Monthly Sermon

Honjima Grand Church Spring Grand Service Sermon
January 22, 2017 (Tenrikyo 181)

Let us raise our consciousness of making repayment
to God for the blessings we receive,
and proceed towards the Joyous Life

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

Tenrikyo Honjima Grand Church
Goals for Spiritual Maturity in 2018

Let us raise our consciousness of making repayment to God for the blessings we receive, and proceed towards the Joyous Life.

“Let us pledge to keep in mind the spirit of ‘restoration’ to work toward the exact faith as taught by Oyasama and to apply The Doctrine of Tenrikyo in our daily lives to help us to run our churches and live in accord with the teachings. Let us also pledge that we will utilize the Life of Oyasama to follow the Divine Model.”(Shinbashira’s Sermon at the Autumn Grand Service on Oct. 26, 2017)

  • Let us actively practice the Joyous Life on a daily basis
  • Let us re-learn the Teachings
  • Let us nurture those who will shoulder the future of the path

Activities to promote

  • Let us read the Tenri Jiho Newspaper, English Newsletter “Tenrikyo” (Overseas Dept), Dendocho Newsletter, Honjima News (online), etc.
  • Let us make “Daily Donations (Nichi-Nichi-no-Ri)”
  • Let us nurture people to attend the Besseki lectures
  • Let us promote participation in the “Young Men’s Association 100th Anniversary Convention”
  • Let us promote and nurture people to attend the “Seminar for Successors”


As with last year, I have “repayment for blessings” at the beginning. I would like for us to live everyday being aware of repaying God’s blessings, remembering that we are aiming for the ultimate goal of the Joyous Life.

The following Shinbashira’s quote is from the very last part of his Autumn Grand Service Sermon where summarizes his talk.

Regarding the “restoration” mentioned here, the second Shinbashira stated as follows:

“The ‘restoration’ is our heart’s desire to return to and crystallize the aspects of our faith as taught by Oyasama.” (“Sermons and Addresses by the Shinbashira” Volume 26, 1966) [Trial translation]

“Indeed, the words ‘restoration’ and ‘recovery’ are not identical in meaning. ‘Restoration’ doesn’t mean to return to the former state or be steeped in nostalgia. I strongly believe that the efforts to investigate the origin thoroughly and to seek the roots are what make the restoration significant and gives it vitality.” (From the preface of “Fukugen” published in April, 1946) [Trial translation]

There was an era when the three divine scriptures (Ofudesaki, Mikagura Uta and Divine Directions) could not be presented to the public because of such things as the war. The Second Shinbashira published these scriptures after the war ended, so I think it was easy to mistake “restoration” for “recovery” at the time.

However the Second Shinbashira did not merely publish the scriptures to allow us to be able to read them. Through the “restoration” of the scriptures, he allowed us to be able to unite our minds just as when Oyasama was physically present and we were able to physically see her.

First of all, the mind dedicated to salvation sprouts from a kind heart. When we apply our effort toward saving others, gradually the disposition that harbors bad habits will disappear. When we are troubled and at the brink of falling, instead of carrying the burden alone, and especially at such times, we must hear the words of Oyasama within our mind’s ear. If we follow the path exactly as She teaches, we can never go wrong. Let us believe this firmly as we continue to follow the path.

In the Anecdotes of Oyasama, there are the following words:

“Welcome home! Soon he will be saved. Out of respect for your devotion to your father, he will be saved.” (From the Anecdotes of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo #62 “East from Here”)

Oyasama is watching over us at all times and sees through everything. Here, Oyasama teaches us that God the Parent grants salvation to a person due to another’s filial piety for that person. Ojiba is a place to rejoice, not to cry. It is important to always feel delight and joy when we return to Jiba.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Greetings from Rev. Kanta

December 22, 2017 (Tenrikyo 180)
Honjima Grand Church Head Ministers’ Meeting

The 100th Anniversary of the Young Men’s Association is October 28th
Let’s participate!

katayama kanta


We are left with only a few days of this year. Thank you so much for everything.

Next year (2018), I will become 50 years old. The Tenrikyo Young Men’s association will welcome its 100th anniversary since its founding. Oyasama will become 220 years old. And it will be 20 years since the present Shinbashira succeeded his position.

The 100th Anniversary of Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association will be a great cornerstone for the future path.

The successor to the Shinbashira, Mr. Daisuke Nakayama is the president of the Young Men’s Association. The commemorative event of the anniversary will be held on October 28th, a Sunday. I would like all young men’s association members as well as OB and women’s association members to participate.

The reason why I say this is, because I would like all of you to hear what the Shinbashira has to say to the young people who are going to shoulder the path, as well as see what direction Daisuke-sama, who is the leader of the young men, wants to lead us. I want all of us to be able to hear these words in person at the event. I would like to ask for many people to attend.

Another thing I want to mention is the old proverb that says, “If you love your children, send them out into the world.” It means that if your children are dear to you, rather than spoil them by your side, you should let them experience the hardships and difficulties of the world. The world is vast and there are many different schools of thought. I think the meaning behind the proverb is that one must give their child a little push so that they can grow.

Many events are being held in Jiba including the Seminar for Successors that is happening now. For the Boys and Girls Association members, there are the Boys and Girls Hinokishin Corp (shohi) and Fife and Drum Corps (koteki). For students, there is the Students Training Course. It is important to have them participate in such events so that they can be nurtured.

When we nurture others, unless they are people who are close to us and we see all the time, we try to nurture them within our short encounter. However, when it comes to parents or head ministers of churches, they know the children since they were born. They are also in a position to think about them for many decades to come and to nurture them.

Although it is important to have our children nurtured in various places in short bursts, for those of us who are close to them, it is our responsibility to make an effort to nurture them carefully without rushing things.

