Monday, February 27, 2006

Tenjō - Myths used to substantiate Sūkyō Mahikari (Part 3)

As I mentioned in the first post in this series, the tenjō investigation of Okada's soul and his missions is one of the myths that is used by Sūkyō Mahikari in an attempt to bolster Okada's spiritual reputation.

As I understand it, tenjō is a form of automatic writing in which two people hold the ends of a T-shaped stick. Some sort of spirit moves the stick in response to questions and thereby writes the answers in the sand (or a brush may be used to write on paper). The Mahikari intermediate kenshū textbook has the following to say concerning Okada's claim that the results of a tenjō (heavenly stick) investigation by a Shintō sect confirmed his own revelations about his divine role:

As Sukuinushi himself was surprised at the Divine Revelation, it is quite natural that some of the Shintō sects who considered themselves to be the legitimate religion were also surprised. It is likewise reasonable that they were suspicious of Sukuinushi (('s Soul)).

At that time, a proposal was made by some of the people of the Shintō sects not specifically connected with the Yōkōshi tomo-no-kai (Community of Friendship of Yōkōshi) to determine whether it would be all right to make a prayer for an indication from God about the identity of Sukuinushi's soul and his mission. Sukuinushi agreed to this proposal fully and said with conviction, "It is all right.....please go ahead."

A little further down, the Japanese kenshū textbook (but not the English one) says:


Translation: The advent of the soul of Yo would indicate that the work of ra-ru-ro would be starting on earth. Therefore, some Shintō sects were very concerned to know when and where the soul of Yo (yo being the last of the ya-yu-yo series) would appear. [In the Japanese syllable system, ra, ru, and ro come immediately after ya-yu-yo.]

The English text then goes on to say:

As for the Mission of the Soul of Yo, it had already been explained by Dr. Shioya in 1948 on the basis of a revelation given to an old hermit by the name of Ōmine. According to him, "The Mission of Yo means acting as a proxy on this Earth for Yonimasu-Ōamatsu-kami to do his divine work".

This first sentence is slightly different in the Japanese kenshū textbook. It translates as, As for the Mission of the Soul of Yo, Dr. Shioya had already received the revelation from Ōmine Rōsen, in Shōwa 23 (l948).

The original idea to investigate the validity of the above claims came a few weeks back when a friend mentioned that she had stumbled across posts on some Japanese discussion sites that seriously questioned the tenjō (heavenly stick) claim. (For those of you who read Japanese, these discussions are here, here, and here.) I'll paste parts of this material, and the translations kindly provided by my friend, at the end of this post.

Since then, we have been searching all over the internet for information concerning the people and religious groups mentioned in the Japanese discussions, and almost got distracted by the topic of Okada's connections with and influences from various pre- and post-war religious groups. This is a fascinating area...and I definitely want to write about this sometime soon...but for the moment I'll try to stick to the topic of tenjō!

Okay. The kenshū textbook does not say which Shintō sect conducted the tenjō investigation but implies that it was one of the established, respected groups. (No details are given about the identity or credentials of Dr. Shioya and Ōmine Rōsen.) Okada pointed out in his Commentary on Kamimuki Sanji that the tenjō technique is mentioned in the Kojiki and Nihonshoki. These books date from the 8th Century and contain the written oral history of Japan, including the lineage of the gods and the Japanese Imperial line, so references to tenjō in these books would tend to validate tenjō itself as an ancient and legitimate divination technique.

One would think that, if a respected Shintō divination method revealed such momentous information about Okada's soul, surely there would have been headlines about it (there weren't). Okada should have become venerated within Shintō itself, especially if some Shintō sects were waiting for the soul of Yo to appear, as is claimed in the Japanese textbook.

Anyway, here is a summary of what we found. The investigation of Okada's soul was not performed by one of the established Shintō groups. It was performed by the Makoto-no-michi religious group, in June 1960. Apparently, SMBK literature mentions that Sekiguchi took Okada to a Makoto-no-michi place for this investigation. (There is no mention of Makoto-no-michi in current Sūkyō Mahikari literature.)

Makoto-no-michi was a post-war religious group, originally the Chidori-kai spiritual research group, which was co-founded by Makoto Ogiwara and Dr. Nobuo Shioya (the man mentioned in the Mahikari kenshū text) in June 1948. These groups inherited much of their doctrine, and also the Fu ji divination technique, from the World Red Swastika Society. This is not a neo-Nazi group! The swastika is a Buddhist symbol, and this group is the charitable arm...not unlike the Red Cross...of the Dao Yuan religious group, established in China in 1921.

