Mother Earth

Volume 11: Which Way the Wind Blows

Chapter 7: The Taisho Restoration

      On the 2nd of February in 1917, Masayoshi Iimori returned to his birthplace in the Noto County of Ishikawa Prefecture to attend the funeral of his mother. On that occation Wasaburo Asano and Masanori Miyagawa accompanied him to the Ayabe Station to bade him farewell. On his way back Asano's heart was heavy as his steps while walking in the deep snow that covered the road. He had the premonition that Iimori would never return to the Omoto cult. Asano and Iimori were already at variance at the time Iimori had visited for the second time the Yokosuka district in June of last year. Their disagreement deepened during the summer while they had confuned themselves to the precincts of the Omoto cult for prayer, and after Iimori moved to Ayabe in December of this year it evidently grew even worse. The reason for their disagreement was not rooted in their personal relation but in strong differences of opinion on religious matters.

      Although Iimori respected the Fudesaki, he thought that it was somewhat specious. Asano used to criticize him for that and said that he thought so because he was unable to fully grasp the meaning of what was written there. Iimori would then reply, "The god exists as an abstract being and as the absolute truth. The Fudesaki written by Nao Deguchi has to be understood as the symbolic representation of that absolute truth. He was referring to the following phrases in the Fudesaki, "Earthquakes, thunder and fire will be showered upon us by the god." This has to be understood, he said, as the abstract and spiritual warning of the god, and we should not interpret this literally as a warning for natural calamities, the great war or similar disasters. We should understand the rebuilding of the world in the following way, "A revolution will not break out in the real world nor will it be thrown into utter confusion as if heaven and earth had been turned upside down. The truth is that the rebuilding of the world will appear in our minds, and it will be accompanied by our great spiritual reformation as citizens of the world. These events have strictly no connection with material Reality. And we can understand the truth of the Fudesaki in the same way we understand the Bible or the Buddhist scriptures.

      Iimori continued, "We should not interpret the meaning of the Fudesaki in a literal way because the sentences are allegorical. It is very difficult for us to understand the truth of the Fudesaki if we do not look for its allegorical meaning. For instance, "It is written in the Fudesaki that Ayabe will become the capital. That does not mean that Ayabe will become the capital of the Japanese Empire. It means that Ayabe will become the capital of the spiritual kingdom. In the same way we find a phrase saying that Tokyo will become a wilderness. That does not mean that Tokyo will return to the state of a primeval wilderness, called the Musashino, and will again be covered by weeds. It refers to the spiritual decadence. Of course, it is easier for him to limit himself to the superficial meaning of the phrases, because it works according to reason. However, it is the very thing Nao repeatedly warned us against, while we are studying the Fudesaki.

      That was the way Asano saw it and his opinion was, as such, the very opposite of what Iimori was thinking. Asano thought that the believers ought to interpret the words of the Fudesaki literally, and should not intend any lucubration made through the shallow wit of human beings. He literally believed that "The Rebuilding of the World" truly meant that a great fire and a large flood would purify the whole world according to the god's will and that the good would be separated from the evil and that the present confusion would be straightened out. All the human race would attain a full consciousness of its unity with the god and the world of individuals, believing only in their own opinions, would come to and end. The new world would appear in the Reality and not remain as a simple abstraction of the mind. He sincerely believed that the actual world would be changed and that the change would not take some abstract form, as Iimori thought. All the activities of the world, including policy making, would become connected with the Sacred World. Surely, Heaven would appear on earth and the unity of church and state, as well as the unification god and man would become reality. At some time at the beginning of the Taisho era, that is, around the end of 1917, Yasuko Umeda was sitting close to the founder, Nao, and after a while, she felt a deep peace pervading her mind and body alike; something evoking the freshness of a moss-grown garden just after it has been watered. Her mind felt as if it had been moistened and refreshed after having been parched and terribly thirsty. All that time, and until late in the evening, Nao kept speaking casually to Yasuko and reflected, "Next year, my granddaughter, Naohi will be seventeen years old. The god told me once that, I, Nao should abdicate in favor of the third generation who was to become thirteen at that time, and you should acknowledge this as sacred words, O-Yasu-san." "What is the meaning of what you are saying?" asked Yasuko. Nao explained to Yasuko what she could not understand, "We can sew together a rip of old clothes and put them on again. But, when we cannot sew them together anymore nor are able to repair them because they are too old, we must use new ones. Our flesh is the same as clothes. The day my flesh cannot move anymore my spirit will secretly enter the belly of Naohi even if I am still alive. Remember that - Yasu-san." "In the belly of Naohi-san?" asked Yasuko. Nao acquiesced with a slight movement of her eyes, while smiling gently then, she continued, "However, the spirit of the Reverend Onisaburo will migrate to the flesh of no one, and his role will end with his life. He needs return to Heaven. No one can substitute him, because he is the god Miroku-sama." Yasuko remained silent. Nao continued, "The term in office of the second generation, Sumi, will be short, and the second generation will not be able to rebuild the world according to the will of the god. I will be born again from the belly of the third generation, Naohi. Remember this, please." Some time after this conversation, Naohi returned to the house of Nao and spent the time of the New Year with Daiji, Umeda and his wife.

      On the 1st of January in 1918 Nao Deguchi became eighty-three, Onisaburo, forty-eight, Sumi, thirty-six and Naohi, seventeen. During the well-wishing party organized for the New Year, which is called the Kamiyo-mochi (the rice cake of the god's world) and which was attended by the Deguchi family and many believers. Onisaburo whispered in Yasuko's ear, "O-Yasu-san, the flesh of the founder will come to naught within this year. Don't be surprised at my words!" Yasuko quivered. She was going to argue with him about that, but she could not do that in public. Nao and Sumi, who were sitting next to her, were cheerfully using their chopsticks and eating heartily. She fixed her eyes upon Onisaburo. He had now lifted his fifth daughter, Naoe, up in his arms and had left his seat besides her.

      In the early morning of the next day, Nao paused for a while at the large southern veranda of the Tomu-kaku (the Control Building). Far away, the leaden colored crest line of the mountains were stretching from south to west, just as if they had been strained and filled with water. Her hair and her sleeves became gradually shrouded in fog. Yasuko got worried about her and urged her to return to her room, "Founder, it is cold, please come in and get into the kotatsu (a foot warmer with a quite thrown over it." Nao, pointing her finger at the border of the ridge answered, "I may be going there before the end of this year." Nao continued softly and seeming to talk to herself, "There is a pond at the foot of that mountain, there. I would like to be secretly buried there in the calm shade of a pine tree, so as not to attract attention." Yasuko overcame by grief at hearing such words and shouted, "Founder! You will live eternally. Stop talking like this!" But, Nao, seeing that she was choking with tears, interrupted her, "O-Yasu-san, my flesh is already too old!" she said. Sumi who was eight months pregnant, had grown quite heavy because her pregnancy was reaching maturity. On a former occasion, Nao had said to Sumi, "Sumi, you must bear eight children." Sumi was a happy-go-lucky type of person, but, she used to be sick when pregnant and she felt quite tired at the idea that after delivering her seventh baby, this spring, she would still have to bear one more baby. On that day, at eight in the morning, Nao and Onisaburo prayed to the four directions from the top of Nishi-Iwado (the Western Rock's Door) after having duly removed the snow that covered it.

      On the 3rd of January Onisaburo, accompanied by a believer called Kuninori Tanidaka, attended the New Year meeting of the Kyoto Headquarters of the Omoto cult. On the next day, that is on the 4th in the afternoon, he went to the Yao-Yorozu Shrine with another group of believers. Kanjiro Maki, Etsuko Hoshida and Kuninori Tanidaka. They were guided there by Keizaburo Mori. The party made a tour in jinrikisha (the rickshaw) and then took a rest at the house of Yoshiyuki Ogasawara in the Saga district. From there on, they marched on a snow-covered route to the Kiyotaki district. On the way they were offered tea and cake by the brothers of Ogasawara, in a separate room of the Japanese-style restaurant Kagisho, from where they could hear the sound of the shallow waters of the river while admiring the snow covered landscape. Onisaburo had visited the Kuya cascade in 1902. On that occasion he had met an ascetic of the Mitake cult, Satoru Sugimoto, a high-minded person of Osaka, as well as Dankuma and some others. He recollected that moment and felt himself longing for those times past. The Ogasawara brothers heard his story and felt themselves overcome with deep emotion, because they understood that Onisaburo had, since then, been related to their place by the sacred power.

      After leaving the Kagisho restaurant, the party crossed the Saru (the monkey) bridge over the Kiyotaki (the clean rapids) River and followed the path that was to lead them to the Atago Shrine. At around five in the afternoon, and about half way, on their journey, they went up a narrow path leading to the Kuya cascade then passed under the great stone torii (Shinto shrine archway) of the shrine. From there on, they went up the one hundred and six stone steps which led, through twists and turns, to the back of a thick forest. In the precinct of the shrine, which was surrounded by a thousand trees, a horizontal frame displayed an inscription in golden characters which had been written by the Minister of the Imperial Household Agency, Takanao Hatano. When they entered the hall of worship of the shrine Onisaburo was suddenly possessed by the spirit of the god Mizu-no-mitama and recited a sacred waka. After concluding his recitation, he performed a ceremony to invite the god Toyokuninushi-no-mikoto and the god Susanowo-no-mikoto.

      After taking a rest in the shrines office, they descended from the Kuya cascade, which was no more sixty meters away, as evening was drawing near. The height of that waterfall, despite its being located in a secluded valley surrounded by high mountains, was only about ten meters. Onisaburo, hearing the sound of the waterfall, found it to be a kind of sacred echo, something like the sound of the god's breathing or that of celestials nymphs playing heavenly music with a koto and a flute. The water was falling in thousand of tiny strings and created a delicate mist as it splashed against the rock. Although the cascade is called the Kuya cascade, no one really knew what its official name was. So Onisaburo re-baptized it as "The Cascade of the Noble Koto." Onisaburo, searching to meet an ascetic called Hishida, who was said to live in a cave on top of the cascade and to have covered his traces throwing out of the cave a treasure called "The Amatsu-Kami-no-Sangi" (the oracular block for divining the will of the-god Amatsu-Kami), started to climb the steep cliff on the left side of the cascade, while the others were watching and waiting. Vestiges of the presence of the ascetic in that cave were still clearly visible and in spite of not being able to find the treasure. Onisaburo was not the least disappointed. His strict behavior prevented any evil to do him harm and, on the contrary gave him confidence that he would be able to overcome the trials of the god. A white cloth, seeming to have been left behind by the ascetic, was caught in a branch of a pine tree on the side of the cave.

