From November 21st through 25th, Kyoshu-sama, his wife Mayumi-sama and Masaaki-sama visited Shikoku, Chugoku and Kyushu of the Western Japan Region where they attended Membership Meetings held at each area along with friendly meetings over dinner and suchlike.
On November 21 on their way to the city of Uwajima in the Ehime Prefecture, Kyoshu-sama and his family stopped by Nishi-Iyo’s Nofuku Pass where a view of the disaster-stricken area caused by the torrential rains that struck western Japan in July could be seen.
“Those who passed away due to the damage by flooding from the torrential rains in July, I recognize that together with all things, they have accomplished their work on the earth, and together with us, have been forgiven as ones who were and are alive. And as we are nurtured together, we are being used to accomplish the will of God’s creation. Together with all humanity, all ancestors and all of creation, including those who were victim to or met with suffering due to flooding and all kinds of disasters, I return to the heaven within me so please use me as You wish in Your work to accomplish Your will. I will serve You. May this blessing be shared with all. In the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, I surrender everything to God. I have established these thoughts in the breath that I exhale, the breath that I inhale; in the breath that I inhale and the breath that I exhale. Please use me in this way.”
Next, with Kyoshu-sama leading, everyone prayed the Zengen Sanji. He and his family then went to inspect the Yoshida neighborhood in the city of Uwajima, where serious damage was sustained by the heavy rains. Later, they attended a friendly dinner meeting with members from the Uwajima Church and answered various questions, friendlily making exchanges.
On the 22nd, a Member Meeting with Kyoshu-sama was held within the city of Uwajima at the Yasuragi no Sato, where approximately 200 members from the Uwajima Church gathered. Despite the previous day forecasting rainy weather, the rain stopped in the early hours of the morning and suddenly transformed to clear weather. Members have been wishing for a visit from Kyoshu-sama to Uwajima over many years. He is the first of succeeding Kyoshus to make a missionary visit there. Because the members were able to welcome him, especially in good weather, bright expressions were evident on their faces.
In a question and answer session, Kyoshu-sama said the following words.
Question: In relation to the work I do in caregiving, often I see the death of a patient with my own eyes. For those who will be returning back to the spiritual world, what kind of sonen should I have with me?
Guidance from Kyoshu-sama (excerpt)
Everything is being prepared for you. Those in the caregiving facility, too, the people you dislike, the people you like, everyone. God decided that he would make you His child and is drawing on your entire surrounding environment to nurture you.
And that is why, when you encounter others, I believe it would be good to have the thought that “together with the people I am caring for and those that I come in contact with, I return to the heaven within me.” I believe it would be good to understand that everything is a necessary nurturing for the purpose of making me, myself; you, yourself, a true child of God.
Also, to a question posed to Masaaki-sama, “As we go towards true worldwide missionary work, (as you came in contact with youth from Germany and Korea), what kind of feeling did you get of it?” He answered in the following way.
“I believe that missionary work until now or worldwide missionary work will start to change. Until now, we believed that the way of doing things had to be tailored to the country. However, now, the direction that we are aiming for is very clear. So in that sense, the time has really come.
“Kyoshu-sama quoted Meishu-sama’s hymn to us a moment ago. ‘The time has come when the great light of the Messiah begins to shine overseas.’ I believe there are many of those who are waiting for the name of Messiah, whether they are old or young, Japanese or foreigner. Going beyond all, including borders and race, we share the truth that Meishu-sama left us and I believe we are ones who stand at a time when we can make a world filled with joy.”
After the end of the meeting, Kyoshu-sama and his family were seen off by members. On their way to the city of Matsuyama, as if enduring until then, a light rain suddenly began to fall. At the same time, a large rainbow appeared near the venue. As if the change in weather was celebrating Kyoshu-sama’s visit to Uwajima, members were voicing out their surprise and joy.
