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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 200

200. Cherish It (taisetsu ni suru ya de)

On January 11, 1887, Kyuhei Kontani and some members of his confraternity set out for Jiba, carrying on their backs Her red garments and two large red cushions which all the confraternity members had made with sincerity. At Jiba, they stayed at Koyemon Murata’s house. Accompanied by Risaburo Yamamoto, they were granted an audience with Oyasama on January 13th. She was then resting in the raised chamber of the Resting House and Her eldest daughter, Omasa, was with Her.

Risaburo Yamamoto presented the garments before Her and said, “This is an offering that Kyuhei Kontani, a confraternity head from Shikama of Banshu Province, has brought for you to wear.” Oyasama accepted it and it was received in the raised chamber. Then, presenting the two cushions before Her, Yamamoto said, “They have also brought these for Your daily use.” Oyasama accepted these, too, with joy.

Then She told them to close the paper sliding-doors separating the raised chamber from the other room, and to step back. Yamamoto stepped back from the sliding-doors in the eight-matted room. Kontani waited in the room with the others, sitting respectfully. After a while, Omasa opened the sliding-doors and called Yamamoto. When he stepped up into the raised chamber close to Oyasama, She handed him a red garment and said:

“Give this to him.”

She continued:

“Never handle this carelessly. Cherish it. Treasure it.”

Yamamoto then said, “I will certainly tell him so.” Stepping down into the eight matted room, Yamamoto repeated to Kontani in detail what Oyasama had just said. This was how Kyuhei Kontani received the red garment.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 158–159

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 186

186. Such a Fine Present (kekkō na mono o)

About the middle of March 1886, Kinjiro Nakanishi, who had just begun to follow the path, returned to Jiba for the first time with Tokichi Izumita, and was granted an audience with Oyasama.

Oyasama was resting at that time, but when it was announced, “Kinjiro Nakanishi of Ten’e Fourth [Confraternity], a follower of Tokichi Izumita, has returned,” Oyasama’s voice was heard:

“Yes, yes,”

and She immediately made Her appearance.

When Kinjiro returned on August 17th of the same year and was granted an audience with Oyasama, She sipped one third of the sweet rice wine in a sake-cup with the moon and sun design, and gave the rest of the wine as well as the sake cup to him.

On September 20th of the same year, Kinjiro and his wife brought and presented a cushion which they had made, wishing to have it used by Oyasama. They were unable to meet Her at that time, but later Oyasama asked:

“Such a fine present! Who is it from?”

When the person in attendance answered, “It is from Kinjiro Nakanishi,” Oyasama was pleased. The next day, on the twenty-first, while Kinjiro and his wife were staying at an inn, there was a messenger from Oyasama. They received one of Her red garments. It was Her kimono-undergarment.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 146–147

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 149 and 150

149. When It Strikes Six This Morning (u no koku o aizu ni)

In the autumn of 1884, Unosuke Tosa returned to Jiba and stayed at the inn owned by Tsurukichi Fukui which was located in front of the Residence. The following morning, before dawn, someone called out loudly, knocking at the shutter of the inn. “Is Tosa from Awa staying here? If so, come out at once.” It was Risaburo Yamamoto who was calling. When Unosuke came out, Risaburo told him, “Tosa, something very important has happened. God says that when it strikes six this morning, God is going to give you everything that the Shrine of Tsukihi wears. You should be the happiest person in Japan.” Risaburo then started to walk toward the Residence. Unosuke followed him with excited anticipation, thinking it must be a dream.

Led by Risaburo, Unosuke entered the room of Oyasama’s Resting House, and there he saw a neatly folded pile of red garments on the tatami-mat. There was a complete set of clothing, which included a new crimson kimono, a formal half-coat, kimono-undergarments and socks which Oyasama had worn up until the previous evening. Unosuke was sitting, staring blankly, unable to believe his eyes and thinking that it must be a dream. “Do not hesitate. God has given them to you,” the seniors brought to his attention. Then he came to his senses, knelt, and bowed deeply before the paper sliding-door of the raised chamber. Tears ran down his cheeks. There were no words from the chamber; time went by in silence. “This is too much of an honor for a man like me to accept,” he said, overwhelmed. But at the kind persuasion of the people present, he finally said, “I will accept only the honor of receiving the kimono-undergarment which was worn next to Her body.” Holding the red garment tightly to his heart, he rushed back to the inn and wept aloud for joy.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 121-122

150. Persimmons (kaki)

Unosuke Tosa, who was then returning to Jiba almost every month, departed on October 23, 1884, as head of a pilgrimage party of thirty-three persons, and arrived at Jiba on the twenty-seventh. The party was granted an audience with Oyasama, and as they were about to withdraw, She said:

“Wait a moment,”

and detained Tosa. Oyasama asked Hisa Kajimoto, Her granddaughter:

“Ohisa, please bring some persimmons.”

