First published: April 11, 2009
Last updated: October 29, 2022

  The Maxim

"Kami is the all-pervading Spirit of the Universe, and man is the nucleus of the workings of heaven and earth. When the Kami and man unite, infinite power and authority will become manifest."

For details: Maxim (The Aizen-en)

  The Three Rules of Learning

  1. Observing the true phenomena of heaven and earth, and you will see the substance of the true Kami.
  2. Recognize the unerring functioning of all things, and you will see the energy of the true Kami.
  3. Penetrate into the essential nature of living beings, and you will see the spirit of the true Kami.
For details: Three Verities (The Aizen-en)

  The Four Principles

  1. Optimism
  2. Unification
  3. Cleanliness, and
  4. Progressivism

For details: The Four Principles (Oomoto)

  Onisaburo's View on Divinity

Onisaburo says the universe (Creator) shapes like a human being. It has a head, body, arms, legs, bones, muscles, skin and internal organs, and each is made up of living, active cells.

In this respect, there is ultimately One Deity (monotheism) represented by the whole of the human being. He then manifests Himself as mankind and animals (polytheism) represented by the head, body, arms, etc. , and as plants and inanimate objects (pantheism) represented by the cells, blood, lymph nodes, etc.

Hence, Onisaburo advocates the Divinity as embracing monotheism, polytheism and pantheism in one. This also lays the foundation for the Maxim.

  Works of the Kami

Of all the works the Kami has created, the most delicate, sophisticated and spiritual one is a human being, especially the brain and the curvaceous body. As to the curvaceousness of the brain, men are superior to women, and regarding the curvaceousness of the physical body, women are superior to men.

In addition, the top three works of the Kami in terms of an attractively curved body shape are:
  1. The physical body of a woman
  2. The physical body of a man, and
  3. The physical body of a horse

  Rei (Soul) and Sei-rei (Sophisticated Soul)

For those who doubt that soul dwells in inanimate objects, it is useful to differentiate between rei (soul) and sei-rei (sophisticated soul).

Rei (soul) is ubiquitous not just in minerals and plants but in every other being that takes on a certain shape as well. That is because rei is what makes the shape remain as it is; conversely, the shape would crumble in no time at all without rei.

The same applies to humans and animals, although their rei is specially termed sei-rei (sophisticated soul). All animate beings have sei-rei, whether they be corporeal or discarnate entities, good or evil spirits.

It is perhaps the Kami's mercy that inanimate objects do not possess sei-rei. If they did, they could not bear to sit still in one place for too long.

The state of rei varies among creatures; it is latent in minerals, dormant in plants and active in animals. In case what is supposed to be the latent or dormant rei of minerals or of plants becomes so active as to respond to people, they will often be the object of worship as holy rocks or sacred trees.

Observing the active psyche of animals will provide more insights into what the Soul of the True Kami is like. After all, the soul of man has exactly the same attributes as that of the Kami except that the former has its functional constraints while the latter can work infinitely. Therefore, a close scrutiny of the state of man's soul can be beneficial for the understanding of who the True Kami is and what He desires.

  Five Types of Love

In his essay Michi no Shiori (A Guide to the Way), Onisaburo classifies love into five major categories:
  • Love of parent and child
    This type of love is natural not just for humans, but for other animals as well.

  • Preference love
    You love horses because you like them. You love potted dwarf trees because you like them. Preference love is based on your likes; therefore, you love your values through your taste, not horses or potted dwarf trees per se.

  • Obligatory love
    A stepmother loves her stepchild often out of obligation. She does so for her husband, for her relatives and for her community.

  • False love
    False love just pays lip service. This is the kind of love that hypocrites croon.

  • Love of the Kami
    This love treats you fairly and squarely. It loves your enemy, and it leads the crooked into better ways. "The Kami sheds sunlight on the rice paddies of both good and bad people," says Onisaburo. "He loves bad people no less than or even more than good people. This is the love of the Kami."

