Ofudesaki 01:001-8

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14
Part 15
Part 16
Part 17
unnumbered set

Ofudesaki 01:001–8 is the opening set of verses from the Ofudesaki. The Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo are based on them. The English translation below is the sixth edition translation.


Looking all over the world and through all ages, yorozu yo no sekai ichiretsu miharasedo よろづよの せかい一れつ みはらせど
I find no one who has understood My heart mune no wakarita mono wa nai kara むねのハかりた ものハないから
So should it be, for I have never taught it to you. sono hazu ya toite kikashita koto wa nai そのはづや といてきかした 事ハない
It is natural that you know nothing. nanimo shiran ga muri de naizo ya なにもしらんが むりでないそや
At this time, I, God, reveal Myself kono tabi wa Kami ga omote i (e) arawarete このたびハ 神がおもてい あらハれて
and teach the truth of all things in detail. nanika isai o toite kisasuru なにかいさいを といてきかする
You are calling this place the Jiba, the Residence of God, in Yamato, kono tokoro Yamato no Jiba no Kamigata to このところ やまとのしバの かみがたと
but you may not know the origin. yūte ire domo Moto wa shiromai ゆうていれども 元ハしろまい
When you learn of this origin in full, kono Moto o kuwashiku kiita koto naraba このもとを くハしくきいた 事ならバ
a great yearning will come over you, whoever you may be. ikana mono demo mina koishiku naru いかなものでも みなこいしなる
If you wish to know and will come to Me, kikitakuba tazune kuru nara yute kikaso きゝたくバ たつねくるなら ゆてきかそ
I shall teach you the original cause of all things. yorozu isai no Moto no Innen よろづよいさいの もとのいんねん
As God is revealed and teaches the truth of all things in detail, Kami ga dete nanika isai o toku naraba かみがでて なにかいさいを とくならバ
the minds of all in the world will become spirited. sekai ichiretsu kokoro isamuru せかい一れつ 心いさむる
As I am in haste to save all of you quickly, ichiretsu ni hayaku tasuke o isogu kara いちれつにはやく たすけをいそぐから
I set out to make all minds in the world spirited. sekai no kokoro isame kakarite せかいの心 いさめかゝりて

Alternate English translations

Third Edition

Looking all over the world and through all ages, I find no one who has understood My heart.

No wonder that you know nothing, for so far I have taught nothing to you.

This time, I, God*, revealing Myself to the fore, teach you all the truth in detail.

You are calling this place the Residence of God at the Jiba* in Yamato; but perhaps you do not know the origin.

If you are told of this origin in full, great yearning will come over you, whoever you may be.

Therefore, if you wish to hear and will come to Me, I will tell you the original Preordination of everything in detail.

When I, God, reveal Myself and teach you everything in detail, all people of the world will become equally cheerful.

As I hasten to save all of you equally, I will set out to cheer up the minds of the world.


I have looked all over the world throughout all ages, but I have found no one who has understood My heart.

So should it be, for I have not explained it. It is understandable that you should know nothing.

At this time I, God, reveal Myself to the world, and now begin to expound the details of all things.

This Residence is called the Jiba, the home of God in Yamato, but you do not know about its origin.

If you are told about this origin in detail, whoever you may be, a great yearning will overcome you.

If you wish to listen, come and inquire of Me, I shall explain the details of the original cause of all things.

When I, God, go forth and explain the details of all things, all hearts throughout the world will become inspired.

Since I promptly hasten to save all of you equally, I shall now begin to inspire the hearts of the world.

Trial Translation (Yoshida)

Looking all over the World and through all ages, I, God the Parent, find none who can understand Me.

It is no wonder that you do not know Me, for you have not been taught yet.

Now I will reveal Myself and tell you all the truth.

You call this place the Kamigata (The Holy Abode) of Jiba (The native place of all the human beings) but you do not know why.

When you know the reason why, you will all long for this place.

If you want to know the reason why, come and I will teach you all about it.