Hisa brought a basketful of ripe persimmons. Whereupon, Oyasama selected one, peeled the skin and cut the fruit into halves.

“Now, help yourself,”

Oyasama said as She presented one half to Tosa and She Herself ate the other half with keen enjoyment. Tosa next began to eat his half of the persimmon.

Oyasama seemed to be very pleased as She watched him eat, but before he was finished, She peeled another persimmon. Oyasama said:

“Now have another one. I shall have one also.”

She gave half to Tosa and ate the other half Herself. Oyasama gave him one after another in this way. Tosa was moved with emotion because he felt that Oyasama was eating the persimmons so that he would not hesitate in deference to Her. Again She said:

“Do not hesitate.”

Tosa said, “I have eaten till my stomach is full. The followers are waiting at the inn so I will take this piece and let them share it.” So saying, he politely accepted the last piece that was offered and as he was about to wrap it in a piece of tissue paper, Oyasama signaled Hisa with Her eyes. Hisa filled both of his hands and his kimono sleeves with persimmons. In this manner, Tosa received as many persimmons as he could carry.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 122-123

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 136

136. Now, Go Forth with This (sā, kore o motte)

Once when Oyasama had returned home from prison and had changed Her clothes, She gave the red kimono-undergarment that She had been wearing to Gisaburo Nakata, who had accompanied Her home. Oyasama said:

“Now, go forth with this to save others. Any and all sick persons shall be saved.”

Gisaburo was very happy. He placed the red garment in a kerchief and carefully wrapping it around his body, he busily engaged himself in efforts to save others. When he lightly stroked the afflicted areas of a sick person with the red garment, chanting, “Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto, Namu, Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto,” everyone received God’s blessing at once, no matter how serious the illness had been.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 111

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 126

126. As the Symbol of Worship for the Fraternity (Japanese title: Kōsha no medo ni)

In November 1883, the Resting House was completed. Oyasama moved in at midnight on November 25th (October 26th, lunar calendar). On the night of the twenty-sixth, Shirobei Umetani retired to a room in the building called Konikai after he put all the tools away. He was going to go back to Osaka on the twenty-seventh.

In a short while, Gisaburo Nakata came carrying a short scarlet crepe kimono-undergarment on a small offering stand and said, “Thank you very much for your recent contribution of labor. Oyasama said, ‘This shall be the symbol of worship for the Meishin-gumi Fraternity,’ so receive it gratefully.”

Soon afterward, Risaburo Yamamoto came, holding a red garment reverently, saying, “Oyasama said, ‘Though this is one of My used garments, please make it over for your children.”‘ Yamamoto then gave the unlined silk-crepe garment to Shirobei. Shirobei, so delighted and thankful for the two presents, reached for them, only to find himself awakening from a dream.

After this, he was unable to fall back to sleep. When daybreak came, he began to get ready for the journey and after finishing breakfast, he took a rest. Then Nakata came to him, holding a red kimono-undergarment reverently, and saying, “Oyasama said, ‘This shall be the symbol of worship of the Meishin-gumi Fraternity.”‘ This message was exactly the same as that of the one in his dream. He thankfully received it, wondering whether it was still a dream. Shortly later, Yamamoto came into the room and repeated the other message in Shirobei’s dream of the night before: “Oyasama said, ‘This is My used garment, but give it to your children.’ “And Yamamoto placed the unlined red silk-crepe garment before Shirobei, who received it gratefully. Again, soon afterward, Hisa Kajimoto brought to him a set of two big rice cakes, each made of seven kilograms of rice, with a red rice cake placed on top of a white one. She said, “Oyasama said, ‘Give these to your children.’ “

Oyasama’s repeated expressions of warm parental love were imprinted in the deepest reaches of Shirobei’s heart. Furthermore, when he recalled his dream of the night before, he was strongly moved by the marvelous workings of God the Parent.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 103-104

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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 91

91. Dance All The Way Home

In 1881, when Shina Okamoto was staying at the ResidenceOyasama said to her:

“Shina, let’s take a bath together, shall we?”

They took a bath together and Shina felt very honored and almost unworthy of it. It was, for her, an unforgettable and moving experience.

Several days later, Shina returned to the Residence. Oyasama said to her:

“Well! Welcome home! Quickly untie your sash and take off your kimono.”

Wondering what would happen, Shina, timid with respect, took the kimono off. Oyasama also disrobed Herself. Oyasama clothed her from behind with the red garment still warm from Her own body.

