The Purpose of Children

Tenrikyo Pearl Church June 04 Sermon
By Taeko Nakao

Good morning and thank you for coming to our June monthly service. I’m sure God the Parent and Oyasama are happy to see you here this morning.

Today I’d like to talk about this fourteen-year-old child who has a problem of not going to school. Since this child is beyond his parent’s control, the school conducts a meeting for this child for an Individual Education Program. Every morning a skills trainer arrives to this child’s home to teach him how to wake up at 7 a.m. brush his teeth, wash his face, comb his hair, take his meds, eat breakfast and then be taken to school. Otherwise he just stays home and does nothing. Normally, in school he would suddenly run away from class as far as he can without thinking of the consequences. During a one-to-one class with a psychologist, he was found to be unable to concentrate with his work and was always distracted by something. He became mentally deranged, so the school is planning to change his doctor from a psychologist to a psychiatrist. This boy’s mother had become so depressed she decided to call me and asked for me to become her adviser. Since then I had become quite concerned about this boy and thought about how I could help him.

What is the meaning of existence of a human being? For what purpose did God create this world and human beings? God’s desire is to see people help each other and live a joyous life, or to become a person who can guide people to a joyous life.

The philosopher, Socrates says,

‘The horse trainer has to know well about horse. And human beings have to know well about their own children.’

It means, humans are supposed to learn and practice this teaching taught by God who created us human being. When our car has a problem we will take it to the manufacturer. When our child has a problem, we’ll take them to those who gave birth to this child. And so the parents of a person or thing have to be repaired by their mind according to the teachings of God.

Many people suffer and cannot understand why we have to face these problems with a child. We are all hard working and honest people, but why these things happen to us?

Prof. Hayao Kawai the Professor emeritus of Kyoto University in psychology says ‘A problem child is a child who is giving a problem to the parents.’ This child is giving opportunity for the parents to learn how to live a full life. Thus we must appreciate the matter with this child.

This 14-year-old boy is a sweet boy and must have been pampered by his parents while growing up. I introduced this family to the Tenri Judo Club. Needless to say, parents dreamed if he could join this club and play sports in order for him to get well and become motivated. But unfortunately his condition was not at that level and the symptoms of his situation were not improving.

Furthermore Prof. Kawai says, in this materialistic world, parents buy and give their children many things easily without any special condition. Once they obtain a toy or desired item easily, they start asking for an even more expensive item. Although the next item is not affordable, parents would still dish out money for them thinking that this is an expression of their love for their child. However the parents are not aware of the lack of nurturing the mind of patience and understanding the minds of parents whom are unable to afford and obtain such an expensive item. When we receive something which we wanted so badly, happiness would only last for a moment, and the habit of wasting would become a problem. This is not only a child’s problem but also a problem for the parents who had raised their child in this way.

There are three things we should reflect on:

First, be grateful and appreciative of whatever we normally take it for granted in our daily lives. For instance, going school, eat meals every day, run around the yard and playing ball.

Second, never convince a child but rather always try to communicate and talk to a child. For instance questions like: ‘isn’t it hot today?’, ‘aren’t you hungry?’ or ‘did you finish dinner?’ etc.

Third, let them do physical work as much as possible. For instance raking the yard, take out the trash, help washing the car, with a HINOKISHIN spirit. Help them find happiness in working hard to make others happy. Through these good behaviors, good thoughts will come out.

When people get things easily without any effort there is less gratitude than those who had a harder time obtaining the same thing. People tend to take it for granted. For instance, teachers teach kids in school but once kids fail the class, parents point the blame on others and start blaming the teachers or the Principal. This happens quite often. We should always be humble and reflect upon our daily attitude as if there were always something we need to improve on.

In the Mikagurauta it says, (Song III-sixth)
Never make an unreasonable prayer!
Come to me with a single mind.

There are no parents who do not wish their child to be smarter, or to be a good and well-behaved child. And thus we tend to wish more and more. However, God is saying ‘Never make an unreasonable prayer.’ Instead of asking for more and more, we should pray for the people in need, sick in bed, or for world peace. I believe that, through your sincere prayer, it will reach God the Parent and will bless your child in return.

Thank you very much for your kind attention!

About a week ago on June 7th there was an email to this Pearl church web site. I would like to share with you this massage from Dr. Maurizio Maggioni.

(Read an e mail massage.)

Lewis recently opened our web site, and more than 480 people have been visiting our web. Pearl church is a small church in this small island of Hawaii but the teaching itself is for the universe. Oyasama our Foundress said this is the world salvation. If you believe and practice the teachings, everyone can lead a happy and joyous life.

Thank you for your kind attention.

True Happiness

Tenrikyo Pearl Church May 2004 Monthly Service Sermon
by Taeko Nakao

Good morning and thank you for coming to the Pearl church May Monthly Service. I’m sure God the Parent and Oyasama are very happy to see you here today.
I would also like to thank you for your sincere contribution and dedication.

Please allow me to share a short story to you about’



About two months ago, in early March, while a missionary from Dendocho and I were walking the McCully area house to house, we met a man who was suffering from a serious illness called Hepatitis C. We administered the Sazuke (the Divine Grant) on him. One week later, Reverend Owen visited him for the prayer and came home saying that he said that he is totally free from Hepatitis C now. His doctor also couldn’t believe, so another blood test was scheduled to make sure if he is negative or not. The results were to be reported on March 30th so he is waiting for this, he said. I couldn’t believe my ears and said, ‘That must be a different person!’


His symptom is the worst case and he was experiencing short breath, swollen legs and had a hard time walking. After the first time we administered the Sazuke his breathing came back to normal, and after the 2nd and 3rd times, his swollen feet had come down and he was able to ride a bicycle for quite a long distance. His health came back miraculously.


In some degree, some people are serious and some are slight, but most of us are experiencing some kind of illness. God is not giving us pain or making us suffer intentionally. This is nothing but a guidance from God the Parent.


We read in the OFUDESAKI (Part 14: 20, 21) that’

Whatever is done, is done by Tsukihi.
Whatever happens, know that it is nit an illness.

Whatever I do to the body,
It is not an illness but the care of Tsukihi.


I believe that there are no such parents who make their children experience pain and suffering. God is just like our Parent and we are all children of God. Because God the Parent wants us to lead a happy and joyous life, God the Parent guides us through illness and problems.