That night, Kyoshu-sama and his family attended a friendly meeting over dinner in the city of Matsuyama and pleasantly conversed with and answered questions from members who gathered from the Matsuyama Church as well as various other areas, spending a harmonious moment together.
On Nov. 23rd, the Ohikari Receiving Ceremony combined with Membership Meeting with Kyoshu-sama was held at the Su no Hikari Kyodan Matsuyama Johrei Center, where approximately 400 members, including those from Su no Hikari Kyodan, gathered. Kyoshu-sama responded to question from members in the following way.
Question: Kyoshu-sama, what did you place importance on in child rearing?
Kyoshu-sama guidance (excerpt)
This is a question about how I reared my children, isn’t it? (laughter)
I was not conscious of “this is child rearing.” I did my best, just simply adjusting to the circumstances. What I thought was necessary, I did, such as supporting and helping out. As they got older, I have a feeling I didn’t say do this, do that very much. In any event, if my children said on their own, “I want to do this,” I believe for the most part I let them do it. If we end up instructing too much, they will end up not taking responsibility. After all, I believed that they needed to do things like take responsibility too. We would not like it to become, “I wanted to do this but my parents were against it so I could not do it.” Along the way, I thought that it is better for them to make mistakes and also succeed on their own.
There is that, however, in the end, if we think about it from the way Meishu-sama teaches, all people, children and also adults, are being raised and nurtured by God as God’s children. Now, to make us be born anew is perhaps like prenatal care. So all of us are receiving this care. And so this means the umbilical cord is still connected, God’s cord. God is still now, working hard to nurture us. Until we realize our true parent. He waits and waits for us.
And so it means that the environment that we are given in itself, including our children, has been prepared for me; for us, in order to make me, make us, true children of God. It is for that reason that He prepares everything for us. And so for you, your husband and also your children, everyone, are necessary people for that purpose.
Your children, who are also prepared by God for you yourself to be born anew, are precious children of God. I believe that if somewhere, you are able to think that you are being nurtured together, it would be good.
On this day, Kyoshu-sama and his family completed their schedule in Shikoku and made their way to Hiroshima.
On November 23, Kyoshu-sama and his family transported themselves by ferry across the Seto Inland Sea from Ehime Prefecture’s city of Matsuyama to the city of Hiroshima. It was a sea voyage of admiring the islands and brilliance of sunset as well as the moon illuminating the sea. Once landing in Hiroshima, he and his family without a pause attended a friendly meeting over dinner. They had lighthearted conversations with members who gathered from various parts of Chugoku Area, answered questions and spent a harmonious moment together.
At Hiroshima’s Garden Palace Hotel, the Ohikari Receiving Ceremony combined with Membership Meeting with Kyoshu-sama took place, with approximately 300 people assembling. Kyoshu-sama responded to questions from members in the following way.
Question: I have diabetes and am practicing Kyoshu-sama’s messages on purification. Through Johrei, through surrendering, will disease, poverty and conflict be resolved?
Kyoshu-sama’s guidance (excerpt)
What we must bear in mind is that we were in a world before disease, poverty and conflict appeared as phenomenon. Meishu-sama talks about a world free of disease, poverty and conflict. It is this world free of disease, poverty and conflict that we come from. That world is heaven.
This world of heaven is inside each one of us, it is within us, we come from this world without disease, poverty and conflict. I believe it is important to recognize this.
In Meishu-sama’s hymn, “The long awaited heavenly paradise will be built on this very earth we live on.” He says that the heavenly paradise that we have impatiently been waiting for will be built on this very earth we live on. This would normally naturally take the form of us looking forward to heaven. However, we actually come from this heavenly paradise so when we read this hymn, we must first recognize that we, ourselves, come from this heavenly paradise and we come from a world without disease, poverty and conflict. This [recognition] is what it actually means for a heavenly paradise “to be built.”
Of course, in actuality, God is the one who builds this world. And it is we who are being used for that. Since we are being used in that work, we must first recognize that we ourselves are existences that came from this place, heaven.
