Live with Faith Being a Konko Believer Reverend Yoshiaki Fukuda
Shinja no Kokoroe
Live with Faith Being a Konko Believer Reverend Yoshiaki Fukuda
LIVE WITH FAITH Being a Konko Believer
Shinja no Kokoroe
Reverend Yoshiaki Fukuda
Originally published in Japanese as Shinja no Kokoroe 1958 by Reverend Yoshiaki Fukuda Published by Konko Kyotosha Printed by Tamashima Kappansho, Okayama, Japan First Edition April 1958 Second Edition July 1975 Third Edition December 1978 Fourth Edition June 1980 Fifth Edition October 1986 Sixth Edition April 1991 Seventh Edition March 1994 Eighth Edition October 2002 ©2007 The Konko Church of San Francisco, CA 94115 All Rights Reserved. Published 2007 Printed by Giant Horse Printing, Inc., South.San Francisco, CA First English Edition November 2007
Cover design by Steven Fukuda
CONTENTS Contents .................................................................................................... 1 Foreword .................................................................................................. 2 Preface ....................................................................................................... 4 01 Be Sincere ......................................................................................... 6 02 Be Joyful and Appreciative............................................................. 8 03 Rid Yourself of Selfish Desires ................................................... 11 04 Seek Mediation ............................................................................... 14 05 Pray to the Principal Mediator ..................................................... 16 06 Renew Your Heart Every Day through Worship ..................... 18 07 Realize the Virtues of Early Morning Church Worship .......... 20 08 Pray at Church ............................................................................... 22 09 Seek Mediation at the Mediation Seat ........................................ 26 10 Revere Your Mediator as Ikigami Konko Daijin ...................... 28 11 Help Others Find the Konko Faith ............................................ 31 12 Support the Konko Faith Financially ......................................... 34 13 Serve Kami through Your Actions ............................................. 38 14 Make the Monthly Service a Priority .......................................... 40 15 Make the Grand Services Special ................................................ 43 16 Care for Your Home Altar ........................................................... 52 17 Live the Teachings......................................................................... 54 18 Maintain Harmony within Your Family ..................................... 56 19 Be Kind and Respectful to Your Parents................................... 58 20 Maintain Harmony with Your Spouse........................................ 60 21 Treat Your Children as Kami’s Beloved Children .................... 64 22 Be a Walking Billboard for Your Faith ...................................... 68 23 Be a Good Merchant..................................................................... 71 24 Be a Good Doctor......................................................................... 74 25 Be a Good Educator ..................................................................... 76 26 Be a Good Artist............................................................................ 80 27 Be a Good Attorney ...................................................................... 82 28 Be a Good Farmer......................................................................... 84 29 Be Good at What You Do ........................................................... 86 30 Be Clean and Organized ............................................................... 89 31 Be a Good Churchgoer................................................................. 92 32 Honor your Ancestors .................................................................. 98 Postscript .............................................................................................. 102 About the Author ................................................................................ 104
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FOREWORD Shinja no Kokoroe was originally written in Japanese by the late Reverend Yoshiaki Fukuda (Fukuda Sensei), founder of the Konko Church of San Francisco. Many appreciate the straightforward, practical and inspirational manner in which Shinja no Kokoroe provides the basics as to how one should be a Konko believer, by living with sincerity and in harmony with the Way of the Universe. The wisdom provided in Shinja no Kokoroe is timeless, as evidenced by its enduring appeal and active circulation (currently in its 8th printing). LIVE WITH FAITH came to fruition to commemorate Fukuda Sensei’s Fiftieth Memorial Anniversary. Readers should note that the emphasis in converting this book from Japanese was on capturing the forcefulness and directness of Fukuda Sensei’s message, such that it would be easily understood and followed by today’s English-speaking reader. LIVE WITH FAITH is not a literal translation of Shinja no Kokoroe. Further, the teachings reflected in LIVE WITH FAITH have not been edited or dampened for the sake of meeting today’s standards of “political correctness.” Written over 50 years ago, some of the teachings in Shinja no Kokoroe may seem impractical today (for example, daily church attendance was more feasible when believers lived within walking distance of the church in Japantown.) However, the core messages behind these teachings are still profound.
