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Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 74

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.)

74. Source of an Abdominal Pain

One cold winter day, the Honseki was awkwardly plowing one of the fields that had been returned to the Nakayama family after being mortgaged. While taking a short break and leaning on the plow, all of a sudden he experienced a sharp pain in his abdomen. While ruminating on possible causes as well as possible repentances to make, one thing came to his mind. During that time, people visiting the Residence were few and far between, and the circumstances made it impossible to provide financial assistance for those dedicating themselves at the Residence. Although Izo’s family ate their meals with the Nakayamas, they had trouble getting by without any money of their own. Yoshie Nagao reportedly commented, “There were times when we children asked for allowances, and our parents did not even have a two sen coin.” Therefore, Osato griped about the family’s hardships on more than a few occasions. On one of those occasions, she said: “Considering our present difficulties, we would be so much better off if you went back to carpentry; that way, instead of filling our minds with complaints day after day, we could joyously make financial contributions to God the Parent.”

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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.