Diary on a Trip to Ise – Part 5

We left Izawa shrine for Izawa-no-miya. Until we got there, I was feeling as if I was carrying something heavy on my back. It’s like I was carrying on my back Kunitsu-kami (国津神)or a number of ancient nameless deities. As I was walking the approach to the main building of Izawa-no-miya, I felt my body was getting lighter and lighter. There is a well on the left side at the halfway point of the approach. The thought that the princess Yamato-hime made her ablutions at the well a long long time ago impressed me very much.

  • leave A for B  Bに向けてAを出発する
  • as if S+V SがVするかのように
  • a number of A 無数の
  • deity 神
  • approach 参道
  • ablution 沐浴

Since Heian period, a public movement by local residents has been taking place over and over, which advocates that Izawa-no-miya is the true main shrine in which Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami resides. In Edo period, about 50 townspeople who asserted that Naiku of Ise Grand Shrine was lower in rank than Izawa-no-miya were arrested for defamation of royalty and were exiled to an island. It is said that some of them died there with much regret.

  • movement 運動
  • advocate 主張する
  • reside 住む
  • assert 主張する
  • defamation 中傷
  • exile 追放する
  • regret 後悔

The Watarai family(度会家), a representative shintoist, comes from the area Izawano-mi-ya is located. They claimed that Toyouke-o-kami(豊受大神)of Geku of Ise Grand Shrine, Ameno-minaka-nushi-no-kami(天御中主神) and Kunitokotachi-o-kami(国常立太神) are the same god and it’s one of the highest ranking deities. That is, the people’s passion for the deity of Izawa-no-miya has been very strong down the ages.

  • representative 代表的な
  • claim 主張する
  • down the ages 大昔から

Why is it so? This has to do with the rice harvest culture of Japan. A lot of rice has been produced from the area since a long time ago. This is why the local people’s faith in the deity of Izawa-no-miya has been very strong. The relative affluence of the area has enabled them to have mental allowance.

  • have to do with A Aと関係がある
  • harvest 収穫
  • produce 生産する
  • enable 可能にする
  • allowance 余裕

In fact, even when people living in areas other than Isobe-cho were suffering from poor harvest, only people living in Isobe-cho or other nearby areas could have a good harvest and prevent insect affection, as long as they never fail to perform religious ceremonies. This is because the area has had the shrine Amatera-su-oho-mi-kami resides and she blessed humans in this World of Reality with rice, which originally comes from the World of Gods. The history of Izawa-no-miya is much longer than that  of Naiku of two thousands years. I feel that the excavation and research of the site can trace the first year of the foundation of Izawa-no-miya back to Jomon Period.

  • other than A A以外の
  • suffer 苦しむ
  • prevent 防ぐ
  • never fail to~ 必ず〜する
  • bless A with B AにBを授ける
  • excavation  発掘
  • trace 辿る

The official mark of Izawa-no-miya has been a six-pointed star formed from two equilateral triangles for a long, long time. While the mark, Star of David, has been made much of in Judaism, Izawa-no-miya exceeds Judaism by far in terms of its long history of using the mark as its heraldic emblem.

  • official 公式の
  • triangle 三角
  • Star of David ダビデの星
  • make much of A Aを重要視する
  • exceed 超える
  • Judaism ユダヤ教
  • heraldic emblem 紋章

In the Bible, Manna is described as the food which descended from above and multiplied in the vase. Rice also increases in volume when it’s put in water and heated. Rice is pronounced as “Kome” and Manna as “Mana” in Japanese. I feel these two words refer to the same thing.

  • describe A as B AをBと描く
  • descend 降りる
  • refer to A Aを指す

The word money is derived from Manna. In Japan, the market of rice in the Kansai region is said to be the origin of modern pricing financial derivative. The currency that humans should use and God would approve of must’ve been food. Food rots when saved long, so people cannot help but distribute it before it rots.

  • be derived from A Aに由来する
  • region 地方
  • origin 起源
  • currency 貨幣
  • approve of A Aを認める
  • rot 腐る
  • distribute  配る

The pronunciation of Manna means “the most sacred thing” in Hawaii. I feel that a certain continent, which used to be on the Pacific Ocean in ancient times, was the center of rice farming. Some humans ran away from the continent before it sank in the water and managed to reach Hawaii and the offshore of Ise. Then they dispersed in every direction, holding the common memories in their hearts.

To be continued.

