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Greeting

April 14, 2021 (184th Year of Tenrikyo)
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister’s Meeting

“Sprinkle the Fragrance—Anytime, Anywhere.”

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

Rev.KatayamaKanta

(Summary)

◇ Prayer Service for Sooner Ending of the Covid-19 Pandemic

On April 1 at noon, a prayer service was performed at the Church Headquarters praying for sooner ending of the Covid-19 pandemic. The prayer service is scheduled to be performed on the first of every month throughout the year.

At Honjima Grand Church, we would like to perform the prayer service at the same time. We ask that you do the same at each church, fellowship or follower’s home, hopefully at the same time.

I am sure you are all busy, but we would like to perform the service, aligning our minds to Jiba. So please spread the words to all the followers even those who live afar.

◇ About Missionary Work

At each missionary house across the nation, missionary work is being done enthusiastically. However, last year, the missionaries had to go through a tough time due to the pandemic. Although they were not able to spread the name of God (kamina nagashi) or do door-to-door missionary, they were able to bring many people to Jiba.

When I had a chance to talk to one of the missionaries, he told me that every day, he picked up trash in the neighborhood, cleaned the playground nearby, and greeted people passing by. Through making such daily efforts, while greeting people, he said he received a blessing of someone to join a pilgrimage to Jiba.

The important thing is to settle the teachings of Oyasama deep in our hearts firmly, and carry out missionary work through our daily lives.

So instead of pushing ourselves to engage in missionary, let us always focus on spreading the teachings anytime and anywhere.

Thank you very much.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

April 14, 2021 (Tenrikyo 184)
Honjima Grand Church Monthly Service Sermon

“Leading up to the commemorative service of our Grand Church, Let us put our utmost into the small things.”

Rev. Takafumi Mukaijo
Grand Church Associate Board Member

Rev.mukaijoTakafumi

(Summary)

The location is Japan, the time is the latter half of the 3rd century—it is the era of the 10th emperor of Japan, Emperor Sujin. An epidemic was going around the country and many people died. This is said to be the oldest record of a pandemic in Japanese history. In conjunction, many natural disasters happened one after another.

Emperor Sujin conducted a divination in order to determine what he should do. The divine revelation said that the two deities Amatsukami and Kunitsukami “should be enshrined at the best locations in Japan.”

In fact, from the first emperor Jinmu to the 10th emperor Sujin, gods had been enshrined in the same places as where the emperors lived.

Realizing that this was lacking in respect, the gods were relocated.

The first diety, Amatsukami (god of the heavens), refers to the ancestor of the imperial family, Amaterasu Omikami. This god was enshrined at the present location of Ise Shrine.

The second diety, Kunitsukami (god of the lands) is Yamatono Okuni Tamanokami, otherwise known as Otokonushino Okami. He is the diety that governs the land of Yamato.

If Amaterasu Omikami is the ancestor of the imperial family, the other Otokonushino Okami is the local deity of the Yamato region. In other words, he is the local deity that the emperor protects and entrusts to rule Yamato.

Do you know where Otokonushino Okami is enshrined? It’s at Oyamato Shrine. It was considered one of the oldest shrines in Japan and was given great authority.

One day in October 1874 (lunar calendar), two people went to Oyamato Shrine to ask about their deity. They were Gisaburo Nakata (44 years old) and Ichibei Matsuo (40 years old). Let me read from the Life of Oyasama manuscript edition.

One day in October, by the lunar calendar, 1874, Oyasama said to Gisaburo Nakata and Ichibei Matsuo,
Go to the Oyamato Shrine and ask about their deity.
They both went to the shrine at once and asked the priests about their deity as they had been instructed by Oyasama. A priest replied pompously that Oyamato was a historic grand shrine dedicated to one of the deities in the ancient chronicles.

The priests must have said that their deity was called Otokonushino Okami and he was a god that governs the land of the Yamato region and its origin is recorded in the Kojiki; Records of Ancient Matters and Nihon Shoki; Chronicles of Japan.

Back to The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo:

Then, what kind of protection does he bestow on us humans?” asked visitors. The priest could give no answer whatsoever.

I can totally see this. The priest must have been like “What?” Oyamato Shrine is the god that governs Yamato. He is the most venerable and respectful god just by being there. It is not a god to do any favors to humans in the first place.