Apparently, Dao Yuan is basically Taoist. They place great faith in divine messages that they obtain using an automatic writing technique, which they call Fu ji (フーチ or fūchi in Japanese). From the little I've managed to find about this Dao Yuan technique, it sounds very much like the Mahikari description of tenjō.

[Note: Parts of the rest of this post have been modified since I originally posted it yesterday. My apologies to any of you who may have already read the original post. Please bear in mind that the posts on the Japanese discussion sites contain second- or even third-hand information, and may not be completely reliable. These posts have been a useful starting point for our investigations, but our investigations so far have raised more questions than they have answered! If you have any corrections or additional information that would assist with our ongoing investigations, I'd be delighted to hear from you.]

In Commentary on Kamimuki Sanji, Okada claimed that, long ago, the Chinese got the ancient divine art of tenjō from Japan, and that it has been passed down via Chinese Taosim to the World Red Swastika Society as Fu ji. Is Okada trying to make Fu ji sound respectable by saying that it was originally a Japanese divine art? Why would he do that? Sukyō Mahikari claims that the tenjō technique was used for the investigation of his soul, not Fu ji, so why talk about Fu ji at all? (Incidentally, the information provided here is from the Japanese edition of Commentary on Kamimuki Sanji, which I have heard is no longer available.)

Originally, I thought this story was going to be simple. I thought that the Makoto-no-michi group had used Fu ji to investigate Okada's soul, and that Okada had deliberately lied and said that tenjō was used. Here's where it gets complicated. Makoto-no-michi did use the Fu ji technique that they had adopted from the Dao Yuan group, but, according to the current Makoto-no-michi website (in Japanese), they call this technique tenjō, rather than Fu ji. I originally had the impression, based on the Japanese discussion sites, that Makoto-no-michi called this technique Fu ji (fūchi in Japanese). Since they in fact call it tenjō, it makes sense that Okada also used tenjō as the name of the technique used to investigate his soul.

So, why did Okada try to validate Fu ji by claiming it was descended from tenjō?

At this stage I can only speculate on the basis of the evidence we have found so far. One of the Japanese discussion posts includes a quote from Makoto-no-michi doctrine, which sounds suspiciously similar to Okada's teachings concerning the origin of the five main religions, the notion of Japan being God's country and the origin of all, and the concept of hinagata (spiritual patterns). I wonder if the claim that Fu ji is descended from tenjō originated in Makoto-no-michi doctrine rather than with Okada himself? Perhaps they felt the need to validate their divination technique in this way.

One of the Japanese posts suggests that Okada was closely connected with Makoto-no-michi at one stage...if so, maybe this was during the few years between leaving SKK and establishing Mahikari. It would be very interesting to read all of Makoto-no-michi's doctrine and see how much of it is included in Okada's teachings. Does anyone have access to reliable documentation of their doctrine? Something in English would be nice, but I'm not optimistic about that! So far, we have only found Japanese and Italian Makoto-no-michi sites.

Also, can anyone tell me where I can find details about Fu ji and tenjō? Are these really the same thing? I've not been able to find any details at all about tenjō, apart from what Sukyō Mahikari tells us. Right now, I'm starting to wonder if the divine art of tenjō really existed, outside of the Kojiki and Nihonshoki. Did Okada (or Makoto-no-michi) perhaps just make up the details about it? Does anyone know?

The Japanese post that claims that Okada knew the Makoto-no-michi people also suggests that it would have been easy for the people involved to manipulate what was revealed during the tenjō/Fu ji investigation. Apparently, the results of Okada's investigation were not reported in the Makoto-no-michi bulletin, so one must wonder how genuine the investigation was.

Our investigations concerning Dr. Shioya and Ōmine, mentioned in the above quotes, turned up even more interesting results. Apparently, Ōmine was not a real person at all. According to one of the Japanese discussion posts, he was a just an old man who often appeared in Dr. Shioya's dreams, and Shioya used to refer to him as Ōmine Rōsen. However, the Makoto-no-michi website refers to Ōmine Rōsen as being one of their guiding divine spirits.

Of course, the Japanese textbook does not say that Ōmine Rōsen was a real man, but it doesn't explain who (or what) he was either. Most people receiving kenshū would not have heard this name before, so it would be understandable if they thought he was both real and extremely knowledgable about esoteric matters. (This might explain the mistranslation in the English textbook mentioned above.) Think about it for a minute. If I just said, "Dr. Jones explained the 12th theory of thermo-nuclear-dynamics to me", and you had never heard of Dr. Jones or this theory, you would probably assume that Dr. Jones was a real person and a very knowledgable scientist, and that such a theory existed.