In the MIKAGURAUTA Song 10 it is said,

Though illness is so trying,
No one has ever known its origin

Until this time all of you equally
Have been ignorant of the origin of illness.

This time, it has been revealed.
The origin of illness lies in your own mind

Then what kind of mind should we use in our daily lives?



The seeds that are sown which are of the seeds of joy and gratitude will return ten thousand fold (times). The basis for the joyous life is to have a joyous and appreciative attitude.


On the contrary to the joyous mind, you may feel unsatisfied, and complain about everything. There are many things in our lives that are difficult to find joy in. However, finding the joy in these situations will return as blessings to us ten thousand times.


In the OSASHIZU (The Divine Direction) it is said,

God is advising us with the Eight Mental Dusts, Eight Mental Dusts. It is not only to hear and acknowledge the Eight Mental Dusts, but you should understand and nourish yourself with these teachings. Through the daily service, you will come to understand and nourish yourself, and can ‘sweep’ away the wrong thoughts. It is just like a beautiful picture on the wall. We can only see the beauty from afar. However, we can experience the beauty in the picture if we can cleanse our minds. If we are dissatisfied and not happy, we should reflect on our daily thoughts and actions and cleanse our mind. This is how we are able to get closer to the Joyous life.


When I encounter a sick person, I always try to pray, to administer the Sazuke. Why do we administer the Sazuke? Through the Sazuke, we would be able to bring about the salvation of the soul. If we are merely aiming to cure illnesses, there would probably be times when doctors and medicines were more effective. Or, sometimes the body may heal itself without any help.


Accordingly, it is true that people turn to the Sazuke for help when medical assistance was no longer effective. Medical care provided for the human body and mind might help to cure them, but they still would not able to affect the salvation of the human soul.


I may have mentioned before that the existence of human beings consist from three sides. One is the physical body, second is the mind which is the mental side, and third, a spiritual side. I would think this spiritual side is the connection to the soul.


I believe that through the administering the Sazuke prayer, our soul will be cleansed and become purified. On the other hand, there are people whose physical bodies were cured by medicine, but their souls remain ill. Their minds are still full of complaints not even after they have been cured of their disease. I believe that those people are not living a joyous life. Therefore, we must administer the Sazuke for the salvation of their soul.


Every prayer cleans one’s soul and there is a deep meaning behind it. God the Parent is urging us to cleanse our minds daily.


Here is a story from the Anecdotes of Oyasama titled ‘True Salvation.’

    In 1882, wife of Yohei Yamamoto who was then 40 years old received such marvelous salvation that she was completely healed of a leg ailment of long duration. At the moment of her healing, as she rose to her feet, her leg and hip joints gave out cracking sounds from the long disease. Yet the trembling of her hands did not cease.

She worried about it very much, even though it did not seem serious. She returned to Jiba in the summer of 1884. When she was received by Oyasama, she begged, holding out her trembling hands, ‘May I ask you to breath upon these?’ Then Oyasama instructed Isa:

‘It would be very easy to breath upon them. But your trembling hands seem of little inconvenience since you have already been saved from your serious leg ailment. Rather than being cured completely, it is better that you have some trouble left to be healed; then you will understand the INNEN (The mind how you used until then) of your previous lives and be continually reminded of it. This will lead you true salvation.

People tend to wish nothing but to be completely cured. But what is most important is to gain virtue that will lead to true salvation. So I lend you this book instead of breathing upon your hands. Have this book copied and read it every day.’ Oyasama lent her a complete set of the 17 parts of the OFUDESAKI.

From that time on, her trembling hands no longer bothered her. For the rest of her life, she read the OFUDESAKI which had been copied for her by her own father, and she spread the teachings to whomever she met. She was so blessed that she lived to be 89 years old.

Thank you very much for your kind attention!

The Way to Cure Illness


Good morning! I would like to thank you all for your kind support and sincere offerings. I am confident that God the Parent and Oyasama are pleased that you are present here today to participate in this March Monthly Service.


When people are born and mature in a healthy body, we’re not supposed to become ill, but rather we supposed to live the normal span of life. But why do we become sick or ill? In the Ofudesaki, Part III: 93, it says:

If this origin is known in detail,
There should be no cause for illness.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a healthy person as a person consisting of a healthy body, a healthy spirit and healthy social conditions. However, no matter how these three conditions are present in its most perfect sense, if the person is always angry, holding grudges, and hating people, this person will become ill sooner or later. This is what Dr. Shigeo Haruyama says in his book, ‘A Great Revolution in the Brain World. In the Ofudesaki III: 95 and 96, we read:

There is nothing at all which should be called illness,
It is only because there are paths of the mistaken mind.

These paths are miserliness, covetousness,
Self-love, greed, and arrogance. They are dust.

So we are taught that illness comes from our mind. When we think positive saying to ourselves: ‘How happy I am or how lucky I am, it could have been worse. I think I’m blessed compared to other people less fortunate.’ When we are in a positive thought, we will receive (+) energy. On the other hand, if we think negative thoughts such as, ‘I hate it! I’m suffering,’ and blame others. Then the (-) negative energy will flow, meaning that, unpleasant things will come to us. Unpleasant feelings, illness, accidents, conflict with others and depression will come to us and make us unhappy.

I have talked about stress in the past and how stress affects our body. When we feel, ‘Oh, how I hate it,’ this causes stress, in other words, anxiety, worry, dissatisfaction, hatred, jealousy and an inferiority complex. These negative thoughts increase our stress and bring about illness.

Those people, who have a habit of thinking positive, they hardly become ill. Louise Hay, author of the book called, ‘You Can Heal Your Life,’ says that all illness comes from resentment. She asks those people who are ill, whether they have any resentment toward anyone. In her book, she says: I find that resentment, criticism, guilt and fear cause more problems than anything else. To release the past we must be willing to forgive. In the Ofudesaki I: 53:

Among humankind, there is no one who is evil,
It is only a bit of dust stuck on.

God uses dust as a metaphor for negative thinking.
In this Teaching, our body is a thing lent, a thing borrowed from God. In short, this body is our body, but since it is borrowed from God, we do not have complete control. For instance, when we experience a burn, a cut, scrape, pain or old age, we cannot stop these. However we can use our minds freely. It is important that we be able to make adjustments to the way we think. When we can adjust our negative minds to think positively we can overcome illness.

