Jiba ぢば is a word in Tenrikyo literature that is used to refer to:
- the spot where human conception is claimed to have taken place according to Tenrikyo belief and where the Main Sanctuary of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters has been built around. A wooden model of the Kanrodai is currently set up to mark the Jiba’s location.
- “the Residence where the Jiba is located”
- “the place where Tenrikyo Church Headquarters is” and
- “Church Headquarters and the whole surrounding area that includes all the followers dormitories”
It is common in Japanese (and many unofficial Tenrikyo publications in English) for “Jiba” to be preceded with the honorific “o.”
- 1 Analysis of the word “Jiba”
- 2 Jiba of Origin (Definition 1)
- 3 The Residence where the Jiba is located (Definition 2)
- 4 “Jiba” meaning “Tenrikyo Church Headquarters” (Definition 3)
- 5 “Jiba” meaning the entire area of “Oyasato” (Definition 4)
- 6 Identification of the Jiba
- 7 Returning to Jiba: Tenrikyo Pilgrimage
- 8 Appearances/frequency of “Jiba” in Scripture
- 9 Notes
Analysis of the word “Jiba”
Jiba of Origin (Definition 1)
In a strict doctrinal sense, “Jiba” is “exactly the center” of the bodies of Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto, who respectively served as the seed and the seedplot at the creation of human beings (Ofudesaki 17:006). Human beings were then conceived at this spot, thus making it the homeland of all human beings (Ofudesaki 17:007–8).
Oyasama later instructed that the Kanrodai was to be set up at the location to serve as a marker (Ofudesaki 17:009). Thus, for Tenrikyo followers, Jiba is a sacred site like no other which also happens to be the place where the Service for universal salvation is performed.
Jiba is also the place where Tenri-O-no-Mikoto is said to reside or is enshrined. Other texts describe that the divine name of God was bestowed on the sacred space of the Jiba. Lastly, it is the spot within the Residence that has been designated with the address 271 Mishima-cho, Tenri City, Nara Prefecture, Japan.
The Residence where the Jiba is located (Definition 2)
There are passages in the Osashizu in which the meaning of “Jiba” expanded to refer to the Residence in which the Jiba of Origin is located.
However, it must be pointed out that “Jiba,” as it is being referred to in these passages, mean the “Residence where Jiba exists.” From a strictly doctrinal standpoint, “Jiba” and “Residence” are two separate terms. Although followers may often view the two terms referring to the same thing, Jiba, where the Kanrodai is placed, is merely one specific site among many others within the “Nakayama Residence.”
“Jiba” meaning “Tenrikyo Church Headquarters” (Definition 3)
There are other Osashizu passages in which “Jiba” refers to Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. This reflects the natural expansion of the meaning of the “Residence” referring to Church Headquarters.
The following is a list of representative passages as singled out by Shozen Nakayama that fall under this third meaning:
“Jiba” meaning the entire area of “Oyasato” (Definition 4)
In a further expansion of the second and third meanings, “Jiba,” the whole area that surrounds the Residence is often referred to as “Jiba” (or “O-Jiba”). In other words, "Jiba" occasionally is used to refer to the entire area of Oyasato, which includes Mishima, Tanbaichi, and Kawaharajo until Nikaido and Asawa.
The following is a list of representative passages as singled out by Shozen Nakayama that fall under this fourth meaning:
Jiba, the spot where the Kanrodai was to be located, was identified by Oyasama on June 29 (or 5/26 lunar calendar), 1875. A detailed account of the identification of the Jiba appears in Chapter Six of The Life of Oyasama.
Returning to Jiba: Tenrikyo Pilgrimage
As Jiba is considered as the homeland of all human beings, the act of going on a pilgrimage to Tenrikyo Church Headquarters is called an “O-Jiba gaeri,” literally, a “return to Jiba.” The expressions "o-kaeri nasai" or “yokoso o-kaeri” (Welcome home) can often be seen on signs throughout Tenri and also used by Tenrikyo followers to greet one another.
Appearances/frequency of “Jiba” in Scripture
- Ofudesaki 01:004
- Ofudesaki 07:004
- Ofudesaki 08:047
- Ofudesaki 09:019
- Ofudesaki 17:007–8
- Ofudesaki 17:034
- Yorozuyo, verse four
- Song Five, verse nine
- Song Eleven, verse one
- Osashizu: 215x
- Fukaya, Yoshikazu. “Jiba, the Residence, the Home of the Parent—Returning to Jiba—(Jiba Yashiki Oyasato),” Words of the Path: A Guide to Tenrikyo Terms and Expressions, pp. 15–17.
- 中山正善 Nakayama, Shozen. 『続 ひとことはなし その二』 Zoku Hitokotohanashi sono ni (ZHSN), p. 175.
- ZHSN, pp. 162–163.
- The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, p. 34. ("The Jiba is the place to which the divine name Tenri-O-no-Mikoto was given...")
- ZHSN, p. 159.
- ZHSN, pp. 165–168.
- ZHSN, p. 168.
- ZHSN, pp. 169–171.
- ZHSN, pp. 171–174.
- 『おさしづ索引』 Osashizu sakuin (index), pp. 1492–1494 (vol. 2, pp. 622–624).