Tenrikyo Resource

Just another WordPress site

Third Shinbashira Zenye Nakayama passes away for rebirth


On the morning of June 25, I was informed the third and former Shinbashira Zenye Nakayama passed away for rebirth the previous evening. He was 81 years old. The Tenri jiho weekly newspaper (June 29 edition) reported the time of his passing at 7:55 p.m. on June 24. I heard he passed away peacefully without any previous hint that his physical condition was critical.

Whereas Tenrikyo Church Headquarters’ Directors-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs and Religious Affairs expressed deep sorrow at the third Shinbashira’s passing in the aforementioned newspaper, since I knew he had been ill and confined to a wheelchair for some time, I found little trouble accepting the news. Rather than being sad, I was moved and awed that his passing occurred after the services commemorating Hawaii Dendocho’s 60th anniversary took place on May 17 and America Dendocho’s 80th anniversary on June 14. If the third Shinbashira had passed away even a month or two earlier, it would have severely dampened the mood before these celebrations.

In no way did I know the third Shinbashira personally but I do have fond memories attending the asa-zutome (“Morning Service”) activity during the Children’s Pilgrimage when the third Shinbashira would make his entrance while singing “How do you do? Konnichi wa.” He exuded an indescribable charisma as people craned their necks in the direction he was walking from. He was like a rock star, albeit a rock star in a kimono and hakama. He also allegedly enjoyed attending sumo matches, usually the first day of the bi-monthly tournaments.

Several years after he handed over the position of Shinbashira to Zenji Nakayama in 1998, I remember seeing him once in a while as he took strolls in the Main Sanctuary precincts. He would be dressed in an unassuming manner with a cap on his head. I do not know for sure if he deliberately chose to dress that way in an attempt to move about incognito but that there would always be a seinen (HQ male official) escort following a few feet behind gave him away to anyone who was attentive enough.

In the June Monthly Service Prayer on the 26th, the current Shinbashira mentioned that maintaining the congregation’s current pace toward the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama mounted to the best way to honor the memory of the late third Shinbashira. At the end of his sermon at the Monthly Service, Headquarters Executive Official Motoyoshi Tomimatsu’s voice wavered as he touched on the passing of the third Shinbashira. He said that the late third Shinbashira made it his lifelong mission to encourage the enrichment of the inner substance of local churches and emphasized the importance of conforming to the teachings instead of molding the teachings to serve and suit our convenience. He encouraged everyone listening to honor him by continuing to strive to progress in these areas.1

The Mitama-utsushi2 ceremony took place on the night of June 27. A “Hassonogi” (ceremony seeing off the departed) took place at noon on the 28th.

The Kokubetsu-shiki (memorial ceremony) is scheduled to take place at noon on July 6.

Third Shinbashira Zenye Nakayama, short personal history3

  • Born July 7, Showa 7 (1932) as the eldest son of second Shinbashira Shozen Nakayama
  • Appointed as successor designate to the Shinbashira on October 26, 1949
  • Graduated from Tenri High School in 1951
  • Appointed as the third president of the Young Men’s Association on January 27, 1953
  • Founded the Tenrikyo Music Institute (“Onken”) the same year
  • Graduated from Keio University in 1955
  • Married Masa Tosa on February 7, 1958. They had three sons and three daughters
  • Began his tenure as Shinbashira after the second Shinbashira’s passing on November 14, 1967. The Shinbashira Inauguration Service was held on October 25, 1968
  • He presided over three anniversaries of Oyasama (90th, Centennial, 110th). For the 90th Anniversary, he advocated the enrichment of church substance and advancing the construction of Oyasato, the Parental Home. For the Centennial Anniversary, he emphasized missionary work and announced the construction of the West and East Worship Halls to actualize the “four-fronted mirror Residence” as well as the remodeling of the Inner Sanctuary4
  • Stepped down as Shinbashira in 1998, the year of Oyasama’s 200th Birthday Celebration, handing the office over to his son Zenji
  • During his lifetime, he made 34 official trips to visit churches outside Japan and over 2,000 domestically


  1. These are a rough translations of what I heard secondhand in the case of the Service prayer and what I remember from a live broadcast in the case of the sermon. I plan to update this post when the June Service prayer and sermon are officially published.
  2. Mitama-utsushi: Ritual transference of a late person’s memory in a memorial tablet.
  3. Source: Tenri jiho No. 4385 (June 29, 2014), p. 1
  4. See 2003 Spring Service Sermon for more details.