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Working together to make Fukuda Sensei’s uncomplicated and sensible teachings available to today’s English-speaking reader has been a blessing and a privilege. We trust that you will find this book useful in helping you to deepen your sincerity, so that you may enjoy greater peace of mind and live a fuller and happier life. Live with Faith. Eiji Ayabe, Nob Fukuda, Al Matsui, Katsumi Miyai, Rev. Joanne Tolosa Shinja no Kokoroe Translation Team November, 2007 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Special thanks go to Rev. Yasuhiro Yano, Head Minister of the Konko Mission of Wahiawa, Hawaii, for providing the initial translation of Shinja no Kokoroe from Japanese into English. His contribution provided invaluable momentum toward the realization of this book. We would also like to acknowledge the contributions made by Steven Fukuda (book design), Rev. Richard Grange (final edits), Rev. Masato Kawahatsu (artwork design) and Rev. Michihiro Yuasa (calligraphy).
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PREFACE The Konko Faith is an open and broadminded religion. Our Founder taught us: “Live your life with sincerity…genuine, wholehearted sincerity. You do not need to come to church to pray. You do not have to clap your hands. Living with sincerity is what is important.” The core message of this book, Shinja no Kokoroe or LIVE WITH FAITH, can be simply put as “Be Sincere.” This is consistent with the Founder’s teaching: “Anyone can imitate how someone does his work, but not the sincere heart he does it with.” (Konko Daijin Oboegaki 8-7-8). To realize divine blessings your heart must be sincere. Practicing the Konko Faith is simple; there are few set rules in this Faith. Elaborate explanations of our Faith run the risk of conveying the wrong message. All you need to do to practice our Faith is to deepen your sincerity by following the guidance provided in this book wholeheartedly. Learn from the examples in this book and use them to develop your own way of practicing faith.
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Taking responsibility for your own faith development is a core principle in the Konko Faith. Relying on your minister to develop your faith is a mistake. Your minister is there to help, but the development of your faith is up to you. While, of course, a strong minister can mentor believers with deep faith, contrary to what you might expect, it is common to find Konko believers with deep faith at a church where the minister is inexperienced or stubborn. The strength of a Konko church depends on the sincerity of its believers. Be responsible for your own faith development. Sincerely follow the simple guidance provided in this book. Develop absolute trust in Kami. You will realize divine blessings. Reverend Yoshiaki Fukuda San Francisco, California September, 1957
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01 BE SINCERE
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01. In the Konko Faith, sincerity is everything. Live your life with sincerity…genuine, heartfelt sincerity. 02. Each of us has within us a sincere heart bestowed by Kami. Through tranquil reflection, your sincerity will surely emerge. 03. A short letter written with sincerity will touch the recipient’s heart, whereas, a long, elaborate letter written without sincerity, will not. 04. A gift given with true sincerity is precious. 05. Whether in person or by phone, a message conveyed with a heart of sincerity will be favorably accepted. 06. Your sincerity is reflected in everything you do; the way you look…walk…talk…smile. 07. Superficial people lacking in sincerity are not trusted or accepted by others. 08. True sincerity can be appreciated not only by Kami and people, but by all living creatures. 09. A guilty conscience is a warning from Kami that your decisions or current actions lack sincerity. 10. Insincere people reveal their lack of sincerity in the way that they laugh, walk and talk. Those who lack sincerity should be ashamed of themselves, and need to deepen their sincerity. 11. If you live your life with true sincerity, you will feel happy, have a clear conscience and peace of mind; your presence will be a pleasure to those around you and to Kami. Firmly believe that anything is possible with wholehearted sincerity. 12. Be of true sincerity. Your sincerity can be seen in all you do.
