The Doctrine of Tenrikyo
History of the text
There is an antecedent text also called the Tenrikyo kyoten that was created in 1903 during the so-called drive toward sectarian independence, during which Tenrikyo petitioned several times to remove itself from the direct administration of the Shinto Honkyoku. This older text is often referred as the Meiji kyoten or Meiji Doctrine to differentiate it from the current or 1949 edition.
After the end of World War II, Shozen Nakayama announced the start of the effort known as the “Restoration” in which Tenrikyo Church Headquarters sought to restore Tenrikyo teachings and practices that had been altered to appease the Japanese government. The compilation of The Doctrine of Tenrikyo signaled a major step in this effort.
The Doctrine of Tenrikyo went through a revision in 1984 in which passages in Chapter Seven were rewritten.
Rev. Yoshinaru Ueda, the then Director of Tenrikyo Department of Doctrine and Historical Materials had the following to say regarding the revision:
- "Recently, a revision authorized by the Shinbashira was made in the Kyoten. Indeed this is the first revision of the Kyoten since its publication on October 26, 1949, as the “Restored Edition” 35 years ago. The changes are mainly in the latter third of Chapter Seven, the section concerning innen. From its inception, the Kyoten was designed to present the teachings contained in the Three Scriptures in a readily understandable way and to convey the spirit and the presence of Oyasama as vividly as possible. The revisions have brought the Kyoten closer to the Scriptures and to the spirit of Oyasama. It has become brighter.
- "The revisions begin with the innen of origin—that God the Parent created mankind in order to see their joyous lives. Because mankind was allowed to use the mind as the truth of self, they created 'good innen' as well as 'bad innen.' However, as long as mankind follows the Divine Model of Oyasama with adoration and keeps the mind of saving others, the innen of origin—the destiny of the Joyous Life—will be restored completely. This ends the revisions of this section and the Kyoten has become brighter because of them.
- "In addition, words referring to the handicapped have been changed to those reflecting sympathy and compassion. This change also is a point over which to be joyous.
- "The original intent of the doctrines (of Tenrikyo) was to provide brightness for human life. It is probable, however, that there have been some people who have been frightened by the mention of the word innen. While the strictness in the divine will must not be forgotten, followers of the Path have gained spiritual growth in accord with the truth of the seasonable times in these last 20 or 30 years and, now, the time has arrived to advance the construction of our minds on the keynote of bright joy. Indeed, the time has come for us to convey to others Oyasama’s teachings, which are full of brightness and hope, in a bright and positive way.
- "How wonderful it is that this has occurred at the time that the Centennial Anniversary of Oyasama is in sight! How joyous Oyasama must be! Let us, everyone, strive with gladness and hope."
The first English edition was published in 1954.
The current edition is the Tenth Edition (1993).
The Doctrine of Tenrikyo is divided into two parts and ten chapters:
- Fukaya Yoshikazu. "The Scriptures and The Doctrine of Tenrikyo (Genten to kyoten)" Words of the Path: A Guide to Tenrikyo Terms and Expressions, pp. 22–23.
- Shozen Nakayama. 1994. Lectures on The Doctrine of Tenrikyo. Tenrikyo Overseas Department.
- The Doctrine of Tenrikyo (in Japanese) 天理教教典
- Tenrikyo (newsletter) no. 177 (April 26, 1984), p. 2. (Original text has been partially modified.)