Back to The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo:

Whereupon, a priest named Hara, after listening to Nakata and Matsuo, asked, “Who would express such foolish opinions? Maybe it is that old woman in Shoyashiki. Indeed it is absurd! Do you have anything to prove what you say?” “Yes,” replied the two, taking out parts three and four of the Ofudesaki, “ours is the Creator, the true and real God,” and they explained the various protections of God, repeating what they had been taught regularly at the Residence. Then the priest asked to see the volumes for a moment.

Why did they bring the Part Three and Four of Ofudesaki? Although there is no record of it, it is natural to assume that Oyasama made them take the precious Ofudesaki with them.

Then, what is written in the Part Three and Four of the Ofudesaki? When I read these parts again, keeping in mind the conversation at the Oyamato Shrine, I realized that there are astonishing verses in there.

The famous verse of the Part Three of the Ofudesaki would be:

This universe is the body of God.
Pounder this in all matters. (Ofudesaki III: 40)

This verse appears twice in the Ofudesaki.

This world is in the bosom of God the Parent. However, for the priest, the verse may have sounded like “This world is not protected by a god, Otokonushino Okami. Think about it!”

And in Part Three, the terms such as “high mountains” and “high places” appear. The priest would have clearly understood that the “high mountains” and “high places” refer to the national governing system, centering the emperor, and the gods of the shrines who authorize such governing body.

Now I would like to quote from Ofudesaki Part Three:

The high mountains are doing as they please with
the whole world, but they cannot see the future. (III:48)

The central pillar of the high mountains is that of Kara.
This is the prime cause of the anger of God. (III:57)

Know that the strength of God will be pitted against
the strength of those in high places from now on. (III:83)

You are thinking that the present path is at the mercy of the
high places, but you are mistaken. It will be as God pleases. (III:120)

Those in high places are doing as they please with all the world.
Do you not know the regret of God? (III:121)

Those in high places are thinking of the whole world on their own terms,
but their minds are wrong. (III:124)

The trees which grow in the high mountains and
the trees which grow in the low valleys are all the same. (III:125)

All human bodies are things lent by God.
Do you not know the free and unlimited workings of God? (III:126)

What do you all think? For me, by reading these verses, I cannot help but to think that these verses are picking a fight with Oyamato Shrine.

Continuing in Part Four, the “Truth of Origin” appears.

The following verses explains “Ours is the Creator, the true and real God, who bestows each and every blessing.”

This is the Residence where I began human beings.
Because of this causality, it is here that I descended. (III:55)

The beginning of this world was a muddy ocean.
Therein were only loaches. (III:122)

What do you think these loaches were?
They were the very seeds of human beings. (III:123)

God drew them up and consumed them all, and through
providence brought them up into human beings step by step. (III:124)

From that time on, God’s providence has been
by no means an easy matter. (III:125)

I would like to return to the Life of Oyasama:

When they passed the volumes to him, he began to admonish them, saying: “You seem to be peasant. Well, on arriving home, get your old mother to plunge Her hands into boiling water. If she should dare to do so, I would present you with a magnificent shrine expressly built for you by the permission of the Tokyo government. If not, however, you had better return to your old business, farm it, and bend to it.” Then he struck another note of vehement censure: “I say it is in- excusable and open to criticism that anyone should assume a god’s name to be found nowhere in Kiki. The Isonokami Shrine itself is not exempt from censure, for it has allowed its own parishioners to advocate such a heresy for sheer want of adequate supervision. At any rate, I give you fair warning that we shall visit your place one of these days.

Doesn’t it sound like the Shinto priests had his pride deeply hurt and he was full of fury?

This event with the Oyamoto Shrine in 1874 was the trigger for the government to begin their repression because they viewed Oyasama to be a threat.

This includes things like five people from Isonokami Shrine coming to ask questions, an officer from the Tanbaichi Branch Police coming and confiscating the instruments, notices to appear at the Nara Prefectural Office, being called out to the Yamamura Palace to be interrogated, and the faith being suspended by the Nara Chukyoin, a government agency at the time. This all occurred within two months of the Oyamato Shrine event.

How did Oyasama respond to all of these repressive actions? Oyasama decided to wear her red clothes.

This time, as I have come out into brightness,
everything will be seen quickly.

What do you think these red clothes?
Tsukihi dwells within. (Ofudesaki VI:62-63)

She proactively showed that She represented the Truth that She is the Shrine of Tsukihi. The red clothes She would wear would then be distributed amongst the people as a Proof Amulet, and then the Grant of Sazuke was given.