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02 BE JOYFUL AND APPRECIATIVE
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01. The Konko Faith teaches that there is a strong relationship between appreciation and happiness. 02. The Konko Faith is a faith of appreciation. Consciously appreciate everything in your life and you will be happy. 03. Do not show your unhappiness; do not dwell on unhappy thoughts. 04. Be grateful for the blessings of Heaven and Earth. 05. When you wake up, give thanks for your night’s sleep. 06. Appreciate your natural bodily functions, such as breathing, bowel movements and the ability to move your arms, legs and feet. These are blessings from Kami. 07. Be thankful for the water you use, the food you eat, the house you live in, the clothes you wear and the people around you. 08. People tend to take water for granted. Without water, you could not wash your hands, nor cook your food. 09. You learn to appreciate your sight when you lose it. You learn to appreciate your legs and feet when you can’t use them. Appreciate the normal functioning of your eyes, legs and feet. Your normal bodily functions and five senses are blessings from Kami. 10. While bedridden and suffering from pain and agony, be thankful that you are able to breathe and swallow water, and for the care you receive. 11. You can transform your deep sorrow into happiness by looking at things from a perspective of appreciation.
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12. Apologizing sincerely brings happiness. 13. Rejoice in your hardships and suffering. Accepting hardships with a grateful heart brings you closer to Kami. Hardships are blessings. 14. Complaining will not bring you blessings. Blessings come from a grateful and joyful heart. 15. Do not dwell on bad things that could happen. Look forward to the future.
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03 RID YOURSELF
OF SELFISH DESIRES
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01. Society is built on interdependent relationships. Being egocentric is frowned upon. Whether with your family or the community at large, you should not be self-centered. 02. Do not be narrow-minded, caring only about yourself. Expand your thoughts to others and society at large. 03. It is only natural to think primarily about how you can benefit yourself. However, you should gradually start thinking more about other people. By doing so, you will benefit yourself and further deepen your faith. 04. Do not give in to your impulsive desires. Always think ahead. 05. Natural desires are given to all creatures by Kami for the preservation of the species. It is natural for us to have these desires. It is natural for the sick to pray for their recovery from an illness; for merchants to pray for their business’s prosperity; for farmers to pray for good harvests; for students to pray for their academic success; for parents to pray for their children’s success in life; and for children to pray for the welfare of their parents. These represent natural desires. Feel free to pray for these natural desires, but do not be consumed by them. Do not be a slave to your natural desires. 06. After praying to Kami, let go of your concerns and rely on Kami. If you allow yourself to be consumed by your desires, you will be tense and worried. Pray to Kami with all your heart and trust Kami. 07. You should learn to control your “Selfish Desires” and acquire “Unselfish Desires.”
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08. “Selfish desires” (“Gajou gayoku”) imply caring only for yourself and not others. “Unselfish desires” (“Seijou-seiyoku”) are “correct” desires and emotions for the mutual benefit of you, others and Kami. Do not cause yourself and others to suffer because of your selfish desires. 09. The more you are driven by your own selfish desires, the more you will suffer. 10. Unselfish desires represent desires and emotions based on the true Konko Faith that help you and others. 11. Overindulgence in selfish desires makes you narrow-minded and corrupts your heart. 12. Do not cause yourself and others to suffer because of your selfish desires. 13. The more you develop your unselfish desires, the more you will develop an open mind and feel courageous and passionate. Tell yourself, “I will fight for what I believe in even if millions of people may be against me,” and “I will feel no shame between Heaven and Earth.” 14. “Selfish desires” primarily involve your physical needs. Take control of your desire for excessive food, drink, clothes and sleep; you will then, naturally, come to appreciate unselfish desires. 15. Win by losing and profit through loss. Give others a chance to win, but not out of pity. Support others from behind the scenes. Know that by helping others you save yourself. Rid yourself of selfish desires.
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04 SEEK MEDIATION
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01. No matter how hard you try to have a sincere heart, you cannot fully develop your faith by yourself. Practicing faith begins with understanding the limitations in your ability to save yourself, and seeking Kami’s help and guidance. 02. Have absolute belief in these divine promises: i. “After Konko Daijin’s physical form is gone, Konko Daijin will go wherever asked.” (III Konko Kyoso Gorikai 19) ii. “Follow the words of Konko Daijin carefully and practice faith. In an emergency, you need not say, ‘Tenchi Kane no Kami.’ Just say, ‘Konko Daijin, please help me,’ and you will receive divine blessings.” (III Konko Kyoso Gorikai 4-2). These promises are the most important guidelines for a Konko believer. 03. Believe that whether you are working, bedridden, deep in the mountains, or on the ocean, if you recite the sacred name of “Ikigami Konko Daijin” in your heart, Konko Daijin shall promptly respond to your prayer and help you. 04. You will have no fears, doubts or worries if you trust Kami. Leave all your worries to Kami. 05. Always reciting the divine name “Ikigami Konko Daijin” in your heart acts as a cleansing and purifying amulet.
