The Life of Oyasama

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The Life of Oyasama
Chapter One
The Shrine of Tsukihi (1837–1838)
Chapter Two
The Early History of Oyasama (1798–1837)
Chapter Three
On the Way
(1838–1852), (1853–1854), (1862–1864)
Chapter Four
The Place for the Service (1864), (1865–1866)
Chapter Five
The Salvation Service (1866–1882)
Chapter Six
The Identification of the Jiba
(1869–1873), (Jan–Nov 1874), (Dec 1874), (1875), (1876–1877)
Chapter Seven
Buds Sprout from Knots
(1878–1880), (1881)
Chapter Eight
Parental Love
(pp. 121–124), (pp. 124–131), (pp. 132–137), (pp. 137–146), (pp. 146–157), (pp. 157–165), (pp. 165–168)
Chapter Nine
The Hardships of Oyasama
(Jan–Sep 1882),
(Oct–Dec 1882),
(Jan–Jun 1883), (Jul–Dec 1883), (1884), (1885), (Jan–Apr 1886),(May–Dec 1886)
Chapter Ten
The Portals Opened
(Jan 1–11, 1887),
(Jan 12–13, 1887),
(Jan 18–Feb 18, 1887)
The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo is the English translation of 稿本天理教教祖伝 Kohon Tenrikyo Oyasama Den, the official biography of Miki Nakayama (Oyasama) as published by Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. The Life of Oyasama is one of the jun-genten or "supplemental text to the Scriptures." (The other texts that fall under this category are The Doctrine of Tenrikyo and Anecdotes of Oyasama.)

The term "kohon" happens to label this biography as a "manuscript edition." The explanation for this is that "more detailed research and studies remain to be made on the numerals, notes, words, and phrases"[1] that appear in it. This suggests that there is a potential for further revisions to be made to the text in the future when significant discoveries regarding the life and times of Tenrikyo's founder ever come to light.

Kohon Tenrikyo Oyasama Den was first published in 1956 (the year of the 70th Anniversary of Oyasama) and revised in 1981 by Church Headquarters. It was finally published after many aborted attempts to compile a biography on Miki Nakayama, the first which began from the 10th Anniversary of Oyasama 60 years earlier. Kohon Tenrikyo Oyasama Den was compiled largely based on the Ofudesaki and other preserved historical documents that include Oyasama-gyoden (The Biography of Oyasama), an early work written by Shinnosuke Nakayama, the first Shinbashira.

The preface explicitly reveals that The Life of Oyasama was compiled for the purpose to provide "the standard for all people of the world to appreciate and practice the Divine Model."[1] The Divine Model refers to the life of Miki Nakayama from when she is said to have become the Shrine of Tsukihi or the mouthpiece of God the Parent on 10/26/1838 (lunar calendar), until her "withdrawal from physical life" on 1/26/1887 (lunar) at the age of 90, which totals to approximately 50 years. The Life of Oyasama also describes, in Chapter Two, the life of Miki Nakayama before she became the Shrine of Tsukihi.


The Life of Oyasama contains 10 chapters:

English Translated Version

The English translation has gone through three editions:

  • First Edition (10/26/1967)
  • Second Edition (4/26/1982, 255 pages)
  • Third Edition (1/26/1996, 242 pages)
  • Second Printing (12/26/2006)

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Preface to the Manuscript Edition." The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo—Manuscript Edition (third edition). Tenrikyo Church Headquarters.