Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mahikari in context (1): Psychic research, Chidori-kai, Omine Rosen, and Tenjo

You may recall from earlier blog posts that Sukyo Mahikari credits Dr. Nobuo Shioya and a spirit known as Omine Rosen with providing the explanations of Yoshikazu Okada's role of Yo. The SM primary kenshu textbook says that, the explanations in the kenshu text were explanations of the role of Yo based on divine revelations which a Dr. Shioya received from Omine Rosen on Dec. 24, 1948.

On the subject of Okada's divine roles and Tenjo, the SM secondary kenshu textbook says, As Sukuinushisama [Y. Okada] himself was surprised at the Divine Revelation, some of the Shinto sects who considered themselves to be the legitimate religion were also surprised. ……..[These people asked if they could] make a prayer for an indication from God about the identity of Sukuinushisama's soul and his mission. ………we will attempt to describe some of them [these roles] through a rough outline based on some parts of the Divine Revelation using the objective method of "Tenjo" (the heavenly-stick)…..end of which is a brush used in the automatic writing of Japanese.

The above quotes are the main explicit evidence within Sukyo Mahikari publications that indicate a historical link between Y. Okada and Chidori-kai, a psychic research group established around 1947 by Nobuo Shioya (1902- ) and Makoto Ogiwara (1910-1981) (founder of Makoto no Michi). [See note at end of article.]

You may recall from earlier posts that the Makoto no Michi group, one of the new post-war Japanese religious groups, uses Tenjo as a divination means and received "revelations" from the spirit known as Omine Rosen. Various Japanese websites which discuss Japanese new religions refer to an "association" between Y. Okada and Makoto no Michi. Also, contributors to Japanese Mahikari-related discussion sites cite various evidence that it was the Makoto no Michi people who performed the Tenjo investigation of Y. Okada's soul, in June 1960.

In my on-going quest for information that might answer the question of why Y. Okada decided to establish a new religion, and what shaped his teachings, we have been searching for more information about Nobuo Shioya, Omine Rosen, and tenjo. In the process, we stumbled across quite a lot of information about the historical and social context in which the Mahikari groups arose. It will require a series of blog posts to deal with the numerous connections between the various relevant personalities and religious groups. This first post focuses on Chidori-kai and Omine Rosen.

One useful resource has been a website, maintained by a representative of a group called the Shinri Kenkyukai (divine-principles research group), which claims to promote no particular religion, but which quotes extensively from material written by the founders of various new Japanese religions. According to this website, Chidori-kai was an association established jointly by Nobuo Shioya and Makoto Ogiwara for the purpose of psychic and spiritual research. A major focus of this research seems to have been the use of psychic or spiritualist means, including the use of spirit mediums and tenjo, in order to learn about the spirit world and receive divine guidance. Chidori-kai itself was not styled as a religion, and the participants in its meetings included many members of various new religions, including members of Sekai Kyusei Kyo (SKK) and Seicho no Ie.

We've seen no direct evidence that Y. Okada attended Chidori-kai meetings, but this is certainly a possibility to be considered. Y. Okada was a member of SKK at the time Chidori-kai was established (around 1947).

The above website includes accounts of Ogiwara deliberately entering a trance state in which the "divine spirit", Omine Rosen, spoke through him and answered questions asked by Shioya. Omine Rosen is credited with having given "revelations" to various people by various methods (I plan to write more about the influence of this "spirit" in future posts). Just briefly, for now, Shioya claims that he received revelations from this spirit over an 8-year period, from 1947 until 1955. Kura Fukuda, the woman that Mr. Tomita mentions as a practitioner of tekazashi in his letter that denies Y. Okada was a member of SKK, also claims to have received revelations from Omine Rosen. In addition, apparently, Masahisa Goi established his religion, Byakko Shinkokai, on the basis of a revelation from Omine Rosen. Even Chidori-kai itself was supposedly founded in response to divine will, as revealed through Ogiwara.

We've already seen, from the SM kenshu textbook, that Omine Rosen revealed the explanations of Y. Okada's Yo-related roles: acting for the god of Yo (Yonimasu Oamatsukamisama) in the physical world; the role of yonimasuhara concerning assisting with the divine plan; the role of karamara for helping to change the world from evil to virtue; and the God of Yo for bringing about a world of true harmony on earth in accordance with God's ideal.