In the Ofudesaki III: 98

If only the dust is cleanly swept away,
Then I shall work marvelous salvation.

For example: If you have a child who has been allowed to stay up late as long as she/he wishes for a long time and then you make a decision, that you now want this child to go to bed at 8pm every night, what do you think the first night will be like.

The child will rebel against this new rule and may kick and scream and do her best to stay out of bed. If you relent at this time, the child wins and will try to control you forever.

However, if you calmly stick to your decision and firmly insist that this is the new bed time, the rebellion will lessen. In two or three nights, the new routine will be established.

It is the same thing with your mind. Of course, it will rebel at first. It does not want to be retrained. But you are in control, and if you stay focused and firm, in a very short time the new way of thinking will be established and you will feel so good to realize that you are not a helpless victim of your own thoughts, but rather master of your own mind.

Your body is borrowed, but your mind is yours to use as you wish. Whatever you think in your mind is your habit. If you believe that it is difficult to change your habit, then your choice of this thought will make it true for you. If you would choose to think, ‘It is becoming easier for me to make changes,’ then your choice of this thought will make that true for you. If you get into the habit of thinking positive and accept whatever happens in a positive light, then you can overcome your bad habits. It is not that easy, but we should try to control our mind and stop thinking those old thoughts.

I know everyone is busy and very tired at the end of the day, but I found this to be very helpful to me. Just before going to bed, think of your dreams, your future plans and also think of your happy and pleasant times. This will help to refresh your mind and release you from thinking negative. Also, doing the service will help to sweep away your mental dust and help to develop a mind of gratitude.

Finally, in the Ofudesaki II: 7

Illness and pain of whatever kind do not exist,
They are none other than the hastening and guidance of God.


At the request of the Church Headquarters, Overseas Department, I had the opportunity to travel to Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia and Auckland, New Zealand, introducing Tenrikyo and sharing my faith with people, both new to the faith, Tenrikyo followers and their friends. I departed from Jiba on February 26th and returned to Hawaii on March 8th for a total of eleven days.

At Brisbane I stayed at the Tenrikyo Oceania Center headed by Rev. Masafumi Adachi who then accompanied me to the various locations. The weather was warm and similar to Hawaii. I also engaged in nioigake four times in both Australia and New Zealand and I found the people to be very warm and friendly just like Hawaii. The language was English but they speak with a British accent. The cities such as Sydney, Auckland and Melbourne are very cosmopolitan like Hawaii with people of different races: not only Chinese, Filipino, Korean, and Japanese, but also, Thai, Indonesian and Indian from India. Australia is a big country with a lot of wide flat land. It is located in the southern hemisphere so their seasons are opposite from us. Here in Hawaii we are in spring approaching summer, but in Australia and New Zealand they are in fall approaching winter. At night in Brisbane, when the sky was clear, I was able to see the Milky Way for the first time and the Southern Cross which is four stars forming a cross and can only be seen in the southern hemisphere. These stars are also happen to be part of the Australian and New Zealand national flags.


1. I will be departing again for Jiba from March 21st through June 30th serving as the Shuyoka English calls instructor for 3 months at Jiba.

2. Pearl Church renovations Phase I will began on February 9th and will end on March 21st. Installing an emergency exit staircase and building a new garage closet. Phase II is widening, the front stairs, installing a wall in the sanctuary will begin on July 1, after I return from Jiba. I request for your assistance and support during my absence.

3. The Dendocho March Monthly Service will be held next Sunday at 9am.

4. The Dendocho Nioigake Day will be held on following day, Monday, at 9am.

5. The weekly service practices every Thursday night will be suspended until after the construction is complete.

6. Later this month the BGA Spring Camp will be held on March 26th through 28th (that would be Friday through Sunday).
As always, I encourage all of you to take advantage of these opportunities for further spiritual growth, which is the path of the joyous life.

Eleanor Roosevelt


Good morning! I would like to thank you all for your kind support and sincere offerings. I am confident that God the Parent and Oyasama are pleased that you are present here today to participate in this February Monthly Service.


Have you ever heard of Eleanor Roosevelt? When you hear of the name Roosevelt, you will probably think of the president. Eleanor Roosevelt was the wife of the President Franklin Roosevelt.

She was born into a wealthy and influential New York family.

Her father’s brother was President Theodore Roosevelt and her mother’s forbearers included a signer of the Declaration of Independence. She was brought up in such a political family. However, her mother passed away when she was eight years old and two years later, when she was ten, she lost her father. She grew up in her grandmother’s home.

Grandmother always reminded Eleanor that caring for others would make her feel better about herself. Moreover, her father also said, ‘If you can let people know you love them, you’ll make them happy. And that will make you happy too.’ This is how she was raised.

Eleanor remembered her father’s advice when she traveled with her family to the far-off country of Italy. She was riding a donkey, and she saw that the servant boy who led her donkey was limping.
Eleanor said, ‘You ride, your feet are sore and you need a rest,’ and she got off the donkey. The servant boy was impressed with this little girl and was happy and grateful for her kindness.

When she was twenty-four, she met her distant cousin, Franklin Roosevelt and they got married. She had everything that a woman could want: a fine husband, six healthy children, and lived in a beautiful big house. But in spite of all the wonderful things, a very sad thing happened. Franklin caught a dreadful disease called polio. There were no shots to protect people in those days; so many people became crippled by this sickness.

Eleanor thought that she had to find a way to help him. She was sad but she remembered how caring for others had helped her with her own problems.

She said to Franklin, ‘Why don’t you run for public office? I think you’d be happier if you were doing something to help others.’ He asked, ‘How can I run for office with this condition? I can’t even walk properly.’ Eleanor said, ‘You can do everything that is important. Don’t worry,’ she said. He then ran for governor. Despite of his health problem, with the support of Eleanor, Franklin was elected governor of state of New York.

Then the hard times called the great depression came to America. Factories shut down, stores went out of business. Farmers stopped growing food and banks had no money. All over the country, people lost their jobs. The time came to elect a new president and the people wanted to vote for someone who cared about those who were out of work and money.