Primary kenshū gives quite detailed explanations concerning the role of Yo, and says that these explanations came from Dr. Shioya, who received revelations from Ōmine Rōsen. Remember, this role of Yo is supposed to be pretty important to "some Shintō sects", and is supposed to indicate the coming of the storms of ra-ru-ro. One would hope that Okada got this information from a reliable source, yet this "information" comes from, either, a character in someone else's dreams, or a guiding spirit revered by Makoto-no-michi. Even if the latter is correct, this information seems rather unreliable, particularly if we take into account the claim made in one of the Japanese posts that Dr. Shioya (the man who received the revelation) has since left Makoto-no-michi (which he co-founded).

Actually, new pre- and post-war Japanese religions seem to be chockfull of revelations received by the founders of religious groups and other people. After a while, one almost starts to believe that revelations are a valid means of obtaining information. Did these people actually believe these revelations themselves? Surely they can't ALL have been deliberately trying to deceive their followers.

Dr. Shioya's full name was Nobuo Shioya, and he was a member of Shinsei-ryūshin-kai (more on that group in a future post) before his Makoto-no-michi days. A Google search on this name found a number of sites that talk about this least, on the basis of dates, it looks like the same man. This Dr. Shioya is now something like 103, in excellent health, a keen golfer, the originator of a special breathing technique that uses pranic energy and positive affirmations to heal one's own body, and author of a couple of books on this technique. It seems the "blessing- the-water" group draws inspiration from him, and he's got something to do with the "water crystals" notion as well.

Does anyone happen to know if this is the same man? If it is, I'd love to have a chance to talk with him! He could probably tell us quite a lot about Okada and his activities prior to the establishment of Mahikari, and also provide background information concerning the other people and groups that influenced each other at that time. It seems he still has an excellent memory, thanks to his pranic self-healing. Perhaps, after all his cult-hopping, he is finally on to something!

The following are excerpts, and their translations, from some of the Japanese posts mentioned above. Please bear in mind that these and similar posts were merely the starting point of our investigations, and that the contents may not be completely reliable.

154 :名無しさん@3周年:2006/01/11(水) 00:42:08 ID:mkIqamv7


In Commentary on Kamimuki Sanji, [P.33] Kōtama says:
. . . . . Therefore, it is quite natural that the people in the field of Shintō doubted me at that time. Several people, whose names I avoid mentioning, came to me and said, 'Can we
ask God about your soul?'
This asking God for revelation has come down secretly from the age of gods, and is called tenjō, and it appears a lot in Kojiki and Nihonshoki.

This went to China later, and became 'Fu ji', which the World Red Swastika Society conducts. In Japan, it has been the secret practice among the secrets. In this way, 'the man who excutes Yo'
was shown in front of the authorities who have protected Japanese National Shintō.

真 光では、神道界の大御所が、初代光玉師の御霊伺い(天杖)を行った、天杖とは古事記や日本書記に出きており、秘伝中の秘伝で後に支那(中国)に渡りフーチ なったと説いているが、実は、御霊占いは、神道界の大御所どころか、新宗教真の道教団の、キの宮において(中田華風の所)、フーチ(道教祭儀)という自動 書記で、大峯老仙の神霊が「ヨはいつきなり」と伝えたのです。

Mahikari claims that the authorities in the Shintō field conducted a divine investigation (tenjō) about Koutama's soul, and that tenjō appears in Kojiki and Nihonshoki and is the secret of the secrets, which later went to China and became Fu ji. In fact, the divine investigation was conducted at the Ki-no-miya (at the place of Kafū Nakada) of a new religious sect called Makoto-no-Michi, which certainly wasn't the "authorities" of the Shintō World. It was automatic writing called Fu ji (a Taoist ritual). A divine spirit called Ōmine Rōsen gave the revelation of "the man who executes Yo".


'Fu ji' is an oracle which has come down from the ancient Taoism in China, and is practiced in a World Red Swastika Society temple in Okutama.
Fu ji came to Japan after the war with the Japanese soldiers who had learned it from the Chinese. It can't be found in Kojiki or Nihonshoki.


The automatic writing called Fu ji is a Chinese version of the ouija board and requires a human intermediary. There's no need to comment on its credibility.

147 :名無しさん@3周年:2006/01/10(火) 07:15:55 ID:LuKARXQe

The Sūkyō Mahikari kenshū textbook says a Shintō sect, which Mahikari claims had no connection with Okada's group, and which, according to his doctorine, should only have teachings of pseudo-truth, conducted the divine investigation. Sekiguchi of SMBK states that Kōtama, 'led by Sekiguchi', visited Makoto-no-Michi for the first time and received the 'Tenjō revelation'.
Mahikari doesn't say any more than that about the connection between Mokoto-no-Michi and Okada. There is no documentary evidence of the series of events that Mahikari claims happened.