Oyasama 130th Anniversary Song Scores & Music

TAGS: None


The Tenrikyo Europe Center has released the piano scores and lyrics to for the new Oyasama 130th Anniversary song. As we come to a close to the end of the first year of the 3-years, one thousand days, there is still much more time to go before the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama. Hopefully, this song could keep our spirits up along the way.

Recently, there hasn’t been a lot of activity for TR and I apologize. I hope I can try to continue with TR. We just ran into a major database issue that rendered the website unusable. Luckily, I was able to recover it to its current state. I haven’t heard much news except the Shinbashira’s visit to Brazil this year for the YMA 60th Anniversary event (this year) and Hawaii for the Bishop Installation Service (last year).

Rev. Teruo Takemoto Funeral Service


Rev. Teruo Takemoto, former head minister of Stockton Church and head of the Missionary House at America Dendocho, passed away for rebirth.

Transfer of Spirit Service was held at Fukui Mortuary on July 3 (Wed) from 1:30 pm

Funeral Service will be at Dendocho on July 5 (Fri) from 7:30 pm

I would like to thank him for his many decades of dedication to the path, and his friendly, “Hello! How are you?” that he used to greet everyone with whenever we visited Dendocho.

Changing Tenri: Closing of Refresh Seikatsukan FK and Demolition of Tenri Kanko Hotel

Tags: , , ,


Refresh Seikatsukan FK, a “recycle store” that has been a well-patronized stop for shoppers in the Tenri Hondori Shopping Arcade for at least a dozen years, has closed its doors for good. Here is a translation of a sign that was posted late last month:

To our customers,


Circumstances have led us to close our store for good. All our executives and employees would humbly like to thank you for your patronage over the last 15 years.

All items half price!

Please make a purchase!

We will close as soon as we run out of merchandise.

Thank you once again.

Another business, the Tenri Kanko Hotel, which closed late last year, is presently being torn down. Here’s how the demolition is progressing the other day:


We’ll post an update as soon as we find out what are slated to replace these two Tenri mainstays.

Two Tenri U. Judoka Battle In 81-Kg Division All-Japan Invitational Final

Tags: , , , ,

Two Tenri U. Judoka Battle In 81-Kg Division All-Japan Invitational Final

More Tenri judo news from Fukuoka, where Tenri University athletes competed in a tournament that helped select the Japanese team to compete in the Judo World Championship in Rio scheduled to begin in August this year.

Video by Doyusha:

(Translation of video narration)

Two Tenri U. Judoka Battle In 81-Kg Division All-Japan Invitational FinalOn May 12 and 13, the 2013 “All-Japan Judo Invitational Tournament” was held at Fukuoka Convention Center. Four athletes from Tenri University competed.

In the 81 kg weight division, Goki Maruyama, junior at Tenri U., faced top-seeded Keita Nagashima in the opening round.

Maruyama launched a physical assault against his opponent and secured himself an ippon victory by combining an uchimata (inner thigh throw) with an osoto-gaeshi (large outer reaping throw counter).

In the semi-final, Maruyama went up against Yasuhiro Ebi, who took third place last year. He advanced into the final round with a stunning uchimata 4:38 into the match.

Tenri U. senior Tomofumi Yasuda also competed in the 81 kg class. He obtained ippons in both the opening and semi-final rounds to advance to the final.

The 81 kg weight division final was a battle between two Tenri U. judoka. Both athletes being well-acquainted with one another, became locked in an intense offensive and defensive exchange. Maruyama’s aggressive approach gave him the advantage as he scored two shidos against Yasuda, landing himself his first ever championship in his weight division.