  The Eight Forces of the True Kami

The Body of the True Kami and His Soul create force (or power) when They combine. There are eight such forces according to Onisaburo. They are do (activating force), sei (quieting force), kai (melting force), gyo (coagulating force), in (pulling force), chi (loosening force), go (combining force) and bun (dividing force), and each corresponds to a deity in the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) as follows:

  • Do (action)--Ohtonoji-no-kami (Deity Elder-of-the-Great-Place)
  • Sei (cessation)--Ohtonobe-no-kami (Deity Elder-Lady-of-the-Great-Place)
  • Kai (dissolution)--Uhijine-no-kami (Deity Mud-Earth-Lord)
  • Gyo (solidification)--Suhijine-no-kami (Deity Mud-Earth-Lady)
  • In (gravitation)--Ikuguhi-no-kami (Life-Integrating-Deity)
  • Chi (relaxation)--Tsunuguhi-no-kami (Germ-Integrating-Deity)
  • Go (synthesis)--Omotaru-no-kami (Deity Perfect-Exterior)
  • Bun (separation)--Kashikone-no-kami (Deity Oh-Awful-Lady)

  Man's Spiritual Regression

Onisaburo says that man has fallen into spiritual decadence through the following five stages:
  • 1st stage: Age of the Gods
    The oldest humans on earth had higher spirituality and mingled with celestial beings (or discarnate entities).

  • 2nd stage: Age of Silver
    Man was still on friendly terms with celestial beings. However, they began to seek mundane knowledge and deviate from the laws of heaven and earth.

  • 3rd stage: Age of Copper
    Man no longer relied on the laws of heaven and earth to make decisions, although they were aware of those commandments.

  • 4th stage: Age of Iron
    Man disregarded the laws of heaven and earth and became materialistic. As a result, they lost their knowledge on the spiritual world. Virtue disappeared, but truth remained.

  • 5th stage: Age of Mud
    At this stage, both virtue and truth disappeared. Man progressed materially but regressed spiritually. One reason, Onisaburo says, is that man clung to the ego and this physical world so much as to depart from the spiritual world, especially the celestial kingdom. Many people today are busy seeking pleasure to fulfill their carnal desires.

  A Creation Story (Vol. 3 of the Reikai Monogatari)

The following story should at least be interpreted spiritually.

Day 1 (Hitsuka)
In the beginning, quite an imperfect spiritual element (rei so) appeared. It took almost 1 billion years for this spiritual element to evolve into spirit.

Day 2 (Futsuka)
The spirit displayed its power (chikara). Chi as in chikara means "spirit" or "fire" and kara, "body" or "water." It took another 1 billion years for this spiritual force to do its part.

Day 3 (Mitsuka)
Chikara began forming physical substance; another 1 billion years passed.

Day 4 (Yotsuka)
Spirit (rei), force (chikara) and body (tai) exerted their combined energy to create innumerable forms of solid and liquid. The sun, the moon, the earth and many other heavenly bodies came into existence. This process required another 1 billion years.

Day 5 (Itsuka)
The seeds of plants and animals appeared in heaven and on earth; another 1 billion years passed.

Day 6 (Muyuka)
The workings of yin and yang and of water and fire set in motion, perfecting the foundation of all that is. This phase needed another 600 million years.

Day 7 (Nanaka)
As mentioned above, the Creator created everything in 6 days.
The Creator declares that He will spend another 70 million years to sublimate and complete this world into one of ineffable bliss--namely, the Age of Mi(5)-ro(6)-ku(7) (= 5.67 billion years = Miroku = Maitreya). This is Nanaka (the 7th Day). Incidentally, nana as in Nanaka means "perfection" or "rest."
Only after the fulfillment of all these 7 days will a cosmos of absolute truth, absolute beauty and absolute good come. This state is called the Sabbath.

Thus, Day 7 per se is not equal to the Sabbath. Should the Creator take a day or even a minute off, every being in the universe would collapse in a flash.

Today is in the midst of the 5.67-billion-year transition period to the Age of Maitreya. In this respect, our world is imperfect and has inevitably undergone a myriad of upheavals.

  Oneness of All Good Religions (Vol. 6 of the Reikai Monogatari)

Onisaburo Deguchi is one of the first persons to advocate the oneness of all good religions. His conviction traces its origin to Chap. 23, Vol. 6 of the Reikai Monogatari as summarized below:
Supreme Leader Kunitokotachi of Planet Earth's divine world and his wife Toyokunihime (= ToyoKumonu) are forced to step down and stay in the world of lost spirits (= Hell) because of the evil deities' conspiracy.

Unable to overlook the impending upheavals in the divine and physical worlds, Kunitokotachi and Toyokunihime hide in Mt. Tenkyo (= Mt. Fuji) and Mt. Chikyo (= the Himalayas) respectively, changing their names from Kunitokotachi to Nodachi-hiko-no-kami and from Toyokunihime to Nodachi-hime-no-kami.

Transferring the creation work to Amaterasu Okami, Izanagi-no-Okami and Izanami-no-Okami, the couple (Nodachi-hiko and Nodachi-hime) jumps into the blazing crater of Mt. Tenkyo to remodel the world of lost spirits and salvage the souls of all that is from there.

