Tag Archives: Umetani Tane

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 117

117. With His Father and Mother (Japanese title: chichi haha ni tsurerarete)

Shirobei Umetani returned to the Residence with his five or six-year-old son, Umejiro, in 1882 or 1883. When they were received by Oyasama, who was wearing Her red garments, Umejiro said, “Daruma-san, Daruma-san.” He must have recalled the red-clad daruma doll in the well-known advertisement for tobacco of that period. Shirobei was so embarrassed that he did not take Umejiro along the next time he returned to the Residence. Then Oyasama asked:


“What happened to Umejiro? The path will be cut off.”


After Shirobei received these words, Umejiro always returned happily to the Residence with his father and mother.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 97

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 107

107. Eczema is a Troublesome Condition

The following took place in 1882 when Tane Umetani returned to Jiba. Tane, carrying her eldest daughter, Taka (later known as Taka Haruno) who was just a baby at that time, was granted an audience with Oyasama. This baby had festering eczema all over her head.

Oyasama promptly took the baby into Her arms, saying

“Now, let Me see.”

 Looking at the festering eczema, She said

“What a pity, poor thing!”

 She brought out a piece of paper that She had placed under Her cushion in order to smooth out the wrinkles. Then, with Her fingers, She tore off little pieces, licked them and placed them on the baby’s head. She then said:

 “Otane, eczema is a troublesome condition, isn’t it?”

Tane was startled. There was something in what Oyasama said that made her reflect, “I must learn not to be troublesome to others. Always with a pure mind I will do my best to make others happy.”

Then, with gratitude, Tane thanked Oyasama and went back to Osaka. One morning after two or three days had passed, Tane suddenly noticed that the affected skin had separated from the baby’s head, looking as if it were a cotton cap. The whole mass of skin that had been oozing with pus was stuck to the paper put on by Oyasama, and had lifted up from the baby’s head just as if a cap had been removed. Thus the baby had marvelously received a divine blessing. The new skin had already formed thinly over her head.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 91 Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 107

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 106

106. Symbolic Serving

Oyasama was confined in Nara Prison for twelve days starting from October 29, 1882. While Oyasama was in prison, Shirobei Umetani stayed at the Residence. Every day during the twelve days, he got up before dawn and walked some eleven kilometers to Nara Prison with Shinnosuke, the first Shimbashira, and other seniors to bring things to Oyasama. About the time they arrived at Nara, the sky would begin to turn gray. It would be about nine o’clock when they returned to the Residence after delivering the things.

One day, the party of three were attempting to pass the gate of the jail without greeting the gatekeepers. They were stopped and threatened that they would not be allowed to go home because they had not greeted the gatekeepers. The three persons apologized and knelt down with their hands in the muddy ground, after which they were allowed to go.

At the Residence, visitors were harassed by police officers on guard at the entrance. In addition, different officers would come to investigate as often as three times during a night, so that people in the Residence could sleep for only two hours or so each night.

On November 9th, Oyasama was met by numerous persons when She returned to the Residence. She called Umetani to Her and said:

“Shirobei, thank you very much for your trouble. I did not feel hungry at all, thank you.”

In the prison they could only deliver things for Oyasama and were not allowed to see Her. No one could have told Her that it was Shirobei who had delivered the things. Therefore, Umetani wondered how She knew that it was he.

While Oyasama was in prison, Shirobei’s wife, Tane, in Osaka also prepared meals for Oyasama and served Her symbolically every day, calling to mind Oyasama’s hardship.

It was on the next day, the tenth, and thereafter that Shirobei was allowed to make personal inquiries of Oyasama without an intermediary.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 89–90 Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 106

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 92

92. Husband and Wife Together

Shirobei Umetani was received by Oyasama one day soon after his conversion to the faith. Oyasama told him:

“Husband and wife together, have faith in God.”

As soon as he got home, he said to his wife, Tane, “Since I have just been taught that it is not good if only one of us follows this path, you and I must both follow the path together.” Whereupon Tane obediently agreed. So just as he was taught by the seniors, Shirobei and Tane filled a rice bowl with water, faced the Jiba, chanted, “NamuTenri-Ō-no-Mikoto,” three times, and each drank half of the water as a token of their vow that as husband and wife they would always be together in their faith.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 77–78

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