      Onisaburo went back to the shrine's office, and renamed the Yao-Yorozu Shrine (the Shrine of a Myriad Deities) The Kodo-Omoto-Yaegaki-Jinja (The Multifold Fences of the Omoto on the Imperial Way), and also designated the shrines office as "The Branch Office of the Noble Koto of the Omoto on the Imperial Way." Then Onisaburo assigned three brothers of the Ogasawara family to be the managers of that shrine. In the December issue of "The Sacred Spiritual World" in 1917, and in the January and February issues of that magazine in 1918, Onisaburo published a series of original articles which he had written in a breath while being possessed by the god Mizu-no-Mitama. Though he concealed his real intention by using a lot convoluted rhetoric and elusive expressions he never considered that these articles were skillful literature. However and despite finding himself in the midst of that period of strict governmental censorship, he was able to allude to the uncertain future of Japan and its relation to the world, just as if he was pricking the authorities with a needle covered with silk floss. It required a lot of courage to make up his mind to publish those articles even on such a small scale.

The Omoto Sinka (The Omoto Sacred Song)
            (Recorded on the 1st of December of 1917)

   Under the large sun shining in the eastern sky at dawn / The great god spreads its light eternally on this country as does the rising sun / The Country is surrounded by the Wada-field / As from ancient times that field protected it in all directions from being attacked by its enemies / And this country was called the fine halberd made by the god / However that great country, our country, has been ruined like an old dream brought to naught / Now, any country in the world has more powerful weapons than our country, be it in the sea or in the sky, and their love of conquest is insatiable / Ame-rica, in due time, will drop innumerable fireballs / The Japanese will be crushed and will shed their blood / The god feels pity for their future and instructs Nao Deguchi / The god made the mouth of Deguchi speak in 1892 to admonish them and to warn them against evil acts and prepare themselves to defend their country against the attacks of foreign powers in order to gain victory in battle with their sharp swords / However, a seemingly eternal darkness pitifully overcasts the sky which reflects the people's minds / Taking no notice of it, just as if listening to the sound of the wind on the shore / Turning a deaf ear to it up to this very moment / The flowing ideas blow through the mind like successive burst of wind / What can be done in the present situation of the world / What can be done between spring and autumn / Despair tosses us like a nutshell on angry waves / But our sufferings are apparent only to the god / We are crying while clinging to the sacred place in front of the god / Suffering on the battle ship in deep seas and in the fighter planes and the bombers which roar in high skies / We fear the terrible scenes / Miserably, dispersed in all directions as leaves blown up by the wind towards the end of their journey.

   From now on, being united with our allies, Kara-kuni (Russia) and our country have led the struggle / But the evil god of Russia has tricked us and taken victory out of our hands / Our country's plans have been thwarted by the evil god of Russia who has done inhuman and cruel acts towards our country / Our country has been denied victory in the war despite having been victorious in battle / Under the southern sky, which remained by dark clouds that evil god did as he pleased / After stealing away the Indian Ocean, the evil god reconsidered his plan in detail / And as a result he came out of latency to reign supreme in the air of Vladivostok on the Japan Sea / That evil god will widen its influence in the future and will finally threaten the gods of our country / When the evil god reaches our homes / The large and small battleships will be wrecked in the angry waves and deep whirlpools of the Sea of Naruto and they will be buried in a watery grave / But the Spirit of the Voice of Human beings will increase its power and rise up to the holy Heaven / It will rise above the clouds and form a strong fortress there / The Spirit of the Voice of Human beings will unite the fire of heaven and the water of the earth / It will get up to the height of a five storied building / The Spirit of the Voice of the Human beings will rise in all its power, shouting at the top of its voice / The Spirit of the Voice of Human beings will echo bravely / Its brilliant exploits will be admired / The fighter planes, bombers and battleships of the evil god will be broken and disappear in the deep sea / Only the pitiful remains of the forces of the evil god will remain / The evil god will tremble with fear in front of the sacred power of our god / The evil force will submit to the rule of our god / With the symbols of the pine tree and ume tree / We will receive the great god Ushitora who will help the world from the precincts of the Omoto / Oh! Graceful Savior!

   The great god Kunitokotacbi who appeared in Heaven is a very respectable god and he has graciously forwarded to us the sacred words / He is also the Spirit of Izu, by whom Nao is possessed / He told us figuratively that the Sino-Japanese War (of 1894-1895) is the first act of the play / And that the Russo-Japanese War (of 1904-1905) is Act 2 / Act 3 is this World War which has now lasted for over five years / The battle scene is going to settle down on its main stage as if a dragon and a tiger were fighting fiercely / When, at last, the right time arrives / The evil god will come to attack our country through the Siberian Railway / As the Passage leading to the first stage of the drama / The surging mass of enemies will conquer our country, the god's country, trying by all possible means and with all their power and ingenuity, to achieve their goal / The fighter planes and the bombers will cover the sky / They will be flying as if they were running amok in the eastern sky / Then the curtain of Act 2 will rise / And finally the time for Act 3 will arrive / At the sacred place of the Omoto cult, where the spirits gather / A deity, in human form, chosen by the god over three thousand years ago to serve Him, will pick up the fallen Japanese spirit, which was given to the Japanese by the god of their ancestors / The god Izu (by whom Nao is possessed) will roar bravely again / The spirit of the god Izu will be transformed into a general / The spirit of the god Mizu (by whom Onisaburo is possessed) will become a commander / The spirit of Naohi will become a shield / At once, the Ara-Mitama (The Fierce Spirit of the God) and the Kushi-Mitama (The Mysterious Powerful of the God) of the god's power will start acting bravely and the roaring sound of bombs will fill the air / The Saki-Mitama (The Blessing Spirit of the God) of the shining country will win honorable distinctions through The Spirit of the Voice of Human beings / And the Nigi-Mitama (The Tender and Virtuous Spirit of the God) will calm down the fury of battle and contention through soothing words / A lot of souls will be helped / In the powerful era of the Emperor god, called the pine era / Forty-eight living souls will be enshrined in the Fortress which the Spirit of the Voice of Human beings will build in the sky / The whole country will be placed under the shining rule of the god / Oh, Graceful God! The awaited theocracy will first become reality in the Land of the Rising Sun (Japan) and the god's era will begin / We will devote this sacred country to the God Akitsu-Kami (Manifest Deity, Tenno) / We will be very happy to live in the eternal sacred world

   If the sky of Kara-Kuni, which is filled with the clouds of smoke from the cannons / Are new, cleaning up / And, if we are able to protect this country of the Rising Sun / It will make us very fortunate / In reality the threads of the knot are thickly entangled / So much so, that it is impossible for us to disentangle them, just as an Oda-maki (which is a winding thread on a ball which empties from its center) / We are like the winding thread which keeps unwinding / When we arrive at the eastern sky we will be confused / We are new placed in a difficult situation / And we cannot withdraw from it / When the battle finally breaks out / Terrible consequences are brought forth / The war funds of over five billion are spent within a single year / Millions among the Living Spirits are returned to clay / The fundamentals of the country, agriculture, industry and commerce are gradually brought to ruin / The country becomes as disconsolate as can be / Walking aimlessly and sighting in despair / When considering the magnitude of the disaster while a temple bell echoes in the twilight / Hereupon, the forces of the evil god are driven into a corner / The soldiers of the evil god pray in despair to heaven and earth / They become confused and in the midst of the fury, they roar and show their true color, the color of cowards / Pity! The Spirit of Kara (The empty spirits) are at loss and running amuck / Because Japan is the eternal country, forever protected by the great god / Japan is perfect and noble / The god has appeared in the world and has protected Japan and the world / But, we cannot yet feel completely reassured / Bombs from a country named America, will suddenly start dropping like rain from the sky / While prophesying the future of our country I see a cursed blast arising / Red leaves are scattered on the ridge in no time / A staggering cry echoes around Mt.Tatsuta / According to the will of the great god, the gods all gather at Dragon Building (of the Omoto cult) which is located at the foot of the mountain / The mountain glows, radiating the great grace of the gods / Then the glow of the mountain calms down just before the augury is uttered / The red leaves are very beautiful Iroha Song (The Japanese Syllabary Songs)

   As in the Ryukyu Islands, the Japanese islands which can be seen from the Hoko Islands of Taiwan / In spite of being far from the Japanese mainland / There are a lot of foreigners souls there to be found in several places / And, there are also many bad Japanese who are selling their own country / They put a pot over the fire in their own master's house / They are all Kamis who aim at destroying the pillar which sustains the house / While the Yankee and the monkey make their noises / The Japanese cannot find a way to escape from the bombs thrown upon them by America / The dark plotting of a foreigner's soul is more frightening than a demon, a great snake or a wolf / Like a bee which carries a sword on its rump, while holding honey in its mouth / Even when throwing its weapons, guns and rifles away / It will still make sure to get at the ass of the Japanese / The roaring of fire bringing machines echoes in the sky of the honorable country, Japan / While waiting for a good chance the evil god aims at robbing the Japanese land / The trick may be very skillful / But since ancient times Japan has been blessed by the god / Even if the number of its inhabitants decreases to one third / This country, which is blessed by the god, will remain forever / It is written that the foreigner's soul will ultimately be thrown in the land of dimness by the god / Pity! It has also be decided that the race of white man will see the end of its world according to the god's plans

