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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 14

14. Dyeing

One day Oyasama instructed:

“Do the dyeing tomorrow morning.”

Kokan immediately began to make preparations. Just that evening, Chushichi Yamanaka in Mamekoshi learned of it through the Invocation of the Fan. His wife, Sono, immediately made preparations, woke up early the next morning before daybreak, and returned to the Residence with some earth* and pieces of cloth in a bundle over her back. She greeted Oyasama and told Her the reason for returning.

“Ah! That’s marvelous! Just last night my daughter, Kokan, and I were talking about the same thing,”

Oyasama said, and was delighted. Similar incidents occurred several times.

The dyeing was done with water from the well northeast of the very place which was later determined as the Jiba, where the Kanrodai was to be erected.

“Draw water from the well,”

Oyasama said. So water was drawn from the well. The earth was rubbed on the cloth and the cloth was soaked in water. It was soaked and dried, and dried and soaked two or three times until the dyed material became a beautiful binroji** color. The water from the well had a metallic taste.***


* When Oyasama visited the home of Chushichi Yamanaka in August 1865, She noticed that the earth from the bank of the stream which ran along the east side of the house would be suitable for dyeing. She therefore expressed a desire to have some of it. Thereafter, that earth was brought to the Residence many times. It is said that the earth was from a compost of bamboo leaves in the bamboo forest.

** Binroji refers to the nut of the betel palm tree which grows in India and Malaysia. In Japan, the meat of the nut was dried and used for dyeing, and produced a dark black color which was called ‘the binroji color.’

*** In Yamato Province there were many wells with water that had a metallic taste. However, water from other wells did not produce as beautiful a dye as that from the Residence.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 9–10

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 12

12. The Sazuke (Divine Grant) of Fertilizer

Oyasama said to Chushichi Yamanaka:

“As you are following the path of God, in your farming you must not have enough time to fertilize sufficiently,”

and then She bestowed the Sazuke* of Fertilizer on Chushichi. She continued:

“Concerning the Sazuke of Fertilizer, it is not the substance itself, but the truly sincere mind of each person which is effective.”

Further, She said:

“True or false, try it and see.”

As soon as Chushichi got home, he chose two fields and fertilized one sufficiently with the usual night soil, fertilized the other only with the Sazuke of Fertilizer, and decided to wait for the result.

Soon, August passed and September came to an end. The field fertilized with the night soil became thick with green rice plants which promised a rich harvest in the fall. On the other hand, the field fertilized with the Sazuke of Fertilizer seemed lifeless. The stalks were short and stubby and they had turned a slightly reddish color. Chushichi could not help but doubt, “After all, it seems like the night soil is more effective than the sazuke.”

However, at autumn harvest time, the rice plants from the usually fertilized field were infested with insects and some were even empty. In contrast, none of the rice plants from the field of the sazuke were infested with insects and none were empty, although the stalks were a little shorter. It was discovered that the sazuke field actually yielded more rice at harvest time.


*Sazuke: a divine grant for salvation bestowed by God the Parent. When it is administered to any person suffering from a physical or mental illness, the person is saved and given the marvelous blessing of God the Parent.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 7–8.

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The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 53

The following is a translation of Part 53 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the May 2007 (No. 461) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision.

Part 53: Ihachiro and Koiso Yamada

Three months after Ihachiro Yamada (from Deyashiki of Kurahashi Village, Yamato Province) married Koiso Yamanaka on August 22, 1881, Koiso’s father Chushichi Yamanaka accompanied them when Ihachiro had his first meeting with Oyasama. Oyasama said to Ihachiro, “Thank you for coming, thank you for coming,” and welcomed him as if he were a child coming home from afar and explained the teachings to him.

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