First, I bestow the Grant of Breath to Nakata. Second, the Grant of Boiled Rice to Matsuo. Third, the Grant of Hand Dance to Tsuji, which is to be performed with an innocent heart like that of a three-year-old child. Fourth, the Grant of the Kanrodai-Teodori to Masui, which is to be performed in one accord, all firmly united.

In the Life of the Oyasama, it says “. . . solely from the parental love of God which intends to hasten the spiritual maturity of the children.”

Furthermore, concerning the questioning from the Oyamato Shrine, I would like to see this event through eyes of Gisaburo Nakata and Ichibei Matsuo who have fulfilled their duty to Oyasama.

There is history with the Oyamato Shrine where the was troubles with them. This event occurred ten years prior to 1874 which is the knot with Oyamato Shrine.

This was the day after the roof raising of the Place for Service, where the group was on its way to the Mamekoshi Village. Oyasama said “you may go but if you pass any shrines on the way, make sure to offer a prayer.” Thus when the group passed in front of the Oyamato Shrine, they repeatedly prayed with enthusiasm “Namu-Tenri-Ono-Mikoto, Namu-Tenri-Ono-Mikoto,” but they were detained for three days because it interfered with prayer at the shrine.

At this time, there were many followers that were still new to the faith that became afraid and left and did not return.

The Oyamato Shrine must have been a scary place for Gisaburo Nakata and Ichibei Matsuo.

These two traveled the same path during the same season as ten years ago.

When I think about the hearts of the two of them who went to Oyamato Shrine, there must have been a great amount of nervousness.

In Part Three of the Ofudesaki, we read:

After listening to the sermons of those on the high mountains,
Listen to the teachings of God in Truth and ponder. (Ofudesaki III:148)

As the two of them had been hearing the teachings of Oyasama, this must have occurred to them as they reflected inwards.

The two of them, leaning solely on the words of Oyasama, earnestly conveyed the teachings to the Shinto priests despite it falling on deaf ears.

When I imagine this moment, it touches my heart.

Two of them were bestowed the Grant of the Sazuke.

So, as we reflect upon the path of the Divine Model of Oyasama, I’d like to ask you all a question—During this past year of the Covid-19 pandemic, what have we as church head ministers done?

How many people have you conveyed the teachings, “Our God the Parent, is the God of origin, God in truth who bestows each and every blessing?”

To those who will not lend an ear to listen, did you stake your life on conveying these teachings?

Indeed, we have been told to stay at home and to refrain from going out. So, were you creative and come up with other ways?

I have a friend who runs a restaurant in Miyakonojo (a city in Kyushu). During the pandemic last year, he closed his business for a month last August, and again, in January of this year. During the closures, what did he do? He wrote letters to each of his customers, filled with words of cheer and encouragement. He wrote hundreds of letters.

Even if we can’t go out or gather, or if we are experiencing an economic downturn, what we have learned is that connecting to other people, is most important.

In the Divine Directions, we are taught:

There are seemingly small matters that are large, and because of the truth of small and large matters, it is considered a big matter. Daily efforts although seemingly small, are large matters. If you think it is nothing, it will be nothing. Matters that are nothing will be transported into precious truth. It is easy to measure this truth. (Osashizu: June 23, 1890 / Unofficial Translation)

Though daily effort may seem small and insignificant, with the accumulation of true sincerity, it will become a great truth.

For example, the main sanctuary of this grand church looks big and splendid. Its essence is a condition derived from the accumulation of many small truths. Despite this, people tend to make light of it as a small matter, so the truth cannot progress into something large. What I mean by small matters are “daily contribution” and “daily effort.”

We have approached the one year and one month point until the commencement of the 120th Anniversary of Honjima Grand Church.

I have one more question for all of you, “Are you taking any actions by making some sort of resolution?”

For us, who go about life having to count our cash income daily, wouldn’t it be difficult if we were told to donate 10,000 dollars tomorrow?

However, no matter how small, if we begin to accumulate little by little daily, it will surely grow into a large amount.

Recently, the Corona Virus crisis has literally driven us into a corner.

