Buds sprout from knots

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Buds sprout from knots is the standard gloss of the Scriptural phrase fushi kara me ga deru ふしから芽が出る. It refers to the ideal of turning adversity into an opportunity for spiritual growth. Alternate phrases having the same meaning include “fushi kara me ga fuku” or “From a knot, buds will spring forth.”[1]

The phrase appears 50 times in the Osashizu.[2] It also happens to be the title of Chapter Seven of The Life of Oyasama.

The meaning of “knot”

Fushi refers to the knot of a plant such as bamboo. It is the portion of a plant’s stem or trunk where new branches grow.[3]

In Tenrikyo, fushi is often used to refer to a setback such as illness or unfavorable circumstance (trouble) that is to be overcome so that it leads to an opportunity for growth. Tenrikyo researcher Kazuhiro Hatakama once briefly summarized that knots are considered to have the following attributes[2]:

  1. God the Parent provides knots out of God’s parental love.
  2. A knot provides a follower a chance to renew oneself spiritually, to make a resolution, and practice joyous acceptance.
  3. Knots serve to transform a negative into a positive, lead one on the path of spiritual growth, and attain the Joyous Life.

Historical events as “knots”

“Knots” during Oyasama’s Model path

Although not always translated into English as “knots,” there are certain historical developments referred to as “fushi” in the Japanese edition of The Life of Oyasama:

  • The Oyamato Shrine incident of 1864[4]
  • “Knot of lunar 6/1865”[5]
  • “Knot at Oyamato Shrine” (lunar 10/1874)[6]
  • “Knot at Yamamura Palace[7]
  • “Knot of June 1881”[8]
  • “Knot of September 1881”[9]
  • “Knot of March 1883”[10]
  • “Knot of June 1883”[11]
  • “Knot of October 1883”[12]
  • “Knot of June 1885”[13]

It may be noted that this use of “fushi” to describe what initially appears to be a setback or unfavorable event may be contrasted with other terms such as “jiken” (incident) and go-kuro (“Hardship”), the later being a term used specifically to refer to Oyasama’s imprisonments and other encounters with police authorities.

“Knots” during the 20 years the Honseki delivered the Osashizu (1887–1907)

The phrase “buds sprout from knots” appears in Divine Directions associated with the following events[14]:

Knots at Church Headquarters

Knots at branch churches

Divine Directions relating to incidents at

Anniversaries of Oyasama as “knots”

The word “fushi” also connotes a season or other juncture in time.[15] In this sense, Anniversaries of Oyasama, which occur every ten years, are sometimes referred to as “fushi.” Consider the following quote from Yoshikazu Fukaya:

“As for those of us followers of the path, the most significant knot that we have ever had is Oyasama's withdrawal from physical life in 1887. Since then, the anniversaries of Oyasama, which we observe once every ten years, have also been regarded as important knots.”[16]

Appearances of “Fushi kara me ga deru” in the Osashizu

External links


  1. Found in The Life of Oyasama, p. 211.
  2. 2.0 2.1 幡鎌一弘 Hatakama Kazuhiro. 「ふしから芽が出る—信仰の語りの歴史」 “Fushi kara me ga deru—shinko no katari no rekishi.” 『教祖の教えと現代』 In Oyasama no oshie to gendai, p. 123.
  3. 佐藤孝則 Sato Takanori. 「ふしから芽が出る」 “Fushi kara me ga deru.” In 『環境問題と天理教』 Kanko mondai to Tenrikyo, p. 86.
  4. 『稿本天理教教祖伝』 Kohon Tenrikyo Oyasama den (KTOD), p. 58; this incident is described in The Life of Oyasama (LO), pp. 45–47.
  5. KTOD, p. 62; described in LO p. 50.
  6. KTOD p. 115; described in LO pp. 86–8.
  7. KTOD, p. 118; described in LO pp. 88–91.
  8. KTOD, p. 154; described in LO pp. 115–6.
  9. KTOD, p. 155; described in LO p. 115.
  10. KTOD, p. 251; described in LO pp. 182–5.
  11. KTOD, p. 255; described in LO pp. 185–7.
  12. KTOD, p. 265; described in LO p. 193.
  13. KTOD, p. 279; described in LO p. 203.
  14. 幡鎌一弘 Hatakama Kazuhiro. Ibid., pp. 131. (Note: This list is not comprehensive.)
  15. Spahn, Mark and Hadamitzky, Wolfgang. Japanese Character Dictionary. Tokyo: Nichigai Associates, p. 1416
  16. Words of the Path, p. 150.