Incantation, as it appears in Tenrikyo literature, is either an English gloss of:
- yose-kaji (寄加持), a ceremony conducted by the ascetic monk Ichibei Nakano that sought to relieve Shuji Nakayama of the mysterious leg pain the began in the tenth lunar month of 1837,
- kaji-kito (加持祈祷), or
- ogami-kito (拝み祈祷).
According to Yamochi Tatsuzo, a former instructor at Tenri Seminary, a kaji refers to a ritual where incantations are chanted to Buddhist deities to alleviate suffering from disease and misfortune.
He then explains that a yose-kaji refers to a version of this ritual where many people are invited (yoseru) so they can gather and pray together. There is also the explanation that it is called a yose-kaji (literally, a "pulling" or "bringing" incantation) because of the form of the ritual where the prayer specialist "brings" a Buddhist deity to speak through a medium.
It may be possible that "yose-kaji" is a regional variant of the term "yori-gito" (憑り祈祷), which Miyake Hitoshi, a scholar specializing in Shugendo, defines as "a form of obtaining oracles peculiar to Shugendo. In this ritual a shugenja uses a medium as a vehicle of possession by a deity, which is then asked to reply to various queries or requests concerning the next harvest or one's personal fortune."
According to Miyake Hitoshi, the term "kaji-kito" is often used to describe the main activities of Shugendo practitioners. Yet, he maintains that: "[K]aji and kito are not the same. Kito refers to the prayers offered to a deity as a form of request in ceremonies.... Kaji, on the other hand, refers to the identification (ka) of the shugenja with the deity in order to realize (ji) a certain purpose."
The term "ogami" simply means prayer. Religious studies scholar Helen Hardacre has once described kito as“a catchall term for prayers for healing, well-being, prosperity, and other this-worldly benefits." The expresssion "ogami-kito" has been translated as "worshipped and prayed" in the current edition of the English Ofudesaki.
- The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo — Manuscript Edition, third edition. Tenrikyo Church Headquarters, pp. 2, 3, 4.
- Anecdotes of Oyasama 62 (p. 54).
- Anecdotes of Oyasama 166 (p. 133).
- 矢持辰三 Yamochi Tatsuzo. 『稿本天理教教祖伝入門十講』 Kohon Tenrikyo Oyasama den nyumon jikko, p. 14.
- Miyake Hitoshi. 1993. "Religious Rituals in Shugendō: A Summary." In Religion and Society in Modern Japan: Selected Readings. Edited by Mullins, Mark R., Shimazono Susumu, and Swanson, Paul L. Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, Nanzan Studies in Asian Religions, p. 36.
- Miyake Hitoshi. Ibid., p. 38.
- Hardacre, Helen. Shintō and the State, 1868-1988. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (1989), p. 74.
- Ofudesaki 6:26