Franklin ran for and was elected president and gave the people new hope. He wanted the people to have faith so that they could work to solve their problems.

In spite of her husband’s paralysis and his life on a wheelchair, Eleanor went all over the country to talk to the people and help solve their problems.

Unfortunately, in 1939, World War II started, Eleanor began to travel to the places where American troops were fighting. Moreover, she visited the wounded and tried to make them feel better. She didn’t just visit the troops and forget about them.
When she got home from her trips, she wrote a letter or telephoned the families of the men she had seen. President Roosevelt died just before the war ended.

Even after her husband passed away, she continued to work for people in need all over the world. Many people in the overseas countries lost their homes in the war. Refugees lived in crowded camps in faraway countries. There were homeless, lonely, and uncared for children: thousands of youngsters who didn’t have enough to eat. Eleanor set her mind to find ways to help them. She worked at the United Nations on the founding of UNICEF and the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to help the sad, poor and hungry people everywhere.

In conclusion, I want to share what Eleanor said, ‘You get more joy out of giving joy to others and should put a good deal of thought into the happiness you are able to give.’

After learning about Eleanor Roosevelt, what she said and what she did, reminded me of the Tenrikyo Teaching:

Ponder from your innermost heart to understand.
Through saving others, you will be saved.
Ofudesaki III: 47

While thinking of and praying for others, without realizing it, your mind becomes purified and naturally, solves your problems.

Eleanor encouraged her husband with a few words saying, ‘I think you’d be happier if you were doing something to help others.’ With these few words, they saved millions of people all over the world.

Again from the Ofudesaki III: 37, we read:

Do not grieve over whatever path you are now on.
Take delight in the main path that lies ahead.


1. I will be departing for Jiba and then on to Australia and Zealand to give the Joyous Life Lecture at six different locations on February 21st through March 8th. Then I will be serving as Shuyoka instructor for 3 months at Jiba from March 21st through June 30th.

2. Pearl Church renovations Phase I will begin tomorrow on February 9th and end on March 21st. Installing an emergency exit staircase and raise the front entrance landing. Phase II is widening, the front stairs, installing a wall in the sanctuary will begin on July 1, after I return from Jiba.

3. The Dendocho February Monthly Service will be held next Sunday at 9am.

4. The Dendocho Nioigake Day will be held on following day, Monday, at 9am.

5. The weekly service practices are held every Thursday night at 6:00-7:00pm.

6. Later this month on February 28, that’s Saturday, the BGA will be doing Hinokishin at Stadium Park. Meet at Dendocho at 9am or go direct to the park by 10am.

7. The BGA Spring Camp will be held on next month on March 26th through 28th (that would be Friday through Sunday).
As always, I encourage all of you to take advantage of these opportunities for further spiritual growth, which is the path of the joyous life.

What is Stress?


Good morning! I would like to thank you all for your kind support and sincere offerings. I am confident that God the Parent and Oyasama are pleased that you are present here today.


We hear about stress a lot, but what is stress?
A restaurant owner, who lived in the back house, worked long hours leaving his house at 3am in the morning and returning after 10pm at night. He and his mother were the perfect neighbors, because we hardly saw them except on Sundays, when he closed the restaurant. One day he mentioned that his legs were swollen and his veins were showing and he had a hard time standing. He said that his doctor told him that this is due to stress due to standing for many hours.

In another instance, a person was told that she got asthma because of stress.

Where does this stress come from?

I would like to share a book titled, ‘Stress Nurtures People,’ written by a brain surgeon, Dr. Yoshishige Nagaseki, who is a devout Tenrikyo follower and whose father is a Tenrikyo church minister. He wrote that stress comes from the condition in which one is not in a calm or peaceful situation, but when one is irritated, too careful, too tense, disturbed, confused or entangled in a dispute with someone. For example when your boss asks you to do extra work and you complain to yourself why you have to do this job. This is taking on a negative attitude and then you have more stress. On the other hand, when you accept the extra work with a positive attitude, you will have less stress. Which attitude will make the people around you happier? Depending on which attitude you take, you will have more or less stress.

Dr. Nagaseki found that people with a constant negative attitude experience stress and have blood vessels that are constricted and blood flow is reduced causing blood waste to collect and further restrict blood flow.

What kind of stress do most people suffer from nowadays in our modern society? Dr. Nagaseki believes that most people nowadays suffer from relationship problems. When relationships between people aren’t going smoothly, it will eventually cause any of a variety of illnesses. So he believes that illness comes from stress.

Our Foundress, Oyasama said that illness comes from the way we use our mind in our daily life. We tend to use mental dust. They are the eight mental dusts: covetousness, miserliness, greed, arrogance, anger, hatred, self love and holding grudges. In addition, She warns us against falsehood and flattery. These uses of mind will turn into stress and cause illness according to Dr. Nagaseki.

Originally, human beings’ souls are transparent, like a crystal. But when we accumulate the mental dust, the crystal becomes clouded and eventually this turns into illness. Stress causes illness, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, stomach ulcers, and asthma and so no. Of course they are other factors contributing to illness, such as genetically transmitted diseases, environmental situations and personal hygiene, which is not necessarily from stress.

Then how should we handle unexpected stress? How should we understand and face this problem calmly? Illnesses or whatever problems are shown to each of us depending on our different situations. God gave us these illnesses and problems to give us opportunities to reflect and grow. It is up to us to figure out how to overcome our negative situation.

Definitely, God is not trying to make us suffer. But rather God is trying to encourage us to change the direction of our minds towards God’s teachings. We are taught that through saving others, we are saved. This means that we should pray for others who are suffering. We should love other people and we should learn to forgive. And we should then sweep away our mental dust in our daily prayers. That is, we should sweep away the stress that accumulated in our minds. Our minds will then become calm and peaceful and this will stimulate blood flow in our body.
During this holiday season, I’m sure some of you may be going through a lot of stress going shopping, cooking and going to parties. But please remember to be positive and enjoy this happy season.


