Tag Archives: Yamanaka Koiso

Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 101

101. Do Not Stop on the Way

In the spring of 1882, Koiso Yamada, who was expecting a baby, returned to JibaOyasama told her:

“This time, it is a test. When you come back to Jiba after childbirth, do not stop at Mamekoshi (where Koiso’s parents, the Yamanakas, lived), or at any other place. Come straight to this place. This is the true parental home.”

At eight in the morning of May 10th, while the rest of the family were out in the fields, Koiso suddenly felt labor pains. It was so sudden that she only had time to take off her apron and place it on the tatami-mat to lie upon as she gave birth to a chubby girl. It was a wondrously easy and clean delivery followed only by the afterbirth. When the family returned home for lunch, the baby, newly-clothed, was already in bed.

The husband and wife, as instructed by Oyasama, returned straight to Jiba two days after the childbirth. It had rained heavily the day before and the roads were still muddy. Her husband, Ihachiro, carried the baby in his arms and Koiso wore rain clogs. They passed by Mamekoshi but did not stop even at her parents’ home. Although they walked more than twelve kilometers, Koiso had no discharge nor any other physical suffering. It was a marvelous pilgrimage without mishap.

Waiting for them, Oyasama said:

“It is time for Koiso to arrive.”

She was so pleased to see them that She personally held the baby in Her arms, saying:

“I will name her.”


“As this baby grows up, the path shall prosper, and keep on prospering forever. Thus with the meaning of prosperity for eternity I will name her Ikue.*”

And so the baby was named Ikue.

*’Iku‘ from ‘ikusue‘ meaning ‘eternity,’ and ‘e‘ from ‘ei‘ meaning ‘prosperity.’

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 85–86

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 84

84. In the Southern Half of the Province

When Koiso Yamanaka was to be married to Ihachiro Yamada of Deyashiki in Kurahashi Village, her father, Chushichi, asked Oyasama about the marriage. Oyasama said to him:

“I am not sending her to be married. Rather, I am sending her to the southern half of the province to spread the teachings as none have spread it there yet. However, it all depends on her heart.”

The Yamanaka parents were hesitant about this request because the Yamada family was living deep in the heart of the mountains, but Koiso was married on May 30, 1881, after saying, “Let me be married as God desires.”

Koiso then found that Isa Yamamoto, a relative of the Yamada family had been bedridden for more than five years due to the paralysis of her limbs. Koiso prayed to God for her recovery and repeatedly gave her sacred water. The following year, when Chushichi Yamanaka came to visit them, Isa was marvelously healed. She rose to her feet, all her joints cracking, and was able to walk by herself. In her village Koiso also found a girl named Naragiku Tanaka who had been blind for more than seven years. Koiso prayed to God for the girl’s recovery, each time washing her eyes with sacred water. Soon, she received God’s blessing. The mention of Koiso’s cure of the cripple and the blind girl became so well-known throughout neighboring villages that many people came to see her one after another.

Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 70

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Blogging Anecdotes of Oyasama 63

63. Merit That Is Not to Be Seen

Once Oyasama asked Koiso Yamanaka:

“Do you wish to have merit that is to be seen by the eye? Or do you wish to have merit that is not to be seen by the eye? Which do you wish to have?”

Koiso replied, “Anything with physical form can be lost or stolen. So I would prefer to have merit that cannot be seen by the eye.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 55–56

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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 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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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)