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TO THE PRINCIPAL MEDIATOR
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01. The Main Worship Hall at Konkokyo Headquarters, or “Honbu Hiromae,” is where Ikigami Konko Daijin’s Mediation has continued since the Founder started the Konko Faith. Therefore, Konko believers should pray daily, in appreciation of the sacred work done at the Main Worship Hall. 02. The present Principal Mediator (Konko Sama) engages in Mediation at the Main Worship Hall every day of the year. Believe that receiving Mediation through the Principal Mediator is the same as receiving Mediation through Ikigami Konko Daijin. 03. Believers who live near the Main Worship Hall should receive Mediation through the Principal Mediator every day. It is fine for believers who live far away from the Main Worship Hall to go monthly. Those who cannot go monthly should go at least once a year. 04. Believers who cannot visit the Main Worship Hall should visit a local church to receive Mediation as an extension of the Main Worship Hall.
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06 RENEW YOUR HEART EVERY DAY THROUGH WORSHIP
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01. Merely reciting prayers does not deepen your sincerity. Follow Konko Daijin’s teachings (“the Teachings”). Have confidence that no other religion in the world compares to this religion. Be proud to be a Konko believer. 02. Kami is absolute love and infinite virtue. Have confidence that in the presence of Kami’s absolute love, evil, Satan and Hell do not exist. 03. In order to have true faith you must understand the Teachings deep down inside. In the Konko Faith, you find salvation (realize Kami’s blessings) by following the Teachings. 04. You can learn about the Teachings anywhere, but come to church and seek Mediation from the minister to receive a deeper understanding of the Teachings. 05. When possible, you should worship at church daily, listen to teachings and polish the gem in your heart. Konko Daijin said, “Staying away from church is the beginning of losing faith.” 06. Daily worship provides you an opportunity to renew your heart every day and helps you to deepen your faith. Without practice, your faith will show little progress. 07. A church with many believers who visit daily, will flourish; the believers will have confidence that they can receive blessings readily. Visiting church daily will not only allow you to receive blessings, but also will allow you to provide appreciative service to Kami. 08. Our religion does not force you to perform physically demanding ascetic practices. All you need to do is try to visit church at least once a day.
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07 REALIZE THE VIRTUES OF EARLY MORNING CHURCH WORSHIP
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01. If you visit church daily, try to go early in the morning. 02. The eight virtues of early morning church worship are: i. You will surely realize blessings if you start each day by praying to and providing appreciative service to Kami. ii. Your heart will be purified and you will have an opportunity to deepen your sincerity. iii. You will develop determination and perseverance. You will be able to better endure difficulties and you will grow stronger spiritually. Your heart will be invigorated. Your prayers will reach Kami more easily. iv. You avoid conflict with your work schedule and appointments with others. Maintaining this discipline is up to you. v. You do not have to worry or be self-conscious about what you wear. Just put on casual clothes for an early morning church visit and worship at ease. vi. Because your visit to church is a priority and not a side trip, your heart will reach Kami directly. vii. A church with many believers that worship early every morning will naturally have a lot of vitality and will flourish. Worshipping early every morning will not only allow you to receive blessings, but will also allow you to provide appreciative service to Kami. viii. The rest of your day will go well.
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08 PRAY AT CHURCH
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01. As you leave home for church, leave your selfish desires behind. 02. Do not express negative thoughts or feelings on the way to church. Keep your heart pure. Your every thought and deed reaches Kami. 03. Be solemn and sincere as you enter church. 04. When you face the altar, sit upright, be calm and serene. 05. Even while offering coins in the offertory box, keep your heart calm and be sincere. 06. When you clap in prayer, sincerely put your heart into each clap. 07. When you pray to Kami, even if praying softly, pray with a sincere heart. 08. While praying to Kami, pray intensely. Devote yourself to your prayers. Believe that you are about to actually meet Kami. 09. Your prayers should be sensible. Pray to Kami in such a way that anybody listening in would agree with your request. 10. Really put your heart into your prayers, such that anybody listening in would be moved to tears. 11. Do not pray haphazardly. Pray with an intensity and focus that would penetrate a rock. 12. Be confident that Kami will heed your prayers. 13. When you pray, focus. Do not be distracted by people talking, annoying sounds or other diversions.