In other competition, Tenri U. senior Shohei Ono placed third in 73 kg weight division competition, becoming the only Tenri judoka to be selected for the national team in his weight division.

Related Japanese article

Tenrikyo Colombia Center featured on a Colombian TV show

Tags: , , ,

Tenrikyo - Tiempo Real de Verdad 02

A Colombian university youth TV program, Tiempo Real de Verdad,  recently featured Luis Enrique Duque at the Tenrikyo Colombia Center (in Cali) in a Youtube video. I have heard that Luis Enrique was a Tenrikyo Language Institute graduate and in this show, he explains that he is teaching Japanese at the Colombia Center. Click on the link for the video and a translation!

Read the rest of this entry »

Tenri U’s Takamasa Anai Wins 2nd All-Japan Judo Championship

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Takamasa Anai winning the All-Japan Judo Championship (photo from Doyusha)

Some Tenri Judo related news:

Photo by Doyusha

Photo by Doyusha

It was Anai’s ninth appearance and first in two years. He scored an ippon in the second round and an awase-waza osae-komi (hold-down) in the third round.

In the semifinal, Anai faced last year’s semifinalist Ryuta Ishii. Anai advanced to the final with a tai-otoshi 14 seconds into the match.

In the final, Anai faced judo’s upcoming 20-year old sensation Hisayoshi Harasawa. Anai put up a tense offensive and defensive exchange with Harasawa, who was making his first appearance in the All-Japan Judo Championship. Anai won his first championship in four years after his opponent accumulated two shido.

Video by Doyusha:

Related articles

Women’s Association 95th Convention 2013

Tags: , , , , ,

Here is a translation of the narration:

Women’s Association Convention

Tenrikyo Women's Association crestOn April 19, the 95th Tenrikyo Women’s Association Convention was held in the Inner Courtyard of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters with the Shinbashira Zenji Nakayama presiding. Roughly 42,000 association members across Japan and overseas came to Oyasato, the Parental Home to attend the event.

Women’s Association President Harue Nakayama spoke on how association members were expected to make strides toward the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama (January 26, 2016).

The Shinbashira then took the lectern to speak on the founding of the Women’s Association and expressed his expectations for members to enhance the substance of association activities.

Link to Japanese article

Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day 2013

Tags: , , , , ,

Hinokishin Day 2013

Here is the translation of the narration:

On April 29, Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day was held throughout Japan and across the globe under the slogan “Season of Salvation. Now let’s do hinokishin!”

The day was blessed with fine weather as Church Headquarters staff, students of Tenrikyo schools and Shuyoka participated. Roughly 4,000 participants in Oyasato split into 52 areas throughout Tenri city to engage in hinokishin activities such as weeding and cleaning.

Hinokishin is an activity in which we express our gratitude and joy for being kept alive each day. Participants devoted themselves to hinokishin with smiles on their faces.

Link to Japanese article

Oyasama Birth Celebration Service 2013 video

Tags: , , , , ,


Joyous Chorus (Image source: http://www.tenrikyo.or.jp/jpn/?p=6874)

Apologies for the delay in this translation. Hopefully, we will be able to put up more Doyusha video narration translations on a regular basis soon.

Oyasama Birth Celebration video
On April 18, the Oyasama Birth Celebration Service honoring the birthday of Tenrikyo Founder Miki Nakayama was held in the Main Sanctuary of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters with Shinbashira Zenji Nakayama presiding as chief officiant. Roughly 670,000 followers from Japan and overseas attended the Service.

The Service celebrated Oyasama’s 215th birthday. After the reading of the saibun or service prayer, the Kagura Service and Teodori were performed. Followers poured their hearts into singing the Mikagura-uta.
The Service was then followed by the Joyous Chorus in the Inner Courtyard. Songs celebrating Oyasama’s birthday were sung and performed, filling the Sanctuary precincts with a festive atmosphere.

Related Japanese article