1. The Hawaii Young Men’s Association and Young Women’s Club will hold their joint General Meeting this Saturday at 1pm.
2. Also, this Saturday, we will be having a garage sale from 7am to 12noon. Proceeds will help cover the costs of renovations which are required by the zoning variance.
3. The Dendocho November Service will be held next Sunday at 9am.
4. The Dendocho Nioigake Day will be held on following day, Monday, at 9am.
5. The weekly service practices are held every Thursday night at 6:00-7:00pm.
6. The Pearl Church New Year’s Day Service will be held at 7am.
As always, I encourage all of you to take advantage of these opportunities for further spiritual growth, which is the path of the joyous life.

Believe in God


Good morning! I would like to thank you all for your kind support and sincere offerings. I am confident that God the Parent and Oyasama are pleased that you are present here today.


In order to rebuild the Iraqi government, American troops are still occupying the country. Many of our soldiers are being killed on a daily basis by suicide bombers and other attackers who are resisting the occupation.

In California, wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres, killed many people, and left thousands homeless.

These are the great tragedies, and our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of the fires, as well as the brave soldiers fighting for our country.

No matter where we are, or what the circumstances, it is only God who can protect us. If we use our minds in accordance with God’s intention, God will take care of us. We can live a Joyous Life if we but believe in God and follow the teachings.

The topic of my sermon today is ‘Believe in God.’

At this past August’s monthly service at Jiba, Honbu-in (Church HQ board member) Naohisa Takai gave the sermon. I’d like to share a part of this with you today. Rev. Takai left Japan and went to the Congo in Africa to do missionary work more than 40 years ago in the 1960’s. He had no knowledge of the country or language, and being the lone Tenrikyo missionary in a strange land, he devoted himself to performing the service and administering the Sazuke.

Just below the equator in Congo, people suffer with fevers from malaria and everyday, these people come to his place asking to be administered the sazuke. Their temperatures rise as high as 107 degrees and as Rev. Takai strokes their bodies during the sazuke, he can tell that the body temperature is dropping. This happened many times. Also, since the heat from the sun is very strong, there were many who came with skin ailments. Some came with severe skin conditions with blood and pus oozing the entire body and even those he stroked directly on their skin for the sazuke. One month later when he visited a person on whom he administered the sazuke with this skin ailment, he found a giant scab over this person’s chest and stomach. When he peeled it, he found new skin forming underneath.

Everyday after the morning service, there were 20-30 people waiting to be administered the sazuke. When he finished praying for all those people, it would be almost noon. Rev. Takai who has been administering the sazuke to hundreds of people, has a firm conviction that there is no sazuke that does not work. The purpose of the sazuke is not merely to heal illness, but to cleanse the mental dust of both the person administering the sazuke and the person being administered the sazuke. Through human eyes, we wish to see miracles of healing which we can see with our own eyes. But blessing received through the sazuke may come in other forms such as, self-realization, one’s causality being lightened or passing away for rebirth quickly into a better life, without lingering in pain and suffering for both the sick person and the family.

Oyasama said whoever received the Grant of Safe Childbirth, will have an easy delivery. In those days, giving birth was a very uneasy time for women. Not like today, with modern facilities and medical advancements. So the women of those times relied on many superstitions such as, leaning on something and refrained from eating certain foods. Oyasama said she will test the Grant of Safe Childbirth first on her daughter, Oharu. On the day of delivery, there was a big earthquake, but Oharu gave birth easily without any difficulty.

The following day, Yuki, who was the wife of a villager named villager named Sosuke Shimizu, visited the Residence. Seeing Oharu already up and working energetically, she was deeply struck with the wonders of God’s blessing. She asked Oyasama if she, too, would be granted such protection. To this, Oyasama replied:

The same with every woman.

Before long, when Yuki conceived, she came back to ask for the Grant of Safe Childbirth. Oyasama granted it and said:

You must forget all human concern. Rely on God the Parent and have a delivery free from worry.

But Yuki, in spite of having received the Grant of Safe Childbirth, could not rely completely on Her words. Instead, after giving birth, she followed the traditional customs such as the taboo on certain foods and the practice of leaning against something, with the result that she was confined to her bed with fever for about thirty days. When Oyasama was consulted at Yuki’s request, She said:

It is because she harbored doubts.
Yuki realized the exact truth of this response the moment she heard it and, deeply impressed by it, repented from the bottom of her heart.

The next year, when Yuki conceived again, she received the Grant of Safe Childbirth, solemnly swearing that she would never doubt again. Since she kept relying on God wholeheartedly, abiding well by Oyasama’s instructions this time, she was blessed with an unusually easy delivery, and her recovery was smooth.
If you only rely on God and believe wholeheartedly, you will be saved.

When we say rely on God, we don’t mean to do nothing and just rely on God, but rather we should practice the teaching according to God’s intention rather acting on our own self-centered human thinking. This is what is meant by relying on God.

We meet people regularly with serious illnesses and in addition to the sazuke we are performing the twelve songs of the Teodori on a daily basis. Also, I am going to Dendocho everyday to perform the Seated Service.

Some things cannot be done by human strength alone. God’s workings may not be immediately apparent. However, we must believe with strong conviction, without even the slightest doubt, in the words of God the Parent and the Truth of Sazuke.

In the Ofudesaki, Part X: 19 and 34, we read:

Day by day, hasten to begin the Service.
You will escape any danger whatever.

If only the Service is done without error,
The Gift of heaven, also, will be given without fail.

1. This year’s Joyous Life Lecture will be held this Saturday, November 15th at 2pm at Dendocho. The speaker is Rev. Motoo Matsuda who is the former bishop of North America Dendocho. Please take this opportunity to invite friends and relatives to this meaningful talk.

2. The Dendocho November Service will be held next Sunday at 9am.

3. The Dendocho Nioigake Day will be held on following day, Monday, November 17th at 9am.

4. The weekly service practices are held every Thursday night at 6:00-7:00pm.

5. I would like to thank you all for your support and contributions made for our Trick or Treat for UNICEF activity held this past month.

As always, I encourage all of you to take advantage of these opportunities for further spiritual growth, which is the path of the joyous life.

Terence Speech


Good morning! I would like to take this time to thank you all for your kind support and sincere offerings. Today we have a guest speaker, a member of our church, who comes to church on a regular basis and who wants to share with you the joy of his faith. Please welcome Mr. Terence Fujioka.

Mina-san, Ohaiyo gazaimasu!

Good morning! Or Aloha Kahahiaka! Thank you for attending Pearl Church’s Autumn Grand Service. I am confident that God (Tsukihi) and Oyasama are pleased that you are present here today.