   The combined forces are strong / However, their actions are not coordinated and decisions are taken separately / No one knows when they will end their efforts, at last / The power of England has already dwindled / When they were arriving at the Ushitora County, Italy and America failed to support France / At last Kaiser also has abandoned any hope / And all of them are now pitifully contemplating their own ruin / The money and provisions have run out / But they will regret their actions bitterly / And they may attempt to rub Shina (China, means the article in Japanese pronunciation), hoping for victory / But they may try as long as they live / These times are very interesting! / They should not forget that the god of our country esteems humanity and they will meet justice / This noble country is ready to challenge the evil forces and choke them to death / This god blessed country will root out the evil spirit and reign over the world / It is the fortune of the people of this country that they live under the unity of the church and state just as it is in the Sacred World

   To help the souls who are going to fall in the nether world / The great god, Izu-no-Mitama (the Izu Spirit) appears in the sky of the Aya (Ayabe) district with the god, Mizu-no-Mitama (the Mizu Spirit) / They will have the boat for the Salvation floating on the waters near the Ryugu (the Dragon Palace) / Izu-no-Mitama and Mizu-no-Mitama are graciously wailing for their people to come / People who go astray, have nothing to turn to for help / They can only taste the salt of the angry waves / Being tossed about in the storms of life / They are being carried away beyond the horizon by the high waves / Other people shout repeatedly to them / And take on to their boats to help them / But there is no return / Their shadows are being tucked away towards the high seas / In the Sea of Naruto (being buried in the Japanese pronunciation) they find a watery grave at last / Approaching the dangerous whirlpools the brave warriors sink to the country which is located the bottom of the sea / Pity! Look at their shadow!

   Ochikochi no (From different in the Japanese pronunciation) temples are places where metallic images of Buddha / Different instruments and even hanging bells are carefully stored and kept / But now the government is gathering them / And melting them as basic materials / For the production of weapons for the army and for the navy / A dangerous situation is close at hand / This mass of metal is becoming an exchange for the lives of Japanese men / In spite of melting all available metals people may possess / Even a small metallic bracelet or a broken nail / The supply of metal is running low / Pity, upon us! This is a time of emergency!

   The whole people of the Kuni (The country), who are between the ages of fifteen and fifty / Without distinction of sex and including Buddhist and Christians priests / As well as those who are purging prison sentences / All of them will soon be headed to the battle field / The danger of the situation has awoken for the fighting spirit of citizens and soldiers / Alike to protect this sacred country made by the god / The whole nation will charge upon the evil forces of the enemy / With a courageous shout / Kicking about whatever rock stands on their way / They are ready to let their bones be soaked on the bottom of the deep sea / Or to leave them whitening in the bushes and on the mountains / The Japanese are going to die for Tenno / However, they will not die in vain / They march forward ever more, renewing their determination not to ever retreat / Approaching the ridge of the mountains and the bans of the rivers / They will drive away the forces of the evil god / This is a sacred battle! / Defend your country, Japanese! / Protect Japan and the great god, Akitsu (your country's god) / Subjugating the forces of the evil god and hold them in submission / Oh! Great ruler, Oh! Tenno! / The Japanese who are all your children deeply thank You / And they will return your warm blessing / The Japanese are all the god's children!
(It is mentioned on the 3rd of November, 1917)

   Not only Rokoku (Russia) but also America are attempting to rob the Japanese land / They are aiming at money and profit

   Japan stands face to face with America on the nishi side (western direction) / And with Russia on the northern side / The enemies of Japan stand both in front and behind / But Japan as a country faces the sea on all sides
(On the 10th of September, 1903)

      Since these sacred songs were published in 1918 (that year is called the year of Tsuchinoe-no-Uma in the old Japanese calendar) the believers of the Omoto cult clearly predicted the hard times that were to come, as these songs flashed in the world, just as warning to people of the dangers which lay ahead. A few believers did even commit all sacred songs to memory. Every time they would come together, they rumored about the times of crisis which the country would soon have to face. When these trying times arrived they were ready to get on the center stage. Well, I understand that the forces of the evil god will close in on us through the passage leading to the first stage, that is, the Siberia Railway. But, the ships of Heaven cover the sky, and come upon us, the second stage opens. And, soon the third stage will also start. I perceive a blank space in this phrase. It seems that there is something missing and that is suspicious right here. After the third stage is completed and according to the prediction of the future which is indicated the sacred force of the Omoto cult will survive the battle and they will at last beat the forces of the evil god. However, the believers feel that it is like the crossing of a high mountain pass. They should ask the Reverend to explain the prophecy related to the transition from the second stage to the third one more in detail. The impatient believers asked Onisaburo to do that. Onisaburo answered, "What I told you is not a prophecy but fact. However, I am not going to write it down in more detail, because I will lose my life if I do so. Judge well the future, pondering what is written in the mean of Iroha uta (song), and the second stage. Oh! It is too miserable, I cannot write about it, suppress your request! I beg you!" Nevertheless, Onisaburo foretold clearly the inferiority in the strength of Japan in the phrase of [O] and [Ku], and also stated that the Japanese would be unable to escape the bombing of America in the phrase of [Ri]. Moreover, it seems that there is something suspicious around the Ryukyu Islands and P'eng-hu.

      When the believers think of it now, in the first stage of the third part of the Kami-uta the passage leading to the stage of the Siberia Railway Onisaburo had prophesied the Manchurian incident, then, in the second stage, World War II, and, from there on, the stage of affairs since then. The believers remembered that and understood that Onisaburo had eventually attempted for foresee the evolution of Japanese affairs and that of the world based on the correct interpretation of the Fudesaki. Basing their beliefs on the phrase in which the main stage is placed in the year of Tsuchinoe-no-Uma (it means the year, 1918 of the old Japanese calendar) the officers of the Omoto cult, including Wasaburo Asano, and some other believers central to the cult, became quite excited because they thought that the rebuilding and re-erecting of the world would happen quickly or, at least, in no more than three or four years. Since then the soldiers and sailors who became believers of the Omoto cult increased dramatically and, as reality confirmed the predictions of the Fudesaki, they acknowledged its value more and more. They used to say, "Until now the Japanese government has insisted in regarding only Russia as a hostile country, but it seems that America will become the true enemy of Japan. We should always regard America as the potential enemy in the future." They made their opinion known to the military authorities, and the Japanese government clearly changed its strategy and started preparations for a war against America, it is said. The Omoto cult clearly recognized the urgency of the times and started publishing the Ayabe newspaper every ten days from the 21st of December, 1917 on. They endeavored to distribute every issue to the town and village offices, schools and business all over the country.

      Onisaburo established the Kodo (The Propagation of "The Way of Tenno") on the 4th of February, 1918, and after the first meeting of that new institution was over, it was decided that the Ayabe newspaper would be distributed, free of charge, to the believers. The cost, per unit, including the mail tax, came out to be one sen and five rin. The source of revenue for the free distribution was provided by spontaneous contributions of the believers. A lot of believers had agreed upon that plan. Furthermore, the monthly paper Shinrei-Kai (The Sacred World) was now being published twice every month. A campaign to promote these publications was fiercely developed all over the country. In the background of the increasingly unbalanced situation between the inside and the outside of the country, the Omoto cult widened the circle of its believers through this missionary work, spreading through all the layers of Japanese society which was very confused at the time.

      On the 14th of January, 1918, Kibutsu Kihara who was forty-five years old at the time, was sitting in second class on the 8:25 p.m. train, leaving from Matsue to Osaka. It was, for him the fulfillment of a long-expected chance to visit the headquarters of the Omoto cult in Ayabe and, as he was somewhat thoughtless for his age, he was very excited. In his bag he carried a letter which had hastily been written by Onisaburo. He had just received it on the morning of that day. As he was reading it he made up his mind to make the effort to set out for this trip. He was supposed to compete with Wasaburo Asano for spiritual power under certain given circumstances. He thought to himself, "After all I have more than ten years of practice against only two years for Asano, that should be enough." Kihara was confident of his spiritual power.

      Kibutsu Kihara (his real name is Michinori) was born in 1873 in the Hashihama district of Iyo County. His head was as bald as an egg, and he wore a black mustache. He had a ruddy face and full cheeks. That is to say, that he had the physiognomy of a perfectly happy, healthy and prosperous man. This was quite remarkable considering that, at the age of eighteen he had suffered from a diseased right lung and had spent some time in the Hiroshima Hospital. He had completely recovered by age of twenty, but his health remained weak. In fact, he failed to pass the conscription health examination because his body weight was only 39.4 kilograms which placed him below the minimum allowed for the fourth class of conscripts.