  • sacred 神聖な
  • certain ある
  • continent 大陸
  • the Pacific 太平洋
  • sink 沈む
  • offshore 沖
  • disperse 散る

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

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Good Balance of Happiness You’ll never Know

When I visit a client company I’m in charge of, I sometimes see a mentally-handicapped young man walking on the company’s premise or in the neighborhood. Everytime I see him, I find him walking happily with a canned coffee in his hand. He walks around aimlessly, muttering to himself. He seems unable to speak clearly.

  • mentally-handicapped 知的障害のある
  • premise 敷地
  • mutter ブツブツ言う

One day, I went to the president’s house near the company on business. On pushing the buzzer, the door was opened. I wondered if it was an automatic door, when the familiar young man came out of the door screaming. The president came out and said “Our family’s treasure has left the building.” He looked at my face smiling.

  • automatic 自動の
  • familiar 馴染みのある
  • treasure 宝物

On the way back, I was thinking that the president was really great. He was dignified accepting and understanding his son as he was, and never trying to hide him from the eyes of others. Many of the families I know that have mentally-handicapped persons have them stay at institutions. They seem to want to take care of their handicapped children in their houses if possible, but there must be some reason for it. I thought the president taking care of his son at home was a very kind parent though I knew there are various cases according to the family’s condition or the disability level.

  • on the way back 帰る途中で
  • accpet 受け入れる
  • institution 施設
  • condition 状況

On one occasion, I happened to find the son walking down the street far from the company. I was surprised that he was walking that far. Then, unexpectedly enough, I found out that he was keeping a cigarette in his mouth. He was walking fast with a roll of his hips as if he were in a  walking race, clicking a cigarette lighter in his hand.

  • on one occasion ある時
  • that far そんなに遠くまで
  • walking race 競歩

I thought he would be old enough to smoke a cigarette but that his father didn’t know this, so I pulled over my car to think about whether I should give him a warning. With the time for a business talk drawing near, however, I left the place throwing the magnetism of care at him.

  • pull over A Aを止める
  • warning 警告
  • draw near 近づく

On the way back from the business talk in the evening, I went to the company worrying about him, when I found that the president, with tears in his eyes, was slapping his son’s face in the parking lot. The moment  I got out of my car and the president turned around to look at me, the son ran away crying.

  • slap 叩く
  • turn around 振り向く
  • run away 逃げる
  • the moment S+V SがVするや否や

The president told me that he caught his son smoking and was telling him off. According to him, he had warned him not to play with fire many times because it could cause others trouble. I could do nothing but nod, saying “It’s an important thing.” Seeing his eyes filled with tears, I felt his love toward his son.

  • catch A ~ing Aが〜している現場を抑える
  • tell A off Aを叱る
  • warn A not to~ Aに〜しないよう警告する
  • nod 頷く
  • tears 涙

It seems that his company can secure jobs and get a constant stream of requests without sales efforts while many other companies in the same field have a hard time because of the recession. I feel this is thanks to the president’s character and his treasure, his son, whose walk on the company’s premise functions as the purification of the company.

  • secure 確保する
  • recession 不景気
  • character 人格
  • purification 浄化

In this world, there seems to be a good balance of happiness. We just cannot be sure which is connected to which because of its complexity. But it is certain that the works of art by God operate unerringly.

  • complexity 複雑さ
  • certain 確かな
  • unerringly 狂わず

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.

The Fundamental Problem will never be Solved as Long as You only Set Immediate Goals

A crazy man in Sangai(三界), the three worlds, doesn’t know him to be crazy.

A blind man in Sishou(四生), the four creature worlds,  doesn’t know him to be blind.

Born again, again, again and again, man is born ignorant from the start of his life.

Dying again, again, again and again, man dies ignorant at the end of his life.

This poem is attributed to Kukai(空海), a famous Japanese Buddhist monk. I feel that he is saying “People living in this world don’t realize their wrong deeds. All living things don’t even know that they are ignorant of the truth. Human souls are born as they are over and over again but still they remain the same. They die again and again, but still they die ignorant. It’s about time they realized they are the Buddha, or the universe itself.”

  • ignorant 無知の
  • attribute A to B AはBの作であるとする
  • realize 認識する
  • deed 行い

People are troubled by various things in this world. Why are they? Because they are afraid to make mistakes and become losers. Lives are short and only several decades, though. For example, a woman may wonder if there might be a better marriage partner, hoping to choose a man who makes her happier. Wanting to win in this gambling, she may distress herself and go so far as to ask a psychic for advice who charge money in the name of God, making her life subject to what the psychic says.