First, a little bit of ‘History 101” Owen and I are former classmates at Aliiolani Elementary, Jarrett Intermediate and Kaimuki High School. Although we were not very close during those ‘hanabudda’ days, I remember Owen as a very nice person, always smiling unless he was doing something that required concentration, when he’d have a look of ‘totemo’ determination. He hasn’t changed much except he’s a little bit more aerodynamic now. After high school, we all went our separate ways, but little did I know what God (Tsukihi) had in mind for both of us.

I was working at ‘Hawaii Country Store’ in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. The manager of the store was a very difficult person to work with. She constantly complained and was very arrogant. But despite the tension and discomfort of this job, a co-worker named ‘Linda’ impressed me with her ability to remain calm at all times. Her personality was, and still is, something to be admired. One day, I asked Linda if she went to church thinking that if she did, whatever church she attended was worth looking into. She said, ‘Yes, Tenrikyo Church.’ Then she proceeded to tell me about the church and its teachings, as I’ve never heard of Tenrikyo Church. She knew I lived in Palolo Valley, so she told me that there’s a Tenrikyo Church in Palolo, on 10th Avenue, run by a Reverend Owen Nakao. I replied, ‘Owen Nakao?! I know him! We were classmates. He’s a Reverend?! I’ll go check him out one day.’ Linda encouraged me to do so. By the way, ‘Linda’ is Linda Kawasaki, wife of David Kawasaki of Tenrikyo Aloha Church in Waipahu. Days, months, then years went by, and although I had in mind to visit Owen, I never took the first step. Then one day, while delivering the Star Bulletin on 10th Avenue, I see this guy coming towards me, full blast, going about forty miles per hour in a twenty-five miles per hour zone (nah!) on one of the ‘razor scooters’ wearing long pants and with his Aloha shirt tucked in. Tucked in, mind you, while riding a scooter! Initially, I thought, ‘typical Palolo nut case.’ A well-dressed nut case, though. When I had a good look at this ‘nut’, I recognized him. It was Reverend Owen Nakao! I yelled, ‘Owen! Owen Nakao, right?!’ At first, he didn’t recognize me until I mentioned my name. I told him of my chronic stomach problem. I’ve had ulcer-like symptoms since 1976. I’ve been to three major hospitals, been through all the exams, with ‘no diagnosis.’ I suffered the symptoms, but no ulcer. The doctors did not know how to treat it. I was told it might be something I’ll have to live with. This condition, along with constantly being in and out of jobs, sent me into depression. There were many times when suicide entered my mind. Owen offered to come pray for me. That very night, he and Taeko came to my house and performed the ‘sazuke’. I’ll admit, at that time, I was a ‘tough customer’. I didn’t really embrace the religion or its teachings. I was torn between Christianity, which I was raised in as a youth, and Tenrikyo, which I knew very little about. Owen and Taeko gave me some literature; then they gave me the space to decide for myself. In the meantime, they continued to come and pray for me. I visited Pearl Church now and then, started delivering the Nakao’s ‘complimentary copy’ of the Star Bulletin daily, but hadn’t yet fully accepted God. Then, on October 31, 2001, while riding my bicycle on my way to deliver Rev. and Mrs. Nakao newspaper, I was struck from behind by a van. The impact was enough to crack the windshield and according to Taeko, smash the front of the van. I remember thinking, ‘I’m in trouble!’ The E.M.S. (Emergency Medical Service) worker was describing my injuries when I heard him tell the dispatcher, ‘Broken big toe on left foot.’ I said, ‘It’s always like that!’ Then he said, ‘Bloated stomach,’ which indicates internal bleeding. Again I said, ‘It’s always like that!’ It started to drizzle and I remember seeing Taeko holding an umbrella over me. Then Owen performed the ‘sazuke’ for me. Just before I was put into the ambulance, Owen said, ‘Rely on God.’ On the way to the hospital, I repeated it silently, ‘Rely on God.’

Owen drove my Mom to the hospital. Owen, my Mom and my brother-in-law ‘Ron’, who is my sister ‘Penny’s’ husband, were there for support. After they had left, every now and then I’d repeat, in my mind, what Owen had said ‘ ‘Rely on God.’ Rely on God, I did. I fell asleep knowing God would do what was meant to be. The next morning, I woke up hoping the accident was just a bad dream. No such luck, the accident did happen. I was in the hospital, with those wires stuck all over me, the I.V. in my arm and not being allowed to get up to relieve myself. I remember thinking, ‘I want outta here!’ A nurse came into the room and said that if I pass the physical therapy test, I could be released that day! I passed the exam and was sent home that afternoon, the day after the accident. To this day, only fading scars on my knees show evidence of being in the accident. I honestly feel that God, somehow, was involved in this accident, that God gave a me another chance to live my life with a whole new outlook on life, a different perception of people, plants, animals and everything else that exists. To me, God does exist. I believe that now. Just after Owen and I were ‘reunited’, I gave him a hard time when he wanted to talk about religion, telling him there was no way he was going to prove to me that God exists, even going as far as to say it was impossible for anyone to prove that God exists. It is believed that God exists. But little did I know what Owen had in mind for me! In fact, I think God and Owen were in ‘cahoots’ with one another to make it look like an accident. They set it up! Because now, no question, I believe in God. And now, more times than not, I rely on God. I’m not going to say that everything is perfect, but now, if I told you all the good things that have happened since I started attending Pearl Church, you’d have to set up camp, because I don’t know how long these blessing are to continue, but I do know they keep coming.

I thank God (Tsukihi), Oyasama, my Dad’s spirit, my family and friends, (old and new), David and Linda Kawasaki and family for the many blessings I’ve received. Thank you all for everything! Thank you for listening.
In closing, I’d like to say:

To be able to see God’s Gifts,
One must open one’s eyes.
To be able to receive God,
One must open one’s heart

Oh, and ‘ Rely on God.

Pastor Owen:
Please turn to Song 3, 7th verse, it says:

Seventh, Whatever may happen, from now on,
I will go single-heartedly leaning on God.

And in Song 9, 2nd verse, it says:

Second, Against any hardship I will protect you;
So lean closely on the mind of God.