Their good and loyal subjects, Tsukiteru-hiko, Daruma-hiko, Amaji-wake, Ame-no-mamichi-hiko, Sukuna-hiko, Ohmichi-wake and Hiroyasu-hiko, follow Nodachi-hiko and Nodachi-hime into Mt. Tenkyo. Years later, they reappear on earth and start religions appropriate for a given time, place and situation.

Tsukiteru-hiko (= a reincarnation of Ohyashima-hiko) is born in India as Gautama Buddha and spreads Buddhism.

Likewise, Daruma-hiko (= a reincarnation of Ohdaru-hiko) is born in India to become Bodhidharma and teach the Way of Zen.

Amaji-wake reaches the core of the earth from Mt. Tenkyo, receives training for hundreds of thousands of years, has his body and soul purified, ascends to heaven and manifests himself on earth as Moses to promulgate the laws of heaven and earth.

Ame-no-mamichi-hiko also goes into the core of the earth, where he is baptized with fire. He then explores the world of lost spirits before reincarnated on earth as Elijah, who tries to spread the gospel far and wide to save the world.

After traveling the world of lost spirits, Sukuna-hiko (= a reincarnation of Kototama-wake) descends upon the land of Jews as Jesus and spreads the gospel of heaven in accordance with the will of the Lord.

Ohmichi-wake, the son of Deity Takami-musubi, changes into Hinode("sunrise")-no-kami in the world of divinities and appears as what Buddhists call Mahavairocanasatathagata (= Dainichi Buddha) in the material plane. He teaches the Way of Salvation.

Toyokuni-hime (= Nodachi-hime-no-kami) metamorphoses into Ksitigarbha-bodhisattva (= Jizo = a guardian deity of children) to indiscriminately save the souls of sinners.

When in the world of lost spirits, Hiroyasu-hiko (= a reincarnation of Kamikuni-wake) is ordered by Nodachi-hiko-no-kami, who is known there as Yama (= Pluto, the Lord of Hades), to halt his journey, so that he will take on the flesh and learn the suffering of the material world time and again. He is finally born as Confucius in China and shows the Way of Statecraft.

Fearing that Confucius' teachings are a little too this-worldly to reveal the truths about the other world, Nodachi-hiko-no-kami uses a portion of his soul to be born as Lao-tsu in China.
As explained above, Onisaburo asserts that all major religions of the world share the same roots, and that as children of the Kami, all humanity should love one another while transcending racial and religious barriers.

  Grand Sumo Tournament with the World as the Ring (Chap. 15, Vol. 64 [Part 1] of the Reikai Monogatari)
(Excerpts from The Great Onisaburo Deguchi)

On July. 12, 1923, Onisaburo dictated the following about the great war (=US-Japan War) and the future of the world (Incidentally, July. 12 is his birthday). This was later published under the title "Grand Sumo Tournament" in Chap. 15, Vol. 64 of the Reikai Monogatari:

Prabhasa:"It was said thirty years ago in the teachings of our Founder that a great war of the three thousand worlds will begin, and now the great war of the world has finally taken place...."
Bahaullah:"...In the world after the great war, you won't be able to see a sign of peace no matter where you look, am I wrong? Small wars are fought everywhere and a disastrous scene, a scene of demonic, brutal carnage is pitilessly exposed, is it not? According to the Bible, when the war of Armageddon is over, the end of the world will draw near. Things have become most disturbing."
Prabhasa:"Even so, we should come to a Great Crisis before that happens. I think that the war of Armageddon is yet to take place. Today there are two great forces in the world, vigilantly watching for an opportunity to strike at each other. It is hardly likely that things will be settled under these circumstances. The Reconstruction of the world will not begin until the human beings of today have lost their strength and their pride, and the world has become past remedy."
Bahaullah:"Ah! You are quite right. What do you mean, then, by 'two great forces'?"
Prabhasa:"I think you are aware of the fact that in the world today two great forces are quietly struggling with each other.... The people of the world are watching these two great forces in wonder, are entranced...."
Bahaullah:"As the proverb says, 'Two giants cannot exist together,' and one side must be conquered. The world has truly reached a troubled state. In politics, in economics, in philosophy, in religion--in everything there can be no age as deadlocked as today's. It stands to reason that this suffering must be ended somehow."
Prabhasa:"True. It is as clear as day that the two champions are presenting the dramatic spectacle of facing each other from the east and west sides of the great ring of the world, tightening their loincloths, warming up and displaying their muscles. Unless one side succumbs or leaves the ring, sooner or later the curtain will rise on the battle of the giants. Armageddon, that is the final war of the world, has become unavoidable.... The world is truly in a miserable state. The divine task of God to reconstruct the three thousand worlds that are so full of evil is truly a great task, is it not?"
Bahaullah:"The people of the world are all precious children born from the same sacred breath of God, and therefore we, the human race, are all brothers and sisters. But today the world has reached a state in which nothing we religious believers can do will help.... Anyway, which of the two great forces do you think will conquer the world?"
Prabhasa:"We mortals can in no way understand the workings of the Divine.... But I firmly believe that, in accordance with divine revelations, rather than either of the two great forces which I have mentioned, another great power, which is in hiding, will conquer the world-to-be."

