Monday, September 13, 2010

The founder of Mahikari, Okada and the Manna pot - 1

Kotama Okada (real name Yoshikazu Okada) adopted many absurd stories in his 'divine' teachings. The history of Japan is the history of the world;  the super-ancient history of Japan itself is the correct history of the world;  Mu Continent was Japan itself;  Mu and Atlantis had atomic and hydrogen bomb wars against each other;  Moses, Buddha, Jesus - - - all of them came to Japan and died in Japan . . . .  etc..  Okada taught those groundless stories as actual facts and divine truth.   [Note 1]

Some other teachings are; human beings were first born in Japan; writing systems started in Japan; the religions in the world originated from Japan, etc..    As you can see, his teachings were based on the idea that Japan was the centre of the world.  [Note 2]  He talked as if his teachings had solid grounds. However, there weren't any substantial grounds for his claims.

He talks about the Manna pot, which appears in the Old Testament, as follows;

    - - -  the Manna pot, which is now the go-shintai in Geku, Ise Shrine, is genuine, as acknowledged by today's academic world. Therefore, it is only natural that the pot disappeared from Israel. It came back to Japan. This pot is a pot of gold, and it is no use denying that, as it has the writing on its back 'ehyeh asher ehyeh (I am that I am).''

    When you look into 'Juuhachishiryaku' , it says that Qin Shi Huang had a golden pot.    - - (omitted) - -    By the way, the Manna pot, which had been in Israel, arrived at Gohonmatsu, Seki, in present-day Shimane. There lies Miho Shrine. Afterwards, this pot went to Moto-Ise, Tanba, then became the go-shintai in Geku, at the present-day Ise Shrine.  

   I'd like to talk a little more about this Manna pot. The emperor ran away with it and Ohkuninushi-no-mikoto brought it back (to Japan).

   Even the shape of the ship has survived up to now. It is called Funashiro. Namely, the ship which carried the Manna pot is enshrined in Ise Shrine and is called Funashiro, and Mi-funashiro-sai is the festival of the ship.

   That ship is said to be capable of crossing the big ocean to the end without any problems, even compared with today's technology.   - - - - -   "Commentary on Kamimuki Sanji"  (p239-240, published in 1982)

The Manna pot is the pot which contained mysterious food, Manna, which appears in the stories of Israeli people. There are fundamentalists who believe the stories of the people are all true. But from an objective viewpoint, the Old testament is probably "not the records of historical events, but a collection of the codes of living in the form of story-telling, and a collection of materials to maintain the people's identity".   [Note 3]

As for the Manna pot in this literature, Manna, which it says the wandering Israeli collected and ate, seems to be given more important meaning than the pot. In contrast, the image of the pot itself somehow has drawn the attention of certain people in Japan. Without the actual object being presented, the rumor has spread that the Manna pot is enshrined as go-shintai (a holy object) in a certain shrine. Okada's teaching has more twists added, and therefore it increases its dubiousness;  the pot belonged to Japan, it went to Israel from Japan, therefore it is only natural that it disappeared from Israel, and it came back to Japan. It sounds like he rudely strode into another people's myth and grabbed an object nearby, declaring it as his own.

the Manna pot, which is now enshrined as go-shintai in Geku, Ise Shrine

Ise Shrine (Ise Jingu) doesn't say that the Manna pot is enshrined in Geku. A god called Toyouke Omikam is enshrined in Geku. She is said to be in charge of agriculture (food and grains). It is possible that somebody made an imaginary connection between this god and the Manna pot, as both have "food" in common.   

There is another rumor that the 'holy object' in Moto-Ise is the Manna pot. It doesn't seem to matter if there are more than one Manna golden pots. It doesn't seem to matter if the pot unawares transformed into Yata-no-kagami (a sacred mirror), either. Stories like these should be considered quite 'imaginary,' to be safe, unless proven otherwise.