Both these verses mention leaning on God or lean closely on the mind of God. In other words God urges us to follow the teachings and as Terence mentioned, rely on God. For Terence, he could not create miracles of healing and protection. For me, I could not convince him or anyone for that matter, of the existence of God. But what we can do is practice the teaching the best way we can as human beings with a sincere heart and then rely on God for things we cannot do or accomplish by ourselves.
It is in this way we are able to receive marvelous blessings, both physical and spiritual.

I hope everyone enjoyed today’s speech and it is our wish that it will inspire and encourage you to practice faith in your daily life and rely on God. Thank you for attending the service today.


1. The Dendocho Autumn Grand Service will be held next Sunday at 9am.
2. The Dendocho Nioigake Day will be held on following day, Monday, October 20th at 9am.
3. The weekly service practices are held every Thursday night at 6:30-7:30pm.
4. The Boy’s and Girl’s Hinokishin and Hiking Day will be held on Saturday, October 25th at 8am. And Trick or Treat for Unicef boxes are available for those who wish to participate on your own for the annual Trick or Treat for UNICEF. Please return the boxes by the next monthly service.

As always, I encourage all of you to take advantage of these opportunities for further spiritual growth, which is the path of the joyous life.

Earth Carring Hinokishin

I would like to thank you all for attending the Pearl Church September Service. I’m sure God the Parent and Oyasama is very happy to see you here today and will bless you accordingly. I would like to take this time to thank you all for your kind offerings. Also, I would like to thank you all for your support for the annual Tenrikyo bazaar held this past August 31st, in the form of the purchasing and selling scrips and doing Hinokishin. Thank you very much!


Please turn to page 29 in the Mikagura-uta and in Song Eleven, please read with me:

     This past August 22 through 27, due to God the Parent’s blessing I was able to return to Jiba to receive the divine sanction to proceed with our renovations. I was also able attend the monthly service and gave the sermon at our upper church Tengen Bunkyokai, and on the 26th, attend the Church Headquarters August monthly service. The divine sanction ceremony was held that evening at the Foundress’ Sanctuary with people from 55 other churches requesting various divine sanctions. Most of the ministers were accompanied by 6 or more members of their respective church. They sat in rows, one row for each church. My contingent just consisted of: Rev. Motohiro Nakao, who is the Tengen Head Minister, Mr. Deguchi and myself. We had the shortest row so we felt a little out of place. Mr. Deguchi by the way lives in Japan, but he is a staunch supporter and member of Pearl Church. He likes to joke that he is a board member of Pearl Church. Sometimes I think he’s serious. The divine sanction ceremony is similar to receiving the truth of sazuke in that you enter a special room and sit on the tatami floor before the Shinbashira who verbally grants our request. All this time our heads are bowed and my hands are forward on the floor holding a small open fan onto which the official written sanction is placed. We are then quickly ushered out the room. This is how the divine sanction is received. I wanted to see the Shinbashira’s face, but we were instructed look down and not directly at his face. At least I got to hear his voice.

Anyway, during my stay, I participated in the earth-carrying Hinokishin; called ‘tsuchi mochi Hinokishin’ in which dirt is placed in a straw basket and a pole is inserted through the two loops at the top of the basket. Two people carry the ends of the pole with the basket in the middle. The earth-carrying Hinokishin is part of a church headquarters’ construction project to the extend the outside worship area west of the worship hall, by filling in the low area so that the level will be the same as the worship hall ground level. This construction, called the ‘westward expansion of the Sanctuary precincts,’ started in June of this year. It is one of two major construction projects planned by Church Headquarters in anticipation of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. I couldn’t help but feel so happy that I was doing this tsuchi mochi Hinokishin, because of the deep meaning it has for me as a Tenrikyo follower: For one thing, I’m able to do Hinokishin, saying thanks to God for our borrowed bodies. Next I was happy because I was doing it at the parental home, the birthplace of human beings. Next, I was doing it to make my parents happy: my parents, as well as, God the Parent and Oyasama. And last, it crystallized the joyous life as expressed in the Mikagura-uta verses we just read.

I saw young people, old people, children, people on wheelchairs, people with walking canes, and even toddlers carrying small sand buckets full of dirt. Each and every one of them making a contribution, however small, toward the construction project. I felt an incredible sense of awe and amazement. And then I became overwhelmed with emotion. Tears started to roll down my eyes and I started to weep uncontrollably. I felt, ‘So this is what the joyous life is.’ I hope that all of you will someday be able to experience this.

I imagine that a person without faith would not be able to understand this scene. I would suppose when they see a mass of people carrying dirt the old fashion way in straw baskets, they would wonder out loud, ‘What in the world are you doing? Just get a bulldozer, a few trucks and fill the damn thing!’ They would fail to see the wonder and deep meaning behind this action called ‘Hinokishin.’ But deep inside, I feel hope that in their wonder and confusion that they will question their lack of faith and search for the real meaning of life.

     When we look at the history of the Anniversaries of Oyasama that right after Oyasama’s 20th anniversary, about 100 years ago, the first worship hall was constructed, which is called the North worship hall. Because the Jiba is surrounded by mountains and is in a valley there is a slope. In order to level the ground for the construction, we needed to bring soil from Toyoda Mountain. There were no trucks in those days. People carried the soil in straw baskets hung with a pole carried by the two persons. Members were not allowed to haul it by the vehicles. So from Toyoda yama (where the present Tenrikyo Cemetery is located) to the construction site, people by the thousands in a long line, carried the soil.

For the 30th Anniversary
The construction of the North Worship Hall was completed.

For the 40th Anniversary
The area around the Worship Hall was expanded and leveled.

For the 50th Anniversary
The South Worship and the Foundress’ Sanctuary were completed.

For the 70th Anniversary
The Oyasato Yakata Complex was started. The Yakata complex is a series of wings built in the shape of a square surrounding the Jiba used to house lecture halls, offices, dormitories, classrooms and now the Sankokan museum.

For the 100th Anniversary
The East and West Worship Halls were completed.

In the Osashizu, it is said that to construct a new building or demolish an old building by Hinokishin by the children of God is considered a spiritual and joyous act of contribution and dedication. It is through this wondrous and endless construction that the children of God can reform their minds and receive blessings.
In the English language, there is a slogan that refers to the strong faith of a person or a group as ‘the faith that moves mountains.’ I believe that in Tenrikyo this applies to both its figurative as well as its literal meaning. As shown by this and other previous construction projects at Jiba, this is the faith that really moves mountains.