      He had married at the age of twenty-two, and had succeeded his father as head of the family's salt business. He was brought up with the care given to a delicate plant and developed a dreamer's personality. He always considered that he could best serve his country doing good to people, and for reasons of his own, he began to study the art of painting ship hulls. At that time the Japanese shipyards were relying of imported materials to paint the bottom of the hulls. As a result of the complication of international relations the Japanese battleships had become dependent on those imports and were, as such, vulnerable to any delay of those imports. He thought that it was a pressing necessity for the nation to study how to produce reliable paint for the bottom of hulls of its battleships. But, being a good man by nature, he was easily deceived by a technician who took away from him a patent for the paints he had developed. Moreover, he failed in that undertaking and lost a large sum of money. And what is worse: He got involved in the Chinese revolution of 1900 and brought to naught even the estate of his parents. After becoming a reporter for the Kumamoto Shimbun (The Kumamoto newspaper) he understook some research on psychic phenomena. Later he continued to study hypnotism under Enryo Inoue. Kihara managed a branch office of the Kumamamoto Shimbun in his native region and the next year, he became a special correspondent for that paper in Osaka, while at the same time continuing to fulfill his duties as president of a society for the study of hypnotism. In 1905, Kihara made up his mind to start on a roaming journey, and divorced his wife, Setsu. He had five children by her. His eldest daughter was eleven years old and his second son had just been born. He shifted the responsibility of bringing up his children to his wife, and turned over the scanty remains of his property to his family. He family believed that he was answering a call and that his presence was requested in someplace which would appear later. He thought that he could not forsake his sense of mission due to the obligations of domestic cares. His dream reached maturity when he was about thirty-three years old. He had a plan to go to America, but first, he was going to Hawaii to prepare for it. As his friend agreed with his journey and had even prepared for his traveling expenses he left his home town as soon as he had received the farewell money. He obtained a passport and went to Kobe. However, his friend had failed to raise enough money for that journey and he was now unable to return to his home town and had to live in a psychic institute in Kobe. There, a person whom he had treated, offered him to go to come to his home in Tokushima. But later that person changed its mind, lost interest in him and left him where he was. He was now cornered and had to confine himself to a room on the second floor of a hotel. He was quite at loss as to what to do and in order to gather his ideas he went to a waterfall which was twenty-four kilometers away from the hotel, and practiced asceticism there for two weeks. When he stepped out of the basin of the waterfall after the completion of a vow the Sacred Spirit appeared and delivered a warning: "The time to complete your ascetic practice has not yet arrived. One day, a silver snake will appear and give a spiritual medicine to your mouth. At that time your first practice will be completed. Then, later, a gold snake will appear before you. Wait for that time." He closed his eyes, wondering if he was having an hallucination. He looked at his own figure and his voice sank in the depth of his throat. In 1906 Kihara made his home in Nagasu 3-chome, Kobe, and began treating disease through his spiritual power. Before he knew it, his spiritual power strengthened and it had a healing effect on more than fifteen hundred Chinese patients. To make up for the time lost, he now made plans to go to southern China, utilizing the Chinese contacts of the patients he had treated. However, his consort, Yoshiko suffered from heart disease, and he was thus unable to move.

      In August of the same year, Kihara traveled through the San-in country and was charmed with the beauty of nature there, specially with the views which had the Shinji Lake in the background. He suddenly decided that he would move to Matsue. He set up a house at 99, Teramachi-cho, Matsue city (the east margin of the Shinji Lake) and started there again to treat diseases with his spiritual power. A mistress named Mitsui was living in nearby Tono-machi. She was sick with syphilitic neuralgia and had had her leg amputated but she continued to suffer from severe pain in around the amputated limb and she asked Kihara for help. Twenty minutes after he had arrived by jinrikisha (a man-pulled-cart) to see her at her house, her pain eased away and she heartily expressed her thanks to him saying, "At the very moment I looked at you your treatment took effect and the pain started to ease away." In fact, his spiritual power had reached her even before he had arrived at her house and after four days of treatment that mistress was able to celebrate her complete recovery. Kihara noticed that he was endowed with the ability to use his spiritual power whenever he wished. What was really wonderful, was that he could cure a person who had suffered brain damage, in only thirty minutes, simply by putting his hat on the head of the patient or, that he could cure a person confined to a stretched by using his spiritual power only a couple of times. He became increasingly popular and soon had a large practice. His followers increased. From 1906 to 1907 he was, for sure, at the peak of his prosperity. He had a daughter with Yoshiko, named Toshiko whom he had brought with him from Kobe. After making a profit of 1,000 yen, he was now burning with ambition to go to Tokyo and develop his work there. At the end of 1907 he had already saved 600 yen.

      On the 1st of January, 1908, Kihara had a mysterious dream. The dream warn him that he would get seriously ill on the 18th of February of that same year. The next day, he told his dream to his eighteen followers. This dream became reality just as forecast. On the 18th of February, he started to develop a high fever. He was diagnosed with typhoid, and was confoned to the isolation quarters in the transmissible diseases section of the hospital. Since then he started suffering from internal bleeding of the bowels, inflammation of the bladder, meningitis and peritonitis, and was soon being placed under the care of eighteen doctors. His case had now attracted the attention of medical science as being quite rare and worth studying. Strangely, the number of eighteen was connected with him. Although doctors had, at a certain point, given up any hope of saving his life, he surprisingly got well by the end of July. Although he had recovered his health, it thwarted his plans to go to Tokyo, and after spending all his savings he even contracted a debt of four or five hundred yen to pay for his medical expenses. He had become quite bitter about that to the point that his neighbors thought that he would flee in the middle of the night. Ryoko who had been suffering from severe heart disease died at that time. Although in former instances Kihara had refused to suffer for the sake of his family, he could not live alone anymore and began to live with one of his followers named Takako. He had two children with her, a girl in 1912, and a boy, in 1914. He had their names recorded in the family register, as if they were children of his legal wife, Setsu. He had not asked for her permission to do so, but he thought that to be born out of wedlock would make life miserable for his children. Despite this it must be said that he had no sympathy whatsoever for Setsu. He really did not intend to do any harm. He selfishly thought, "If I was in my wife's place I would agree to that anyway. This is, after all, only a formality, a problem of family register." He had not formally divorced Setsu, because he sympathized their children and wanted to avoid leaving them legally fatherless. In April, 1915, Kihara went to see the cherry blossoms at Shiro-yama (the Castle mountain) with the daughter of the late Yoshiko, Toshiko who was already ten years old, and on his way home, they visited one of his friends who was absorbed studies of Zen Buddhism of the Rinzai cult. His friend advised Toshiko to attempt to sit in religious meditation (Zazen). While Toshiko sat straight and closed her eyes Kihara, looking at her closely, took up casually a fude (writing brush) and wrote a figure キ which was similar to that of the Japanese character for Katakana, but the lower part of the figure was curiously thwarted. Toshiko, closing her eyes, said, "Father, you just wrote a strange character, didn't you? It is not キ (ki in the Japanese pronunciation) nor モ (mo in the Japanese pronunciation). What is it?" Kihara was surprised at her question and under the guidance of his friend he repeated the experiment several times. The result of all this was that he was now confident that she was endowed with the ability to see distinctly through things. She even could see what was hidden in a safe. She soon became a sensation.

      At that time a magazine named Suisei ("The Comet", which had first been published in 1912) had been issued in Matsue city. The publishing office of the Suisei-sha was located on 36, Kitabori-cho, Matsue city. This magazine allowed much space for news and articles related to the problems of the Sacred Spirit, including problems of policy, business, education, religion and others related with it, and it had a substantial circle of readers around the country. This magazine gave a detailed account of the supernatural powers of Toshiko, and that added to her reputation. Kihara sent this magazine to his friend, Tamekazu Inoue who had come from Iyo (currently Ehime Prefecture) and now lived in Tokyo. Inoue answered by return mail sending several presents to Kihara's daughter and congratulating him. But, he added, "Please ask her to see through this package and say what it is." His daughter, Toshiko sat calmly down and closed her eyes, and said, "The present in the package is a yukata (summer dishabille of the Japanese) sold by the Mitsukoshi Department Store. Its colors are purple and susuki (the susuki is the Japanese pampas grass). The design is that of a sakura." Kihara sent a letter on which he wrote her answer to Inoue at once. The next evening, Kihara received the goods and opened it. It was exactly what his daughter had told him.

      At that time a lawyer, who was an acquaintance of Toshiko, asked her to see through a piece of evidence which was connected to a trial he was dealing with. She did as requested, looking through a closet in a house and that established the accused person's innocence. She was perfectly able to see through whatever obstacle she focused on. Dr. Tomokichi Fukurai often came from Tokyo to visit her and study her supernatural powers. He could verify that she indeed was endowed with them.

      In the night of the 8th of October, 1915, Kihara had a dream. In his dream a silver Dragon appeared and let fall three drops of the spiritual liquid medicine in his mouth. When he awoke the smell of the medicine persisted in his mouth for a week. Since that time on his temperature always rose to a high degree on the days which had an 8 in them and this condition continued until August of the following year.

      Since the time of his dream Kihara confined himself to the Yakushi-dou (Yakushi-temple) at Mt. Makuragi. It was said that the priest Benkei had once practiced asceticism there, and many worshippers came to that temple to confine themselves there. A very famous story connected with the temple told the way Benkei had been faithful to his master, Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune (1159-1189), a war-lord of the end of Heian period. On the 12th of October Kihara was suddenly overtaken by a spiritual power, and started hopping around. He then jumped over the heads of about sixty worshippers who were sitting in the Yakushi-dou, and came to a rest, sitting beyond them. On the 20th of October he went through the black gate of a shrine made of plain hinoki wood (Japanese cypress) and in a dream crossed a pond and other buildings. After awakening from the dream he vividly remembered all the details of that scene.

      In December a gray-haired old man named Genryu Harada visited Kihara. He was devoted to Zen Buddhism and said that he had devised a new way of treating disease called the Jikun-Entsu-Hou (The Way of Smoothing Treatment from the Root of Ears). He was basing his thoughts on a hint from a paragraph of Buddhist literature. He asked Kihara to be his successor in applying that treatment and offered to teach it to Kihara. He advocated that a person was getting ill when the dregs called dana stayed in his or her brain. A basic principle of his treatment was that the sick should sit strait and should be trained in moving only the ears to get rid of it. It seemed to have been fairly effective. He feared that his treatment would be forgotten after his death, and to avoid this, he began to publish a text on the Jikon-Entsu-Hou, and made it available through a course by correspondence in 1917.

      At that time an article about the Shinreikai (The Spiritual World) was reviewed in the Asahi Shimbun in Osaka. Kihara remembered the title of the magazine at the time he was about to launch a bulletin called "The Spiritual World of the Soul". That bulletin aimed at propagating the ideas of the Philosophical Society of "The Spiritual World of the Soul" over which he presided, and he noticed the resemblance of both titles. He ordered the magazine from Ayabe, but it was very difficult for him to understand and most parts of it, and he finally kept interest only in the part related to the Fudesaki. Tatebumi Okada who was the president of the magazine "The Suisei" (The Comet) happened to visit him. Since "The Suisei" had printed an account of the article about the supernatural powers of his daughter, Toshiko, Kihara had kept in touch with him. Kihara showed the magazine "The Spiritual World" to Okada and they promised each other to seriously study the fundamental principles of this strange cult called the Omoto. Kihara made plans to go to Ayabe in August, but, for some reason, it did not work out. Tatebumi Okada visited Ayabe on the 24th of December, 1917, and met Onisaburo, Asano and some other believers. Onisaburo calmed down his overheated mind and he decided to stay overnight. He was the first person from Matsue to visit the headquarters of the Omoto cult, and he became the seed which was to sprout up in the land of Shimane. Just after returning to Matsue, Okada told Kihara, "Hey, you! You should not let time flee away quietly dealing with the Jikon-Entsu. The rebuilding of the world will arrive. Heaven and earth will be turned upside down, I heard. I spoke about you to the Reverend. Please go to Ayabe as soon as possible."

