Ten aspects of God's providence
|Ten aspects of God’s providence|
The ten aspects of God's providence (also referred to as the ten aspects of the complete providence) is either a gloss of:
- “tohashira no kami” 十柱の神 (literally, “ten gods”). This phrase appears once in the Osashizu.
- “juzen no shugo” 十全の守護 (full providence/protection)
- 1 Relationship with the Kagura Service
- 2 Elements of the ten aspects
- 3 See also
- 4 External Links
- 5 References
Relationship with the Kagura Service
Each of the ten aspects is represented by a dancer wearing a mask in the Kagura Service. The Kagura Service itself is considered a re-enactment of creation in which the workings of God the Parent that were responsible for creating the world and human beings are manifested for the cause of world salvation.
Elements of the ten aspects
The ten aspects each have the following elements:
- a sacred name
- a gender
- a specific aspect of God’s protection in the human body
- a specific aspect of God’s protection in the world at large
- a symbolic form in the muddy ocean according to the Story of Creation
- a symbolic form in the heavens (i.e., a celestial object or group of celestial objects)
- a symbolic direction
- ura-shugo or “indirect explanation of the divine providence”
- a dust
Chart of ten aspects and elements
|Sacred name||Gender||Working in the human body||Working in the world||Form in the muddy ocean||Form in the heavens||Direction||Dust|
|Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto||male||eyes and fluids||water||great dragon||Moon||north||covetousness|
|Omotari-no-Mikoto||female||body warmth||fire||great serpent||Sun||south||miserliness|
|Kunisazuchi-no-Mikoto||female||female organ, skin and joining||joining in general||turtle||Gensuke-boshi (Canopus)||southeast||grudge-bearing|
|Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto||male||male organ, bones and support||support in general||orca||Hagunsei (Alkaid)||northwest||anger|
|Kumoyomi-no-Mikoto||female||eating, drinking, and elimination||rise and fall of moisture||eel||morning star (Venus)||east||self-love|
|Kashikone-no-Mikoto||male||breathing and speaking||wind (air)||flatfish||celestial objects in the southwest||southwest||hatred|
|Taishokuten-no-Mikoto||female||cutting ties of child to mother at birth, cutting breath for rebirth||cutting in general||globe-fish||celestial objects in the northeast||northeast||greed|
|Otonobe-no-Mikoto||male||pulling child from mother during birth||pulling forth in general||black snake||evening star (Venus)||west||arrogance|
|Izanagi-no-Mikoto||male||the seed||model of man||fish (uo/gigyo)||Kengyu-boshi (Altair)||center-south|
|Izanami-no-Mikoto||female||the seedplot||model of woman||serpent||Orihime (Vega)||center-north|
Whereas Tenrikyo texts today are quick to point out that the ten aspects “are not meant to suggest that ten gods exist”, there is evidence that at least some early followers did consider them as ten separate deities.
According to the Ofudesaki, “the true and real God of this universe is Tsukihi (Moon-Sun). The others are all instruments” (6:50). This verse is often interpreted to mean that Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto (Moon) and Omotari-no-Mikoto (Sun) symbolize the primary aspects of God whereas the other eight sacred names merely constitute God’s “instruments” (dogu).
Sacred names in kanji
Presently, it is a convention in Tenrikyo literature to write the ten sacred names in hiragana to more or less conform to the way they were written in the Ofudesaki. However, there was once a time when Tenrikyo was forced to slightly alter four of the sacred names and replace two of them altogether as well as to render all sacred names in kanji so they would conform to the Nihon Shoki. Such an altered list is included in the Meiji kyoten.
|Sacred name in Kana||Altered sacred name in the Meiji kyoten||Romanized Meiji kyoten sacred name|
|月よみのみこと||月夜見尊||Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto (no change in reading)|
|かしこねのみこと||惶根尊||Kashikone-no-Mikoto (no change in reading)|
|いざなぎのみこと||伊弉諾尊||Izanagi-no-Mikoto (no change in reading)|
|いざなみのみこと||伊弉冊尊||Izanami-no-Mikoto (no change in reading)|
Forms in the muddy ocean
Although less widely known, Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto and Omotari-no-Mikoto also have forms in the muddy ocean according to some narratives of the Divine Record (Story of Creation). According to a narrative of the Divine Record written by Isaburo Masui, in the muddy ocean Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto came in the form of a giant dragon (tairyu) with a single head and a single tail whereas Omotari-no-Mikoto came in the form of a 12-headed serpent (taija) with three tails with a sword on each tail.
