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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 59

59. Festival

In January 1878, when she was twenty-eight, Koiso Yamanaka (later Iye Yamada) was drawn to the Residence to serve Oyasama. Oyasama told her about the significance of the twenty-sixth day of the month:

“Festival (Matsuri) has the meaning ‘to wait.’ (matsu: wait, ri: principle). Do not do anything else the whole day of the twenty-sixth. The only thing you must do on that day is to give thanks for the marvelous protection of God the Parent.”

Koiso sewed the red garments and combed Oyasama’s hair as part of her daily routine. Usually, Oyasama prepared the red cloth Herself and handed it to Koiso.

Not long after Koiso started to serve Oyasama in the Residence, on April 28, 1878 (March 26th, lunar calendar), there was still time left after sweeping and cleaning. So she said, “Oyasama, it seems wasteful to be doing nothing from early morning. I wish you would give me some red cloth to sew.” After thinking for a while, Oyasama said:

“I understand.”

Then, She cut the red cloth quickly and smoothly, and gave it to Koiso.

Koiso was happy to have something to do, and began sewing at once. No sooner had she put a few stitches into the cloth than she was in pitch darkness even though it was daytime. In complete amazement, Koiso cried out, “Oyasama,” and said to herself, “Now, I understand. It was against the divine will to think it was wasting time. I will sew the red garment tomorrow.” The moment she made up her mind, it became daylight again, and everything was all right with her.

Later, when she told Oyasama what had happened, Oyasama instructed:

“I cut the red cloth because you, Koiso, said it was wasting time to be doing nothing from morning. If you sweep and mop, you need not do anything else on the twenty-sixth day except perform the Service. You must not.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 51–52

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The following excerpt is from Omichi no joshiki [Tenrikyo Fundamentals] (pp. 88–91) by Koji Sato 佐藤浩司, assistant professor at Tenri University and instructor at Tenri Seminary. Note: This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision.


In Jiba, “Grand Services” are held on January 26 and October 26. The “festivals” falling on 26th of the remaining months of the year are called “Monthly Services.”1

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  1. A note on translation: the same Chinese character is used to write “matsuri” (festival) and “sai,” in the Japanese words for “Grand Service” (tai-sai) and “Monthly Service” (tsukinami-sai)