Life of Oyasama Chapter 6-2

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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 6-2 presents a portion of the contents of Chapter Six of The Life of Oyasama as published by Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. The title of the chapter is "The Identification of the Jiba." The content below is equivalent to pages 82 to 88 of the print edition.

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

  1. Life of Oyasama Chapter 6-1 (1869–1873)
  2. Life of Oyasama Chapter 6-2 (January to November 1874)
  3. Life of Oyasama Chapter 6-3 (December 1874)
  4. Life of Oyasama Chapter 6-4 (1875)
  5. Life of Oyasama Chapter 6-5 (1876–1877)



In the next year, 1874, Oyasama, then seventy-seven years old, wrote from part three to the first half of part six of the Ofudesaki. These verses express the extreme urgency of the intention of God the Parent, indicate the approach of an important season, and strongly urge the maturity of people's minds.

Sechi festival

It was a long-standing custom of the Residence for people to gather together with Oyasama happily and enjoy eating rice cakes which had been offered to God on New Year's Day. As the years passed, the quantity of rice cakes offered to God increased so that in 1874 it amounted to almost three hundred pounds. This tradition, which is called the Sechi festival, has grown ever larger with the years.

In part three of the Ofudesaki we read:

At this time, after purifying the water, I desire quickly to take in the Shinbashira, who is to settle matters within.

Ofudesaki 3:56

Thus, God hastened to establish the Shinbashira.

Shinnosuke was nine years old at that time and was living with his family in Ichinomoto Village, but he came to the Residence regularly. Oyasama loved him and treated him as a member of the family, but he had not yet been registered as the family's adopted heir, partly because of his tender age, but chiefly because God the Parent's intention was not clearly understood by some of the people concerned. Therefore, Oyasama hastened to establish Shinnosuke as the central pillar of the faith both in name and reality.

Receiving the Kagura masks

Oyasama had, years before, asked Her own elder brother, Kyosuke Maegawa, to make the masks for the Service. Artistic and skillful by nature, Kyosuke first made models of the masks with clay and then pasted layer after layer of rice paper on them. When the paper dried and hardened, he removed them from the clay and took them to a shop in Kyoto to have them lacquered. The finely made masks of lacquered papier-mâché representing the truth of Tsukihi, were in the shape of a lion's head. These masks were kept at the Maegawa home for some time.

In part four of the Ofudesaki we read:

When do you think this day will come? On the fifth of the fifth month, it will definitely appear.

Then a thanksgiving pilgrimage will begin. Look for it. People will come whether it be night or day.

Ofudesaki 4:3–4

With the arrival of the seasonable time and in accordance with the wish of God the Parent, on June 18, which was May 5 by the lunar calendar, 1874, Oyasama, attended by Shuji, Iburi, Nakata, and Tsuji, went to the Maegawas' house to receive the masks.

When Oyasama saw the masks at the Maegawas', She exclaimed:

How finely they are made! With these, we shall be able to perform the Service joyfully.

Then Her attendants put on the masks for the first time and tried the hand movements for the Service. After that, Oyasama said to the Maegawas:

I have caused you so much trouble. Please accept this as a token of My gratitude.

With this, Oyasama presented them with two manuscript portions of the Ofudesaki, together with ten paper charms against insects. These manuscripts were part three and part four of the Ofudesaki. Each has the following inscription on its cover: "This was given to us on the evening of June 18, 1874, the year two thousand five hundred and thirty-four since the foundation of the Imperial rule, the year of the Dog."

In addition, on the cover of part three, we find the following inscription: "When She came for the kagura mask of Kunitokotachi, the mask which had long been kept by the Maegawa family, She brought two volumes in Her own handwriting with Her and gave them to us, together with ten paper charms against insects. On that evening, June 18, 1874, God's servants from the Nakayamas of Shoyashiki Village performed the Kagura Service in its regular form." On the cover of part four is inscribed: "An exterior volume. Written by God. Written in Her seventy-seventh year. We can imagine the scene as Her attendants performed the hand movements wearing the masks for the first time and respect the consideration with which the Maegawas wrote "an exterior volume" to distinguish it from the original volume kept at the Residence.

The Kagura Service

The masks for the Service were thus completed. At the Residence, the Service was cheerfully performed in its intended form on the twenty-sixth day of each month. The Kagura was performed with the masks and the Teodori followed. In addition, the hand movements for the Service were practiced every day after the morning and evening services.

