Nioigake: the Approach and Sazuke Card

as of 7/2/16
By Rev. Owen Nakao, head minister Tenrikyo Pearl Church

You will probably develop your own style that’s comfortable for you and that’s ok, but whatever your nioigake approach is always keep in mind that you are accompanying Oyasama and to rely on God to sprinkle the fragrance. If you rely only on your own power, it will not work.

I try to take a friendly approach, by saying, “We’re just introducing ourselves. My name is Owen Nakao. I’m a missionary of the Tenrikyo faith. We want to get to know the people in the neighborhood and share our prayer for someone who is sick or with a bodily injury. How is everyone today? There’s more to this but due to lack of time, please go to our “” website for the complete approach.

Answer #1 “We’re fine!”

Then I say, “That’s a wonderful blessing! As we get older, we learn to appreciate how much of a blessing it is to have good health!” General people usually agree with that and become more open to what we have to say.

In Tenrikyo we believe that God created us human beings to live a joyous life and that the human body is not our own, it really belongs to God, it is a thing lent, a thing borrowed from God and that we are kept alive by God’s grace. Through our problems and illness, we believe that God is guiding us toward the Joyous Life and we’re taught to reflect on the way we use our mind on a daily basis and to get rid of our self-centered thinking. This self-centered thinking is called the dust of the mind. There are 8 mental dusts: Miserliness, covetousness, self-love, anger, hatred, grudge-bearing, greed and arrogance. We take a bath or shower everyday to clean our bodies, but what do we do for the mind. Often it’s neglected and it accumulates these mental dusts or negative thinking. Through our daily prayers, self-reflection and helping others, we strive to get rid of our mental dusts. In this way we can receive God’s blessing in the form of healing, good health and better destiny.

If at any point, they say they are not interested or at the end of your talk, I always ask, “Can I leave a free pamphlet with you? If you or anyone needs a prayer for healing, please call us.”

Answer #2 “Yes, I have an illness”

Can I administer our healing prayer on you? It takes only about ten to fifteen minutes and it involves laying my hands on the area where you’re sick. Then if this person seems receptive, explain the teachings as I explained in answer #1: In Tenrikyo we believe that God created us human beings to live a joyous life…

If you’re a guy and the ill person is female, depend on how she’s responding and the part of her body, it might be better to ask if she would feel more comfortable if I brought a lady to administer the prayer and vice versa.

Use of the Sazuke card* might be easier for you and it also serves as a dependable reference card for follow up visits.

After administering the Sazuke, always mention that the Sazuke is done for three days and ask if you can come the next two days to administer the Sazuke. If it’s inconvenient for either one of you, set up alternate days. The three-day Sazuke is best mentioned after administering the Sazuke as it may intimidate the ill person if mentioned before.

It’s important to make follow up visits to that person as it connects that person with the everliving Oyasama through your sincerity and eventually to God. Take every opportunity to connect with that person, by dropping by to administer the Sazuke, fulfill a need or deliver a newsletter or flier announcing the next church activity.

*The Sazuke card was first developed by America Dendocho. It explains what the Sazuke is about. There’s a form you fill out to take down that person’s information, name, address, age, illness and how long he had the illness, etc. Then administer the Sazuke. Tear off that form for your record and give the upper portion with your name and phone number to the person you’re prayer for.