Meishu-sama is always saying, first return to heaven and become a person of paradise. That is to say, it means heaven exists within us. And so, first, we must realize that and report it to God.
When you do so, it follows the law of the spiritual preceding the physical, so the world of harmony, without disease, poverty and conflict that is in heaven will be projected onto the earth, and gradually, I believe that this earth will become one of harmony. At any rate, when we try to work only on the earth, it is very difficult.
On June 5, 1954, after Meishu-sama collapsed from symptoms of a brain hemorrhage, he said to the heads of churches that a “Messiah was born” and that he was “born anew.” In those words at the time, he says, “I am not just saying this. This is a fact.” He says it is a fact. And he says, “The word ‘miracle’ does not do justice to what happened to me this time. A miracle beyond a miracle took place.”
A miracle beyond a miracle. In regard to ‘miracle,’ we often use the words “eternal blessings.” And so isn’t Meishu-sama, in the end, showing us what the real blessing, the true blessing is?
He first taught us in a form that was easy to understand like illness being healed and various other ways. But after that, Meishu-sama passed away the next year without having fully recovered from his symptoms of a brain hemorrhage. Medically, it ends up meaning that a miracle did not occur. However, even though he did not recover from the brain hemorrhage, to Meishu-sama, this was “a miracle beyond a miracle.” I believe it is necessary for us to think about how we understand Meishu-sama’s thoughts and feelings on what he said.
Diabetes must be difficult, however, together with many others, by nature we are endowed with a well-balanced body. We have received the body of God within us. And so, in reality, we are now and still growing more and more. In order to be born anew, we are growing more and more and more. We say “prenatal care,” but we are being nurtured and taught various things inside the womb so that we are able to come out of the mother’s womb. Now, we are being nurtured inside God’s body, which is why the umbilical cord is still attached. And should God say, “Ah, you have finally realized it,” it is the time you can stand on your own as a true child of God. It is precisely then that we become a true child of God and can have a conversation with God. So, I believe that in the end, various illnesses including diabetes are necessary for that purpose.
On that day, Kyoshu-sama and his family completed their schedule in Hiroshima and made their way to Kitakyushu.
On November 24, with the lingering reverberation of the Membership Meeting in Hiroshima, Kyoshu-sama and his family boarded the bullet train from Hiroshima Station and headed for the city of Kitakyushu. They attended a friendly meeting over dinner at a venue that one could stare outside the window to see the Kanmon Strait, lightheartedly conversing with members who gathered from various parts of the Kyushu Area, responding to questions and spending a harmonious moment together.
On the 25th, the Ohikari Receiving Ceremony combined with the Membership Meeting with Kyoshu-sama was held at the Soleil Hall with approximately 1,000 people gathering from various parts of Kyushu. Kyoshu-sama delivered his message, he and Masaaki-sama held a question and answer session and all participants sang Goin’ Home. Finally, Kyoshu-sama, his wife Mayumi-sama and Masaaki-sama exchanged handshakes with all participants and held over an hour interacting with the members.
On this day, completing their entire schedule for missionary visits in the Western Japan Region, Kyoshu-sama and his wife Mayumi-sama returned to Atami.
City of Kitakyushu
On November 25, Masaaki-sama, who stayed behind in Kitakyushu, attended a friendly meeting over dinner with staff ministers in charge of youth members from the Western Japan Region and together with those close in age, spoke with passion.
On the 26th, a meeting with Masaaki-sama and the young staff members of Western Japan Region was held at the Kitakyushu International Conference Center where Masaaki-sama spoke his current thoughts frankly. In particular, he spoke with spirit and passion in regard to “What is a staff minister,” “What is the meaning of being used in the divine work of salvation,” “What does it mean to become a follower of Meishu-sama,” etc.
After the end of the meeting, as Masaaki-sama was seen off by staff members, he returned to Atami. Three days later on the 29th, he went on his visit to Australia.