      Okada had inflamed the interest of Kihara so much that he immediately began to publish, in the Suisei, articles introducing what he called "The Omoto of the Imperial Way". This was in fact a series of articles and they continued to appear long after the Omoto cult had been forbidden and suppressed. Kihara had again to postpone his visit to Ayabe because one of his parents died on the 4th of January of the New Year and he was supposed to go into mourning for forty-eight days. However, his late parent appeared in a dream saying, "You should mourn any longer. Today, you must put and end to it. Then, on the 14th he received an unexpected letter from Onisaburo, and he took a train for Ayabe, at once, abandoning every thing else in his life.

      The night was running eastward and the lights of the fishing boats on the Sea of Japan could he seen on the left side of the train. When the train passed the Yasuki and the Yonago station the eerie sight left the passengers dreaming. Kihara was quite interested and somewhat surprised at discovering the principles which lay at the foundation of the Omoto cult regarding the rebuilding and re-erection of the world. However, he retained some pride when comparing his own spiritual power with that of the Chinkon-Kishin (the calming down the soul according to the will of the God) in the Omoto cult. When the train arrived at the Yodoe station a man with a gentle face, wearing western clothes took the seat opposite to him. As he focused more carefully on his face, he realized that he was looking like Tengu (a long nosed goblin). Thinking that it was funny, Kihara started looking carefully at the face of the man who was sleeping beside him and saw him change to a raccoon. Then he continued checking the faces of all the passengers and all of them turned to be raccoons or foxes. Finally, he reached the conclusion that there were no persons on the train but only raccoons and foxes. He thought that it was quite mysterious to be able to see those faces while closing his eyes and that maybe he would not have been able to do so with his eyes wide open. The train arrived at the Tottori station just before midnight. A family led by the father who was going to Taiwan as a government official, boarded the train. Only two infants, a boy and a girl, appeared normal but all the other members of the family looked like animals to the scrutinizing eyes of Kihara. It made him feel oppressed and to relieve his tension he opened a copy of the magazine "The Spiritual World" and saw a phrase which called his attention.

      __"Common people endeavor to dress themselves in a showy manner, to look good, and they crave to appear like the gods through this artifice. People frequently judge only through appearances. However, when the good god, who has created the universe, looks at them, their figure changes and they look like goblins, growing horns and tails and having abnormally high noses; they live in the dark world. Even a tiger or a wolf are harmless after they have had their plenty of food. But humans are never satisfied and they want ever more because their desires are insatiable and they are more evil than the savage beasts. They have cruel minds and they become evil animals and that is why they become goblins and great snakes and always want to occupy other countries and rob others of valuable things. There are a lot of very wicked things happening and these must all be actions of the spirit of the evil god."

      These sentences were written in the Fudesaki of the 5th of May (the Japanese old calendar in 1899).

      "Following the North China affairs, the Russo-Japanese War and the annexation of Korea, the beast was appearing in the world exactly as described in the Fudesaki. Humans started snatching valuable things from each other, looking out for the weaker preys and biting at each other with unlimited selfishness. "Did the god make me look at the spirit of human beings through my spiritual eyes and made me prepare this visit to Ayabe?" asked Kihara to himself. "If that is so, it is a very great god, indeed," he thought. The train arrived at the Wada Station at 3.19 a.m. Here, quite a number of passengers got off the train. The gentleman looking like a Tengu, who was sitting opposite to Kihara, also left the train. Kihara was now able to stretch his legs and to sit at ease. The train arrived at the Fukuchiyama Station at 4.10 a.m. As the cold outside was intense, Kihara waited for the connecting train in the waiting-room and then took the 5.37 a.m. train for Kyoto. As he was now very tired, he started dozing a bit and dreamed that the train had arrived at a very beautiful station looking like a palace. He awoke suddenly and realized that the train had indeed arrived at the Ayabe Station. It was 6 a.m. on the 15th of January.

      Having the feeling that he had been here before, he went through a black gate. In spite of shouting repeatedly at the reception desk no one came forth and the silence returned. Kihara was not alone, several other visitors were waiting at the reception desk. Feeling desperate he sat down on the edge of the entrance hall while becoming disgusted at the lack of answer. But, after a short while, a very small man appeared and said, "Welcome! The President told me to welcome a visitor at the entrance and invite him to his room. I understand that you are this visitor. Is that correct? My leader has good ears as I expected!" That person who was the first one Kihara met at the Omoto cult, was Keisuke Toyomoto. Toyomoto led Kihara to a secluded room where Onisaburo was waiting for him. Onisaburo spoke of the difficulties related with the Spiritual Power of Language, but it left Kihara somewhat confused. While he was looking at the Kinryu-Kai (The Golden Dragon-Sea) and other aspects of the sacred precinct, he was utterly astonished to discover that it appeared exactly as it had been in his dreams, the black gate included. After his soul had been calmed down by the spiritual power of Wasaburo Asano Kihara, remembering the accident which had occurred at the Yakushi-do (the Yakushi Temple) made a request, "When I am under the influence of the spiritual power I can jump a fairly good distance, so, please, give me your power at the center of the Kinryu-den (the Golden Dragon Building).

      Asano ignored Kihara's request and had him, instead, sitting at the corner of the shrine's hall, where he began to calm down his soul through his spiritual power. During the first and second attempts Kihara remained silent; he did not jump but he was feeling much better. However, the session was somewhat too short for him. Kihara first suspected that Asano was using some kind of mesmerizing technique. Asano tried a third session at his house. While doing so he kept looking at the bright blue sea and the green Islands. While focusing intensify at the horizon, it seemed that the Islands were getting closer to each other and he could now devise very clearly a shrine, in the architectural style of the Fujiwara period, with its lacquered vermilion torii (the Shinto shrine archway). It looked progressively closer and finally seemed to stand almost close at hand.

      Kihara thought, "Oh, that is a scene I have seen before! Where did it go now? That must certainly be..." He opened his eyes, the scene vanished and he could see Asano standing before him laughing. Asano asked him, "Well, did you see Aki-no-Miyajima?" Kihara answered, "Yes, I saw Aki-no-Miyajima, but that is strange because it is impossible to see it from here!" Asano answered, "Of course, but I did ask your guardian deity to show the Miyajima-sen to you." By that time Kihara's suspicion that he was simply being mesmerized had totally disappeared, because he had been taught mesmerism by Enryo Inoue and he flattered himself of knowing all kinds of methods of mesmerizing, from the most elementary to the most sophisticated, and, furthermore, he had practiced them himself. Inoue was said to be the foremost scholar in the field of apparitions. Asano did not give Kihara a single clue as to how this had happened, although Kihara knew he could have seen Miyajima in his subconscious but he could not figure out how Asano had been able to know it. That was, definitely, the difference between the Chinkon-Kishin (Calming Down the Soul According to the Will of the God) and mesmerism. At least, Kihara thought so.

      Oh the 17th Tatefumi Okada visited the headquarters of the Omoto cult in Ayabe for the second time and returned to Matsue on the 19th, but, Kihara, instead, could not persuade himself to leave Ayabe that soon because he felt that he had a lot of work to do there before leaving. While he was observing the ascetic practices of silence in the cave of the Ou-Yashima (the Japan Islands) Shrine, during three days, he clearly saw the spiritual figures of two gods on the third of those days. Then, on the 22nd while he was practicing Chinkon asceticism (Calming Down the Soul) at the Kinryu-den (the Golden Dragon Building) he saw through his spiritual eyes a silver snake appearing in one corner, and a golden snake appearing in the opposite corner. Each was holding a piece of jade in its mouth. "That is the revelation I was longing for!" He thought, and his whole body quivered with emotion.

      In spite of his desire to remain in Ayabe, Kihara had to return home. After ten days in Ayabe he finally left on the 24th taking the 11 p.m. night train. On his way home, he had to change trains and take the 0.45 a.m. train from Fukuchiyama to Taisha. While staying in Ayabe he had subsisted on scanty food. He had the secret design to stop on his way home at the Kinosaki spa to eat his plenty of food before continuing on his way. When the train arrived at the Wadayama Station he felt that something was pressing him down, as if the lower half of his body was powerfully attracted by his seat. He was unable to move, although he was using all his strength. Although he thought it impossible to move at all, he still managed to move a little. He was feeling more hungry by the minute but he had to give up the idea of going to the Kinosaki spa, and he decided to buy some lunch through the window of the train, when stopping at the Toyo-oka Station because he could do that, while twisting only the upper half of his body. Just after having eaten his favorite dish, sweet-boiled beef, Kihara started vomiting violently. He had the feeling that something was pressing very hard on the bottom of his stomach. He thought that it was a strange feeling and he tried again to eat somewhat but vomited again. He tried it three times in a row with the same result then decided to eat the other food leaving the beef alone. When the train arrived at the Kinosaki Station he had nut yet been able to move from his seat. But as soon as the train had left the Kinosaki Station he was freed from its seat and able to move without any hindrance. It was like if a miracle had occurred. He understood that he would have been able to move freely, had he abandoned the idea of getting off in Kinosaki and that it was his guardian deity who had been angered by his project to stop over there. It seemed that this deity did not trust him too much and decided to forestall any possibility of his leaving the train by immobilizing him on his seat. The thought that his guardian deity did not trust him depressed him quite a bit.