  The Mizu no Shinka (Divine Poems of the Soul of Mizu)
(Excerpts from The Great Onisaburo Deguchi)

Onisaburo composed two iroha poems, poems of forty-seven verses, each verse beginning with a different character of the Japanese syllabary (i ro ha are the first three characters of the syllabary), one written on September 10, 1903, and the other first published in the magazine Shinreikai (World of Spirit) in November 1917. On December 1, 1917 there also appeared another poem called the Omoto Shinka. These three poems were later published together in a booklet called Mizu no Shinka.

In the introduction to this booklet we read, "The nature of the three poems recorded in this volume is such that they should be treated as holy scripture. Each one was completed in an instant by the god Mizu no Mitama while possessing the author, and needless to say they can in no way be classed with ordinary literary works."

Anyone reading this booklet will be astounded at the bold prophecies it contains, considering they were written in the first two decades of the century. For there we find predicted the downfall of the Japanese Empire, and the Emperor's declaration that he is a human being, prophecies spanning the time from the Japanese invasion of China in 1937 to the war with America, and the main outlines of the Second World War.

The style is metrical and full of literary conventions, and reading them now we can only call the language classical, but if we read the poems carefully we find them highly expressive and not so difficult to understand. The contents, however, being of such a disturbing nature, the author has avoided sensational language and the prophecies unfold in roundabout turns of phrase.

The real meaning is cleverly camouflaged and the more risky parts only hinted at, but in these obscure writings we find an account of the reconstruction of the world after the crossing of a bridge of social strife and confusion, famine, plague and natural calamity.

It is written that a great cleansing of the world will take place in preparation for the advent of the new world. Included are prophecies about the outbreak of a great world war, with Japan fighting against America. It is also indicated that this "great cleansing" corresponds to the Christian Battle of Armageddon as well as the Battle of Yomotsuhirasaka of the Kojiki.

Many of these prophecies have already come to pass, but there still remain others referring to a more distant future. This mixture of the fulfilled and unfulfilled make much of the writing very difficult to interpret, even now after all these years.

At the time of publication they met with severe measures from the authorities. Onisaburo had skillfully masked his prophecies, but his message was inferred even so. The following are some extracts from this booklet:
"The land of the gods, rising in the dawn sky like the shining sun, surrounded by the sea, unassailable by other lands, the land of plenty created by the gods, this has become a dream of the past.

"The countries of the present world, excelling Japan, have equipped themselves with weapons at the bottom of the sea and high in the sky, on and under ground, and presently Japan will be hit by a rain of American bombs without number. The people will ford a river of blood. God will pity their plight.... God has warned you about the foreign invasion but your minds are dark and clouded and you pay no heed....

"In the Foundress's Ofudesaki, the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War and the present world war are alluded to as prologues to a play... In the year of the horse, the first act will begin and with the Siberian route as their hanamichi (in Kabuki, a passageway running through the audience from the rear of the theater to the stage), perverted spirits will come attacking. Exerting all their power and all their ingenuity, they will come to swallow the Land of the Gods (Japan), the heavens will be covered with airplanes flying wildly in the eastern sky. Here the curtain will rise on the second act. When the third act begins....

Excerpts from the Mizu no Shika (Click to enlarge)
The pink dotted line reads: "...with the Siberian route as their hanamichi ...", foretelling Russia's participation in World War II and its occupation of Japan's Kuril Islands in Showa 20 (1945).