  • trouble 悩ます
  • decade 10年
  • go so far as to~ 〜しさえする
  • subject 従属した

Before you get married, you need to observe your marriage partner thinking that social status, riches or good looks are to vanish sooner or later. You should choose the one according to your conscience, asking yourself if you still want to get married to him/her even without such things. If you get married after distressing yourself, wanting to make a better choice, your marriage life is likely to fail because your criterion of judging a person is wrong.

  • observe 観察する
  • status 地位
  • conscience 良心
  • citerion 基準

If you want a good marriage, you should:

● hold memorial services for your ancestors with gratitude, be grateful to God and live your life in such a way that you can develop your conscience

● observe the other’s attitude toward his/her parents and old people. It’s important to see his/her attitude toward others, not toward you. By doing so, you can learn his/her true nature

● ask your parents or friends for opinions if you’re not sure about the other’s true nature

and so on.

  • attitude 態度
  • true nature  本性

However, the point is that marriage is never a goal of your life, just like Kukai said. If you live your life setting marriage as a goal, the eternal loop of life and death will never stop. Everything in life is nothing more than play through which you see God in yourself and others. All you have to do is do what you want according to your conscience, never afraid of making mistakes.

  • eternal 永遠の
  • nothing more than A Aに過ぎない
  • afraid 怖がって

So, if you want to get married, you have only to choose a partner in view of your conscience, never afraid of making a mistake. Once you’ve got married, you may be distressed by various things you never imagined when you were single or may experience many good things conversely.

  • in view of A Aに照らして
  • once S+V 一旦SがVしたら
  • conversely 逆に

Remaining single is also good, of course. It can be said that such people’s souls have already got through with tasks marriage life gives. I feel such souls have been increasing in number since the latter half of Showa era(昭和). They have chosen different kinds of tasks from married people’s.

  • single 独身の
  • get through with A Aを終える
  • increase 増加する
  • on one’s own 自分で

In any case, all you have to do is live in society to your heart’s content. Things can only get better as long as you do your best and live to the full.

  • in any case 何れにしても
  • to one’s heart’s content 思う存分
  • to the full  思い切り
  • as long as S+V SがVする限り

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive

Only After You Get a Bad Result can You Understand the Significance of Your Practicing

No matter how much you tell others about the spiritual world, it may be meaningless. What you say may be interpreted as just your own worldview. But if you meet someone who has the same kind of spiritual experiences, both of you can understand each other very well. That is, to have an experience on your own is the best way to prove it’s true.

  • interpret A as B  AをBと解釈する
  • worldview 世界観
  • prove 証明する

Even if you don’t have any spiritual experience, however, it is possible that when you hear a story about the unknown world, you understand it well, accept it as valid or feel like being attracted. Without such experiences, you will understand it well somehow. This is because what the story can be what your instinct, or Inner God, has wanted or what you understood or went through in the previous life. You’ve forgotten about it, though. Also, if the level of your spirituality is high enough to understand it, you will honestly accept the story as true.

  • accpet 受け入れる
  • valid 妥当な
  • attract 惹きつける
  • somehow どういうわけか
  • honestly 正直に

Problem is, though people are all same humans, their souls have come to this World of Reality from various other worlds. It’s like they are learning in the same classroom. Some students can’t understand what the teacher says even if they listen to the explanations again and again, a few students even rebelling. Others understand it very well by just one explanation.

  • various 様々な
  • explanation 説明
  • rebel 反抗する

Among those who don’t understand the spiritual world, some may try to hire tutors(=spiritual masters who charge money)by paying a lot of money. Though they are trying to study, they are assuming that paying money resolves problems, instead of studying hard for themselves. Trying to study hard and practice is important, but they are wrongly expecting someone else to make them feel as if they were studying.

  • hire 雇う
  • assume 思い込む
  • resolve 解決する
  • instead of A Aの代わりに
  • expect A to~ Aが〜するのを期待する

There are some tutors who have strange characters and teach a student just for money, spending the time lazily. Others lead a student in the utterly wrong direction. Such poor students are likely to get a bad result in an exam and end up wasting their time and money. There may be some students who will stop studying after all. Others may try to study for themselves from the start on second thought.It is not until they get a bad result that they will understand the significance and joy of their studying and practicing. “Tutors” can be put into “spiritual masters.”

  • direction 間違った
  • end up ~ing 結局は〜することになる
  • on second thought  考え直して
  • significance 重要性

By the way, there are a lot of ways of holding memorial services for ancestors like:”Chanting is necessary”, ” Qualified monks can only enter the dead into Nirvana “, ” Spiritual masters are essential to level up your spirituality” and so on.