Forms in the heavens
Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto is often associated with the Moon and Omotari-no-Mikoto with the Sun. Lesser known are the celestial objects associated with the other eight sacred names often referred to as God’s mere “instruments.”
Some of the directions associated with the ten aspects appear in Chapter Three of The Doctrine of Tenrikyo. Others are noted in various diagrams of the Kagura Service such as the one on the right.
Ura-shugo or “indirect explanation of the divine providence” may be described as a version of inverted honji-suijaku. To explain, the ten aspects are identified with deities and other objects of devotion from Buddhism, Shinto, and folk belief. 
It is unknown when the term “ura-shugo” came into use, but most of the narratives of the Divine Record (Story of Creation) include these associations of the ten aspects with other religious deities and other objects of devotion. It is assumed that by the term “ura” (“backside”), these deities and objects of devotion functioned as God’s way of protecting people before the revelation of 1838 that is said to have marked God’s foray “into the open” (“omote”).
According to Choshiro Mori, the first eight of the ten aspects are associated with one of the eight forms of dust. It is unknown where these associations are ultimately from. Yet it is claimed that an affliction or an illness of a particular part of the body overseen by a certain aspect reflects accumulation of a certain dust. For example, an affliction of the eyes is said to represent over-accumulation of the dust of covetousness.
Associations with people at the Residence
Although it is often claimed that Oyasama’s soul is that of Izanami-no-Mikoto at creation, seven of God’s other “instruments” are also associated with people who were associated with the Residence. Ryojiro Yamazawa’s poetic version of the Divine Record does not mention these individual by name but gives their age in 1881 from which their identities can be deduced.
|Sacred name||Age according to Divine Record by Yamazawa (1881)||Individual|
|Izanami||84||Oyasama (Miki Nakayama)|
|Kunisazuchi||To be reborn in 30 years||“Tamahime”|
It is unknown why certain individuals were associated with these seven aspects. It could be that followers may have believed that these individuals were actually the instruments God used at creation reborn in the place and time Oyasama physically lived. It is also possible that the roles and characteristics of these individuals were deemed symbolic representations of the aspect of God’s protection they were associated with.
- Truth of Origin
- Kagura Service
- The Doctrine of Tenrikyo: “Chapter Four — Tenri-O-no-Mikoto” (pp. 29–34)
- Entry “Ten aspects of the complete providence” from Words of the Path: A Guide to Tenrikyo Terms and Expressions], (Online equivalent of pp. 5–6.)
- Excerpt “The Ten Aspects of the Complete Providence” from Yoboku's Guide to Tenrikyo (Online equivalent of pp. 52–55.)
- Tenrikyo International Website: “Providence”
- Hashira happens to be a counter for deities. See Wiktionary entry for 柱
- おさしづ索引 Osashizu sakuin, p. 1725 (vol. 2, p. 855). The phrase appears in Osashizu 1898-08-26 night Timely Talk.
- The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, p. 14.
- 毛利長四郎 Mori, Choshiro. 『十柱の神名守護の理』 Tohashira no Kami-nam shugo no ri, Appendix p. 4.
- A Glossary of Tenrikyo Terms, p. 421.
- Refer to Ryojiro Yamazawa’s version of the Divine Record (Story of Creation) as well as his written statement to police included in the appendix of Chapter Seven of The Life of Oyasama (pp. 118–120).
- 中山正善 Nakayama Shozen. 『こふきの研究』 Koki no kenkyu, pp. 116–117.
- 『こうきと裏守護』 by 石崎正雄 remains the only known publication that dedicated entirely to this phenomenon.
- The remainder of this section is loosely based on information from A Glossary of Tenrikyo Terms, pp. 163–5.
- Tohashira no Kami-nam shugo no ri, pp. 23–66.
- Truth of Origin: Ten Aspects of Divine Providence (diagram) by Rev. Nobunao Hamada
- Fukaya, Tadamasa. A Doctrinal Study: The Truth of Origin, p. 3.
- See note for verses 11:69–72 in 『おふでさき注釈』 Ofudesaki chushaku, p. 175.