A 'holy object' of a shrine is a strange thing. The shrine doesn't have to show the object itself. When people hear somebody say "This shrine enshrines -- or, is said to enshrine -- an object from such and such a story," they just accept it, believing or assuming that the object is there. If the story stimulates people's imagination, that's sufficient. I found an interesting comment in the internet;  a holy object of a shrine draws admiration while it is hidden. If you look at the actual content, you will be so disappointed that you'll even lose the spirit of praying.   [Note 4]

as acknowledged by today's academic world

Okada often used similar expressions. Here are some of his statements from the previous posts;

**The super ancient history is being backed up by studies,  giving no room for counter arguments.  - - - - "Commentary on Kamimuki Sanji "(p244) (09/2008)

**it has started to be proven that the Japanese had the oldest stone implement civilization in the world.   - - - - "Commentary on Kamimuki Sanji" (p214)(12/2008)

**After the Mu Continent sank down, the islands such as the Marshall Islands and Caroline Islands are scattered in the Pacific Ocean. The excavated objects have started proving that these islands are the remains of the tops of the mountains of the sunken Mu Continent.   - - - - "Commentary on Kamimuki Sanji" (p297)(05/2007)

**It has finally become clear that Japan has a history of six hundred thousand to one million years, at least.    - - - - from the teachings in the seventh anniversary grand ceremony (12/2008)

**In the super ancient time  . . . .  as the studies of the Mu continent have already proven, it has started to show clearly that there was an era when we had more advanced scientific civilization than modern civilization in a certain section.   - - - - Commentary on Kamimuki Sanji (p573-574)(05/2007)

None of those are facts when it comes to the real world. Okada, probably having heard these from somewhere else, treated them as 'facts' since they were convenient for him to build up his own fantasy. We need to keep in mind what kind of a man Okada was. He, proclaiming himself  God's representative on earth,  taught without compunction that these were actual facts and (divine) truth.  

is genuine as acknowledged by today's academic world

Without having a solid object in front of you, first of all, nobody can investigate, therefore nobody can judge whether it is genuine or not. When nobody can confirm the existence of such an object, there is no value to declare that it is a pot, not to mention that it is a golden pot. It is even more strange to say "as acknowledged by today's academic world". Is Okada's 'academic' world a delusional academic world?

it is no use denying that, as it has the writing on its back 'ehyeh asher ehyeh (I am that I am)'

He says "there is no use denying that", but in reality there is no way to confirm such a thing. It is rash to declare that the pot exists, that it's a golden pot, and that it is the Manna pot, when nobody can confirm the existence of a pot itself. It doubles the rashness to say that the back of the pot has such and such writing on it.

Suppose there is a real object, a pot, for instance, with some writing on it. It should be examined thoroughly to find out how old it is, whether the writing is carved or painted, whether the writing was done at the same time as the object was made or whether it was done much later . . . .  and so on.

 "Juuhachishiryaku (the eighteen history outlines)"

This is regarded as being literature for the beginners and children, rather than a history book which is firmly reliable.  [Note5]   It seems better not to take it word for word. Even if it says that Qin Shi Huang had a golden pot among his treasures, jumping to the conclusion that it was the Manna pot would suggest living in a fantasy world.

 Qin Shi Huang

"Commentary on Kamimuki-sanji"  has a note regarding this emperor.

Qin Shi Huang (BC 259 ~ BC 210)    - - - - (omitted) - - -   unified China and called himself the first emperor. He built the great wall of China, burnt books such as Japanese ancient documents in order to make Chinese history the oldest in the world, which is so-called Funsho Kouju. He is famous for having sent Xu Fu and others in order to destroy Japan.          - - -  (p146)

The Japanese phrase Funsho Kouju means burning of books and burying of scholars, two separate events.  The book "Commentary ~" says "so-called Funsho-Kouju", but it mentions only book burning. Okada may have lacked accurate knowledge of this phrase. It is also possible that he wanted to imply, regardless of what it really means, that burying of scholars was part of "destroying the Japanese ancient documents".

Qin Shi Huang burned the history books of the states other than Qin's, according to Wiki.   [Note 6]   Qin Shi Huang, having defeated six other states, unified China and got rid of books related to those states in order to prevent the revival of them. Okada's (and Mahikari's) explanation that books were burnt in order to make Chinese history the oldest in the world is not correct from the viewpoint of real history.

Okada explains that Qin burned books such as Japanese ancient documents in order to make Chinese history the oldest in the world. However, this explanation is nonsense without the premise that there had been Japanese ancient books telling that Japan was the oldest in the world. Is there any factual evidence to support that premise? None. Okada may have wanted his followers to believe that there was naturally no proof because the books had been burnt at that time. One who knows the history in the real world - not Okada's delusional "correct history of the world" - wouldn't say that the country of Japan existed at that time, not to mention such books which told that Japan was the oldest country in the world.

It is also very delusional to say that this emperor is famous for having sent people such as Xu Fu in order to destroy Japan. Xu Fu is a legendary figure in Japan. The 'famous' story goes; he was sent to the East by the emperor who wanted the elixir of life, and he reached Japan. Where did Okada pick up such a story that he was sent to destroy Japan? It is a groundless claim that there was a country called Japan which was a target for the emperor to invade or destroy at that time. 

