Tag Archives: remembering the past

Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 75

This is an excerpt from the 2006 September Monthly Service Sermon by Honbu-in Toshimi Imamura (All have I done here is post the excerpt here. I have no knowledge of who did the actual translation of this sermon.)

75. At the Garden of Koriyama Followers Dormitory

Toward the end of the Honseki’s life, Rev. Narazo Hirano, who adored the Honseki from the bottom of his heart, came up with the idea of showing appreciation for the hardships that the Honseki had undergone. Knowing that the Honseki loved gardens, Rev. Hirano built an outstanding garden at Koriyama followers dormitory. He invited the Honseki to the garden’s completion ceremony, and gave him a heartwarming reception. Soon the time for the meal came, and a full-course meal with second and third entrees was set out before the Honseki. I am sure that the wide variety of delicacies served to the Honseki were the fruits of true sincerity dedicated by Koriyama followers from all parts of Japan.

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Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 37

37. “How Unworthy I Feel, When I Think of Oyasama”

Even after he became the Honseki, Izo always began speaking with the phrase, “Oyasama said….”

In other words, whenever the Honseki spoke, he never spoke his own words or his own thoughts. In fact, it was almost impossible to hear him talking about himself.

Continue reading Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 37

Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 36

36. “All That We Have Today We Have Because of Oyasama”

The Honseki had the teaching of tanno (true satisfaction/joyous acceptance) firmly settled in his heart. He never expressed dissatisfaction.

He always cautioned against waste, saying: “All that we have today we have because of Oyasama. In winter there were times when She spent the night without any firewood. On one particularly cold night at the end of the year when I looked for firewood at the Residence, I found nothing. I collected a handful of fallen leaves and pine needles and built a fire in a brazier. Because a fire made from pine needles doesn’t last long, Oyasama, Shuji, and Kokan slept rubbing their hands on the brazier after it went out.”

When he went to worship at the old Foundress’ Sanctuary, the Honseki cautioned about letting fire in a brazier burn in a wasteful manner to those around him by recollecting such hardships that Oyasama and Her family endured. The Honseki always made it a point to remember the path of hardship Oyasama went through.

(Adapted from Shinpan Izo Iburi den pp. 128–129)

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


The old Foundress’ Sanctuary refers to the building known as Oyasama’s Resting House (Gokyusoku-sho). The Resting House was made into Oyasama’s sanctuary after She withdrew from physical life. The present Foundress’ Sanctuary was built during the “Showa Construction” in the early 1930s.