When I reveal Myself and tell you all the truth, you will all become bright and cheerful.

As you are all in need of salvation, you shall first become bright and cheerful.


Sixth edition notes

1:1 Since the Ofudesaki is a divine revelation, the speaker “I,” is always God.

God is also referred to as “Tsukihi,” literally Moon-Sun, and “the Parent.”

1:3 “This time,” in this verse, refers to 10/26/1838 (all dates mentioned in the sixth edition notes are by the lunar calendar unless indicated otherwise), the day on which Oyasama was settled as the Shrine of God.

1:4 The “Jiba” is the place where human beings were first conceived. The location of the Jiba is marked by a pillar called the Kanrodai [the Stand for the Heavenly Dew].

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

1:1 While an uncountable billions of people have been born and lived during the long years since (I,) Oyagami created this realm of existence, at every age (I) watched over this wide world, there was never a single person who understood (My) heart.

1:2 This not at all unreasonable or could be helped, for until now (I) did not share with you the true teachings. Though (I) occasionally taught (various teachings) through saints and sages, these were all but timely manifestations of My divine will to suit each day and age and was not anything final. But this cannot be helped, for the Promised Time had not arrived.

1:3 However, since the Promised Time has arrived, I, Oyagami, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, have appeared in this world and will teach My intent in full detail.

*Note: The phrase “At this time” (Kono tabi) refers to 10/26/1838, the arrival of the Promised Time when this teaching began when Oyasama was settled as Shrine.
The phrase “I, God reveal Myself” (Kami ga omote i arawarete) means that Oyagami will speak the divine intention to the people of the world through Oyasama as Shrine, that is, Oyagami shall speak through Her mouth/lips.

1:4 This place, the province of Yamato is called “Jiba no Kamigata” (literally, the place of God’s Residence), but no one knows the origin of why it has come to be called so.

*Note: Jiba (literally, place, land, spot, or locale) is the place where Oyagami first conceived human beings. That is, it refers to the original home of human beings.
Unusual Japanese expression—Kamigata (“the Residence of God”) is an expression created from the combination of Kami (God) and yakata (residence or house).

1:5 If everyone learned in detail of the original reason this Jiba in Yamato is called the Residence of God, no matter who they may be, they will begin to yearn for Jiba, their original home.

1:6 If you ever wish to hear this fundamental reason, it would be good for you to come and inquire of it. (If you do,) I shall teach you in detail of the providence of everything, beginning with how this world is set up and sustained (naritachi).

1:7 I, God of Origin and God in Truth, have appeared in this world. Once I explain in detail about My providence that created human beings and the world together with the path of single-hearted salvation, the minds of everyone in the world will become cheerful and radiant due to the true teachings.

1:8 Because I, Oyagami, wish to save all of you as quickly as possible and without discrimination, I shall make the minds of the world spirited to have everyone perceive (the thoughts) contained in My heart.

*Note: The above eight verses are practically identical to the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo. The major difference between them being that the Ofudesaki verses are a in the style of waka poetry and have a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable count where the verses in the Mikagura-uta follows a 5-7-5-7-5 syllable count.
『おふでさき註釈』、pp. 3–5




註 このたびとは、天保九年十月二十六日、旬刻限が到来して、教祖様をやしろとして、この教をお始め下さった時という。


註 しバは、ぢばで、親神様が人間を最初に宿し込まれた所、即ち、我々人間の元の親里を指す。






Commentary by Yoshitaro Ueda (2008)

From Michi no dai: Foundation of the Path 32:30–4 (Delivered on January 28, 2008 at Seminar for Chairwomen of Directly Supervised Chapters and Diocese Chapters)

[Part 1] begins with a series of verses that seems to explain the reason why the Teaching was founded. These verses formed the basis for the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo.