♦ Qin Shi Huang ran away with it

When and in what kind of circumstances did the emperor need to run away, taking a golden pot with him?  

♦ Ohkuninush-no-mikoto

This is a mythical character in Japan, and not a person who lived around the time of Qin Shi Huang, nor a descendent of this emperor, as Okada mentions.   [Note 6] Okada jumbles up history and myth, treating this character as if he had been a historical person.

Even the shape of the ship has survived up to now

Okada makes it sound as if he had seen and confirmed it with his own eyes. This can be taken as an example of Okada's narration technique. 

♦ Mifunashirosai

Ise-jingu explains about this ceremony here ( ~Japanese ). The container which contains an inside case which holds the holy object "go-shintai" is called "funashiro".  Mi-funashiro-sai is the ceremony they conduct when they cut the trees for the material of this outside container. That means Okada's explanation is not based on the real thing. He goes on to say that the container is a ship which is able to cross the entire ocean to the end without any problems, compared with today's technology. Probably he was in a dream world.

[Note 1]  Refer to the posts below.
   "Okada's teachings concerning the history of Japan and the world" (08/2008)
   "The super ancient history told in the super ancient documents is being backed up by various studies, which is giving no room for counter arguments." (09/2008)
   "The world of Mahikari"  (01/2007)
   "The world of Mahikari - 2" (02/2007)
   "The world of Mahikari - 3;  the world where pseudo-history becomes 'correct history' "  (03/2007)
   "The world of Mahikari - 5;  Mu continent, Lemuria continent"  (05/2007)
   "The world of Mahikari - 6;  the super ancient Japan Mu continent"  (06/2007)

[Note 2]  Examples;  from "Commentary on Kamimuki-sanji"

  ** - - - -     it is Hi-no-mototsu-kuni, Japan (previously the Mu continent), where Hinagata (spiritual pattern) of humans was created and the five coloured people were born.  (p224)
  ** The time will come before long when no one can deny that Chinese characters, Alphabets, Sanskrit, all of them originated from Japanese Kamiyo moji.  (p201)  
  **  - - - -  Japan is the world oldest birthplace of mankind, and of the five great civilizations and religions  - - - -   (p201)

[Note 3]  a Japanese site;『旧約聖書』
[Note 4]  a Japanese site: 『パイオニアDVDを改造して・・・』
    Speaking about shrines, the advise has been given to me, "Things like go-shintai are treasure while they are hidden. You'll be disappointed and even lose the spirit of praying when you see the actual objects - - they can be quite ordinary driftwood, they can be, for the worse, featureless rock which can be found in the nearby mountains."  

[Note 5] a Japanese site;十八史略

[Note 6] a Japanese site;焚書


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading your post about the Manna pot reminded me of a man I met on a visit to Japan when I was still a Mahikari member. He was not a member, but he worked on translating Mahikari teachings into English and had studied history a lot more than I (and probably most members) had. He said it used to drive him crazy that members apparently believed what Okada said about history..."How can they believe such nonsense!", he would say.

At the time, I did not take this at all seriously. After all, Okada was always saying things like, "Scientists or historians or doctors, etc., believe that blah, blah, but the truth is that..."

The bottom line is that, since I believed (at the time) that Okada knew all the Truth, I was inclined to believe that he was right and expert opinion was wrong, particularly since I personally was not well-informed about history/medicine/science.

Perhaps another factor was that I had been using all my free time on Mahikari "service" for years. I didn't want to listen to anything that might prove Mahikari teachings to be in the cognitive dissonance story about some cult members who believed the world was about to end and that a space ship would come and pick them up from the top of a certain mountain on a particular date. They had already sold or given away all their possessions and money, and so would have felt pretty silly if the information the cult leader gave them ended up being wrong. Well, they waited all night on the mountain but of course no space ship arrived and the world did not end.

You would think that would be enough to shatter the cult members' trust in their leader, but no. Most of the members found it more comfortable to believe the new "revelation" that their leader told them, that is, that the beings from outer space had decided to postpone the end of the world because they were impressed by the sincere efforts of the cult members (or something like that).

September 14, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a nutshell, Okada was a delusional megalomaniac. What smooth operators he and his mistress Keishu turned out to be. I hope this House of Cards cult folds up sooner rather than later. Of course SM cult members would call me "spiritually disturbed" for calling them brainwashed!

September 21, 2010  

Post a Comment

Click << Home to see articles posted more recently.