Ofudesaki 06:052

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Ofudesaki (English).jpg
Author: Miki Nakayama
Date Published: 1998
Pages: 486 (English ed.)

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Part 17
unnumbered set

Ofudesaki 06:052 is a verse from the Ofudesaki. The English translation below is the sixth edition translation.


Izanagi and Izanami are the prime instruments. Izanagi to Izanami to gaichi no Kami いざなぎと いざなみいとが 一の神
They are the basis of the Grand Shrine of Teshoko.* kore Teshoko no Daijingū nari これてしよこの 大じんくゝなり


*The Grand Shrine of Teshoko is a Shinto shrine located in Ise Province, and is dedicated to the Sun goddess Amaterasu, the daughter of Izanagi and Izanami, according to the traditional Japanese mythology.

Alternate English translations

Third Edition

Izanagi and Izanami are the names of the prime providence in the creation. In relation to this providence, the supreme god of this country is enshrined and respected in the Teishōkō-no-Daijingu.


Izanagi and Izanami are significant deities of the Grand Shrine of Tenshoko who are also under My Providence.


Ofudesaki chushaku

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

6:52 Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto are the primary instruments of human creation. Amaterasu Omikami, who were born from this divine pairing, is enshrined in the Grand Shrine of Tenshoko.

*Note: Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto are paternal and maternal deities, respectively. Their daughter, Amaterasu-Omikami, is enshrined in the Grand Shrine of Tenshoko (Ise).

『おふでさき註釈』、p. 100



Yoshitaro Ueda (2009)

From Michi no dai: Foundation of the Path 35:77–8

This verse could be highly problematic. My father discusses this verse at considerable length in his Ofudesaki kogi (Lectures on the Ofudesaki). This reflects how intensely vivid his memories of the authorities’ suppression of Tenrikyo remained. Verse 52 is extremely difficult to interpret. The phrase “Grand Shrine of Teshoko” is a translation of “Teshoko no Daijingu,” to which it is customary to apply this set of Chinese characters, “天照皇大神宮” (which is read “tenshoko daijingu”), which may literally translate as “grand shrine of the deity who illuminates the heavens.” Apparently, this refers to the Inner Shrine of Ise. Ofudesaki chushaku interprets this verse as follows: “Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto are the prime deities involved in the creation of human beings, and the sun goddess Amaterasu, who was born of these two deities, is enshrined in the Tenshoko Grand Shrine.” Ofudesaki chushaku goes on to add the following note: “Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto [referring to the ones spoken of in Tenrikyo since these are written in the hiragana syllabary, いざなぎのみこと and いざなみのみこと] are...related to the paternal and maternal principles, respectively. In this country, these principles correspond to Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto [referring to the traditional deities as these are written in Chinese characters, 伊弉諾尊 and 伊弉冊尊]. The deity born of these two is enshrined in the Tenshoko Grand Shrine.”

During World War II, my father was interrogated at the Ministry of Education, which supervise religious matters. The last question that was put to him was “Which deity is superior, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto or the goddess Amaterasu.” It was an extremely tricky question. Apparently, when Christians were asked whether Christ or the Emperor was superior, those who answered that Christ was superior were severely persecuted. In his Ofudesaki kogi, my father says that he managed to get around the problem by giving an explanation of the difference between the two to the effect: “Tenri-O-no-Mikoto is a religious God whereas Amaterasu, who is the ancestor of the imperial family, is a historical god.”

My interpretation is not entirely different from my father’s. The sentence “Izanagi and Izanami are the prime instruments” refers to the Japanese mythological deities Izanagi and Izanami, who are the father and mother of Amaterasu. They are, in that sense, seen as the prime deities. In Japanese mythology, they are the paternal and maternal deities. However, Izanagi and Izanami included in the Tenrikyo teachings refer to instruments. An earlier verse says, “The true and real God...is Tsukihi,” and tells us that all the sacred names except those referring to God the Parent are nothing more than names given to the instruments that God drew together and used. Izanagi and Izanami written in the hiragana syllabary are sacred names given to the model of man and the model of woman. In Japanese mythology, on the other hand, Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto are the prime deities who are the paternal and maternal deities who gave birth to the goddess Amaterasu. Thus, Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto in Japanese mythology are totally different from Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto that are spoken of in Tenrikyo.

According to the teachings of the path, God entered Izanagi-no-Mikoto as Tsuki-sama (the Moon) and Izanami-no-Mikoto as Hi-sama (the Sun), who conceived and gave birth to nine hundred million, ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine children, who were only half an inch (five bu) tall. In this respect, as well, there is a huge difference since the mythological deities Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto gave birth to the goddess Amaterasu, who is enshrined in the Tenshoko Grand Shrine (i.e., the Inner Shrine of Ise). Some people may feel that this verse is confusing, but I rather think that it is actually making the difference quite clear. So my interpretation is that this verse is bringing out the contrast. I have given considerable thought to this theme, and this is my present understanding, which I thought I might share for your reference.

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