Life of Oyasama Chapter 3-3

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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)

Life of Oyasama Chapter 3-3 presents the contents of Chapter Three of The Life of Oyasama as published by Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. The title of the chapter is "On the Way." The content below is equivalent to pages 34 to 41 of the print edition. The "notes" below are the footnotes from the print edition.

Note: The print edition of Chapter Three has been split into three sections on this wiki due to length of text. The chapter is split as follows:

  1. Life of Oyasama Chapter 3-1 (1838–1852)
  2. Life of Oyasama Chapter 3-2 (1853–1854)
  3. Life of Oyasama Chapter 3-3 (1862–1864)



For example, in 1862, when Oyasama was sixty-five, at the request of a woman who was in critical condition after having given birth, She went all the way to Ando Village[1] on foot and saved her.

Thus, for the first time in more than twenty long years, the intention of God the Parent began to be widely known among the public. For, in spite of the fact that childbirth is a heavy burden on women, especially in those days when a deep-rooted sense of insecurity about it prevailed throughout the country, any woman who had received the Grant of Safe Childbirth was wondrously blessed with a safe delivery.

The Grant of Safe Childbirth originates from the Residence of Origin, the Home of the Parent, where human beings were first conceived.

The conception of a baby is by Tsukihi. Giving birth to it, also, is by the work of Tsukihi.

Ofudesaki 6:131

She taught that both conception and delivery are entirely due to the blessing of God the Parent and that any woman who received the Grant of Safe Childbirth would assuredly be blessed with safe childbirth. Further, She taught that a woman might live quite normally after having given birth, with no need of observing the old customs such as the use of an abdominal band, the taboo on certain foods, the use of something to lean against, to say nothing of any fear of her being physically polluted for seventy-five days as was popularly believed by the people of that time.

This Grant of Safe Childbirth opened the path to all miracles of salvation, and the name “goddess of safe childbirth of Shoyashiki Village” became known throughout Yamato Province during 1862 and 1863, when Oyasama was sixty-five and sixty-six years old. But, with this increase in popularity, cases of extortion began to occur. For instance, about 1862, a medium of Namimatsu Village, who called forth the guardian deity of agriculture, came and asked Oyasama for a large sum of money amounting to two ryo and two bu.[2] She complied with his request and gave it to him. But in spite of these jealousies and unreasonable demands, the name of God the Parent became known more and more widely among the general public. The people who in later years were to work as Yoboku, useful timber, began to return to the Home of the Parent one after another, being drawn by God. Among them were Isaburo Nishida of Ichieda Village, who returned about 1861; Koemon Murata of Senzai Village, about 1862; and Saemon (later renamed Gisaburo) Nakata and Chusaku Tsuji of Toyoda Village, in 1863.


It was on March 4, 1863, that Chusaku Tsuji came to worship for the first time. When an inquiry was made of Oyasama concerning the insanity of his younger sister, Kura, She responded:

Here dwells the Supreme God of all directions, whose name is Tenri-O-no-Mikoto. Though it will not be cured as swiftly as an empty stomach is filled with rice, it will subside day by day.

Returning home, Chusaku performed the service morning and evening, beating the wooden clappers while chanting the name of God the Parent over and over again, as he had been taught:

Namu, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto! Namu, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto!

But his prayers had no effect on his insane sister. So one day he returned and an inquiry was made of Oyasama as to why his sister had shown no improvement. The reply was:

The service is too short.

These words struck Chusaku, and he recalled that he had not been burning an entire incense stick to measure the length of his service, but only one-half, purposely breaking the stick in two. In those days, the incense stick was used to measure the length of the service, and the followers only chanted the name of God while beating the wooden clappers. This was before the hand movements had been introduced into the service and the number of its repetitions prescribed.

Chusaku, realizing his fault, apologized at once and returned to his home. After that, he performed the service every morning and evening enthusiastically, without breaking the incense sticks. Then his sister, Kura, began to make a gradual recovery, till at last she was restored to sanity.

That same year, Zenroku Iida and his wife, of Ando Village, came to Oyasama to ask Her to save their child, whose illness had suddenly taken a serious turn. Oyasama went to their house at once and saved the child, who immediately became well enough to eat a sweet rice cake. Oyasama stayed with the Iidas for seven or eight days and saved many other people who gathered in Her presence.

1864 (Bunkyu 4)

It was in January of 1864 that Chushichi Yamanaka of Mamekoshi Village began to follow the path. <Link to Anecdotes of Oyasama 11> The same month, Oyasama went to Ando Village again at Iida's request and stayed at his home for about forty days. People in the neighboring villages heard of this, and those who yearned after Her and sought help from Her came to see Her in an unending stream.