It was in 1870 that Oyasama taught the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo, whereas Part 1 of the Ofudesaki was written in early 1869, as indicated by the cover of this part, where we find an inscription reading, “From the 1st month in the 2nd year of Meiji, the year of the Serpent.” When working on the Yorozuyo, Oyasama made alterations to the wording at the end of each verse because of the melody and hand movements involved. The alteration of the wording resulted in slight differences in nuance. It is also worth noting that, when we study the Yorozuyo, the meaning can become clear if we base our interpretation on these Ofudesaki verses.

Yoshitaro, 1:1

The phrase “through all ages” refers to the time axis from the beginnings of origin to the present. The standard interpretation is that, even by looking “all over the world,” God finds no one who has understood God’s intention.

Here, the word “understood” is a translation of the Japanese verb “wakaru,” whose interpretation is an issue throughout the Ofudesaki. When I served at the Translation Section of the Overseas Department, I was involved in revising the English translation of the Ofudesaki, and translating this verb required painstaking work. The verb is usually used in the sense of “understand.” Yet, when it occurs in conjunction with the word “mune” or “heart,” it gives rise to the question “Whose heart are we talking about?”—a question that needs to be dealt with if we are to produce a translation. If the meaning of a passage is—as in verse 1 here—that no one understands God’s intention, then the word “heart” refers to God’s heart. However, in places like verse 6:15—“Day by day, your innermost heart will be purified and understanding will come”—the word “heart” can be understood to mean the heart of a human being. Translation involves difficult issues such as this.

At any rate, the verb “wakaru” comes from the same root as “wakeru,” whose meanings include “separate” and “distinguish.” For example, if you put muddy water in a glass and leave it for a while, the mud will settle on the bottom, leaving clear water above. Apparently, this is the physical phenomenon that is behind the words “wakaru” and “wakeru.” In other words, “wakaru” and “wakeru” refer to the way a chaotic condition becomes one in which things are clearly distinguishable. The idea of “purification” (“sumu”) is closely related to “wakaru” and “wakeru.” The purification of the innermost heart is an extremely important theme in the Ofudesaki, as well as in the Mikagura-uta. The human mind is likened to water, and the uses of the mind that make the water muddy are likened to mud and dust, as in the phrase “Greed is fathomless like muddy water.” The muddy water, which is a chaotic condition, can become purified when mud and water are separated or distinguished. The metaphor that refers to the mind as water and greed as mud goes into the heart of the matter. What it teaches is profoundly important. This is a recurring metaphor in the Ofudesaki, so I took this opportunity to explain it.

To get back to the “heart,” the question is whether the word refers to God’s heart or a human being’s heart. If we understand it to mean a human heart, the meaning of “wakaru” is purification. If we take “heart” to refer to God the Parent’s heart, the meaning is to “understand God the Parent’s heart.” Moreover, these two meanings are not two separate things. They are not separate because only when our mind becomes purified can we understand the intention of the Parent. The words “sumu,” “wakaru,” and “wakeru” occur repeatedly through the Ofudesaki, so I think that it might be useful to keep in mind what I have just talked about.

Yoshitaro, 1:2

This verse expresses regret, saying, “No one has understood My heart because I have never explained it.” It tells us that our lack of knowledge is only to be expected.

Yoshitaro, 1:3

The phrase “At this time” refers to the founding of the Teaching. This verse is talking about God becoming openly revealed by taking Oyasama as the Shrine to explain all things in detail.

Yoshitaro, 1:4

The phrase “this place” refers to Jiba in Yamato Province, and “the Residence of God” is the place where God is. Thus, the verse is telling us, “Although you are saying that this place is Jiba in Yamato and is the place where God is, perhaps you do not the origin.”

The Ofudesaki began to be written in 1869. However, in the Twelve Songs, which had been taught in 1867, we find expressions such as “This is the Jiba, the origin of this world. / Indeed a remarkable place has been revealed”; and “The Jiba, the abode of God, is to be identified.” Historically, the identification of Jiba took place in 1875 and was still a long time off. Yet the Mikagura-uta already used the term “Jiba” in 1867. The Service dance was being practiced thereafter, so we may assume that the followers knew the term “Jiba” and were singing the songs for the Service, which contain the term. And yet, says the verse in question, they are unlikely to know the ultimate origin of it.

