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In addition to Kami (God) and Oya (Parent), Tsukihi 月日, literally “Moon-Sun,” is one of three terms used to refer to God the Parent in the Ofudesaki. The three terms are considered self-referential appellations of the narrator in this Scripture.[1]

The first appearance of “Tsukihi” in the Ofudesaki is verse 6:9, said to have been in written in December 1874. Although Oya is increasingly used from Ofudesaki Part 14, “Tsukihi” nevertheless continues to be used in the remainder of the Scripture. These changes in the narrator’s appellation from Kami to Tsukihi and to Oya are said to have come from Oyasama’s parental love that “intends to hasten the spiritual maturity” of her followers.[2]

The Doctrine of Tenrikyo also explains,

“Then [Oyasama] called God the Parent by the name Tsukihi (Moon-Sun) and taught that the sun and the moon are none other than visible manifestations of God the Parent in the heavens.”[3]

It may also be noted that the adoption of “Tsukihi” in the Ofudesaki as a term to refer to God the Parent closely coincided with the following events:

Meanings of the term Tsukihi

According to Shozen Nakayama, “Tsukihi,” as it appears in the Ofudesaki, can be considered to have the three following meanings[7]:

  1. Signifying time (tsukihi as meaning “months and days”). Ofudesaki 13:106 is given as the only verse that has this meaning.
  2. Referring to God the Parent.
  3. Referring to Oyasama.

Regarding the meanings of 2. and 3., Shozen Nakayama writes:

“While using the term [Tsuki-Hi], which clearly refers to God the Parent, as the Ofudesaki proceeds, at certain points the term refers to the Foundress. Or the term can be interpreted in both ways as referring to [Tsuki-Hi] in Heaven and [Tsuki-Hi] on Earth. In some verses its discrimination becomes obscured.”[8]


  1. Nakayama, Shozen. A Study of [God], [Tsuki-Hi], and [Parent].
  2. The Life of Oyasama, p. 93.
  3. The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, p. 9.
  4. Described in The Life of Oyasama (LO), pp. 86–8 and pp. 88–91.
  5. Described in LO, pp. 92–3.
  6. Described in LO, pp. 93–5.
  7. Nakayama, Shozen. A Study of [God], [Tsuki-Hi], and [Parent], p. 34.
  8. Nakayama, Shozen. A Study of [God], [Tsuki-Hi], and [Parent], p. 46.