Life of Oyasama Chapter 9-3

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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 9-3 presents a portion of the contents of Chapter Nine from The Life of Oyasama as published by Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. The title of the chapter is "The Hardships of Oyasama." The “Notes” below are footnotes from the print edition.

The content below is equivalent to pages 182–187 and 217–218 of the print edition.

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

  1. Life of Oyasama Chapter 9-1 (January–September 1882)
  2. Life of Oyasama Chapter 9-2 (October–December 1882)
  3. Life of Oyasama Chapter 9-3 (January–June 1883)
  4. Life of Oyasama Chapter 9-4 (July–December 1883)
  5. Life of Oyasama Chapter 9-5 (1884)
  6. Life of Oyasama Chapter 9-6 (1885)
  7. Life of Oyasama Chapter 9-7 (January–April 1886)
  8. Life of Oyasama Chapter 9-8 (May–December 1886)



With the arrival of 1883, the police, increasing their oppressive measures still further, ordered that no one was to be allowed to assemble. In particular, the incidents that arose in March, June, and August of that year cannot be forgotten easily.

The knot of March 1883

On March 24, a police officer, on one of his rounds, came in suddenly. At the time, Chuzaburo Koda happened to be copying the Ofudesaki in the front room. Tokichi Izumita and several others were also there. The officer demanded, "Why are you here?"

The followers answered: "We are people who have received a blessing from God the Parent and have come here to give thanks. We were about to leave, having just been told that worship here is not allowed."

Then the officer asked Koda, "What are you doing?" Koda responded: "I am a friend of the family and have long heard that there were writings by the old woman here. Being a member of the Committee on Agricultural Affairs Information, I am copying these writings to see if there is any useful information I might report to my superiors." Chuzaburo had, in fact, presented such a proposal, dated March 15, to the Ministry of Finance.[1]

Then the police officer told him to call the head of the household. But Shinnosuke had gone to appear at the Nara District Court. When the officer was told of this, he said, "When he comes home, tell him to present himself at the police station and make sure he brings this book and a written account of what occurred here today." When Shinnosuke came home and was given the message, he was perplexed. He feared that if he took the Ofudesaki and it were impounded, that would be the last of it. He discussed this with Omasa and the others and came to the firm decision to guard the writings to the end. Deciding he would say that the book had been burned by Omasa and Osato, he presented himself at the station with only his written account.

Chief Makimura asked, "Did you bring the book Koda was copying?

Shinnosuke replied: "The officer who visited us said, 'Such things ought to be burned.' So my aunt, Omasa, and Osato Iburi, who were in charge of the house during my absence, burned it as instructed."

Officer Shimizu, sitting close by, stood up and said, "Chief, shall I go and search the house?"

Shinnosuke's blood ran cold. But the chief said, "That is not necessary." He continued, "What are the names of those who were at your house and where are they from?"

Shinnosuke answered: "I do not know. I was away at the time."

The chief said, "It is unjustifiable for you not to know who came to your house," and detained Shinnosuke overnight. Afterward, a report was taken from each, Shinnosuke, Omasa, and Osato.

Written Account
Yesterday, the 24th, at about 10:00 a.m., an officer of this station, while patrolling his beat, called at our house. There being worshipers present, we were ordered to submit a written account, so I offer this, the plain truth.
In compliance with your injunctions, we have been strict in refusing worshipers. In addition, we have posted signs of refusal at the entrances. Therefore, there is no one who comes to worship any longer.
On the 23rd of this month, I appeared at the Nara District Court. Having been absent from the house, I have no knowledge of whether or not there were worshipers. Upon my return home, I learned of the order to submit a written account.
According to the household members, Chuzaburo Koda of Higai Village, Shikijo County, Yamato Province, requested to see the writings derived from Tenrin-O-no-Mikoto. They allowed it. Of the five or six others, who were strangers, they know nothing of their names or where they were from. On being told by the patrolman to burn such writings concerning Tenrin-O-no-Mikoto, mentioned above, a member of the household and Sato, wife of Izo Iburi, immediately burned the writings the forementioned Chuzaburo had been reading.
I offer this as a written account of the plain truth.

March 25, 1883

Mishima Village, Yamabe County
Shinjiro Nakayama

Messrs. Tanbaichi Branch Police Station

The raising of the ridge-beam of the Resting House of Oyasama

In May of that year, 1883, the ridge-beam of the Resting House was raised in the midst of such severe oppressive measures.

The knot of June 1883

On June 1, which was April 26 by the lunar calendar, the police were requested by Shinnosuke to keep worshipers from entering. Three police officers arrived but the worshipers were too numerous to control. Two more officers, in plain clothes, arrived in the afternoon. Then, at about three o'clock, the five of them went to a restaurant called Uoiso in Furu Village. They returned a bit drunk and went directly to the altar. Then, on the pretext of having found a one sen copper coin[2] in an offering tray, mixed in among some rice-cake offerings, they called for Shinnosuke.