  • chant 唱える
  • qualified 資格のある
  • monk 僧侶
  • essential 不可欠な

My experiences totally deny these opinions. I’ll make a definitive statement that it would only have harmful effects on you to depend on spiritual masters who charge money, for good changes never happen to you in the long run. This is based on my own practical experiences. Some people might get angry saying that what I’m saying is not true or that any of them must be true.

  • deny 否定する
  • definitive 明白な
  • in the long run 長い目で見ると

I think such criticism should be left alone for now. But I’m interested in whether they will say the same thing ten or twenty years from now. I hope that they won’t have lost their precious time, families and money before they change their thought. Everything will happen to you according to your level. Doing your best at everything you do can make you realize what is good for you sooner than otherwise.

  • criticism 批判
  • accoding to A Aに応じて
  • realize 認識する
  • otherwise さもなければ

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.

Only After You’ve Lost People who Supported You Can You Realize How Important They were

The Japanese phrase “okagesama” is written “御蔭様” or  “御陰様” in Chinese characters. According to a dictionary, the phrase is the one said to another with gratitude who gives you support or a favor.  “蔭” and “陰” both mean “shadow,” so the phrase is used not only for people you’re aware of but also for people you’re not. I feel that “okagesama” is an appreciative word you say for your being kept alive.

  • Chinese character 漢字
  • graitude 感謝の気持ち
  • favor 親切
  • aware  気がついて
  • appreciative 感謝の

It is difficult to notice those you’re not aware of but you should be grateful to. People are apt to fail to notice them because they’re invisible, your eyes are blinded, you don’t want to admit it though you’re aware of them, you don’t feel like being grateful to them and so on.

  • grateful 感謝して
  • be apt to~ 〜しがちで
  • fail to~ 〜しない
  • admit 認める

Anybody should owe a lot to others but is apt to forget them. Without them, you couldn’t live. The fact that you’re living now, no matter what difficulties you’re going through or how miserable you are, means someone has been supporting you from behind the scene. Who is it? Since people are sometimes stupid, it is only after they’ve lost those supporting you that they realize how important the benefactors were. If the benefactor is a person, only after he/she passes away can you realize how much you’ve owed to him/her deeply. You would realize honestly the fact that the person concerned himself/herself with a certain period of your lifetime and supported you.

  • owe 借りがある
  • miserable 惨めな
  • benefactor 恩人
  • pass away 亡くなる
  • honestly 素直に
  • concern 関係させる
  • period 期間

The deceased who had something to do with you have also existed in the small universe in your heart and still have been supporting you. Until their souls leave for another journey, the relationship between you and them continues. Therefore, it is important that you hold memorial services for them without forgetting them.

  • the deceased 故人
  • relationship 関係

If you can realize who you should be grateful to while they’re alive, you won’t regret later in life. Your attitude toward them would change, too. It is precious and wonderful that you can mend your ways while you’re alive. To realize them, take a look around you from the point of view of being kept alive.

  • regret 後悔する
  • attitude 態度
  • mend 修正する

As you work or get along with your family and people around you, always grateful for being kept alive, you will be able to accept them as they are, not so concerned about trifle things. Okagesama is like an individual because “sama” is added to a person’s name. Okagesama may be a being who has offered and supported this world full of joy, anger, grief and pleasure.

  • get along 付き合う
  • concerned 気にして
  • trifle 些細な
  • offer 提供する

Are you in trouble? Don’t worry. It’s like you’ve just got into a roller coaster whose ticket is expensive. It’ll be over soon. If you should get out of it now in the middle of moving, your soul will die. If you don’t enjoy the ride, going up and down, you’ll waste the ticket. The bigger the thrill, the more you’ll want to ride it again when it’s over. Who is it that controls the roller coaster? – it’s God inside you.

  • roller coaster ジェットコースター
  • expensive 高価な
  • in the middle of A Aの最中に

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma SU

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.

You should Sometimes Think of the Miracle of Your Existence

It is sometimes important, on your birthday, New Year’s Day or an anniversary for example, to think about the miracle of your having been born and be grateful for it. Etching the magnetism of gratitude into space like this is important because it will lead you to be grateful to nature and God.

  • anniversay 記念日
  • grateful 感謝して
  • etch 刻む
  • lead A to~  Aが〜するよう仕向ける

The magnetism of your thought about the wonder of your having been born will cause you to be eager to thank God, though they appear to be unrelated. In this world, the magnetism of your thought often attracts unexpected things. You just can’t realize the correlation between them, good or bad.

