way

In the spring of 1882, Koiso Yamada, who was expecting a baby, returned to JibaOyasama told her:

“This time, it is a test. When you come back to Jiba after childbirth, do not stop at Mamekoshi (where Koiso’s parents, the Yamanakas, lived), or at any other place. Come straight to this place. This is the true parental home.”

At eight in the morning of May 10th, while the rest of the family were out in the fields, Koiso suddenly felt labor pains. It was so sudden that she only had time to take off her apron and place it on the tatami-mat to lie upon as she gave birth to a chubby girl. It was a wondrously easy and clean delivery followed only by the afterbirth. When the family returned home for lunch, the baby, newly-clothed, was already in bed.

The husband and wife, as instructed by Oyasama, returned straight to Jiba two days after the childbirth. It had rained heavily the day before and the roads were still muddy. Her husband, Ihachiro, carried the baby in his arms and Koiso wore rain clogs. They passed by Mamekoshi but did not stop even at her parents’ home. Although they walked more than twelve kilometers, Koiso had no discharge nor any other physical suffering. It was a marvelous pilgrimage without mishap.

Waiting for them, Oyasama said:

“It is time for Koiso to arrive.”

She was so pleased to see them that She personally held the baby in Her arms, saying:

“I will name her.”


“As this baby grows up, the path shall prosper, and keep on prospering forever. Thus with the meaning of prosperity for eternity I will name her Ikue.*”

And so the baby was named Ikue.

*’Iku‘ from ‘ikusue‘ meaning ‘eternity,’ and ‘e‘ from ‘ei‘ meaning ‘prosperity.’

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 85–86

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 85

85. Too Heavy a Load for a Child 

The time was late in the spring of 1881. Kei [Matsui], then thirty-one years of age, had been spending her days and nights in tears for several years because honeycomb-like holes had progressed to the roots of her teeth and had reached the bone. One day the fragrance of the teachings of God was spread to her by a tin-smith and his wife who happened to be passing by. As instructed by them, she poured water into a rice bowl, prayed, “Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto,” and drank the water. The pain subsided instantly. After two to three days she received the marvelous salvation of complete recovery from the suffering that had lasted for years.

Walking a distance of about twelve kilometers from Kihara of Miminashi Village in Shiki County, she returned to Jiba to express her gratitude and was granted an audience with Oyasama. Oyasama noticed that Kei’s eldest son, eight-year-old Chusaku, had carried on his back a nine-pound round rice cake for offering, and She said:

“Well! Welcome home! Oh, it is too heavy a load for a child!”

Chusaku took these words to his heart and, remembering them throughout his life, endured all kinds of hardships while striving for the single-hearted salvation of mankind.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 70–71.

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Transmitting the Path from a Young Age

The following is an excerpt from Omichi no joshiki [Tenrikyo Fundamentals] (pp. 47–52) 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.

Transmitting the Path from a Young Age

We have the tendency to think that it is easier to convey the faith from parent to child than it is to convey them to an utter stranger. Yet in reality, this is not such an easy task because the minds of every parent and child are different, as God gave each of us the freedom to use our mind as we wish.

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