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14. Because Kami is your parent, you should openly share your personal suffering, sorrow and shame without holding back or feeling ashamed. 15. Kami is infinite virtue, infinite blessing, infinite love, infinite wisdom and infinite power. Have faith that Kami will help you with matters that are beyond human control. Pray with all your heart, “Please heed my prayers. Please allow me to overcome this hardship.” 16. You may receive a blessing that temporarily helps with an unreasonable request. However, Kami’s blessings for such unreasonable requests have limits. Look deep within yourself, realize that you are unreasonable, extend deep apology to Kami and regain a true heart. 17. Repeatedly making unreasonable requests will eventually cause you to reach an impasse in your life. 18. Prayers that are consistent with the Way of the Universe and benefit humanity will definitely be answered. Pray with confidence. 19. Do not confine your prayers to your own matters. Your prayers should be broad, include others and society, detailed and frequent. 20. After praying to Kami, leave your burden with Kami and enjoy peace of mind.
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21. Once you’ve shared your worries with Kami, trust Kami and do not take them home with you. 22. Your faith in Kami is established when you feel sure that your prayers have been heard and you trust that Kami will take care of your worries. Pray to Kami and leave everything to Kami. 23. On your way home from church, do not think impure thoughts, do not spend time in idle chatter and do not talk badly about others.
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09 SEEK MEDIATION AT THE MEDIATION SEAT
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01. When visiting church, do not just leave after you have finished praying. At the very least, greet the minister. As much as time permits, seek Mediation (“Toritsugi”) from your minister at the Mediation Seat (“Okekkai”). Express your thoughts, requests and appreciation to the minister, in detail. 02. Seeking Mediation unloads your personal burdens onto the Mediator (as Kami’s representative) and helps you to rid yourself of selfish desires. This is the Way of Mediation. 03. Just praying on your own for sick family members or important concerns will delay your realizing blessings. Promptly seek Mediation for your request(s) and you will realize blessings more quickly and easily. 04. After receiving blessings, seek Mediation as soon as possible to express your appreciation for them. 05. Having a faith based on appreciation of Kami’s blessings is better than a faith that only seeks help from Kami when you have a problem. 06. When you have a problem you do not wait to ask for Kami’s help. Similarly, you should not wait too long to express your appreciation to Kami after receiving Kami’s blessings. 07. It is not right to express your appreciation only once after requesting blessings many, many times. Instead, you should express appreciation many, many times for each request you make. 08. To best live in accordance with the teachings of the Konko Faith, share specific details of your daily life when you seek Mediation.
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10 REVERE YOUR MEDIATOR AS IKIGAMI KONKO DAIJIN
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01. When you make a request at the Mediation Seat, you are seeking Mediation from Ikigami Konko Daijin. If you truly believe this, regardless of who is sitting at the Mediation Seat, you will receive the blessings through Ikigami Konko Daijin. 02. Trust that any words from the Mediator are a message from Kami. Take any action as directed, even if it is to go through burning fire or freezing water. The Konko Faith places absolute trust in the workings of Mediation. Have no doubts. 03. Revere your local minister as the Principal Mediator. If you believe that you are praying to Ikigami Konko Daijin, you will enjoy blessings and your church will thrive. 04. If you disrespect your local Mediator by pointing out his shortcomings, you will not realize blessings. 05. Believe in your local Mediator even if she is stubborn, just as Konko Daijin patiently and sincerely believed in Konjin, in the early days when Konjin was still perceived as evil. 06. Even if the local Mediator is young, or even your own child, be serious and seek Mediation as if Ikigami Konko Daijin were before you. 07. Believers should refrain from complaining about their local Mediator. Kami will correct any faults of the local Mediator. 08. Even if you surpass your local Mediator in age or years in the Konko Faith, do not place yourself above your Mediator. This is very important. If you look down at your Mediator, without respect, you will not receive blessings. 09. Even if there is no minister at the Mediation Seat, believe that Ikigami Konko Daijin is there and you will realize blessings.