In the Divine Directions, we are taught:

If you say it is difficult, no matter how difficult the state, no matter what is happening, the desire is for true sincerity. Even if it is an effort thinner than paper, if you accumulate true sincerity, even if a sword is pointed at you or cannon artillery is fired toward you, God will provide free and unlimited blessings. (Osashizu: September 9, 1900 / Unofficial Translation)

It is saying, when you are feeling, no matter how I look at it, this is difficult, or in an impossible situation, what God the Parent desires is a heart of true sincerity that will do whatever it takes, “no matter what is happening.” That is, though it may be an effort thinner than paper, and seemingly insufficient, with steady accumulation, God the Parent will accept that sincerity and provide blessings of free and unlimited workings. The daily building of virtue is important. To do nothing and think first of making an excuse is out of the question.

The 120th Anniversary of our grand church is our next milestone towards spiritual maturity. We still have one year and one month.

Let us strive to excel in this path!

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Greeting

March 22, 2021 (Tenrikyo 184)
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister’s Meeting

Common sense changes over time; but our mindsets must not change.

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

Rev.KatayamaKanta

(Summary)

The Covid-19 pandemic continues but each person may have different responses to it.

In a long staircase, there may be an occasional landing. After Oyasama withdrew from physical life, churches began to receive divine sanctions to be established and through the sincere efforts of our pioneers, the path, the teachings that Oyasama began only by Herself, was widened to the world. We then started to commemorate the anniversaries of Oyasama. It has been 30 years since the 100th Anniversary of Oyasama was held and I think we are at that landing in the stairs where we are to look back at that time.

The church is the place where we carry over the path that our pioneers started toward realizing the world of the Joyous Life. We should reflect on how we are acting on this original spirit, and whether we are not lapsing in action. I, myself, as I reflect back, I have realized many things.

Worldly common sense changes with the times. However, even if common sense changes, there is a mindset that must not change. I think it is important that we reflect upon ourselves and reassess what kind of mind we are going to use as we follow this path.

Let us set our sights to an unmistakable goal and continue with the thought, “Yes! I’m going to continue climbing these steps!” With such mindset, I think we will be able to relay to our children what we need to convey with confidence.

I hope that we can deepen our understanding of the teachings of our path and Oyasama’s Divine Model during this seasonable time and even if there are times when we are not feeling spirited, let us continue to seek God the Parent’s intention. Let us reset our minds, lift one another’s spirit and advance forward.

Thank you.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Boys and Girls Association Vertical Mission Seminar

March 22, 2021 (Tenrikyo 184)
Honjima Grand Church Monthly Service Sermon

Passing the Teachings to My Children Through My Wife’s Illness

Rev. Yoshitsugu Ue
Boys and Girls Association Committee Member

Rev.UeYoshitsugu

(Summary)

When the “Three Years One Thousand Days” activities toward the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama began, we found a small lump in my wife’s breast, and in its course it had become larger. Thereupon, a test for breast cancer was taken, and we found a tumor around 2.8 inches (7 cm). The doctor recommended surgery, and we were told we would not know if the cancer had spread until after the surgery.

My wife was afraid of surgery, so after discussion, the doctor recommended she initially take an anti-cancer drug treatment. As I had heard about this anti-cancer drug treatment before, it turned out to be a very painful treatment.

I explained my wife’s illness to my four children. As I did, I found each child had a different way of reacting to it.

My oldest son, who is in 8th grade, said to his mother “I wish I can swap with you.”

Then my wife said “you don’t have boobs” and he looked sad and left. Despite young age, he has very caring heart.

My second son, who is in 7th grade, caught it through our conversation due to his sensitive character. He said to his mother mischievously, who lost her hair due to cancer treatments, “I’ll draw dots just like Shaolin Kung Fu monks!!” But he was hurt the most to learn the illness of his mother and showed sad emotion the most among the siblings.

During the time my wife was sick in bed, our eldest daughter, who was in 6th grade, hung the laundry to dry. One day she said, “I will take care of my mon instead of going to the school trip.” I said to my daughter, “It’s a school activity, so you should go,” and made her go. She came back home from the school trip and said, “I bought a souvenir for mom.” It was a hair accessory. She told my wife fun stories from the school trip, and when she gave my wife the hair accessory, my wife said, “Thank you, but this is how my head is,” and took off her wig. My daughter was surprised and said, “Wow.” Since my wife became ill, my daughter did the chores very diligently that my wife used to do for us.

Our youngest son, who was in 2nd grade, often came to my wife’s side and tried to administer the Sazuke because I always administered the Sazuke to her. My wife said to him, “You cannot administer the Sazuke yet. When you are able to do it in the future, please administer the Sazuke.” Then he went back.

