|On the eleventh, the nine will be gone and hardship forgotten.||jūichi ni ku ga nakunarite shin wasure||十一に 九がなくなりて しんわすれ|
|I await the twenty-sixth of the first month.||Shōgatsu nijūrokunichi o matsu||正月廿 六日をまつ|
|By that time, the core will be settled and greed forgotten.||kono aida shin mo tsu kiku taruyoku wasure||このあいだ しんもつきくる よくハすれ|
|Let all performers assemble and prepare for the Serivce.||ninjū sorōtetsutome koshirae||にんぢうそろふて つとめこしらゑ|
Alternate English translations
The nine shall be gone at eleven, then you shall forget hardships. And I will look forward to the twenty-sixth day of the first month.
In the meantime the center shall be established. And everyone forgetting avarice shall prepare to perform the Service in full numbers.
In her 11th year and in My ninth decade your central concerns will cease. I await January 26th.
In the meantime, the pillar will be installed. Celebrants, avoid avarice and prepare to perform the Service together.
Sixth edition note
The meaning of this verse, however, was not understood until this was mentioned in the Osashizu delivered on March 10 (by the Gregorian calendar), 1889: “Sah, sah, see the truth that I began after I had written with the writing brush concerning the 26th of January. Sah, sah, if you listen and try to understand the truth, reflecting on both the truth that I opened the portals of the Shrine on January 26 to level the world and the instances of things being taken away, then, sah, sah, you will be able to see the truth with clarity.”
| This section contains translated material that has not yet been subjected to peer-review to check for accuracy and clarity. While the translator(s) have given their best effort to render Japanese text into English, we would like readers to keep in mind that the present translation may require further revising and refining. Any input to improve the present translation is greatly welcomed.|
Translator(s): Roy Forbes
3:73, 74 *Note: This verse is a preordination of Oyasama withdrawing from physical life. Because the oppression from society directed toward Oyasama was gradually increased in severity and this would result in delaying the growth of the path, She took it upon Herself to shorten Her physical life by 25 years decrease persecution from the world to spread the path. Thus She instructed to everyone to purify their minds, settle the Shinbashira, construct the Kanrodai, and quickly make preparations that will allow the Service to be completed and the performers to assemble before this date arrived. However, the people at the time did not understand this message and it was not until much later when they were first able to realize this deep intention on the part of Oyagami:
『おふでさき註釈』、pp. 41 2
Commentary by Yoshitaro Ueda (2008)
From Michi no Dai: Foundation of the Path 33:45–7
These verses are extremely important although rather difficult to interpret. One thing that is clear is that the phrase “the eleventh, the nine” indicates the 20th year of the Meiji Era, i.e., the year 1887. One of the various theories that have been put forth is that “nine” refers to Oyasama’s age and “eleventh” the age of Tamae, the daughter of Oyasama’s son, Shuji, and Matsue. Yet it seems to me that “eleventh” and “nine” most strongly indicate the 20th year of the Meiji Era; adding eleven and nine makes twenty. Verse 73 is saying that God is awaiting the lunar calendar date of January 26, 1887, the calendar that is consistently used in the Ofudesaki verses being the lunar calendar.
Some have suggested that the “nine,” which in the original is read “ku,” refers not only to the number “nine” but also to “suffering,” which in Japanese is a homophone of “ku.” The choice of the word “hardship” in verse 73—which is a translation of the Japanese word “shin”—is based on a relatively widely accepted interpretation. Yet mysterious verses such as these are difficult to interpret. Indeed, Ofudesaki chushaku says that even in 1874, when verses 73–74 were written, the followers could not understand them. The meaning of these verses only dawned on them when an 1889 Divine Direction said: “Sah, sah, see the truth that I began after I had written with the writing brush concerning the 26th of January” (Osashizu, March 10, 1889). Thus the Divine Direction told the followers that God had already made a reference to January 26 in the Ofudesaki, The Tip of the Writing Brush.
In the phrase “By that time, the core will be settled,” the word “core” refers to the Kanrodai and the Shinbashira, and Ofudesaki chushaku interprets the phrase as meaning that by the lunar calendar date of January 26, 1887, the Shinbashira will be decided and the Kanrodai set up. In fact, however, the construction of the stone Kanrodai only made progress to the second section, and the two completed sections were confiscated in 1882. At any rate, in 1874, even Jiba, where the Kanrodai is to be set up, was not yet identified. The verse seems to be saying that God will identify Jiba, undertake the construction of the Kanrodai, and welcome the Shinbashira into the Residence. The phrase “greed forgotten” means that, in order for these to occur, people need to grow spiritually by purifying their minds.
Verse 74 goes on to say, “Let all performers assemble and prepare for the Service.” Thus, the meaning of verses 73 and 74 is that God is awaiting the lunar calendar date of January 26, 1887, and that, by that time, Jiba will be identified, the construction of the Kanrodai started, and the Shinbashira welcomed into the Residence. Therefore, God urges that greed be let go of to allow for spiritual growth and that preparations for the Service be made, with the Service performers assembled.
Ofudesaki chushaku takes these verses as a prophecy that Oyasama will withdraw from physical life on the lunar calendar date of January 26, 1887, yet I find this interpretation not to be very convincing. Rather, I think that the verses set out the timeframe by which the eventual completion of the Service will become a certainty. The completion of the Service, which is the fundamental means of the path of single-hearted salvation, is the primary focus of the Ofudesaki. We may also say that Oyasama’s Divine Model is a journey She took in order to complete the Service. From this perspective, I believe that it is better to interpret the two verses under discussion as indicating the timeframe by which the completion of the Service was to become a certainty.
It would have been better, of course, had the Service been completed on the lunar calendar date of January 26, 1887. Yet the actual situation had not progressed to that point. Nevertheless, before withdrawing from physical life, Oyasama had assured Herself that sufficient progress had been made to ensure the eventual completion of the Service. It was, in fact, for this reason that Oyasama so strongly urged the performance of the Service in the lead-up to the fateful day. Thus, if the Service had not been implemented, Oyasama might not have been able to withdraw from physical life. She only withdrew because She could satisfy Herself that one day the Service would certainly be completed.
However, some people might say that just because the future completion of the Service became a certainty, Oyasama need not have withdrawn from physical life. Yet, endowed as She was with a human body, She could not have physically remained in this world beyond a certain point. The longest that She could have stayed here would have been 115 years; sooner or later the day was bound to come when She would begin to work as the everliving Oyasama. All things considered, I think that the lunar calendar date of January 26, 1887, was indeed the time when, after making all the arrangements for the path of single-hearted salvation, She was able to satisfy Herself that the completion of the Service had become a certainty.
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