by Yoshikazu Fukaya

We call the Foundress of Tenrikyo "Oyasama."* Oyasama's name is Miki Nakayama. She was born on April 18, 1798, into the Maegawa family in Sanmaiden Village, located a few kilometers south of what is now Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. She was married to Zenbei Nakayama of Shoyashiki Village at the age of thirteen.

Although neither Oyasama nor anyone else knew it at the time, She was a special person like no other. As mentioned in other entries (refer to "Shrine of Tsukihi" [5.65] and "Original Cause" [5.12]), Oyasama's soul was the soul of the mother (Izanami-no-Mikoto) when God the Parent created humankind. Oyasama was born into this world and was settled as the "Shrine of Tsukihi" according to the promise made by God the Parent at creation. Until She was settled as the "Shrine of Tsukihi," She lived Her life as an ordinary human being, unaware of the role She had played in creation.

God the Parent carefully observed Oyasama's use of mind and Her actions to confirm whether they were consistent with Her causality as the One who had the soul of the mother of humankind at creation. Then on October 26, 1838, God the Parent fulfilled the promise made at creation by receiving Oyasama as Shrine and began this path by taking residence in Her body and speaking through Her. Thus Oyasama--whose causality was that of the mother of all humanity--was placed in a position worthy of this causality to guide and nurture human beings. Then, for fifty long years in which She encountered countless hardships, She taught by word of mouth, by Her writing brush, and by Her Divine Model, which She demonstrated through Her actions. Oyasama is truly the Parent of all humankind and is Tsukihi (Moon-Sun), that is, God the Parent, on earth.

We are taught that God the Parent originally intended to bestow the divine name "Tenri-O-no-Mikoto" on Her, but upon deep consideration, chose to bestow it upon the eternally unchanging Jiba (refer to 5.58) at the Home of the Parent. Oyasama, our true Parent, is one in truth with the Jiba and Tenri-O-no-Mikoto. The Jiba is the original place where humanity was first conceived and the source of all life. Oyasama, like the Jiba, is our original and true Parent. We are assured of every kind of salvation when we cling to our Parent and show our sincere dedication to Her.

This is expressed in The Doctrine of Tenrikyo as follows: "Indeed, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, Oyasama, the Jiba are one in truth. Only when we accept this truth can the path of single-hearted salvation leading to the Joyous Life be fulfilled" (p.34).

* "Oya" means "parent"; "sama" is an honorific suffix.