Sprinkling the Fragrance of the Teachings (Nioigake)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

The term "nioigake" literally means "sprinkling the fragrance," and usually implies sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings or the fragrance of our faith in God.

In the Mikagura-uta,

A single word can be hinokishin.
I simply sprinkle My fragrance around.

Mikagura-uta VII:1

Sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings is to convey to others the preciousness of God the Parent's blessings and the joy of having faith in the path.

We are told that the first active implementation of sprinkling the fragrance occurred in 1853 when Oyasama's youngest daughter, Kokan, went to Osaka at the age of seventeen to stand on streets corners and chant the name of God the Parent, "Tenri-O-no-Mikoto."

However, sprinkling the fragrance is not limited to just speaking to people about the teachings. When someone sees followers engaging in hinokishin, cleaning a local park or hospital, and thinks, "Ah, those Tenrikyo people are doing something beneficial for society," this can be considered as an example of sprinkling the fragrance. When the Tenri High School baseball team displays the spirit of Tenri youth and makes the television and newspaper headlines through disciplined skill and fine sportsmanship in the national championship tournament, this also results in sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings.

Small business owners who are beloved by the community as "the Tenrikyo lady at the vegetable store" or "the nice Tenri fishmonger," and who run their businesses in a way that reflects their faith also contribute to "sprinkling the fragrance." In the same way, a young woman who is always cheerful and helps to create a relaxed, sociable atmosphere at her workplace by taking the initiative to arrange flower displays and straightening up the office will convince others of the truth of the teachings when they learn that she is a fervent follower.

When we openly reveal to others, "I am a Tenrikyo follower," and live each day with sincerity, adhering to the intention of God the Parent and Oyasama's Divine Model, we are performing a significant act of "sprinkling the fragrance."

Besides sprinkling the fragrance of the path through the way we live our lives, it is important to make our utmost effort to actively approach as many people as possible to explain a little of the teachings or have them read a pamphlet so they may learn about God the Parent's intention and savor the preciousness of God's providence even a day sooner. Such proactive effort on our part--even if it does not immediately result in someone listening to us wholeheartedly--is quite significant.

For if we continuously sprinkle the fragrance in this way, God the Parent will make the preparations for the seasonable time when the people around us will begin to awaken to the teachings of true salvation one after another.