155 :名無しさん@3周年:2006/01/11(水) 00:45:14 ID:mkIqamv7

Makoto-no-Michi and Kōtama were associated with each other. Therefore, they put on a pre-arranged act and claimed that Kōtama was 'the man who executes Yo" and had the role of Yonimasu-Ōamatsu-kami. It deserves to be called a 'farce'.

[Feb 2007 note: Since writing this post, we have found quite a lot of additional information concerning Makoto no Michi and Dr. Shioya, so a follow-up post would be good (time permitting). The influence on Okada from SKK has been well documented, but it now seems that Makoto no Michi and Dr. Shioya may have had an even greater influence. Incidentally, Makoto no Michi is listed first as one of the religions related to the various Mahikari organizations on this site.

Just briefly, yes, the Dr. Shioya mentioned in kenshu and the man who now promotes affirmations and deep-breathing are the same person. In 1955, he formed an off-shoot group from Makoto no Michi, called Makoto no Michi Kyokai, and it may have been this second group that performed the tenjo investigation. Around that time, it seems that Dr. Shioya himself practiced tekazashi and had a degree of fame as a healer.]


Anonymous Steve said...

Hello Anne,
Looks like you are really getting into the meat of the matter. I know the effort you must have put in to come up with the information contained in the post.

You stimulated us to take a closer look the Japanese posts. There is lots of interesting stuff being discussed.

It is encouraging that the Japanese are so vocal about the discrepancies found in SM and we enjoyed the sense of humour some of the posts contain. Going over some of the posts, it looks like Mahikari has a shrinking membership base in Japan as well, Dojos/ Centers are closing and others are consolidating due to the lack of patronage.

The debate concerning SM is alive and well, and you are certainly adding an informed point of view, it can only benefit the world community. SM must be held accountable for what they say and do, we live in a world seen as a global village, we demand more and more information to make informed choices.

Cults like Mahikari are well past their used by date, I feel sad for the people who cling so strongly to a cult and haven't as yet made the bold step to use the intelligence they were born with and exercise critical thinking. Life is so much richer when we can step back and see the spiritual garbage handed down by people who claim to have chats to a God for what it is. It doesn't take much investigation to see how many people have been attributed a direct link to an entity, who they claim is the creator of everything. It would be an interesting exercise to make a list of all these people, look at the myths generated after they have passed on and see how the myths have shaped the world religions.

Maybe someone has done it already, I will have a look around!

I have no doubt we will eventually see SM as an relic, as the bare faced deceptions are revealed one by one. The pressure is on them to become transparent and show some honesty. Unfortunately SM haven't shown the courage to be open to date, I doubt they ever will. Although, I did see a feeble attempt by their spokesperson in an article called Answers to the sad. I would have been embarrassed to publish such tripe, no proof is offered. I and others would like to see the documentation on which the spokespersons bases his statements , it is easy to scan it and post it on line. I doubt it will ever happen tho'.

I look forward to seeing more of your posts, perhaps you would like to collaborate on a few.

March 01, 2006  
Blogger Anne said...

Hi Steve,

I really like your idea of a list of all the people who claim a direct link to God (or even to slightly lesser beings) and the resulting religions! Such a list would have to make people stop and think. Perhaps we could collaborate on that project...I could jot down any I come across and we could merge our lists at some stage.

It might be interesting to also note the communication method and circumstances, such as high fever, dreams, automatic writing, hearing voices, or whatever.

Maybe you're right though...perhaps someone else has already compiled such a list. Have you checked Hassan or any of the professional cult counselling groups?

You're right, this post did require lots and lots of work, but somehow I think I've only scratched the surface so far. I don't suppose you know where I could get hold of a copy of Makoto-no-michi doctrine, do you? Or early membership records? Or biographical data on Dr. Shioya?

March 01, 2006  
Blogger Jejune said...

Wow, what an intricate and well-researched article - it's really a full essay - well done!

I don't have any information on the aspects you're investigating in this post, unfortunately, but I did come across this site which offers a very different and interesting perspective on the whole field of religious experience : God on the Brain.

March 06, 2006  
Blogger Anne said...

Hey, what a fascinating article. Thanks jejune!

Everyone...go click on jejune's God on the Brain link and have a read.

Maybe Okada and all those other founders who report revelations did believe the revelations were real after all!

March 06, 2006  

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