Yoshitaro, 1:5

The verse says that a great yearning will come over us, whoever we are, if we awaken to the ultimate origin—which God says we are yet unlikely to be aware of—and understand that this place is the home of all human beings, being the place where God created humankind for the purpose of the Joyous Life by having the original models of husband and wife work in unity of mind.

Yoshitaro, 1:6

This verse tells us that if we come to Oyasama wishing to hear about the origin, all things will be explained in detail based on the original cause.

In the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo, the corresponding verse ends with the phrase “the truth that this place is the origin of any and everything.” Yet the Ofudesaki says “the original cause of all things.” Thus, the Ofudesaki provides more detail than the Mikagura-uta. Rather than using the phrase “the origin,” this Ofudesaki verse speaks of “the original cause.” The word “cause” here is a translation of the Japanese term “innen.” Since this term—which is also translated as “causality” and “causation”—occurs a number of times in the Ofudesaki, let me take this opportunity to say a little about it. This term can be written by using two Chinese characters that mean “direct cause” and “condition or indirect cause.” Related terms include “cause and effect” and “cause, condition, and effect.” Thus, the idea expressed is that a direct cause will lead an effect when a condition or an indirect cause is at work.

Yoshitaro, 1:7

The verse says that when God the Parent becomes openly revealed in the world and teaches the truth of all things in detail, the minds of all people in the world will become spirited.

Yoshitaro, 1:8

The dance movement that corresponds to the word “ichiretsuni,” which is translated as “all of you,” involves the full tern of the body. Generally, this movement is performed when a word that conveys the idea of a vast expanse appears; however, when this movement accompanies the word “ichiretsuni,” it expresses not only the meaning “all” but also “equal.” Thus, the verse conveys the meaning that God is working to quickly save all people in the world equally. The fact that this verse contains both “in haste” and “quickly” suggests a sense of great urgency. To accomplish this salvation, God will “set out to make all minds in the world spirited.” The verse says that God will make the minds of all people in the world spirited. The Japanese verb “isamu”—the base form of “isame,” which is here translated as “make (all minds…) spirited”—can be used as a transitive or an intransitive verb. In the verse under discussion, however, it is a transitive verb whose conjugation patter, according to the dictionary, is the “the two-tier conjugation (in classical literary Japanese) of an e-stem verb.” It is conjugated as follows: “isamezu, isametari, isamu, isamuru, isamureba.” The meaning of the verb is “give courage” or “give encouragement.” In Tenrikyo terminology, we would say “make (someone) spirited.” Thus, this verse is saying that God is setting out to make all people in the world spirited.

In the Mikagura-uta, the corresponding verse says, “Sekai no kokoro mo isame kake” (“I will set out to cheer up all the minds of the world”). The original seems a little hard to understand. Indeed, some people interpret “isame kake” to be imperative and to mean, “Be spirited!” However, if it were so, the verb would be “isami kake.” If we look again at the Ofudesaki, the verse in question says “isame kakarite,” which confirms that the meaning conveyed is “set out to make (all minds) spirited.” Thus, the verse is saying that because of a pressing desire to save all people in the world impartially, God is setting out to make their minds spirited.

Summary, verses 1:5–8

In summary, verses 5 to 8 say, in effect: “A great yearning will come over all who become aware of the original cause of all things, and their minds will be spirited. In order to save all human beings throughout the world, I shall teach the origin and make all people spirited.” The Ofudesaki at its outset is telling us something extremely important. It is saying that this is a teaching that saves people by teaching the origin. Indeed, Instruction Two says, “[S]aving people through teaching the origin is the essence of salvation on this path.” The Instruction quotes the following verse: “Now that I shall work salvation unknown until now, it is necessary to make the origin known” (Ofudesaki 09:029). The aforementioned spiritedness is closely connected to the Service—which is a theme that will be developed in the verses we will look at shortly.

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