"The clouds filling the sky over China and the gunsmoke and the hail of bullets have cleared.... But the situation has become hopelessly entangled and will spread to the eastern sky, the east will find itself unable to withdraw, and when finally war breaks out the country will spend massive amounts on the war effort, but in the space of less than a year, there will be a great tragedy and everything will scatter like smoke and fade like the mist, and the land will turn into a graveyard for millions. The land and the people will wither, the people will sigh and not know where to turn, as the doomsday bell tolls." (Excerpts from Omoto Shinka)
"The time is near at hand when statues of Buddha, bells, and all metal implements will be taken out of temples near and far and recast for the armaments of land and sea to defend the country.... A time of dread when the belongings of the common people made of metal, from braziers to bent nails, will be made into armaments, and yet still not meet the need.

"The time is not far off when everyone, from old men of fifty to youths of fifteen, male and female, Buddhist priests, Christian pastors and even convicts will stand on the field of battle." (Excerpts from the Iroha poem of November 3, 1917)

Excerpts from the Mizu no Shika
The pink dotted rectangle predicts U.S. bombings of Japan in Showa 17 (1942), and Japan's loss of Okinawa and Taiwan and its Penghu archipelago in Showa 20 (1945).

Excerpts from the Mizu no Shika (Click to enlarge)
The pink dotted rectangle prophecies the defeat of Italy and Germany in World War II.

  The Riddle of the Tiger Pit
(Excerpts from The Great Onisaburo Deguchi)

One day in the middle of the proceedings at the Osaka Court of Appeal, Onisaburo turned to the judge and put to him the Zen mondo "A man falls into a tiger's pit." This riddle asks what someone who has fallen into a tiger's pit should do. Onisaburo asked the judge, "Your Honor, how would you answer this riddle?" The judge said that his field was the law, and he did not know, and asked Onisaburo what he meant by the riddle. Onisaburo then began a sermon.

As the tiger is stronger than the man, if the man tries to escape, he will be killed. The same will happen if he tries to attack the tiger. Even if he keeps perfectly still, the tiger will eventually get hungry and devour him. Whatever he does there is no escape. There is one thing that can be done, and one only. That is not to be passively devoured by the tiger, but voluntarily to give oneself to the animal. If the man is devoured against his will, absolutely nothing will remain, but if he gives himself to the tiger, there will remain love and pride. With this story, Onisaburo was alluding to the second Omoto suppression. The judge, seeming to be appropriately moved, gave a sigh of admiration. The court room was filled with a solemn atmosphere, and both sides alike involuntarily assumed a reverential attitude.

This tiger pit riddle has a further profound meaning, that is, the man who out of love and pride sacrificed his body to the tiger brought about a full turnabout in the case. It was a miraculous escape from the jaws of death.

  The Yoshioka Statement
(Excerpts from The Great Onisaburo Deguchi)

At the end of Showa 20 (1945), Onisaburo traveled to Yoshioka Hot Springs in Tottori, where he stayed until the new year. Afterwards he undertook an energetic schedule, traveling to Maizuru to pay his respects across the sea to the islands Meshima and Oshima where he had made pilgrimages with Nao in his youth, staying for a while in Matsue where he had been aroused from his sleep and arrested, and also making pilgrimages to Izumo Grand Shrine, Mount Hachibuse and other places. The journey he made in July to Wakayama, however, was to be his last.

His age, the accumulated years' strain, and now the great work of the rebuilding of Omoto on top of his already busy life came together, and about the middle of August 1946, under a blazing sun at the construction site in Ten-on-kyo, Kameoka, he was taken ill, and at the end of the month a cerebral hemorrhage rendered his condition critical.

While he was staying at Yoshioka Hot Springs, Onisaburo made the following statement:
"From the outbreak of the war with China to the end of the Second World War I was a prisoner, and not only the headquarters of Ayabe and Kameoka, but the four thousand Omoto sanctuaries across the country were all destroyed. But the believers continued to have faith in the teachings, and therefore Omoto is already rebuilt, even before the buildings are reconstructed.... I pray solely for the unity and peace of the whole universe. I predicted the present state of Japan several times and because of this we were persecuted. The warning that a rain of fire would fall became reality and Japan was vanquished.

"In the future, attitudes toward Shinto will change. There is a lot of heated discussion about Shinto the state religion, but State Shinto was a misinterpretation, and the change to democracy does not alter the existence of the Divine. Japan was led astray by the exalting of certain shrines to suit political ends and by forcing the people to worship at these shrines, forgetting the true existence of God. In particular, the fact that shrines which enjoyed state patronage were shrines dedicated not to God but to mere human beings, lay at the root of this error. But the Japanese race will not perish. The country is now totally disarmed, but this situation holds a noble mission for Japan as a pioneer of world peace. True world peace will only come about when the whole world is disarmed, and that time is near at hand." (Asahi Shinbun, December 30, 1945)

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