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Tenrikyo: Monotheistic Religion Essay

Religion Origins: Tenrikyo is known as monotheistic Religion, and is the Biggest and most successful section of Shinto in japan; it was founded in the 19 century, and is often thought of like the evangelistic “new religions” (like Islam, Christianity, etc.) of japan. Tenrikyo is Japanese in origin which means, “The Religion Of Divine Wisdom”. Like most of japanese religions, Tenrikyo also have a place for reincarnation, but the main focus of the religion is on worldly happiness.

The Government pressured to make Tenrikyo become absorbed as a Buddhist sect for a while, but later was identified by Japanese government as a sect of Shinto, even though Tenrikyo had a different Theological nature (Monotheistic) than Shinto faith which was polytheistic. Tenrikyo distinguished itself in this century due to the fact that it followers did a lot of humanitarian acts, such as founding orphanage and schools for the blind. After World War II, Tenrikyo pressured the government to be removed as a Shinto sect, and gain its independence from buddhist and shinto influence. Because of the lack of political restrictions, Tenrikyo have flourished in today’s society.

Founder: The Founder of the tenrikyo religion is Nakayama Miki (born in 1798 – through 1887) a charismatic low statues farmer from Yamato Province, she said she was “touched” by a God called “Tenri Ō no Mikoto” (“Lord of Divine Wisdom”) when she was helping in a buddhist exorcism which was suppose to cure her husband’s illness. while she was spreading tenrikyo, she met a person called Izo Iburi, which he said he also received revelation by Tenri Ō no Mikoto, Izo Iburi helped make the messages from “God the parent” which is the name tenrikyo followers call Tenri Ō no Mikoto, into formal text for every followers to have. Nakayama Miki is also known as “Oyasama” to her followers, Oyasama died at the age of 90.

Main Teachings, Beliefs, and Rituals:

Tenrikyo have a very simple and easy beliefs to follow, God the parent created humans for the purpose of joyous lives, thus Happiness is a big part of tenrikyo Goals. tenrikyo followers believe God the parent revealed his will through Oyasama (Beloved Parent – Nakayama Miki ) as his Shrine, so to achieve the joyous life, the religion followers have to follow her guidance.

The first key teaching of tenrikyo is , Tanno (Joyous Acceptance) – a bright and useful attitude towards problems, illness and troubles without regarding the past. Basically look at the bright and positive side, darkness cannot exist without light.

Another teaching of Tenrikyo we researched is Kashimono-Karimono which means “a thing lent, a thing borrowed” the thing that is lent, and borrowed is the human body, the followers of Tenrikyo think of their minds as something they own, but their bodies as a loan from God the parent. “All human bodies are things lent by God. Do you not know the free and unlimited workings of God?” Ofudesaki III:126

Ritual: the dance of creation (the Kagura Tsutome) is done around the Kanrodai (The Heavenly Dew) which should be located at the jiba of origin, it is located there to prove that God did indeed create mankind at the origin of jiba. In addition the dance is performed by dancers in masks led by the “Boss” of the Church who is also known as the Shimbashira. it is believed that this dance fasten the fulfilment of God’s plan and is the main reason of Tenrikyo Existence.

Festivals: Hinokishin (Daily Acts of Gratitude day ), as we searched we found that Hinokishin had no specific date, it can vary from year to year, and realistically Tenrikyo have no Festivals. But Ultimately Hinokishin is a day where communities all around the world do random acts of kindness to help their environment, cities, forests, or really anything to be helpful.

Hinokishin can be done anywhere and anytime, it can be as simple as greeting your neighbors with warm heart, or even cook food for your wife, we sometimes forget how blessed we’re, and we selfishly ignore to be thankful to all the miracles and wonders that happen throughout our days, and life, Hinokishin corrects that, by doing random acts of kindness and gratitude, by making other people a little bit better, by remembering those who reached beyond these world in respect, we remember how truly blessed we are and how thankful and happy we should be because of God’s blessing. And that what Hinokishin all about.

Controversy: Firstly, Tenrikyo has a Goal, which is to reach their optimum age of existence in this earth which is 115 of age, but unfortunately, even Oyasama didn’t reach that goal as she died at the age of 90, which beg to think, that if a founder of the religion didn’t achieve one of its goal, then how can their follower do it ? Also, Tenrikyo view’s are largely taken from other religions theology and practices, as such, Tenrikyo is hard to believe as the true path, if most of its teachings are other’s religions. But regardless of these claims, we found no Controversy to Tenrikyo, due to the fact, that it’s so hard to find any information about it online.

Holy Site: Jiba, the word “Jiba” is written in hiragana characters, it indicates the place of big importance for Tenrikyo Religion. Jiba is the place where God the Parent Created humankind in the beginning. It is the place where God, out of desire to see humankind happy, perfected the perfect place to bring humans into existence. Jiba is the birthplace of humanity, the children of God.

Sacred Text: Ofudesaki

The Ofudesaki is referred to the scripture that Oyasama wrote herself with a brush as a record of God the parent’s attention. It is made up of seventeen parts and it is said that Oyasama began writing part 1 in January 1869, and stopped her writing of part XVII in 1882. The text says that this world exists due to the intention of God the Parent. According to the oral witness of our ancestors, they said that Oyasama would take up a brush whenever God the Parent intended it, even in the darkness of the night, brush would race across the surface of the paper to write the revelations. The Ofudesaki also says that God will inform us by verse and the tip of Oyasama’s writing brush when the human mind is not in accord with the divine intention (I:21-23).

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