Just as a reminder, we are in the midst of the three years, one thousand days before Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary and I ask everyone, to take advantage of this seasonal time, to make your individual resolutions in anticipation toward Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary by doing Hinokishin or doing the service on a daily basis. If you have a pressing personal or family problem or illness, perhaps this is God’s message to you to urge you on toward spiritual maturity. In the Osashizu, Oyasama said, ‘If there is no difficulty you cannot settle your mind.’ Your resolution can take the form of doing more Hinokishin, installing God’s shrine in your home, performing the service on a daily basis, returning to Jiba and attending the Besseki lectures to receive the Truth of Sazuke. Planting seeds of sincerity during this seasonal time will bring about ‘rich harvests and prosperity everywhere.’ Please let us know how we can help you to determine your resolution.

1.     The Dendocho September Service will be held next Sunday at 9am.
2.     The annual All Tenrikyo Nioigake Day will be held on following day, Monday, September 22nd at 9am.
3.     The weekly service practices are held every Thursday night at 6:30-7:30pm.
4.     The Pearl Church Autumn Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, September 28th at 8am.
I would like to encourage all of you to take advantage of these opportunities for further spiritual growth, which is the path of the joyous life.

Why Do We Have Faith in God?


I would like to thank you all for attending the February Service, here at Tenrikyo Pearl Church in this 166th year of Tenrikyo. I’m sure God the Parent and Oyasama are very happy to see you here today and will bless you accordingly.


Why do we have faith in God? There are many people who seem to be living happily without having faith in God or going to church. There are also people who think that they should stay at home and take a nap rather than waste their time at church. However, we have faith in God because we believe that we will continue to receive God’s marvelous blessings. If we didn’t receive any blessings, we wouldn’t believe in God. In fact, there are many people who are suffering from all kinds of problems, such as problems in relationships with others, illness, accidents, and other unpleasant incidents.

This past Tuesday, we went to nioigake (missionary work) in the Wahiawa area. I met an elderly lady, whose granddaughter, Kahealani, 11 years old, was murdered last December. Most of you have heard or read about it in the newspaper. The suspect was her 18-year-old sister’s boyfriend who is 20 years old. Because the boyfriend needed money, he robbed Kahealani of her Hawaiian bracelets, which she always wore to school, and subsequently ended her life. After hearing her story, I couldn’t say anything, but to give my sympathies to her grandmother. Why does this kind of thing happen? I thought and thought about for a long time.
We are taught that fruit do not grow without a seed. Consequently, whatever happens in world are the results of seeds that were sown. This is the law of nature. When you throw a ball hard, it rebounds hard, if you throw it soft, it comes back soft. This is the nature of heaven and the providence of God. The path that we are on is the path that we have laid for ourselves. We are reborn from previous lives so we have been accumulating all kinds of dusts from our present life as well as our previous lives. We don’t know it, but we might have committed many misdeeds in our previous lives.

Just because one day we put our hands together and ask God for help, doesn’t mean that we will be instantly cleansed completely of the dusts in our mind. In the same way, having faith in God doesn’t mean that good things will always happen from that day forward. For instance, if we always make people happy, then people will be kind to us. On the other hand, if we accuse people and make people suffer, then we will receive suffering. But if we have faith in God, God will reduce a big misfortune into a smaller misfortune, according to God’s grace. We will never have to face severe misfortunes.

Here is a story of a family who has faith in Tenrikyo. The son, who is a college student wanted to buy a motorcycle and started to work at a part time job. After one month past, he wondered why he didn’t get paid and went to see his boss. The boss said that his mom came and asked that one year of her son’s pay be given to his mom in advance. Later he found out that his mom offered his money to God. His mom told him that he did not have any ‘toku’ or virtue to receive and safely ride the motorcycle. The son then scolded his mom and told her to never do this again. Anyway, he continued to work at the part time job and earned enough money to purchase a motorcycle after the second year. He was so happy to finally be able to ride his motorcycle. But shortly after that he was involved in an accident with a car and but did not suffer from any injury, not even a scratch. As you can see, if you have faith in God, God will protect you, by making a big misfortune, small, and a small misfortune into an inconvenience.

There is another story about Mr. Hiroki Mitsunaga, the late husband of Mrs. Mitsunaga. When he was 80 years old he was still working part time as bookkeeper for a produce company. Against his family’s wish to stop working because of his age, he continued to work. While he was driving to the bank on the company van, he was struck from behind by another vehicle and his van went over a fire hydrant. The fire hydrant went right through the underside of the vehicle and appeared on the side of the driver’s seat. He then opened his door and came out of the van without a scratch and looked fine. The ambulance came and took him to the hospital, which he hesitated to go, but was finally persuaded to go. At the hospital, he took x-rays twice because the doctor wanted to make sure and it was found that nothing was wrong. He was not injured at all. This is due to his faith (the toku or virtue accumulated) and his devotion in attending the monthly service.

Toku is invisible; we cannot see it and we cannot touch it. It is not an object. However, devotion to church worship, connecting with God, and helping people with our kindness will accumulate toku and thereby receive God’s protection and blessings.


1. The Dendocho Spring Grand Service will be held next Sunday at 9am.

2. The monthly Nioigake Day will be held on following day, Monday, 17th at 9am.

3. The weekly service practices are held every Thursday night at 6:00-7:00pm.

4. The Boy’s and Girl’s Association Hinokishin Day at Stadium Park will be held on Saturday, February 22, at 10am, we will meet at Dendocho at 9am.

5. The Boy’s and Girl’s Association Spring Camp will be held on March 22nd to the 24th (Sat thru Mon). On Sunday, at 10am we will be having the General Meeting. Everyone is invited, so please come and enjoy.

I would like to encourage all of you to take advantage of these opportunities for further spiritual growth, which is the path of the joyous life.

6. We regret to announce the passing of the late Daryl Nakai, who was injured in a moped accident on January 4th and passed away three days later on January 7th. Daryl attended our November Service last year. Our hearts go out to his friends and family and pray that he will be reborn and join us once again in a new life.