Life of Oyasama Chapter 4-2

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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 4-1 presents the contents of Chapter Four of The Life of Oyasama as published by Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. The title of the chapter is "The Place for the Service." The content below is equivalent to pages 49 to 54 of the print edition. The “Notes” below come from the footnotes of the print edition.

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

  1. Life of Oyasama Chapter 4-1 (1864)
  2. Life of Oyasama Chapter 4-2 (1865-1866)



Izo returned to the Residence on New Year’s Day of 1865 to offer his New Year's greetings to Oyasama and Her family. Then he quickly went home to celebrate New Year's Day with his own family and then returned to the Residence once again.

The construction of the Place for the Service was finally accomplished.

The followers' delight was all the greater at this accomplishment because of the hardships they had endured in the course of the construction. They felt as if a new world had dawned. The newly built Place for the Service, bright and beautiful, represented a definite step in the construction of the mind toward maturity, a start in the endless construction.

On the raised floor of one room was the altar for God the Parent, its brand new timber emitting crisp fragrance all around. On the west side of the room was a raised platform on which Oyasama sat straight all day, looking eastward and teaching the truth of the infinite love of God the Parent to those who came to Her.

By this time, Kokan was already assisting in conveying the will of God the Parent to the people who came to make inquiries. Izo and Osato were in attendance at the Residence every day, and Chushichi Yamanaka came occasionally to lend a hand.

Meanwhile, as the voices in praise of the miraculous power of the "living goddess of Shoyashiki Village" grew louder, more opponents such as priests, monks, and physicians came one after the other to the Residence to try to overwhelm this "living goddess" with their arguments.

The Knot of June 1865

One evening in June 1865, two Buddhist priests came to the Residence, crying, "How is it that you keep no light burning at dusk when you dare to assume the name of Tenri-O-no-Mikoto?" When Kokan came out to receive them, they strode directly up to her and, thrusting their swords into the mat on either side of her, began to pose difficult questions. Izo Iburi sat breathlessly in an adjoining six-mat room, listening to the questions and answers, and was prepared to dash in to assist in case of emergency.

But Kokan remained self-possessed throughout and explained the teachings to them. The Buddhist priests were finally driven into a corner in the discussion and, in desperation, ran riot, slashing the mats and the drum with their swords. Then they departed from the Residence.

It was during this period that Moriya Chikuzen-no-kami visited Oyasama and was deeply struck by the lucidity of the answers that She gave to his various questions.

On August 19, 1865, Oyasama proceeded to the house of Chushichi Yamanaka of Mamekoshi Village and stayed there until the 25th. Kokan, too, visited his house, arriving on the 21st and returning home on the 23rd. During Her stay, Oyasama not only conveyed the will of God the Parent to those who came to Her but also saved many people who were suffering from illnesses and various troubles.

The Sukezo Incident

About July or August of the same year, the path was opened to Fukusumi Village. Among the many people who returned to the Residence to worship was Sukezo of Harigabessho Village. He had been saved by Oyasama from an eye disease. For some time after that, he frequently returned to the Residence. In the course of time, however, he suddenly stopped coming to the Residence and began to say that the village of Harigabessho was the original dwelling place of God, whereas the village of Shoyashiki was the place where God was temporarily manifested.

From about September 20, Oyasama took no meals at all, saying:

I grow neither thin nor weak, so long as I drink water.

Those around Her grew more concerned for Her health daily and repeatedly pleaded with Her to take some food. But all She took was a small portion of vegetables and some sweet rice wine.

Around October 20, after fasting for about thirty days, Oyasama suddenly announced that She intended to proceed to Harigabessho Village. She left the Residence that very day, attended by Izo Iburi, Chushichi Yamanaka, Isaburo Nishida, and Jujiro Okamoto, and arrived at an inn in Harigabessho Village at about nine o’clock in the evening.

The next morning She said to Iburi and Yamanaka:

Go and clear it away!

The two men hastened to the house of Sukezo and, plunging into its inner chamber, snapped the [gohei] in two, and threw it into the kitchen stove to burn it.

Returning to the inn, they reported the result to Oyasama and began to talk among themselves about whether they might go home now. Then Oyasama interrupted them and said:

We should not leave now.

Sukezo also insisted that he could not allow them to leave yet. Meanwhile, a monk from the Kongoin Temple came from Nara by palanquin to aid Sukezo, while Ryojiro Yamazawa arrived at the village as a proxy of Moriya Chikuzen-no-kami to assist the party from the Residence. Then both sides began to negotiate.

But the merits of the case were self-evident from the first, no matter how Sukezo might twist the story. First, it was a solid fact that he had been saved by Oyasama, so solid, in fact, that there was no possible justification for even a hint of ingratitude on his part. As for his doctrine that asserted that Harigabessho Village was the original dwelling place of God, it was by no means a doctrine that could be successfully pursued in the presence of Oyasama. Thus, by the third day of the negotiations, the monk and Sukezo finally found themselves driven into a corner and humbly begged Her pardon, acknowledging that they had been in the wrong. It took about seven days to settle the matter completely.

At Her departure, Sukezo made presents to Oyasama of one thousand Tenpo iron coins,[1] one horseload of charcoal, and one of a pair of cast-iron lanterns, and he hired carriers to take them to the Residence.

The Birth of Shinnosuke

That same year, Oharu became pregnant. While she was pregnant, Oyasama said:

This time I put the soul of Father Maegawa in Oharu. The child to be called Shinnosuke is destined to be the Shinbashira.


On May 7, 1866, Oharu gave birth in the fullness of time to a gemlike, healthy boy. Oyasama was especially pleased by the news that Her daughter had been safely delivered of a boy. She explained the birth as follows:

I had previously sent his soul into the world as Kamezo, their first son. But being the first son, the parents' affections were so fixed on him that I could not bring Myself to adopt him. So I recalled his soul for a time and gave birth to the same soul as the third son.

About that time, the Residence had one visitor after another, not only farmers from the surrounding country but also retainers of the feudal lords of various fiefs such as Shibamura, Takatori, Koriyama, and Yanagimoto, and samurai serving in the Furuichi Magistrate's Office and the Wani Magistrate's Office. But with the increase in the number of worshipers, attacks and protests against the faith became more violent.

One day in the autumn of 1866, several yamabushi monks of the Fudoin Temple in Koizumi Village came to the Residence. As soon as they saw Oyasama, they posed difficult questions to Her in rapid succession. Oyasama gave a clear answer to each question to enlighten them. The monks, far from listening to Her teachings, continued to abuse Her. However, Oyasama retained Her composure and was unshaken by them. Finally, exasperated at Her absolute calmness and finding that mere words availed them nothing, they turned to violence.

Drawing their swords, they advanced before the altar and ran riot to their hearts' content, slashing two of the drums, cutting down the dedicatory lanterns, and rending the sliding paper screens. Then they started for Mamekoshi Village, five miles to the southwest of Shoyashiki Village. There they burst into the house of Chushichi Yamanaka and took the gohei from his family shrine, dealing him hard blows on the head when he tried to stop them. They turned toward the north once again and went to the Furuichi Magistrate’s Office to register a complaint with the authorities. As a result of this incident, the Furuichi Magistrate’s Office started to keep a close watch over the "living goddess of Shoyashiki Village."

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  1. One thousand Tenpo iron coins is approximately $18 U.S. as of 1993.

External link to Japanese text of Chapter Four

第四章 つとめ場所