OUTLINE OF OOMOTO 12
12. FRESH START OF OOMOTO
It was an irony of ironies that the ruling powers that had destroyed Oomoto in the name of the State was impeached and all its oppressive setup, law and ordinances were deleted in the name of “freedom and Justice”, though it was a historical necessity. Onisaburo and others without any resistance endured indifference - the nation’s violence until acquittal was granted at the close of the war.
Before Onisaburo was released on bail on the seventh of August 1942, after six years and eight months imprisonment. On this very day on the Southern front the Allied Forces landed on Guadalcanal, one of the Solomon Islands, and after half a year of desperate struggle the Japanese army was annihilated, losing the initiative of the Pacific War. The USA launched counterattacks on a full scale. At home air raids by B-29s became rampant. Onisaburo retired to his farm in Kameoka and resumed the peaceful life, composing poems, painting and pottery: He dire need of food on account of the long unsuccessful warfare. He advocated and practiced promotion of greater food productions.
It was in 1926 that Onisaburo first put his hand to ceramics, when he made molded earthenware’s. During his imprisonment his mind was often occupied with the thought of creating a brand new kind of tea bowl. He happened to find Shoraku Sasaki, a famous ceramist, living near his home – visited him towards the end of 1944 and began to use his kiln. Within the short period of one and a half years he produced about 3,000 colorful tea bowls.
They were too unique at that time to be appreciated for their own charm, by those who had a preconceived idea that the traditional ones should all be sober in color and design. He intended to express the happy visions of the Kingdom of Heaven by gemlike colors in the glazed pottery. It was only after his passing that Giichito Kato, a contemporary critic of Oriental ceramics, happened to discover the rare value created by an amateur ceramist of astounding genius. I cannot find any other suitable terms than “rich” or “richness” and “scintillating”. He wrote in his tribute in August of 1949 issue of Japan Arts and Crafts, published in Osaka, “Consult a dictionary, and you will find it has given such variety of meaning to “richness” as valuable, fullness, abundance, charming, vividness and intensity. All such elements of quality the tea bowls in question are provided with…and he nominated them “Yowans”, brilliant tea bowls, and “those of tomorrow”. Surely the creation of “Yowans” was one of the symbols of the fresh start of Oomoto. Onisaburo, while creating these bowls of art, prayed deeply and sincerely during each and everyone creation.
The revival of Oomoto was formally announced on the seventh of February 1946 by Onisaburo, – taking the new of name of “Aizen-Kai” (Virtue-loving Garden). Thousands of his followers who had overcome the suppression by the Government authorities, gathered around him at Ayabe and Kameoka for celebrations. The Ayabe and Kameoka Oomoto headquarters had been returned by that time. But when the Oomoto Case had been settled, lawyers concerned with the case assembled at Onisaburo’s house and talked over bringing a lawsuit against the State to institute a claim for damages suffered. The case this time is Divine Providence. I am grateful for it. What is the use of denouncing the authorities for their injustice taking up things past, at this time? We should not go to the length of lodging a claim for our compensation to exploit the people after the surrender of Japan? The Imperial Government should have paid a heavy indemnity, but Oomoto did not sue the Government for it according to Onisaburo’s will. In Onisaburo’s mind, two wrongs do not make a right. The pain and suffering from the Government prosecution served no propose, so initiating a lawsuit would only prolong the pain and suffering for all. What has been done, is done, I cannot change the past.
He started the reconstruction work of the devastated sites in Ayabe and Kameoka, but before his project could be put into practice, he as called to a greater mission in the spiritual world. On the nineteenth of January 1948, he passed quietly away his residence in Kameoka. He was seventy-seven years of age. This was indeed a great shock to all the followers, but his widow Sumiko’s vigor and determination to assume the leadership of the organization alleviated the deep sorrow, and constituted the very factors for its rapid advancement.
Aizen-en was renamed Oomoto Aizen-en, by the second spiritual leader, Sumiko Deguchi, and Jinrui Aizen kai, or the Universal Loving and Brother hood association was revived on the eighty of December 1949 under the second spiritual leader, who approved the World Federal Movement, and gave instructions to study and cooperate with it. It was chiefly due to the good members of ULBA that the city of Ayabe took the lead and proclaimed “mundialization”, the first in Japan on October 13, 1950. A representative from UBA attended the world Federation Convention held in Geneva on December 30 1950.
After the conclusion of the Peace Treaty at San Francisco on September 8 1951, the Universal memorial Service for the Victims of World War II was held on November 1 1951 at the Oomoto Aizen-en HQ, Ayabe, and Mrs. Sumiko Deguchi’s suggestion. Members of the bereaved families who attended numbered about 2,000, while guests and participants numbered 1,000. Messages received to this memorial service from abroad were those of international status. The second spiritual leader proposed to start a fellows baika (Plum Blossom) movement, which is a drive for participating in the Divine Task of bringing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, based on the fundamental spirit upon which the Oomoto teachings are established, with the action cooperation of its affiliated organizations including ULBA, Aisen Mizuho Kai – (The Aizen Bumper Crops Association, founded in February 1946 with the object of promoting agriculture and rural prosperity), Oomoto Rakuten Sha (The Oomoto Art Society, founded in 1946; devoted to art), Aizen Esperanto Asocio (the society for spreading Esperanto, reorganized in February 1950) and the Society Welfare section of Oomoto Aizen-en.
Although you, sensible
Of Heaven’s grace, mention it –
*Mundialization – means official acceptance of / or turning to the tenets of World Federation.
**Baika – (Plum Blossom) suggests the 5 petals – that is FIVE dimensional activities and at the same time, Baika stands for ‘doubling’.
Quite similar you’d be
To the unfilial to mother
Without gratitude to Earth
Let me show you
How to polish soul and heart
According to Divine Will-
It means to be one
With the heart of earth
Her guiding principal is well permeated in the above poems of her own. She was often referred to as “everybody’s fond mother” that people called her “Mother of the Earth”, and it is a wonderful fact that at the same time she suddenly became also a great calligrapher and poet after she was bereaved of her husband. She should be looked upon as an example of a mysterious metamorphosis in spiritual plane. She advocated the erection of huge Mirokuden Sanctuary in Ayabe to hold some 8,000 people, but pasted away on the thirty-first of March 1952, just before the dedication of the sanctuary. The period of her leadership was very brief, but she made nation-wide missionary tours out of her own selfless love in spite of her advanced age. While at her leisure, she would be seen at a loom busily weaving the fabrics that later were called “Tsuruyama-ori”, a finely hand-woven textile.
On the day following the death of the second spiritual leader, Naohi succeeded to the third spiritual leader of Oomoto.