Michi no Dai -- Foundation of the Path

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

The expression "michi no dai" or "foundation of the path" may immediately bring to mind women who are intensely devoted to the faith or Tenrikyo Women's Association. The periodical of the Women's Association also happens to be entitled Michi no dai.

However, the expression "foundation of the path" itself is not only limited to women. It is an expression that includes the sense of being a source of support or cornerstone that helps us advance our faith on this path.

God the Parent instructs us in the following manner:

Following the path with a mind that delights singly in sincerity can be called the foundation of the path despite any shortcomings one may have.

Osashizu, July 2, 1895

To keep following the path by overcoming any adversity or obstacle one may encounter is a foundation of the path for a full generation.

Osashizu, July 13, 1902

God the Parent also teaches us in another Direction that can be summed up as follows: "If you were to ask how this path came to be, it was begun with a single foundation. It was Oyasama, a woman, who served as this foundation; She was the one who began this path within a single lifetime" (Osashizu, October 26, 1898). In other words, this path was begun by a woman, Oyasama. She served as the foundation of the path. Oyasama led the way through hardship and adversity in high spirits and with cheerfulness over fifty years to save all people throughout the world, thereby building the path we have at present.

God the Parent not only indicates through the Direction paraphrased above that Oyasama, who served as the foundation of the path, was a woman, but also urged the creation of a women's association where women could cultivate their faith and further devote themselves for the sake of the path by holding discussions among themselves. Tenrikyo Women's Association was formed and built according to this intention in mind. In its endeavor to pursue Oyasama's Divine Model, the Women's Association especially burns with a sense of mission whereby its members see themselves as the foundation of the path. One can say that the expression "foundation of the path" as adopted by Tenrikyo Women's Association to describe the way its members ought to be embodies their determination to harness the innate abilities they have been endowed with as women, in order to guide others to the path, give birth to and raise children of the path, and always make efforts to bring out the best in others, even if this entails being stepped on or covered in mud on their own part.