Shina felt extreme honor and delight which was absolutely inexpressible. When Shina took the kimono-undergarment off, folded it nicely, and put it before Oyasama, Oyasama said:

“Wear it when you go home. On your way home through Tambaichi town, wear it over your kimono and dance all the way.”

Shina was surprised by Her words. Her delight faded away, taken over by anxiety. She thought that by doing so she would only make a laughing stock of herself among the people in the town. She also feared that she would not be able to get home on that day because in those days worshipers at the Jiba were often taken to the police. However, she soon made up her mind and said to herself that she would not care whatever happened nor would she mind it even if she were not able to get home that day. She put on the red kimono-undergarment over her kimono and set out. On her way home through Tambaichi she danced the teodori with all her heart and soul.

Before she was aware of it, she was at the edge of town. At that time she realized that nothing bad had happened, thanks to divine protection. She felt relieved and her joy was doubled by the fact that she had been given the red garment by Oyasama and she had fulfilled her given mission. Deeply moved, Shina thanked Oyasama from the bottom of her heart and hugged the red garment tightly against her bosom.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 76–77.

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 67

67. Poor Fellow

Tsurumatsu Nukuto was frail from childhood. In 1879, when he was sixteen years old, his chronic stomach ailment grew worse and soon reached the critical stage. His doctor gave him up as hopeless.

At this time, the fragrance of the teachings was spread to Tsurumatsu by Kiichi Asano through Higashio, a distant relative. At the recommendation of Kiichi, Tsurumatsu firmly resolved to follow the path. So, accompanied by his parents, he returned to Jiba for the first time, carried on a stretcher, over forty-eight kilometers of mountainous road. He rested overnight and the next morning, through the arrangements made by Jyukichi Nakayama, Tsurumatsu was received in audience by Oyasama with special permission to remain on the stretcher. Thereupon, Oyasama said:

“Poor fellow.”

She took off the red kimono-undergarment She was wearing and put it on Tsurumatsu, slipping it over his head.

At that moment Tsurumatsu felt the warmth of the red kimono under-garment and at the same time he felt as if dawn had come. Though his illness had been critical, from that moment he began to recover. He stayed one week; he received marvelous salvation and was soon cured completely.

It is said that all through his life Tsurumatsu recalled that moment and said, “Even now I cannot forget that warmth.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 58–59

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 51

51. Family Treasure

One day in June or July 1877, Iye Murata was serving as Oyasama‘s attendant as usual, when Oyasama unexpectedly handed her a piece of red cloth prepared for a vest and said:

“Oiye, please sew this.”

Iye wondered why Oyasama told her to do the sewing, but before long, she finished the work and Oyasama at once put on the newly tailored vest.

On the evening of that day, Iye’s son, Kamematsu, returned to Jiba to worship at the Residence because of severe pain in his arm.

When told of his return, Oyasama said:

“Oh, really?”

and soon after, She went to bed. After a while, She sat up and said:

“Call Kamematsu here if he still has pain in his arm.”

When he came before Her, Oyasama said:

“Sah, sah, do not wear this out. It shall be your family treasure. Whenever occasions require, put it on and pray.”

So saying, She took off the red vest and personally helped him put it on. She further instructed him:

“Keep it on and go to the Kanrodai at once to perform the service of Ashiki harai, tasuke tamae, ichiretsu sumasu Kanrodai.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 45

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 43

43. That Will Do

September 27, 1875, is the date when Oyasama’s daughter, Kokan, departed for rebirth. The people of Shoyashiki Village had often come to comfort her while she was ill in bed, and had rushed to her when her condition worsened. On the day of the funeral service, they came and helped from early morning.

On the following day, during the after-funeral dinner, they talked about their memories of Kokan, and recalled Oyasama’s words. In the course of their talk, one of them tearfully said, “Indeed, we have been doubtful of God until now and have no word to excuse ourselves.”

On hearing this, one of the seniors who worked at the Residence suggested, “Why don’t you form a [confraternity]?” Whereupon, the villagers talked, and agreed among themselves to form their own [confraternity]. When this was reported to Oyasama, She was very pleased.

Then they had to name the [confraternity], but at first the farmers could not think of a good idea. In the meantime, someone suggested, “Since this is the place of origin where God resides, how about naming it Tengen(divine locale)-ko?” Everyone agreed to this name, and they inquired of Oyasama about it. She said:

“That will do.”

And She took off Her red formal coat and gave it to them, saying:

“This shall be enshrined as the symbol of faith.”

In this way the Tengen-ko [Confraternity] was born. Without naming anyone in particular as head of the [confraternity], they held the monthly service on a fixed day each month at a different member’s house, bringing the red garment to that place.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 37.

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