by Yoshikazu Fukaya

On the lunar date of January 26, 1887 (or February 18 according to the Gregorian calendar), Oyasama withdrew from physical life in order to hasten the salvation of humankind. Soon after, God delivered the following words through the mouth of Izo Iburi:

Because of My love for you, My children, the Parent shortened Her life by twenty-five years to step out and save the world from now. . . . Sah, there was a thing I had intended to give to My children but I was not able. I shall bestow this truth on you step by step hereafter. Remember this well.

Osashizu, February 18, 1887

Izo had previously received from Oyasama a grant known as the "Grant of Divine Utterance" and was also referred to by Her as the "workplace," which meant that followers could approach him to inquire God the Parent's intention and receive counseling concerning their private matters. Consequently, followers also approached him to inquire God the Parent's intention at the great knot of 1887.

However, although Izo had received this special "Grant of Divine Utterance," followers simply considered him as one of their comrades, and there were people who had been with the faith before him. After giving up his occupation as a carpenter several years before to move into the Residence with his family, he was humbly serving Oyasama, carrying out tasks behind the scenes. Since he was the first one to sow seeds of sincerity at the Residence, people were yet to understand the significance and importance of such an act; thus, people could not help but view Izo as someone who happened to be a servant for the Nakayama family.

The words "There was a thing I had intended to give My children" refer to the truth of the Sazuke (See "The Sazuke, the Divine Grant" [5.27]*). Although there were followers who directly received the truth of the Sazuke from Oyasama, their numbers were but a few. Over a period of about a month after the above-cited Divine Direction, God the Parent delivered several more Directions through the mouth of Izo, who subsequently suffered from a severe illness. On March 25, 1887, there was a Divine Direction saying that if God were to bestow the truth of the Sazuke at the workplace, the position that Izo had until then, people would probably feel they received it because of their intimacy with Izo. Thus God wished to change his position as the workplace to a position called the "Honseki" (Main Seat). When God strongly demanded, "Will you accept this?" the Shinbashira (Shinnosuke Nakayama) answered that he did accept. God then went on to say that while there were five, ten people who walked the path with sincerity and had minds beautiful like a brocade, it was Izo on whom God "put silk over his brocade" and concluded, saying, "Other words will follow." This was how Izo Iburi was settled as the Honseki, the position of revealing the Divine Directions and bestowing the Sazuke in Oyasama's place (Refer to Osashizu, March 25, 1887). Izo was subsequently known as the Honseki. But in the Divine Directions, we are taught:

When I have entered the Seki, he is God. But when I am not within him, he is human.

Osashizu, April 12, 1907

[H]e is utterly unaware of anything while I am talking freely in this manner. God is speaking freely by entering him--that is, by removing his mind and replacing it with God's mind. Seki's mind is totally unaware of anything.

Osashizu, May 30, 1907

Thus these Directions teach us that at the times when Izo sat at the Main Seat to bestow the truth of the Sazuke or deliver Divine Directions, he is doing so in Oyasama's place. At other times, he was just one follower among many who fully served the Shinbashira, the core of the path, and dedicated his entire life to the path with utmost sincerity.