  • wonder 不思議
  • eager  切望して
  • unrelated 関係のない
  • enexpected 予期せぬ
  • correlation 相関関係

As you offer appreciative words and incense sticks to your ancestral spirits every day, even for form’s sake at first, the magnetism of this practice is sure to influence your future. It is difficult to know in what way the magnetism will influence, or be projected onto, your future. But you will find that everything around you is getting better in the long run.

  • appreciative 感謝の
  • incense stick 線香
  • form 形
  • be sure to~ 必ず〜する
  • project 映す
  • in the long run 長い目で見ると

Strangely enough, people are apt to think that being grateful is just a mindset and easy to do. But it’s not so easy being grateful all the time as you think because the magnetism of your thought caused by the way you live every day controls and influences your way of thinking and acting.

  • strangely enough 奇妙なことに
  • be apt to~ 〜しがちである
  • continuously 継続して
  • all the time いつも
  • control 支配する

Living by inertia, some come to expect time to pass fast just as you think when you see a throwaway match. Or when some misfortune happens, others are apt to think about their lives carelessly and expect them to be over soon. The magnetism of this kind of attitude leads to that of blaspheming God. It will have bad influence on your future.

  • by inertia 惰性で
  • expect 期待する
  • thrownaway match 消化試合
  • misfortune 不運なこと
  • carelessly 投げやりに
  • blaspheme 冒涜する

It is more difficult to be born into this world than you win lotteries 1000 times in a row. Without intermediary of God, coming into being is impossible. “Do aliens exist?”- scientists reply to this question by saying that it is natural to think that, just as humans exist on the earth, aliens exist somewhere else. “Does God exist?”- your existence itself proves God’s existence.

  • lottery 宝くじ
  • in a row 連続して
  • intermediary 介在
  • come into being 生じる
  • reply 答える
  • prove 証明する

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.

It is Meaningless to Know the Meanings of Incidents in the Past

There are a lot of people who want to know the meaning of spiritual incidents that happened in the past, but this is meaningless because it is what you are now that matters most. If you have a stale state of mind, you can say yes to everything in the past, remembering them nostalgically.

  • incident 出来事
  • matter 重要である
  • stable 安定した

You may be suffering from being out of work, poor or sick or having a broken heart. But they are nothing more than experiences in this World of Reality that are sure to vanish. All of them come to an end just as substances.

  • suffer 苦しむ
  • unemployed 失業
  • vanish 消える
  • come to an end 終わる

However, your state of mind affects you forever even after death. It is great and worthy of respect to try to get peace of mind in the World of Reality, where everything is unstable and the future is unknown. If you’re mentally unstable, it is because you’ve got negative magnetism from the past. You must have various problems such as your way of life or the clog of your spiritual line caused by wandering ancestral spirits.

  • affect 影響する
  • peace 平穏
  • magnetism 磁気
  • wander 彷徨う
  • ancestral 先祖の

It is very effective in terms of the spiritual law of cause and effect to practice the mannar of setting Yorishiro(寄り代) , such as a short strip of paper or a memorial tablet as a substitute for your physical body, and putting down your negative magnetism there. If you can’t do it, you can be grateful to your ancestors in everyday life instead.

  • substitude 代替物
  • cause and effect 原因と結果
  • grateful 感謝して
  • instead 代わりに

The other day, I met a man after a long absence, whose job enabled him to meet a lot of spiritual leaders. He told me that, though he had tried practicing various kinds of spiritual methods recommended by them, he had not been able to keep on doing it, but that he had been able to keep holding memorial services for his ancestors for more than a year.

  • the other day 先日
  • after a long absence 久しぶりに
  • enable 可能にする
  • recommend 勧める
  • ancestor 先祖

He was wondering why he was able to keep on practicing it. Because he was affected by a lot of strong thought energy of spiritual leaders he meet in his work, his instinct, or Inner God, made him carry it on. Most of the conventional spiritual methods focus on, or cling to, the past. Even if psychics guess something in the past right, they are still lacking in methods of what to do, which is the most important thing.

  • instinct 本能
  • conventional 従来の
  • focus 焦点を当てる
  • cling to A Aに固執する
  • guesss 推量する
  • lacking 欠いている

If you’re anxious to know the meanings of incidents in the past, you are still under the influence of magnetism of the past. If you’ve forgotten sins you committed in the past or problems you had, however, you can do the same thing again or fall sick unexpectedly. So it’s important that you should not force yourself to forget about them nor cling to the past. Thinking “Past is past, ” you should think about now and the future.

  • be anxious to~ 〜したくて仕方がない
  • sin 罪
  • unexpectedly 思いがけなく
  • force A to~  Aに〜するよう強いる

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.