Tag Archives: Yamamoto Risaburo

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 33

33. The Bridge Between Countries

Risaburo Yamamoto of Kashiwara Village, Kawachi Province, injured his chest in a village sumo-wrestling match in the autumn of 1870 at the age of twenty-one. For three years from that time he was sick in bed. Doctors were consulted and prayers were offered here and there at shrines and temples for his recovery. But it was to no avail. In fact, his condition became worse until he was on the verge of death. Just at that time, during the summer of 1873, his family heard of God the Parent from a sawyer named Kuma. He had come from Furu, Yamato Province, to work at the To Sawmill in that same village of Kashiwara. Upon hearing of God the Parent, Rihachi, Risaburo’s father, promptly returned to Jiba in place of his son. Oyasama said:

“This Residence is the Residence where mankind was first created. This is the birthplace of man. No matter how serious, any sickness will be cured. Bring your son here at once. I have been eagerly waiting for your coming.”

Receiving such encouraging words, Rihachi returned home and conveyed them to his son. Whereupon Risaburo began to say, “I want to go and worship the god in Yamato.” The family members tried to stop him by saying, “You will never make it to Yamato.” But Risaburo pleaded, “I don’t care, I still want to go. I want to be near that god.”

In response to his earnest pleas, a stretcher was prepared. When it became dark, he was quietly carried out of the gate. However, on the way, when they came to a big bridge over the Tatsuta River, Risaburo stopped breathing, and so they turned back. But when they reached home, he miraculously started to breathe again. Because he pleaded, “I don’t care if I die,” the family, according to custom, drank water from a sake cup at what might be a final parting. Carrying him on the stretcher, they again departed for Yamato late at night with lanterns. It was a dark night.

The group finally reached Jiba on the evening of the following day. The gates of the Residence were already closed, so they sought lodging in a nearby home. The next morning, Risaburo, who was on the verge of death, was brought before Oyasama. She said:

“You need not worry. You shall be saved for sure if you decide to dedicate your whole life to serve this Residence.”

Continuing, She gave him the following words:

“The bridge between countries; a rough log bridge. Without a bridge, a river cannot be crossed. Will you dedicate your life, or not? Arakitoryo, arakitoryo!*”

Oyasama ordered a bath for Risaburo, and said:

“Take a bath now.”

When he returned from the bath, Oyasama said:

“You must now feel fresh and lively.”

Although he had been in no condition to take the bath, he had no trouble doing so. In fact, Risaburo’s suffering disappeared and his pain faded away. He heartily ate three bowls of the rice gruel that Oyasama gave him. Due to Oyasama’s warm parental love, Risaburo received God’s blessing and regained his health on the sixth day. After staying a month he returned to Kashiwara. The villagers were struck with admiration when they saw his vigorous health.


*Arakitoryo: literally, ‘the master wood cutter’; it has the meaning of ‘pioneer missionary.’

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 26–28 Continue reading Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 33

The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 60

The following is a translation of Part 60 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the December 2007 (No. 468) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision.

Part 60: A Bridge Between Countries

In autumn 1870, Risaburo Yamamoto of Kashiwara Village, Kawachi Province, injured his chest at a sumo wrestling match at the age of 21 and became bedridden for the next three years. Although he had various doctors treat him and healers pray for him, he failed to recover from his injury. Instead, his condition worsened to the point where his life was hanging in the balance. Such were the circumstances in summer 1873.

Continue reading The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 60

The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 1

The following is a translation of Part 1 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (The Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the January 2003 (No. 409) issue of Taimo, pp. 20–21.

Part 1 “If You Listen To God’s Teachings”

After Risaburo Yamamoto experienced firsthand an instance of miraculous salvation in the summer of 1873, he is said to have spread the fragrance of the teachings among his acquaintances and relatives. He undoubtedly did so around his hometown of Kashiwara Village (currently Kashiwara City, Osaka Prefecture). Continue reading The Footsteps of Our Predecessors 1