      On the third day after Kihara's return to Matsue, Teijiro Obara suddenly visited him. It was almost like if an insect was flying straight into a butterfly net raised overhead. Obara, who was fifty-one, at the time, was a member of the business department of the Asahi Shimbun in the San-in area. Kihara had first endeavored to inculcate the principles of the Omoto cult in the heads of his companion, Takako, and other daughter, Toshiko, but he was now wishing to do the same with another person in order to induce that person to work at propagation with violent passion. When he saw Teijiro Obara he thought that he was just the chosen one for that mission and he greeted him joyfully. "Good, very good! You are arriving at the right moment. Time is pressing. You are a lucky man," said Kihara. Obara was somewhat taken aback by his words, but Kihara continued, "There is a sacred association named the Omoto cult which is attempting to rebuild and re-erect the universe according to the will of the god. The founder of the association said that in the near future the number of people will start to decrease to only one thirds of what it is now. What do you make of that? Do you believe in the god of the Omoto cult?" Obara said, "You say so at point blank, but before going ahead, it is very important that I believe in the principles of the Omoto cult." Kihara answered, "I agree! Although it is tedious for me to tell you the story of my recent experience I will tell it! Listen carefully, please, and don't be surprised at what you will hear!" Obara listened carefully to Kihara's story. Obara was a member of the Spiritual Philosophy Society and he had had various spiritual experiences. If he had not had such experiences he would not have taken to heart to study the principles of the Omoto cult nor would he have listen carefully to Kihara's story which, to common ears, would have sounded totally nonsensical. Obara had retired from the military in 1889, after serving for eighteen years, and he was now an employee of the bank of Japan. He was thirty-two years old. He had once purchased in a store of the Kanda district, a book entitled "Kokkuri (A Fox-A Raccoon Dog Goblin)" by Dr. Enryo Inoue. Inoue concluded in that book that the phenomenon of "A Fox-A Raccoon Dog Goblin" was produced under the aegis of changes in brain function. Obara had carefully considered the details of Inoue's conclusion, but he could not accept that the scholars explained such a phenomenon as a physical phenomenon. Obara concluded that the study of mental phenomenon was, as yet, quite crude, and he made up his mind to study it.

      That was the motive for which Obara initiated his Spiritual Studies. He worked upon the hypothesis that the spirit was able to move an object, and he attempted every day to concentrate his attention on one point of the space where a ball was hanging from a thread. He continued this experiment for a whole week. His younger brother thought that he was out of his mind. Despite his efforts, he was unable to move the ball through his will power. He gleaned, however, an unexpected by-product. He became possessed by the spiritual power to cure a person's disease. He had become able to perfectly heal the toothache of a policeman who lived in the neighborhood as well as the brain disease of the daughter of a neighboring ricksha man, through only looking at them while pressing the diseased part with his finger. The wife of the master of a lodging house, who had sprained her ankle, was also cured after he looked at her while pressing her ankle with his finger. She recovered almost immediately and was able, on the next day, to walk without difficulty indifferent to the clogs on her way from the Yotsuya district to the Azabu district.

      In 1906, Obara resigned from his office and went back to his home town, Yonago. He had decided to leave aside worldly cares and to devote himself to his spiritual studies and investigations. He also visited several spiritualists. From the time he had entered the Asahi Shimbun Publishing Company and moved to Matsue Obara had established a close friendship with Kihara mainly because they shared similar interests. Not long before hearing Kihara's story Obara had been ordered by the headquarters of the Asahi Shimbun to complete some business in Himeji and in order to do that he took the same night train which Kihara had taken on his way from Osaka to Himeji. He had to do his business in Himeji, but he had fallen asleep and woke up at the Wadayama Station. He knew well to side of the station where he had to transfer, but he noticed his mistake only when the train arrived at Fukuchiyama Station where he got off in a hurry. It was at that time that he made up his mind to ride past the precincts of the Omoto cult to get a look at them.

      Obara met Onisaburo at the Omoto cult, and visited the house of Wasaburo Asano in the Nanmatsu district. Obara heard an explanation from Asano which was as follows: "Everyone is blessed by the sacred spirit, namely the guardian deity by nature. At the same time, everyone is possessed by an animalistic nature, who is the vice-guardian deity. That vice-guardian deity is concerned with, and remains in the flesh. Both deities are in constant struggle against each other and there have to face many confrontations. Many moderns are led by the nose by that vice-guardian deity. After hearing that explanation Obara's many questions were answered and his doubts were dispelled. Obara, then, had his soul calmed down by Kihara. His body started to rock gently back and forth and little by little his head followed pace. Obara intended two or three times to resist the mysterious power that was moving him but despite his efforts he could not rise his head at all and he remained prostrated as if he had been placed under a massive rock. There was no need for him to ask for more explanations from Kihara, because he was clearly convinced that he was dealing with a power far superior to his own. "I understand, understand it at all, now!"

      Obara vowed, on the spot, that from now on he would believe in the principles of the Omoto cult. Obara stayed in Ayabe for only three hours. On his way home to Osaka, he stopped over at the Tottori Station to meet his friends, Shoji Hiraki and Sanpei Yamashita to explain to them the principles of the Omoto cult, and to offer them a chance to practice asceticism in the Omoto cult. After his return Teijiro Obara visited Yoshio Okumura, who was thirty years old, and had a bound volume of "The Spiritual World" issues of 1917. Okumura was the manager of a large stationery shop named "Sekizen-do" (Keeping on Doing Good Deals Shop) in Kyo-machi, and was also a dealer of the Asahi Shimbun. Obara spoke to him enthusiastically of the Omoto. On the same night, Okumura read the Shinreikai which he had borrowed from Obara. He did not understand the contents of the Fudesaki very well, but he nonetheless, carefully, read the article "The General Statement: The Omoto Cult of the Imperial Way" by Wasaburo Asano. He was deeply impressed with the following phrase: "It is nonsense for you to hesitatingly give a variety of explanations of the world from a distance. There is but only one good way to awaken a person and that is to have its spirit and its heart moved by experiment We should, by all means, experiment with ourselves. To anyone who has an objection or a doubt about that, I say, "You should come to Ayabe one or two tunes at any cost. I can help your spirit get rid of your objections and your doubts. Human beings are able to express, in writing, a skeleton of truth regarding the Spiritual World, but, a human being cannot be awoken to truth through written articles." He felt immediately that he would like to visit the Omoto cult.

      On the 11th of February, Okumura set off Matsue at 6.30 a.m. and arrived in Ayabe at about 6 p.m. After calling several times at the reception desk of the headquarters of the Omoto cult a long-haired boy came to greet him. Okumura said, "I'd like to meet Asano-san or Deguchi-san." The boy took his name card and went to the inner part of the building. Before long a middle-aged woman turned up, opening the shoji of the great hall which was adjacent to the reception hall. She was pregnant and her belly protruded as if it was going to burst. Later, Okumura became aware that the woman was Sumi Deguchi. "Welcome, please come in," She said. Looking very friendly and natural she led him through the narrow kitchen and to a tatami room which was facing the West Stone Shrine. There was an Oki-Kotatsu (the foot warmer with a quilt over it) under a lamp hanging from the ceiling. Onisaburo was sitting there writing, but he stopped and greeted Okumura. Onisaburo seemed to be under quite a bit of strain while writing because he had swollen face. "Are you Asano-san or Deguchi-sau?" Okumura coolly asked in a rather impolite way. "I am Deguchi," answered Onisaburo. "You had a severe oold, didn't you? Please enter in the Kotatsu." Onisaburo offered him a place in the kotatsu, tucking up the edge of the futon of the kotatsu. Okumura got in the kotatsu without reserve and told his story. He told it as it had occurred. "Would you accept to go to Matsue if I make arrangements for you to give a lecture there?" Onisaburo answered, "Oh, Matsue! Well, yes, I'd like to go to the Izumo Taisha (the Izumo Great Shrine). I haven't been there for a long time. If you can gather an audience of about twenty or thirty persons, I will go."

      After listening to Asano's story and visiting the precincts of the Omoto cult, Okumura stayed overnight and returned to Matsue on the following day. After his return he remained in close contact with Okada, Kihara, Obara and some others and busied himself making arrangements for the lecture he was organizing for Onisaburo. Although Okumura was under the influence of the spiritual power of the "Calming Down of the Soul" and was trusting in the existence of the god he was quite restless and active because he felt moved by strong emotions coming from the bottom of his heart. On the 20th he gave a lecture on the topic of the Omoto cult at his house for a small audience of some people who had said to be interested. Keizaburo Mori showed a burning interest in the subject. On the 28th of January he donated to the Omoto cult a treasured article on the Mori family with an image of the Seven Deities of Good Luck enjoying themselves, and on the 2nd of February he donated over two hundred fine swords with the name of the sword-smiths engraved on them, which he had been collecting over the years with much effort. Later, and although it was snowing heavily he moved to Ayabe with his wife and three children, abandoning his business in Osaka.

      On the 3rd of February Mori was appointed chief officer of the headquarters of the Omoto cult and was given the name of Ryoujin Mori by Onisaburo. However, when his wife, Masa was told that the family would move to Ayabe and that he would be abandoning his business, she was frightened. She had heard that in the Omoto cult, even a high ranking officer was not receiving any money or salary for his services which were on a totally voluntary basis. It was even the rule that in some cases the believers themselves had to raise the money needed for their propagation work in the local areas. Setting aside those who were living on a pension the undertaking of service in the Omoto cult required quite a bit of determination on the part of a believer and it meant that everyone had to make his own livelihood. She felt that it was a pity for the whole family that her husband would abandon his business which was doing quite well. She did not believe in the god, but she had to do as he said because she was afraid that his sweetheart, Hanayo Yamagami, would start looking for him in the mountains of the Tanba district. However, Masa expected that Hanayo would sever her connection with him as soon as they were pushed into poverty by these circumstances and that she would be able to start a new life with her husbund.