This is pretty important stuff! One would have to be very confident that Omine Rosen was a divine spirit and not, for example, a fox spirit.

Perhaps I should digress for a moment at this point and suggest you look at this site, which talks about how easily people are fooled into thinking there is a paranormal explanation for ideomotor actions (actions which genuinely feel like they are not produced by oneself).

To return to the original story, the kenshu text says that the explanation of Y. Okada's role of Yo was revealed to Shioya by Omine Rosen on Dec. 24, 1948. However, according to Sukyo Mahikari, Okada was engrossed in paying off his wartime debts (rather than in religious activities) and did not receive his first revelation concerning establishing his religious organization until February 1959. The revelation in which Y. Okada claimed God told him about his role of Yo was dated May 15, 1959. So, what happened? Sometime after May 15 1959, did Y. Okada contact Shioya and ask if he knew anything about the meaning of "Yo"? Had Shioya noted down and dated the details of his revelation from Omine Rosen, just in case anyone needed to know?

Until recently, I assumed that Okada's association with Shioya must have begun after Okada was dismissed as a staff member of SKK, that is, after 1953 at the earliest. That was before I knew that some SKK members attended Chidori-kai meetings. Did Okada, perhaps, attend Chidori-kai gatherings as early as 1948?

We have not seen any direct evidence that places Y. Okada at Chidori-kai activities. The influence from Shioya could well have occurred later. However, it is interesting to look at the texts of some other "revelations" from Omine Rosen.

The following is a quote of part of a revelation Shioya claimed he received from Omine Rosen around 1947:

Humans have been continuing to behave incorrectly for a long time and have made their souls and bodies impure. However, the time has come when their sins and impurities must be scrubbed away. The earth has also become impure, and must also be cleansed, purified, and repaired. Accordingly, various cataclysms of nature (tenpenchii) will occur. Many people will die, but those who have purified their souls and bodies will survive these great purifications (Omisogi). Then, a heavenly country with true peace will be created in this purified world.

Sound familiar? The wording does not sound exactly like Y. Okada's teachings (perhaps because this is our rough translation of the quote!), but the meaning is an exact match for his teachings concerning the future of the world.

In a separate passage, again from Omine Rosen, Shioya says:

After this great upheaval, a world of true peace will be born. There will be no national borders, and the world will be one. However, there can be only one center in a truly peaceful world, and a world without a center is not true peace. The one who is assumed to become that center is the current Crown Prince [now the Emperor of Japan]. Mysterious phenomena appeared in heaven when the current Crown Prince was born.

Now, I don't remember seeing that particular content in Okada's teachings, but it is consistent with his teachings that, after the world had been purified by the convulsions of nature, the world would be united under a theocracy headed by Japan and its Emperor.

Incidentally, according to one of Shioya's predictions via Omine Rosen, the great convulsions of nature should have occurred between the year 2000 and 2005, and according to another quote from Shioya, the peak can be expected between the year 2000 and 2009. If all this talk of doom and gloom is making anyone nervous about the next couple of years, please take a look at this enormously long list of all the end-of-the-world predictions that have failed between 2,800BCE and now!

The Shinri Kenkyukai site also quotes from revelations that Kura Fukuda claimed that she received from Omine Rosen, as follows:

Each of the sounds, a-i-u-e-o etc., of the 51 Japanese syllables (since three of them occur twice, there are actually 48 sounds) has a meaning, and each row, such as the "a" row, "ka" row, etc., has a meaning. Each of these 51 sounds contains an extremely profound meaning. Solving these meanings enables the history of mankind to be understood, and enables the future state of the world to be predicted. Human history has been unfolding in the sequence of the 51 sounds, and is currently entering the era of the storms of ra-ri-ru-re-ro.