However, my son would return after a little while. In the same manner, he tries to administer the Sazuke. So my wife told him, “Don’t make me repeat myself. I appreciate your effort but you can administer the Sazuke for me when you receive the Grant of the Sazuke when you’re older” and with that, he retired to his room. Then, he returned again for the third time in the middle of the night. My wife felt our child’s intention as he climbed up onto our bed so she laid there with her back to him. He then attempted to administer the Sazuke again. My wife was lying facing away from him trying to hold back her tears. Later, she told me with tears in her eyes, “I couldn’t stop shedding tears because no matter how many times I told him he can’t administer the Sazuke, his multiple and sincere attempts made me cry.” As we were both discussing and weeping about what occurred, I said, “Although illness is without a doubt troublesome, how grateful are we for what we are given through experiencing this illness.”

Through the anti-cancer treatment, the tumor was reduced to about 1.5 inches in size, and by operation, she was able to preserve her breast. Also, no metastasis to the lymph node was found. The doctor said, “It’s quite rare that things go this well.”

Although it was only for the Seated Service, she was able to attend the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama at the Church Headquarters, and then she returned to our church.

My wife said, “Our faith is like a backrest. I wish I can make a backrest for our children, too, so that they can lean on it with peace of mind whenever they are about to fall.” Her words touch my heart quite strongly.

In the Divine Directions, we are taught,

Even if I reveal the free and unlimited workings of God, you remember it only for the time being. But when a day passes, ten days pass and thirty days pass, you forget it entirely. (Osashizu: May 9, 1898)

With the passage of time, your minds relapsed. Therefore I must inform you by the truth of repetition. (Osashizu: July 7, 1890)

There is a proverb, “Once it’s past the throat, one forgets the heat,” but to prevent myself from forgetting the heat, I always keep in my mind these words from the Divine Directions.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Greeting

February 22, 2021 (184th Year of Tenrikyo)
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister’s Meeting

From a young age, let us reflect the heart of Oyasama

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

Rev.KatayamaKanta

(Summary)

In Japan, when a pedestrian is crossing at a crosswalk without a signal light, vehicles have to yield to them. However, there are many cars that don’t stop for them.

Research by the Japanese Automobile Federation (JAF) shows that an average of 21.3% drivers actually stop, while 80% are in violation of this.

However, if you look at the results in specific regions, the average (of those who stop) in Nagano Prefecture is 72.4%, a huge margin over Hyogo Prefecture with 57.1% for second place. Why is that?

I asked a friend of mine form Nagano Prefecture and was told that apparently in schools and in homes in Nagano, children are taught, “when crossing the street, raise your hand and then say, ‘Thank you’ to the driver.”

So it’s a common sight to see elementary school students, after crossing the street, turn around and give a bow of thanks.

Being raised in such a way, this becomes ingrained as a habit in children and as they become drivers in their adult years, they tend to stop at crosswalks. Thus, there is a chain of good habits that have continued in this manner.

How are we going to nurture the Boys and Girls Association members? Instead of raising children half-heartedly, I think it is important for parents to practice Oyasama’s parental love ourselves, think of how to relay it to children, and nurture them with this in mind.

In child-rearing, results don’t appear over night, but I think that as the number of years accumulate, the attitude with which you were raising your child will undoubtedly sprout.

In the Divine Directions, we read:

In this path, faith must be reflected in the minds of children while they are still young. (Osashizu: Nov 16, 1900)

The mind that must be reflected in this case is “Oyasama’s parental love.” We must reflect a kind, warm and clean mind to children from when they are young.

The Divine Direction continues:

It will not do to begin after they grow older. After their minds have been attracted to the world and they have learned the common worldly way of living, it is difficult to impart this path to them.

It becomes difficult once they become older. It’s your chance when they are young.

Next month on March 22, there will be “Boys and Girls Association Vertical Mission Seminar” for the first time in 2 years.

I definitely hope you will be able to return to Honjima. Even if you can’t come, I hope you will partake in the monthly service through live-stream, and read the summary in the Honjima Newsletter.

“Nurturing” will be one of the key words.

I ask for your cooperation with this.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

February 22, 2021 (Tenrikyo 184)
Honjima Grand Church Monthly Service Sermon

Let’s perform the service which receives the truth of the Kagura Service wholeheartedly.

Rev. Norio Teramoto
Grand Church Board Member

Rev.teramotoNorio

(Summary)

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)

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