      Mori hurriedly bought a house in the Namimatsu district in Ayabe, but even before they had been able to bring in their furniture, Hanayo visited them. Masa was very surprised at seeing her there. Hanayo said, "I have rented a room upstairs of the Konjak paste shop. I am closer to you now than when we lived in Osaka. I am glad to meet you." Masa asked, "Oh, but why are you coming here?" Hanayo answered, "I am also a believer of the Omoto cult and my life in Osaka is too boring. Madam! I'd like to help you." As Hanayo looked so friendly to her Masa, who was wiping things around her with a damp cloth, got quite confused and did not know how to answer and started drying her wet hands on her apron in an uneasy way. At the very moment Mori heard their voices he rushed towards the entrance. He said to Hanayo, "Don't tell me that! We do not need any help. It is rather you who need help because you are doing your moving alone. I will go to help you later or,...have you finished already?" Hanayo said, "I have only taken my shamisen with me. I sold all my other possessions before leaving. I feel quite refreshed by that. I have not even a chest of drawers. Would you like to go shopping with me later?" "Oh, anyway come in," said Mori and he continued, O-Masa, offer her a cup of tea, and also some Kinryu-mochi (the Golden Dragon-Rice-Cake)." Masa realized that all her hopes of starting anew with her husband had come to naught.

      Masa heard that the tone of her husband's voice was very sweet when he talked to Hanayo. As a matter of fact she had never heard him speak to herself that way. Masa should have sent Hanayo away from the very first day, but now that she had allowed her to enter the house she would probably find it very natural to visit Masa's husband any time she felt like doing so. Masa got angry with herself, but although she did not feel like serving tea to Hanayo, she reluctantly did serve her a cup of roughly made tea and a few pieces of rice crackers. It seemed that her husband had gone to the new place Hanayo had rented upstairs of the konjak paste shop, because he had disappeared, but Masa thought that was better for her if Hanayo remained in the living room where she could see her, so, she endeavored to be somewhat sociable and did even laugh once in a while.

      Masa sent a letter complaining about that situation to her daughter, Hideko in Osaka. At the beginning of March, on a cold day, Hideko Tsujimoto came to her parent's house in the Namimatsu district, carrying her eldest son who was only six months old with her. "Where is my father?" she asked. She went looking around the house with a threatening expression. Masa laughed, lifting her grandson, whom she had not seen for a while and said, "Your grandfather went to the Omoto place." "I would like to meet him as soon as possible," replied Hideko, not abandoning her stern expression. She continued, "Mother, you will be surprised at what I have heard from other members of the Tsujimoto family. They say: "Your mother was very glad to marry the best man in Japan, but, while we were thinking that your mother's husband was trading flannel goods in Kishu-u (current Wakayama Prefecture) a bad woman stole your mothers husband, we have heard." Hideko continued, "Mother! I am mortified. I heard that she came here, chasing my father. I came because I am resolved to go to O-Hana's house and tell her to break up with my father. Even I have lost face with the Tsujimoto family due to my father's behavior. Well, where is that konjak paste shop? Please, show me to her house!" Masa tried to calm her down and repented of having written those complaints about her husband to her daughter. "Hideko, forget about it! I didn't write that letter to ask you to solve the problem. Your father certainly likes her company. I also think she is quite charming, and I believe that she has no sexual relations with my husband." Hideko said, "Why are you so credulous? Why can you not face the truth? They are a man and a woman, and she is no more than a vagrant of the gay quarters. She had a rather peculiar relation with my father while you were living in Osaka, you know" Masa replied, "This place is different from Osaka. This is a sacred place where the god is enshrined. My husband and O-Hara believe in the god and they cannot continue to do what they have done up to now in disregard of the god's rules. Moreover, I have heard that the god of the Omoto cult judges severely improper sexual relations." Hideko said, "Pooh! Where is that the god? Do you really think that O-Hana and my father would face divine punishment? You are much too lenient with that woman. Even the god will despise you if you keep saying so." Masa was joining her hands in prayer and said, "Yes, yes, I am to blame because I sent you that letter! Don't tell your father about it. It is better for you to show him his grandson." Hideko sat down with a sullen look while her resolve was weakening.

      Mori hurriedly returned home from the headquarters of the Omoto cult carrying a child whom Masa had sent to him. The child was his first grandson and it made of him a rather young grandfather considering that he was only forty-four. He was dancing, overwhelmed by joy. Hideko was moved to tears in spite of herself. She now remembered that, to his children, he was a gentle, manly, and warmhearted father whom his four children could be proud of. But, from her mother's point of view he was the most hateful and selfish man in the world. Those thoughts dampened somewhat Hideko's emotion, but she kept her innocent smile. Mori took his daughter and grandson with him and introduced them to Onisaburo. He said, "Master! This is the first grandchild, isn't he a charming little boy?" Mori boasted about his grandson and abandoning for a moment his usually stern expression, he offered the baby to Onisaburo. Onisaburo looked lovingly at the baby while patting its head and said to Mori, "Though you are four years younger than me, you have already a grandchild! That makes you quite unique in Japan, doesn't it?" Onisaburo was always envious of whomever had male children. Hideko returned to Osaka on the same day, giving up her original intention.

      In the middle of March a man dressed in a haori (a Japanese half-coat) and a hakama (a divided skirt for man's formal wear), appeared at the entrance of the headquarters of the Omoto cult. He was short, but looked intrepid. Onisaburo said, "Oh! Yano-san has arrived! Show him to this room at once and leave us alone for a while." He rarely ordered others to leave the room, but this time, as soon as the visitor had entered the back room of the Tomu-kaku (the Control Building) he greeted him warmly and seated himself face to face with him. That man, Yutaro Yano, was a naval commander, he had a deep voice and flashing eyes. He said to Onisaburo, "I have, at last, had a chance to navigate to Shina (China). On the 27th of February my battleship, the Fuso, was ordered to sail to Ma-Kung in Taiwan and to return to the port of Sasebo on the 3rd of March. Anyhow, I have only very little time now, but, I was lucky because I could get the gift I promised you. I wanted to offer this to you as soon as possible, and that is why, despite the many difficulties I faced to leave my ship, I am here today." The gift which Yano had brought with him was a piece of photograph and some copies of documents. Those documents were secret navy documents and to make them available to Onisaburo was a serious breach of discipline on the part of Yano. After reading them Onisaburo made a groan and said, "Well, he seemed to be alive!" Yano continued, "At least, we can be certain that he was alive up to the moment he went to Siberia on the New Year of 1918. From there on we cannot guarantee anything. After carefully committing to memory the contents of the documents Onisaburo threw them in the brazier. He asked Yano, "Can I have a look at the photograph?" Yano said, "Of course, I will give it to you but don't reveal how you got it!" "I understand! But, Yano-san, wait for a moment, please! Onisaburo went out of the room and returned almost immediately saying, "This is a photograph of Seikichi Deguchi which my wife, O-Sumi took. It is the only piece of identity we have from him." "I see!" said Yano. They placed both photographs on the tatami and carefully compared them. On the first photograph, Seikichi appeared standing in military uniform and with his military cap on. He was carrying a knapsack on his back and had a bayonet in his right hand. The photograph had been taken a few days after he had enlisted in the army. He was only twenty years old at the time and still retained some traces of the childish features and stern looks of a country boy. He had joined the army in December and it looked like if he was standing in the snow with his high boots, but the photograph was quite unclear and it was impossible to be sure. On the other piece, which was the one that Yano had brought from China, the upper half body of a man could be seen. His name was written as Wang Wen Tai. He looked like a well trimmed young officer of about thirty years old. I might have been a copy, instead of an original, because the brass buttons, the lapel and the shoulder strap were very difficult to distinguish. Onisaburo could not see any difference between the two men on the photographs. On the second photograph he carried no hat and his broad forehead, his straight lined eyebrows and his firmly closed lips revealed a though character. The glasses glittered of the unfathomable expression of his eyes. Yano said, "I can't figure out if the men appearing on the two photographs are one and the same, but, I could accept that, despite the differences, both photographs are of Seiki-san if I consider the moment at which the photographs were taken and the experience he had acquired in the meantime, which are bound to change his appearance. Onisaburo continued, "We might also suppose that he tried to change his face wearing those glasses, but the shape of his body he could not change and when I look at his shoulders, which are too round for a man, I can recognize them as Seikichi's shoulders. As for the shape of the chin, the mouth and that of the ears, they are definitely those of Seikichi. Moreover, there is something to O-Sumi about him." Onisaburo said that very tenderly fancying that he knew his brother-in-law, who was the elder brother of his wife and was one year younger than himself. Yano continued in a somewhat altered tone, "Could I now consult with you about a private matter. I would like to have my wife and my three children live in Ayabe. I believe that it is the best surrounding for bringing them up as exemplary Japanese citiven. After leaving my family to the care of the Omoto cult I will be able to do my work without worrying about them and will be able to face the hard thoughts and decisions I am now facing." Onisaburo answered, "That is well for me, but what are you going to do with your own future?" Yano relied, "I will stay in Tokyo. I can live there in the facilities of a branch of the Tsukiji-Honganji-Temple. I will be able to better reconsider my life while living alone and I plan to return home once a year." Onisaburo said, "Fine, I will take care of your family. My friend, Shinohara-sen will move to Fukuchiyama next spring because many officers from the army are beginning to visit the Fukuchiyama Branch Office of the Omoto cult in search of guidance to find a way to live in this world. The manager of the Fukuchiyama Branch Office, Inatsugu-san, has asked me to dispatch a spiritual leader with a modern education to deal with them. Shinohara-san is quite enthusiastic about going there. After the Shinohara family moves to Fukuchiyama their house will be empty. That house is next to the house of the Asano family in the Nanmatsu district. It is small and has only one room upstairs and two rooms downstairs, but it is very well located facing the Wachi River." "Well," said Yano. "That seems just fine and I take it. When I come back from Tokyo I will bring my family with me." "Very well," said Onisaburo. "Would you like to meet Seikyo Asano-san, now? It happened that just a few days ago, Asano-san came here accompanied by Kisaki-san who is a Major General in the army and both of them are still staying here." But Yano had to hurry back and said, "I am awfully sorry but I must return to my duties today. May I simply ask you to convey to Asano-san that I have visited you for a few moments to inquire about moving my family here."