In a quote from other revelations from a different spirit, Kura Fukuda says:

In the "a" row, the world began. In the "ka" row, the gods appeared. In the "sa" row, crops were made. In the "ta" row, the history of wars began. The "na" row was a time of elaborate civilization. The "ha" row was the time of the spread of knowledge leading to prosperity. The "ma" row was a time of conflict between good and evil, and between holiness and worldliness. The "ya" row is the time when God's divine plan is understood. The "ra" row is the increasing turbulence at the end time, in which violent convulsions of nature (tenpenchii) occur. After these trials, there is the "wa" row when everything is peace. A wonderful, wonderful world will come about.

I don't remember exactly where I heard those teachings, but I remember something very similar, in one of the Sukyo Mahikari kenshus I think. Incidentally, the website also includes other writings about these 51 (some say 50) sounds, and the website author notes that Nobuo Shioya also received the same teachings from Omine Rosen, in 1950.

The above quotes are just a fraction of the familiar-sounding material that is credited to people other than Y. Okada on that site, but it is enough to raise an awful lot of questions. "Where, or what, or who, exactly, was the source of Okada's supposed revelations?", and "Where do any "revelation" experiences come from?"

Note re Makoto no Michi: The information we originally had stated that Shioya and Ogiwara co-founded Chidori-kai, which then changed its name to Makoto no Michi, and that Shioya subsequently split from Makoto no Michi and formed his own religious group, called Makoto no Michi Kyokai, in 1955. Now I'm not sure what happened. The Makoto no Michi site says that it was founded by Ogiwara, not both men. Was Makoto no Michi established as a religious body alongside the pan-religious Chidori-kai, for example, rather than replacing it? Certainly, Chidori-kai and Makoto no Michi seem to have many practices and influences in common.

More to come soon, I hope…


Anonymous butterfly said...


It's really quite ironic that on the one hand Y Okada believed in the words of a psychic medium to start up his organisation SMBK and on the other hand states in mahikaris so called teachings the danger in being caught up in those psychic mediums/meditation practices! Such hypocrisy!

Perhaps he was worried that if kumite sought advice from psychic mediums that they would disclose the lies and greed about this cult.


May 30, 2007  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Another excellently researched article, Anne!

So my understanding after reading this is that Shioya only received revelations from Omine Rosen from 1947-1955. And Okada supposedly received confirmation from Shioya of his "Role of Yo" sometime after 1959, at least four years after Omine Rosen stopped 'communicating'?

I remember hearing teachings about the whole 'Japanese character' version of history in Intermediate Kenshu, and I'm pretty sure there are teachings in Advanced as well.

May 31, 2007  
Blogger Anne said...

Hi Sarah,

Yes and no!! It's quite confusing...

This is what we know:
1. Shioya said he only received revelations from Omine Rosen between 1947 and 1955.
2. The kenshu text says the revelations to Shioya from Omine Rosen concerning the explanation of Yo were received in December 1948.
3. The revelation in Goseigen in which Okada says that God gave him the role of Yo was in 1959.
4. The kenshu text says "Shinto authorities" confirmed that Okada had the role of Yo. No date is given, but the clear implicaton is that this was after 1959. Other sources say this was in 1960, and that it was Makoto no Michi people who performed the Tenjo.

So, Shioya's explanation concerning the role of Yo was actually over 10 years before the date that Okada says God gave him that role.

Shioya wrote a lot that we haven't yet read, and we've not yet seen anything from him about the context in which Omine Rosen supposedly explained the role of Yo to him. Perhaps this explanation was for the benefit of someone else who claimed to have the role of Yo back in 1948? (Okada was not the first person to claim this role.)

We really don't know what happened or, to state the obvious, how truthful any of these people were.

Perhaps Okada was attending Chidori-kai meetings and already knew of the Yo explanation back in 1948? Perhaps he simply read about this, and the other revelations received by Shioya, Kura Fukuda, and other Chidori-kai participants sometime later?

Incidentally, Shioya says he stopped receiving "revelations" from Omine Rosen in 1955, but I don't think Omine Rosen necessarily stopped "communicating" at that time with the other people (including Makoto no Michi people) who also claimed to receive revelations from him. Perhaps the end of Shioya's revelations from this spirit had something to do with the fact that Shioya split with Ogiwara in 1955 and started an off-shoot group?

May 31, 2007  

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