We have just completed the February Monthly Service in high spirits with you who were willing to come back to the Honjima Grand Church despite the Covid-19 pandemic. I am very grateful for that.
Today I would like to talk about my personal interpretation regarding the service that I learned while serving as the member of the Service Training Committee for over 10 years. May I ask for your kind attention?
There are four ways to call the Service.
The first one is the “Kagura Service.”
In the Ofudesaki, we read:
Again, I impatiently await the coming Joyous Service.
What it is, is the Kagura Service. (Ofudesaki IV:29)
This is probably because the Service is performed by wearing the Kagura masks.
The second one is the “Joyous Service.”
In the Ofudesaki, we read:
If the hand movements of the Joyous Service
are learned day by day, how delighted God will be. (Ofudesaki IV:23)
This must mean the service is to be performed joyously.
The third one is the “Salvation Service.”
In the Ofudesaki, we are taught:
Because of this, the Salvation Service cannot be performed.
Oh, the regret in the mind of Tsukihi. (Ofudesaki VIII:6)
As such, the purpose of the Service is for the salvation of us humans.
The fourth one is the Kanrodai Service.
The Second Shinbashiras teaches us in his book “Hitokoto Hanashi,” it means to “perform the Service surrounding the Kanrodai.”
Aside from these, there is “Tenri-O-No Service”. In Song 9 of the Mikagura-Uta, the Songs for the Service, we read,
Eighth, Even in the mountains, here and there, The Service of Tenri-O is performed.
This verse, “even in the mountains,” is referring to places away from the Jiba or places where the teachings have not been spread. In other words, it is referring to local churches and the residence of the followers.
We can then interpret that the service we perform at our local churches is the Tenri-O-No Service which receives the Truth of the Kagura Service.
The Kagura Service is performed by ten Service performers, however, at the monthly service at local churches, there are only six service performers performing the hand movements for the seated service.
What I’m going to say from now is my personal interpretation. Out of the six service performers, the middle two represent the “six aspects of God’s providence during creation” out of the Ten Aspects of the Complete Providence.
In Ofudesaki, we read:
The very beginning of this world was at Shoyashiki Village
of Yamabe County in Yamato Province. (Ofudesaki XI:69)
There, at the place known as the Nakayama Residence,
appear instruments of human beginnings. (Ofudesaki XI:70)
These instruments are Izanagi, Izanami,
Kunisazuchi, and Tsukiyomi. (Ofudesaki XI:71)
Discerning this, Tsukihi descended
and began preparations to train them in all matters. (Ofudesaki XI:72)
It means that the human beings were created by a total of six aspects, out of the Ten Aspects of the Complete Providence, representing paternal aspects—Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto, Izanagi-no-Mikoto, and Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto, and representing maternal aspects—Omotari-no-Mikoto, Izanami-no-Mikoto, and Kunisazuchi-no-Mikoto.
As for the remaining four service dancers, this is also my personal interpretation, they perform the Service Dance by receiving the truth of the Ten Aspects of the following—the second female service dancer represents Kumoyomi-no-Mikoto, and the third female service dancer represents Taishokuten-no-Mikoto, while the second male service dancer represents Kashikone-no-Mikoto, and the third service dancer represents Otonobe-no-Mikoto.
When considering this truth, the female that is in the second position of the Service Dance for the seated service is Kumoyomi-no-Mikoto, which represents in the human body, the providence of eating, drinking, and elimination; in the world, the providence of the rise and fall of moisture. It will affect not only the person in that position, but it will also affect the eating, drinking, elimination, as well as the rise and fall of moisture of the entire grand church. It must be carefully performed so these blessings can be received.
Next, regarding the role of the musical instruments. I am told the 9 musical instruments correspond with the 9 instruments of the body. The 9 instruments of the body are the, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, both hands, both feet, and the primary instruments of the male and female.
From here on is also my personal interpretation, but the koto has 13 strings, and there are also 13 parts to the optic nerve. Therefore, the koto represents the eyes.
A semicircular canal is one of 3 semicircular, interconnected tubes located inside each ear; which allows us to recognize sounds. This is equivalent to playing the 3 strings of the shamisen.
When you push and pull, you can hear the sound from the kokyu. This is equivalent to the breath taken in and out from our nose.
When the flute makes a sound, the melody can be heard, so this represents the mouth.
Two hands represents wooden clapper and cymbals. Legs represent the Large Drum, while Tabor/Hand Drum represents the primary instruments of the male and female.
When I am assigned to play the Large Drum, I not only receive the blessings for my legs, but I also perform the instrument wholeheartedly so that my church can receive the blessings to make progress. When I perform the musical instruments, I maintain such mindset.
This applies to the morning and evening services. We must express our gratitude for God the Parent’s blessings bestowed on us daily during each morning and evening service.
Hoping to make this as a reference for you, I shared with you my mindset when I perform the service.
Thank you for your kind attention.
(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)