By and by, when the sixth month comes, know that I shall grant the Proof Amulet.

Ofudesaki 4:5

Later, the Proof Amulet was given to pilgrims as proof of their return to Jiba.

Thus, preparations for the Salvation Service made steady progress, approaching God the Parent's expectations, though the hand movements for the song Ichiretsu sumasu Kanrodai were not to be initiated until the following year, 1875, and the Service performers were yet to assemble in full number.

Written about that time in part five are the verses:

Perhaps you cannot foresee what is going to appear. From the high mountains, a broad path will open.

I have been preparing to open this path, but those of you close to Me know nothing of it.

Those who come here to summon or to investigate, come because it is God's intent.

Ofudesaki 5:57–59

God the Parent's intention was to "open a broad path from the high mountains." Each summons and investigation by the authorities was from the intention of God the Parent to hasten the salvation of the high mountains.

Thus, in the Ofudesaki, God foretold the hardships of Oyasama which were to occur about eighteen times during the next twelve years. God also revealed the truth of the divine intention behind these occurrences. The mission to the high mountains was then beginning in the form of the detention and imprisonment of Oyasama.

Oyamato Shrine incident

One day in October, by the lunar calendar, 1874, Oyasama said to Gisaburo Nakata and Ichibei Matsuo:

Go to the Oyamato Shrine and ask about their deity.

They both went to the shrine at once and asked the priests about their deity as they had been instructed by Oyasama. A priest replied pompously that Oyamato was a historic grand shrine dedicated to one of the deities in the ancient chronicles. "Then, what kind of protection does he bestow on us humans?" asked the visitors. The priest could give no answer whatsoever. Whereupon, a priest named Hara, after listening to Nakata and Matsuo, asked: "Who would express such foolish opinions? Maybe it is that old woman of Shoyashiki. Indeed it is absurd! Do you have anything to prove what you say?" "Yes," replied the two, taking out parts three and four of the Ofudesaki, "ours is God of Origin, God in Truth," and they explained the various protections of God, repeating what they had been taught regularly at the Residence. Then the priest asked to see the volumes for a moment. When they handed them to him, he began to admonish them, saying: "You seem to be peasants. On arriving home, have the old woman put her fingers into boiling water. If she is able to do so, we shall present you with a magnificent shrine especially built for you by permission of the authorities in Tokyo. However, if she is not, you had better return to your farming and stick to it." Then he continued his vehement censure: "To assume the name of a god not found anywhere in the ancient chronicles is inexcusable and liable to censure. The Isonokami Shrine itself is not exempt from censure, for it has allowed its own parishioners to advocate such a heresy due to its inadequate supervision. At any rate, I give you fair warning that we shall visit your place one of these days."

No sooner had the two returned to the Residence than a priest from the Oyamato Shrine arrived by rickshaw. He pretended to be an inhabitant of the Shindachi district in Sahonosho Village. Feigning sudden illness, he asked them to consult Oyasama as to the intention of God. But they refused his request, telling him to worship at his pleasure and leave. The priest left it at that and went away.

But the next day, a party of five priests from the Isonokami Shrine came to the Residence and confronted Shuji with questions. But Shuji, who felt that no good would come from dealing with them, said that he did not know the answers to their questions. The priests persisted and pressed for definite answers. At last, their patience exhausted, they cried out derisively, "Is it possible that a village official like you could be so ignorant?" At this point, Chusaku Tsuji attempted to intercede, offering to accompany the priests to another room, where they could continue their discussion with the two men who had called at the Oyamato Shrine the day before. However, Oyasama stopped him and said She would talk to them in person. She changed Her clothes and met with them. She explained the providences of God the Parent in detail. "But," the priests asked, "if what you say were true, would not all our learning be false?" To this, Oyasama replied:

I wish to teach the world of things not to be found in learning, ancient things extending over nine hundred million and ninety-six thousand years.

The priests were dumbfounded and stood up to leave, saying, "We shall come back again."

Some time later, officers from the Tanbaichi Branch Police Station came to the Residence and confiscated the silk cuttings, the mirror, the bamboo screens, and the metal lanterns, as well as other things in the altar, and placed them in the custody of the village officials.

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External link to Japanese text of Chapter Six

第六章 ぢば定め