The Tenrikyo Resource Wiki (TRW) is an initiative that aspires to centralize all information on Tenrikyo and its teachings and become a one-stop resource where all visitors—followers, academics, or anyone who is just plain curious—can collectively contribute toward broadening and deepening our understanding of this relatively new religious tradition.
TRW largely looks upon Wikipedia as a model in how it is open to anyone who wishes to contribute and that it seeks to obtain a level of consensus over matters that concern Tenrikyo and its faith community.
By design, the Tenrikyo Resource is an entity independent from Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. Although the TR team mainly consists of Tenrikyo followers, we have intentionally resisted any formal association with Church Headquarters to avoid exposing TRW to a series of bureaucratic obstacles that would potentially undermine the open source method we are depending on to achieve our goals.
In the spirit of what a wiki is about, TRW aspires to provide information on Tenrikyo for anyone with even the slightest interest easily and instantly at the tip of their fingertips. TRW seeks to provide access to this information both in the form of primary source material and pages written and presented in a neutral manner.
While there is much information on Tenrikyo, most of this information has either not yet been translated into English or remains inaccessible to most people. The problem is more severe for languages other than Japanese and English and so, the TRW team hopes to promote the contribution of articles in other languages as well.
The TR team feels that there are expansive gaps in our knowledge of Tenrikyo and we would like to know what those gaps are and develop a consensus on which gaps need to be filled out first before others.
TRW also aspires to achieve a broader and deeper knowledge of basic ideas and concepts that may be unique to Tenrikyo but will not actively promote conversion to the faith. Tenrikyo publications tend to be filled with a kind of jargon that may confuse anyone who is not used to it. TRW hopes to clarify the terms that tend to obscure understanding for English readers by understanding these concepts on their own terms through contextual analysis.
It is hoped that once the gaps in our knowledge are sufficiently filled, the English-speaking Tenrikyo community will no longer be overly reliant on translations from Japanese for material for consumption because the community will begin producing sufficient reading material of its own.
It may be argued that the current system of organization of Tenrikyo churches, mission centers, and fellowships is not constructive toward building an extensive community of English-speaking followers. Another goal of TRW is to build a community of followers that transcends church affiliation and geographical location that will initiate and sustain discussions that currently demand our attention.
It is hoped that once a certain threshold is reached, TRW will start to develop a personality of its own that is greater than the sum of everyone involved and whose direction cannot be easily dictated by any individual or group of individuals.
Achieving accurate representation
TRW seeks to achieve accurate representation on several levels.
First of all, among the limited number of secondary sources and scholarly articles written on Tenrikyo that are out there, some have unintentionally painted an unbalanced or inaccurate picture of certain aspects of Tenrikyo that we hope to correct or clarify here.
Secondly, although first priority will be given to Church Headquarters' understanding/interpretation of theology and historical events, we hope to take into account non-orthodox viewpoints that are nevertheless judged as valid by the emerging TRW community. We wish to provide a place where information on controversial issues (such as the teachings of schismatic groups) can be presented in a neutral manner. The same goes for other information that may not have garnered the attention it deserves.
We also feel that certain English equivalents of Tenrikyo terms and texts may not always have been represented or translated as accurately as possible. We hope that TRW will initiate a sustained dialogue amongst contributors who can pinpoint areas that need correction or clarification and help establish a new consensus regarding the terms and expressions that may best represent our understanding of the Tenrikyo faith.
Further, it is our hope that the open source method will serve as a self-correcting mechanism that will balance out and more than make up for our individual biases when it comes to what interests and moves us. We desire, first and foremost, for TRW to provide an enriching learning experience for everyone. In the end, we believe the open source method will help us achieve an accurate representation of Tenrikyo in all aspects.
In this way, TRW hopes to provide snapshots that represent both the best and worst of the Tenrikyo tradition in addition to giving voice to the general outlook and aspirations of the greater Tenrikyo community.
Given that TRW is a wiki, some pages are bound to be incomplete regarding breadth of information covered. Some may contain inaccurate information.
All content on TRW is in the process of being constantly rewritten and refined (albeit in incremental steps). If there is a page that you feel needs revision, please contribute!
Contributing to TRW
Material on this website cannot always completely follow Neutral point of view (NPOV) that is one of the five pillars of Wikipedia because we hope to provide primary sources such as content from Tenrikyo Scriptures and other Tenrikyo publications and texts.
Article entries on specific terms and phenomena, on the other hand, will seek to follow NPOV as much as possible.
Ideally, not all people contributing to this wiki will necessarily be Tenrikyo followers, so it is requested that these articles will aspire for proper representation and cite sources rather than become a venue to express one's personal opinions.
We recommend potential contributors who want to strictly follow the NPOV policy to join Wikipedia, where Tenrikyo content is quite minimal. We recommend others who wish to express their personal opinions to start their own blogs or join an online forum.
Because of the public nature of this wiki, some controversial statements are bound to come up. We ask followers to accept negative facts about Tenrikyo with an open mind when the statements are valid and, of course, cited. Just because a piece of information may not paint Tenrikyo in a positive light, that does not mean that we should hide it. The truth shall be known if it is sought for. Not all religions are perfect and Tenrikyo is no exception.
There will be times where you may know certain facts that could be added to an article but not know of an actual source that you can cite. In such a case, please go ahead and write what you know and leave it to others to find proper sources to cite later.
One of the outstanding issues about Tenrikyo and its teachings is that, while one may know a lot about the teachings, there are few sources that can be referenced in an organized manner. Most sources will likely still be in Japanese so it's really unreasonable to enforce the citing of sources so strictly when many English-speaking followers, currently, heavily rely on the word of their minister or sensei when it comes to understanding Tenrikyo. But for now, we happen to have the Glossary Online page which is, actually, quite full of usable references.
Basic ground rules
There is always the possibility for the rules presented below to be changed or just completely ignored because of the demand from the community we are trying to establish. While the following rules are somewhat loose, we would like to create a sense of conformity and a welcoming environment.
- Write about things that are Tenrikyo-related.
- As a rule of thumb, when writing about Tenrikyo teachings, practices, and other formalities, please reference materials and adhere to information in what you find in publications from Church Headquarters, Doyusha, or another Tenrikyo organization. Please avoid writing personal interpretations.
- Speak your mind in the talk pages and user pages; what is said will not be removed unless it comes in the form of blatant ranting or abuse.
- This is a free resource; however, please follow the Guidelines when distributing content from this website.
- Write in a Neutral point of view (NPOV) wherever possible.
Articles we are looking for
We generally would like to have as much content about Tenrikyo as possible, but here are some bullet points for ideas of what could be added at present.
- Tenrikyo teachings, terms, and expressions based on the Church Headquarters' interpretations.
- Content from Tenrikyo Scriptures and other texts.
- Major Tenrikyo-related events, organizations, and programs.
- Notable Followers or people whom have made significant contributions to the Tenrikyo faith.
- Churches and their histories.
- Guides on performing ceremonies, administering the Sazuke, etc.
We strongly encourage you to edit pages and add content. Try not to be too worried about making mistakes, but hit the "Show Preview" button as a habit, at least once before submitting an edit. Doing your best is all we can ask for.