Red Clothes (Akaki)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

On October 26, 1838, God the Parent received Oyasama as Shrine and began to convey the divine will through Her lips. This made Oyasama the Shrine in which God the Parent resides.

In the Ofudesaki's Part VI, which was written from December 1874, the term Kami (God) was replaced by Tsukihi (Moon-Sun)--a term that helps give us a clearer sense of God the Parent. On the 23rd the same month, Nara Prefecture officials summoned Oyasama to Ensho Temple (or more commonly referred as "Yamamura Palace"). On December 25, not only did the authorities summon a number of Her followers and command them to stop their faith, but they also confiscated silk cuttings, a mirror, and bamboo screens from the Residence. Thus in December 1874 we see the beginning of persecution and interference from the authorities. The above events happened when Oyasama was seventy-seven years old. Over the next twelve years, Oyasama was made to endure the hardship of imprisonment or detention on seventeen to eighteen occasions, the last occurring when She was eighty-nine years old.

However, from December 26, Oyasama wore only red clothes--from Her kimono down to Her tabi socks--to clearly show that She was the Shrine of Tsukihi. In the Ofudesaki, we read:

What do you think of these red clothes? Tsukihi dwells within.

Ofudesaki VI:63

December 26 also marked the first time the truth of the Sazuke was bestowed to save those suffering from illness (refer to "The Sazuke, the Divine Grant" [5.27]).

The red clothes which Oyasama had worn were either called "akaki" or "akaki-sama" in Japanese. Also beginning from this time, these red clothes were widely distributed to followers in the form of Proof Amulets (refer to [5.88]).

While Oyasama withdrew from physical life on January 26, 1887, She remains everliving at the Residence of Origin and works day and night toward our salvation. In the summer, red clothes suitable for the summer are prepared and in the winter thick red clothes are prepared for Oyasama to wear. Although we no longer can see Her physical form, Oyasama still continues to wear red clothes while She works for the purpose of world salvation.