      Just after seeing Yano, who was in a hurry, off, Onisaburo went directly to the printing office. As soon as he entered he shouted, "Hey, Kuma-han! Did you finish setting the type for the No.4 of the 'The Spiritual World' magazine?" The eldest son of Heizo Shikata, Kumataro, raised his honest looking face and answered, "Yes, I am now beginning to print it!" "Wait! We need to make some changes," said Onisaburo. "Please this photo anywhere you can in the paper." "Ah!" said Kumataro taking a piece of the photograph while wiping his hands smudged with printing ink. "Who is it?" he asked. "Is there some article to be added with this photograph?" "Well!" said Onisaburo. "Place it wherever you want, but I just remember that, in this issue, there is an article called "The report of Mr. Kunimatsu Nango from Hades. You could put the photograph at the end of that article! What do you think?" Kumataro answered, "Very well! I will try to do so, but is there a caption to be placed under the photograph?" "Well! What about 'Who is this man?'" said Onisaburo. Kumataro asked, "And who is he?" The young eyes of Kumataro focused intensely on Onisaburo who continued, "No problem! Please only that caption! Nothing more!" Kumataro asked again, "And what do I answer if someone asks me who he is?" "Well, you just say that you don't know, but I want this photograph to be published for at least ten years and I am confident that someone will notice it and that we will ultimately know! I am quite confident of that!" answered Onisaburo. Kumataro agreed and he thought it a matter of course to do exactly as Onisaburo had ordered him to do. While Kumataro was making the necessary arrangements to include the photograph, Onisaburo, who was watching him called his attention repeatedly saying, "Please return the photograph as soon as you are done with it! This is a very old-looking machine, but print it as clearly as possible!"

      Etsuko Hoshida had built a small house near the west gate and was living there alone. Today, she was absorbed in making another copy of the Fudesaki. Onisaburo suddenly entered her house and borrowed a fude and a piece of Japanese paper. While she was looking at him, standing in the entrance of the house, he rapidly wrote something and said, "I put you in charge of this! Don't divulge the secret I will need that in the Future to prove something." Hoshida looked at the paper which ink was still wet.

      __"The spot; Seiin lives in China under the Ch'ing dynasty. The assumed name is Wang Wen Tei. He was the ringleader of seventy-five bandits. Now, he lives in a small village named Tomchakku, Siberia. Hoshida asked, "Seiin you said? That is an unlikely name." Onisaburo continued, "He is Seikichi-han. I saw it clearly in a sacred dream." Hoshida shook her head slowly and said, "I don't believe in your dream. Did he really become a bandit? I don't think so! Seikichi-san died and became an ethereal soul in 1915." Onisaburo retorted, "You are free to believe it or not, but I want to leave proof of my dream for the future. We will know the whole truth sooner or later." After saying this Onisaburo left the house as abruptly as he had arrived.

      Youtaro Yano had been born in the Tsukiji district of Tokyo in 1881. His father, Genjiro Yano was a railroad engineer and served on the Imperial train of Meiji Tenno. He had graduated from the Naval University after completing middle school and the Naval College. At the Battle of the Sea of Japan he was serving abroad the flagship "Mikasa" and had been wounded by splinters of an enemy shell. He had doubts about the blind shelling technique used by the Japanese Navy, and spontaneously entered the Naval Gunnery Training School. After finishing his studies there he became an inspector at the Kure Naval Arsenal and devoted himself to improve the fuses of the shells. From there, he moved up to the headquarters of the Navy Policy Agency, and in May, 1913, he went to England on official business as a naval attache to the embassy. He investigated about the structure of a battleship with a strange mast which the Britain Navy was hiding at a shipbuilding yard in Scotland. On the other hand he infiltrated an international secret society and gathered very important information about a plan to surround and destroy Japan. After being discharged from his mission he returned home in March, 1915.

      But his espionage activities changed his character forever. Shortly after his return from Europe he told his wife, "Shin, there are two separate worlds of the gods. One is the world of the good gods who are going to help Japan, and another is the world of the evil gods who are attempting to destroy Japan. These two worlds are competing with each other and creating much trouble in the hidden world. I want to devote the latter half of my life to ascertain those fights between the good and the evil gods. He was utterly possessed by this purpose and couldn't wait to start his investigation. He now spent day after day, contemplating the world's problems and studying ancient Japanese records such as the Kojiki, the Nihonshoki, without neglecting the study of the Old and New Testaments and the old documents of early Buddhism.

      At the end of the following year (1916), Yano had a meeting with Rear Admiral, Seikyo Asano, who had been his teacher at the Edajima Naval College. Asano frankly consulted him about some personal matters. He said, "My son, Haruka, seems to have met Onisaburo, the leader of the Omoto cult, at the house of his younger brother in the Yokosuka district. He developed a great esteem for Onisaburo and had gone from his home to Ayabe, leaving middle school, when he was in the second grade. To do this he had to defy his father's injunctions. His younger brother's family had already moved to Ayabe. Could you just help me and try to persuade Haruka to come back home? Will you do that? Yano had a lot of sympathy for him because he had been hard on his son and he was interested in the Omoto cult because the cult had already created a real furor among the people of the navy and he wanted to have a first hand look at the Omoto cult. On the same day Yano left for Ayabe. Yano met Seikyo's younger brother, Wasaburo and had words with him. At that time Wasaburo showed him a copy of the Fudesaki. Since that night, he confined himself for a week in a nearby hotel, Konishiya, which was located on the side of the street slope in Ichida-cho, Ayabe, and wrestled with the Fudesaki trying hard to understand it and to link it with the rest of his information.

      On the seventh day, Yano met Haruka and got confirmation of his determination to stay. Haruka said, "I am not going back. I am going to live for the future." Yano answered quite frankly, "Well, you go your way and I will deliver your message to your parents." Yano returned to Tokyo and delivered Haruka's message. He could even persuade Seikyo to recognize his son's will. Yano enshrined the god of the Omoto cult in the sacred corner of his room and prayed to the god every morning and every evening, while diligently devoting his efforts to the study of the Fudesaki. In the spring of 1918 Yano suddenly said to his wife, Shin, "We should move to Ayabe with our children at once. I have already prepared a house for you. Become a believer of the Omoto cult and bring up your children to be good Japanese citizens." Although all his relatives had voiced their strong opposition to this scheme he ignored them. Shin also thought it to be a foolish thing to do, but she could not oppose it either. At the beginning of the summer the Yano family moved to the house next to the house of Wasaburo Asano in Nanmatsu district. At that time a little cuckoo often warbled in the calm precincts of the Omoto cult.

      Shin was first introduced to the founder, Nao by Heizo Shikata. She sat down in the passage and saluted her. Shin heard her sweet voice saying, "Oh! You are the one who is coming from Tokyo, come in!" Shin looked at her and got quite surprised at the noble looks of the founder. In fact, Nao looked more impressive than many high society people Shin had met in Tokyo. The founder looked intensely towards her and said, "The Way of the God is bitter to you, isn't it?" Shin answered, "Yes, it is!" Whenever she raised her head the founder repeated the same phrase. In fact, Shin was quite likely to disobey the founder's orders and to try to escape the bitterness of her situation, but after the founder repeated three times the same phrase Shin suddenly felt impressed, turned somewhat pale and felt as if a nail was piercing her heart. She suddenly thought that, after all, it might be that the founder had foreseen Yano's decision and fate.

      Yano had become too absorbed by Onisaburo and there were indications that he had leaked military secrets to him. This became clear during the first repression against the Omoto cult and Yano was punished by the Navy on the 4th of May.

The announcement of disciplinary measures against Yano.

Captain Yutaro Yano

      You are a staff member of the Naval Policy Department, an ordinance officer and faculty member of the Naval Academy. Despite this, while you were on duty in the first section of the Naval Policy Department, you disclosed the following military secrets:
      You transcribed an important part of the Secret Schedule Report No. 2559, which had been written and circulated in December 1919, and you sent it to the leader of the Omoto cult, Onisaburo Deguchi on the 21st of the same month.
      Secondly, you extracted part of a translated secret telegram sent by the naval attache of the Embassy of the United States to the Vice-Chief of Staff of the Navy in January 1920. You sent that extracted part to Onisaburo Deguchi on the 6th of the same month.
      Although the contents of these documents were not top secret they were nonetheless confidential and despite the confidentiality stamp on them you disclosed their contents to a person foreign to the Navy.
      Those two actions fall under the ruling of the Naval Disciplinary Code, article No. 22. Accordingly, the Navy places you under house arrest for seven days as a result of your behavior.

The Commander of the Naval Policy Headquarters, Keisuke Okada.

      In 1923, Yano, who was then forty-one years old, retired from active service and went into the first reserve, of his own accord. Although he had practically nothing to work on, he became totally absorbed in the study of the way of the god. He helped Onisaburo who had been placed under bail to escape to Mongolia after the first repression of the Omoto cult. Yano and his wife, Shin were risking their lives in doing that. After Onisaburo sneaked into Mongolia, Yano developed a lasting friendship with Hisa Fukushima, who was living in the Yagi district, and devoted himself to the study of the Fudesaki under Hisa's guidance. In 1933, the deity suddenly possessed Yano and made him utter words dictated by the god, which were later referred to as "The Secret Letter horn the Divine Spirit". He owed much to the psychic power of his wife, Shin for those words. Yano presented that secret letter with a piece of mimeographed chart to each of the families of blood princes. Later on, Yano made a fair copy of it and offered it to Tenno through the hands of Her Majesty the Empress.

      After the second affair of the Omoto cult broke out in 1935 and, later, in 1936 the 2.26 affair, Yano was arrested. In 1937, Yano was prosecuted for the crime of "Lese Majesty" for his writing of "The Secret Letter from the Divine Spirit". Despite this, Yano continued to pour all his energy in promoting his ideas and principles regarding national policy and the Imperial Household. The prosecution was at loss as to what to do with him, as he stubbornly refused to abjure his belief in the Omoto cult. The authorities, as a last report, poisoned him with a remedy against colds. He died in prison.

      "The way of the god is bitter." Nao's words kept echoing in Shin's mind.

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