It is important to be mindful of the instances in which we are able to rely on others to nurture our youth and situations where we must be responsible. We should always give them our attention with warm parental love.

Thank you for your dedication throughout this year. I would like to ask for your continued efforts in the coming New Year.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

Honjima Grand Church Monthly Service Sermon
December 22, 2017 (Tenrikyo 180)

Let us settle the truth of a thing lent, a thing borrowed and follow the path with a mind of joyous acceptance

Rev. Yoshiharu Katayama
Grand Church Board Member



This path is one of single-heartedness with God and single-hearted salvation. It is “a path of repayment” as we give thanks to God the Parent and Oyasama for the deep Parental love and blessings we receive.

I heard from a senior minister who has now passed that “Our faith is not one in which we write an invoice, ‘Please give us blessings,’ but one in which we write a receipt saying, ‘Thank you. We have definitely received blessings.’” It would be sacrilegious otherwise.

Further he said, “Listen to sermons of ‘a thing lent, a thing borrowed’ a thousand times and speak about ‘a thing lent, a thing borrowed’ a thousand times.” “It is about the workings of God the Parent. How grateful we are!” we must hear this every day, and then by repeating over and over, “How wonderful! How happy I am!” we will be able to really feel grateful about our body that is “a thing lent, a thing borrowed.”

The minister also taught me, “When we listen to a sermon about ‘a thing lent, a thing borrowed’ and we think ‘Ah, the same story again,’ that is like complaining at daybreak saying, ‘Blah, the Sun has come up again.’ A church that does not speak about ‘a thing lent, a thing borrowed’ is a dark church where the sun does not rise.”

In the Besseki lectures, we are taught, “Only when you actually savor the truth and apply it to your life, will it settle in your mind and become our own.” Savoring the truth means to physically apply the teachings and to really grasp it.

As we sincerely dedicate ourselves to hinokishin, monetary donation, and salvation work, we come to truly understand how important it is to repay our blessings.

When people encounter obstacles and difficult situations, I think there are differences in the way they deal with it depending on whether they have faith or not.

Those who do not have faith rely on their own power and when trouble arises, they complain a lot and pity the situation. On the other hand, those who have faith understand that anything that happens is from the truth of heaven, that people are their mirrors, that “great misfortunes are turned into small misfortunes and small misfortunes are turned into no misfortune at all,” that “buds sprout from knots,” and look forward to what is to come. They know how to be joyous. This is called joyous acceptance.

When people encounter hardship or things that they don’t like, they are apt to complain and be dissatisfied, thereby severing them from joy. Complaining doesn’t allow you to connect your mind to others. It depletes your virtue and disconnects peoples’ minds and yours.

We are taught about “repentance of our previous lives.” “Whatever we see is from our causality, whatever we hear is from our causality.” Whatever kind of hardships we see or hear about, it is all due to the truth of our causality. If we didn’t sow the seeds, it would not have sprouted. Therefore, if we complain when we see hardships or things we don’t like, that complaint will be adding more of the same to the causality that we already carry.

Let us interpret hardships and things we don’t like with a mind that is able to change our perception and turn it into joy. Understand God the Parent’s intentions in whatever we see or hear. It is important to perceive the Parental love that reduces our great misfortunes into small misfortunes and small misfortunes into no misfortune at all. It is when we learn of God’s Parental love that we are able to accept hardships with joy and spiritedness and become of a mind of joyous acceptance.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Greetings from Rev. Kanta

November 22, 2017 (Tenrikyo 180)
Honjima Grand Church Head Ministers’ Meeting

The Church as an Extension of the Jiba

katayama kanta


Of the 25 Seminar for Successors being held right now, 11 have been already been completed. Each time, on the final day of the seminar, I invite the participants to a reception at the follower’s dormitory and have an opportunity to talk with them about various things.

During the luncheon, one of the participants used the term, “Ojibarrier.” Young people are good at making new words. The term, “Ojibarrier,“ is a compound word they made with
“Ojiba” and “barrier.”

While they are in Ojiba, they feel that their minds become more gentle and cleansed. However, once they leave Ojiba and head home, they can feel their minds gradually get dirtier again. Ojiba, indeed, is the place where our minds can be washed and it’s so powerful that the difference can be actually felt. This is an impression of Ojiba one of the participants shared with us.

In his sermon at the Autumn Grand Service last month, the Shinbashira quoted the Second Shinbashira’s explanation of his intention in constructing the Oyasato Yakata Building complex:

“. . . to build the Oyasato-yakata, the Residence of God’s children, which is designed to center on Jiba of Origin, the Abode of God, so that the Parent and children, God and humankind, becoming one in mind, would show a model of world peace and advance the work of bringing the Joyous Life to fruition” (Shinbashira kunwa shu [Sermons and addresses by the Shinbashira], vol. 15).

The participants of the Seminar for Successors indeed cleanse their minds during the 2 nights, 3-day course, just as the Second Shinbashira had mentioned. Their mind changes to one of the Joyous Life. However, as they go further away from the Jiba, they may become engulfed in the stormy seas of society.

The church is an extension of the Jiba, so let us become a church that is protected by the barrier of the Jiba.

For example, by reading the three Main Scriptures (Mikagura-uta, Ofudesaki, Osashizu) all the time and studying The Doctrine of Tenrikyo and Life of Oyasama, we are able to aim toward a faith just as Oyasama taught us. I feel that continuously absorbing the teachings and never being satisfied with our search for spirituality is what allows us to receive the blessings from Jiba and become a church that is able to cleanse the mind.

Naturally, having people to attend the Seminar for Successors is in itself a blessing. When they return to their own churches, may your warm and kind words guide them so that they will be able to cleanse their hearts when they are faced with troubles or dark moments. Thank you very much.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)