Having heard this, Bungo Furukawa, a physician of Namimatsu Village, came to the Iidas' with some monks from the Kongoin Temple in Nara and barged into the room in which Oyasama was staying. They called Her by such names as "fox" or "raccoon" and were even at the point of resorting to violence when, suddenly, Oyasama’s appearance changed. In a solemn tone, She said:

Ask! if you have anything to ask.

At this, Bungo posed one difficult question after another. Oyasama answered each question so clearly and convincingly that he prostrated himself, filled with awe, and, humbly withdrawing himself from Her presence, went away.

1864 (Ganji 1)

From the spring of 1864, Oyasama bestowed the Sazuke of the Fan on devoted followers. About fifty or sixty people received it. Chushichi Yamanaka and Saemon Nakata were each granted the Sazuke of the Gohei and the Sazuke of Fertilizer, in addition to the Sazuke of the Fan. On December 26 of the same year, Chusaku Tsuji and several others were granted the Sazuke with the following words of Oyasama:

Kisaburo of Senzai Village, I hand you a folding fan of flat ribs. Think of it as God and set it apart for worship.

Zensuke of the same village, to you I hand a folding fan of black ribs.

Koemon of the same village, on you I bestow the Gohei and Fertilizer. Chusaku of Toyoda Village, on you I bestow the Gohei and Fertilizer. Understand that these are for all eternity. You will not be able to continue your long journey without traveling expenses. So, I bestow upon you Fertilizer for your traveling expenses.

By this time, many people had been gathering at the Residence, not only from neighboring villages such as Shiba, Mamekoshi, Yokota, Shoji, Onishi, Niizumi, Tatsuta, Ando, Namimatsu, Ichinomoto, Furuichi, Shichijo, and Toyoda, but also from various remote regions.

With such an increase in the number of people returning to the Residence in 1863 and 1864, when Oyasama was sixty-six and sixty-seven years old, lack of space in the Residence became especially apparent. The main house had already been dismantled, while the remaining old and shabby house in which Oyasama lived had only two rooms, one eight-mat and the other six-mat. The eight-mat room had a gohei in it as the symbol of worship and was used as a gathering place for worshipers. However, on the twenty-sixth day of every month, this room was so crowded that there was an overflow of many worshipers into the garden. Thus, there began to be some talk among the people that they should be allowed to build a new place for worship before long.

It was during this period that Izo Iburi (later the Honseki)[3] visited the Residence for the first time. He came one day in May of 1864. He was received by Kokan, to whom he stated the object of his visit. He wanted Oyasama to save his wife, who had been ill in bed since her delivery. Kokan conveyed his request to Oyasama, who said with great delight:

Sah, sah, I have been waiting, I have been waiting!

Then She added:

Certainly I shall save her. But since this God by the name of Tenri-O-no-Mikoto must be quite new to them, it might be hard for them to believe.

At this, Kokan started a three-day prayer and presented Izo with sanyaku [4] Prior to this event, Oyasama had said:

A carpenter will appear, will appear.

On returning to Ichinomoto Village, Izo told his wife, Osato, everything that had taken place. She was so delighted that she took off her abdominal band as instructed and immediately took a portion of the sanyaku. She also took one in the evening and another at dawn. This gave her a little relief. Scarcely waiting for day to break, Izo returned to the Residence and informed Kokan of this. Kokan gave him more of the sanyaku and said, "God says, 'I shall save her.' Therefore, you must not worry."

On returning home, Izo had his wife take another portion of the sanyaku. That very evening, Osato began to feel greatly relieved of her pain. That night, Izo returned to the Residence for the third time.

Osato recovered so remarkably that on the third day she could sit up to take her meals by leaning on something. When Izo returned to the Residence, Shuji asked him about his wife. Izo replied that she was recovering remarkably. Shuji rejoiced at the news and said, "How blessed that she has been saved." It was not long before Osato recovered completely from her illness due to the blessing of God the Parent.

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  1. About three miles west of Shoyashiki Village.
  2. Ryo is a unit of old Japanese coinage. One ryo is ten bu. Two ryo and two bu is approximately $491 U.S. as of 1993.
  3. Honseki literally means "main seat," which implies the seat where the Sazuke is bestowed. The title Honseki was given to Izo Iburi.
  4. Sanyaku literally means a powdered medicine. However, this was not a medicine, but the sweetened and parched barley flour which had been offered to God. Because of its similarity in appearance to ordinary medicine, it was called sanyaku in those days.

External link to Japanese text of Chapter Three

第三章 みちすがら