Divine Record is a common gloss of the Scriptural term Koki こふき. It is also translated simply into as English as “talk” in the official translation of a verse belonging to the Ofudesaki unnumbered set. Although it is uncertain to what scope the term “Koki” was meant to refer to, it is generally thought to mainly center around the Story of Creation and other fundamental Tenrikyo teachings.
Definitions/identity of the Koki
The Ofudesaki chushaku (Annotations to the Ofudesaki) defines Koki as the “foundation for talks of single-hearted salvation” (たすけ一条の話の台 tasuke ichijo no hanashi no dai) and “the true teachings that will be transmitted to future generations to become the basis for the salvation of many people”
Kanji applied to “Koki”
A variety of kanji have been applied to the kana “Koki.” The most common is 古記, literally “ancient records.” Whereas the term Koki is simply presumed to mean “teachings that were conveyed or recorded in writing from times of old” in the context of Ofudesaki 3:69 in particular, these kanji help capture the strong nuance of “Koki” referring to a written record describing matters more ancient than those covered in the Japanese Shinto classics such as the Kojiki and Nihongi. 
It might be worthy of note that early followers often referred to the Story of Creation as the Doroumi koki 泥海古記, literally meaning “ancient records of the muddy ocean.” This title most likely resulted from the fact that Tenrikyo creation narratives often opened with descriptions of the world at the beginning being a muddy ocean.
The English gloss of Koki, “Divine Record” is assumed to come from the kanji 神記.
Second Shinbashira Shozen Nakayama has noted that other kanji early followers applied to “Koki” include 後記 (“later record”), 光輝 (“radiant story”), and 功記 (“meritorious/efficacious record”). He has also suggested 口記 (“record of oral transmissions”) as another possible set of kanji.
Koji Sato has described Koki as oral, ancient records that represent the meritorious, fundamental, and official (綱記) teachings.
Koki in history
Oyasama is said to have told followers to “Compile a divine record (Koki)” in the years prior to 1881 Ryosuke Yamazawa in 1881 composed a Koki comprising 161 waka verses that covered the Story of Creation and other basic Tenrikyo teachings. Many other early disciples followed suit with their own versions of the Koki (usually written in prose form) from 1883 and onward.
It may be noted that Oyasama did not allow her disciples to take notes when she described the Story of Creation to them and also did not give her final approval to the manuscripts she was shown. It is said that there are about 40 of these manuscripts in existence.
The following is a list of known Koki manuscripts.
|Year composed||Title||Found in collection of|
|1881||明治十四年三月記之 Meiji juyo-nen sangatsu no ki||Yamazawa family|
|1881||日本無雙書物 Nihon muso shomotsu||Nakayama family|
|1881||此世初まりのお噺扣え Kono yo hajimari no o-hanashi hikae||Masui family|
|1881||神之古記 Kami no koki||Komatsu family|
|1881||明治十五年正月寫求之 Meiji jugo-nen Shogatsu no shakyu||Imamura family|
|1881||古記 Koki||Haruno family|
|1881||天輪王命 Tenrin-O-no-Mikoto||Kita family (2 copies)|
|1882||聞問記 Bunmonki||Ihachiro Yamada|
|1883||神の古記||Masui family (2 copies)|
|1883||untitled scroll||Nagao family|
|1884||御神代の古記 Mi-Kami-yo no koki||Imamura family|
|1884||神代之古記 Kami-yo no koki||Izutsu family|
|1886||かみのおんこふき Kami no on-koki||Sawada|
|1886||神の古事記 Kami no kojiki||Department of Doctrine and Historical Materials|
|1886||神の傳 Kami no tsutae||Nagao family|
|1887||神の傳之記 Kami no tsutae no ki||Masui family|
|1887||神の傳之記||Koda family (2 copies)|
Appearances of “Koki” in the Ofudesaki
- Ofudesaki 02:010
- Ofudesaki 03:069
- Ofudesaki 03:149
- Ofudesaki 05:018
- Ofudesaki 05:031
- Ofudesaki 05:032
- Ofudesaki 10:087–8
- Ofudesaki 10:091
- Ofudesaki 10:092
- Ofudesaki 10:093
- Ofudesaki 11:066
- Ofudesaki 11:067–8
- Ofudesaki 12:101
- 『おふでさき注釈』 Ofudesaki chushaku, p. 20.
- Ofudesaki chushaku, p. 77.
- Ofudesaki chushaku, p. 41.
- For instance, one may recall the following quote attributed to Oyasama when she was confronted by Shinto priests: “I wish to teach the world of things not to be found in learning, ancient things extending over nine hundred million and ninety-six thousand years” (The Life of Oyasama, p. 88).
- 中山正善 Nakayama Shozen. 『こふきの研究』 Koki no kenkyu, p. 12.
- Koki no kenkyu, p. 1.
- 松本 滋 Matsumoto Shigeru. 「「から」と「にほん」—本居宣長のからごころ批判との関連から」 “Kara to nihon—Motoori Norinaga no kara-gokoro hihan no kanren kara.” 『G-TEN』 41 (May 1989), p. 53.
- 佐藤浩司 Sato Koji. 『お道の常識』 Omichi no joshiki, p. 282.
- The Life of Oyasama, p. 117.
- Ueda Yoshinaru. Insights into the Story of Creation, p. 2.
- 西山輝夫 Nishiyama Teruo. 「「元の理」の研究史概論」 "Moto no ri no kenyku shi gairon" In 『「元の理」の人間学』 Moto no ri no ningengaku, p. 15.
- From 『ひながた紀行』 Hinagata kiko, p. 259.