The situation is described by Shinnosuke in his records:

The officers said they found a one sen copper coin in the rice cakes proving that I had allowed worshipers to enter while they were making rounds elsewhere. (The number of worshipers had dwindled while the officers were away.) I responded, "After you left, there were so few worshipers that I stood guard at the gate myself and did not allow anyone inside." (In fact I allowed no one to enter.) The officers became angry and threw the rice cakes into the wall plaster and put the shrine and even the ancestral tablets into the hibachi and burned them. Further, to cover up their blunder, they made me write an account which they took back with them. Further, the written account was drafted by the officers. Of course, the draft was verbal.

Thus, Shinnosuke describes the situation briefly and simply, but the conditions of the times are vividly brought back.

Written Account
House # 5
Shinjiro Nakayama

I, the above-mentioned, on May 31, 1883, filed a petition stating that the following day, June 1, being the 26th day of April by the old calendar, is a Tenrin-O festival day; and that a great number of people from near and far provinces who have not heard of the new regulations will come to worship; and that I, as the head of the household, must bar the worshipers from entering but will have difficulty doing so alone. Therefore, yesterday, the 31st, I requested a detachment of officers be sent from this branch station so those foolish worshipers might be cautioned.
The officers arrived at nine o'clock this morning. Not only did they patrol outside where the worshipers gathered but also unguarded areas within the premises as well. I was holding a service for the spirits of our ancestors when they arrived. They cautioned me to stop and to put the articles away. But when they returned in the afternoon, they found that I had left the articles in the same place. Not having obeyed their precaution, the officers confiscated the ceremonial articles. I stand corrected, and, in order that I shall not protest their confiscation, I stood witness to their destruction by fire.
Moreover, if any such articles exist on the premises by our oversight and are found on routine inspection, I shall allow their immediate confiscation, and, further, I shall not protest such action. This written account stands in witness thereof.

June 1, 1883

Mishima Village, Yamabe County
Shinjiro Nakayama

Messrs. Tanbaichi Branch Police Station

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  1. See Appendix II, pp. 217–218.
  2. One sen (copper) is approximately $0.53 U.S. as of 1993.

Appendix II

A Personal Request
Since my youth, I have worked diligently in farmwork, producing crops of superior quality year after year. Further, I have experimented with seeds for a higher yield and have been dealing in them with others. The (Meiji) Restoration took place in the meantime. The new government held a competitive exhibition of cotton and sugar in Osaka which I attended as the appointed representative of the former third district. An agricultural commission was formed on that occasion and I was appointed to a seat on the commission. I was also appointed to a seat serve as a member of the communications committee. A second exhibition was held in Tokyo at which an agricultural affairs commission was formed. Again, I was appointed as a member. I was then sent to Niigata Prefecture as an instructor in farming methods. I completed my assigned duties after two years and returned home.
At that time, instances of marvelous salvation were being accomplished by the eighty-six-year-old mother of Mr. Nakayama of Mishima Village, Yamabe County. After investigating the phenomena, I was truly amazed. Tsukihi, God's self, appeared after waiting for the fixed time and saves people from all illness. However serious the illness, if people repent of their wrongs, accept the teachings of the Way of Heaven as the truth, do not break the codes of human conduct, follow the teachings as relayed by the intermediaries of God, and pray with a governed mind, they are healed.
At present, people from sixteen or seventeen provinces come to worship daily. The Osaka prefectural authorities have claimed without investigation that such a God as Tenrin-O-no-Mikoto does not exist and have barred people from coming to be saved. Nevertheless, people from distant provinces coming to worship increase daily. Such worship practices had been permitted in the feudal period by Mr. Yoshida of Kyoto. If people are barred from worship now, the anger of God will increase, bringing unforeseen punishment and suffering.
Upon research of the origin of this deity, I have found that Tsukihi appears as Tenrin-O-no-Mikoto and effects marvelous salvation. I believe this to be true. The words of the mysterious God are written in the Ofudesaki. When I read the Ofudesaki, I was convinced that it was not the work of a human being, for there are things in it that are impossible for a human being to know.
By the single-hearted salvation performance of the Service, the ill and the infirm are saved. Farmers will be saved first: charms for germination, charms for good harvest, charms to make the fertilizer effective, charms to ward off insects, and for matters not included in the foregoing, God will hear all prayers.
In the Ofudesaki of this God, the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate was foretold the previous year. The intermediaries knew of it. The coming of the foreigners was foretold in the same way. Everyone knew of it, but no one said anything for fear of the authorities.
At this time, as I am a member of the committee to communicate agricultural affairs, I think it is best that this means for the salvation of all people and the increase of the harvest be spread for the welfare of our future generations and for the good of the empire. I forward my opinions to you for these reasons, without any wish to be discourteous.
In support of the above, I include four articles herewith:
Part six and part ten of the Ofudesaki of God, which has seventeen parts.
The [Twelve Songs] of the Service
I have written the foregoing because I believe this God is the God to be revered.

March 15, 1883

Chuzaburo Koda
Higai Village, Shikige County
Yamato Province, Osaka Prefecture

To the Ministry of Finance

External link to Japanese text of Chapter Nine

第九章 御苦労