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10. Mediation is inseparable from the Konko Faith. Kami’s divine blessings are revealed through Mediation. Konko believers should view Kami, the Mediator and the church, as one. Believe this and you will realize blessings. 11. Although you may revere Kami, if you show little respect towards your Mediator or show little care about your church, you shall never enjoy true blessings. 12. If you have difficulty in accepting a message from your local Mediator, believe that Kami is testing you. Act with a sincere heart. You will receive blessings from Kami.
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11 HELP OTHERS FIND THE KONKO FAITH
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01. Serving Kami by helping your minister and your church will bring you blessings. 02. The most important service to Kami is to help others find the Konko Faith. 03. Sharing with others blessings that you receive is a good way to thank Kami for those blessings. Do not just get blessings; share them. 04. If you are genuinely devoted to the Konko Faith, you cannot help but share it with others. You will not feel any shame or hesitation in sharing your faith. 05. If you do not feel comfortable sharing your faith with others, your faith is waning. Remember the blessings that you have received and restore your faith. 06. Pray not only for yourself, but also for your family members, friends, co-workers and other people. Praying for others is the starting point for their finding the Konko Faith. 07. Write down the names of those who are having difficulty in life and pray for them everyday. 08. Visit those in distress, pray to Kami to be able to explain the Konko Faith to them and bring them to church to receive teachings from the Mediator. While doing so, do not think that you are directly helping them; you are simply helping them to find the Konko Faith. 09. If you are genuinely devoted to the Konko Faith, you will share it with others everywhere; on the train, at the hotel, at the hospital, at the storefront, at a party, wherever.
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10. Introduce others to the Konko Faith through your own words, deeds, prayers and conviction. 11. Talking about your appreciation of church, your reverence/admiration of your minister and examples of the blessings that you and your friends have received will help lead others to find the Konko Faith. 12. Traditionally, Konko ministers do not leave their church to spread the Faith; they remain at church to welcome all who come, at any time of the day. Believers should take to heart their Mediator’s desire to be useful to all people and play an active role in helping others find the Konko Faith. 13. There are many unfortunate people in the world who need help. Your compassionate heart should motivate you to help them find the Konko Faith. Pray, and talk to those unfortunate with a sincere heart. 14. Genuine appreciation of the Konko Faith and a sincere desire to help others is the driving force behind spreading our Faith. If you are truly devoted day and night, Kami will bestow blessings upon you.
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12 SUPPORT THE KONKO FAITH FINANCIALLY
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01. If you become wealthy through your practice of the Konko Faith, express your gratitude to Kami through Mediation and generous offerings. 02. Although the Konko Faith teaches to “Never make a business out of Kami” (III Konko Kyoso Gorikai 95-1), if you receive blessings, you should generously show your gratitude. 03. If you wish to make generous contributions to the Konko Faith, Kami will help you to realize your wish. 04. If you do not make offerings that are meaningful and in proportion to your financial status, you will stop receiving blessings and encounter problems that will ultimately cost you. 05. Do not make a miserly expression of your faith by selecting the smallest coins to put in the offertory box. 06. Stagnant water breeds mosquito larvae. Stagnant sewage gives rise to stench. Likewise, if you hoard your money, you will tend to suffer from illness and other problems. Make generous offerings to Kami and receive blessings of health and prosperity. 07. Although an offering is not necessary in exchange for a blessing, a miserly attitude when expressing faith will result in smaller blessings. Faith with a generous heart will result in generous blessings. 08. In a way, faith is like running tap water. By simply turning on a faucet you will have access to unlimited water. By serving Kami with a grateful, happy and generous heart you will have access to unlimited blessings.
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09. You should learn for yourself the relationship between offerings you give and blessings you receive. An extraordinary monetary offering to Kami will result in unexpected blessings for you, and you will realize: “Kami takes the money you offer, not without any returns” (II Kondo Fujimori 24). Practice this teaching, learn that it is true and serve Kami joyfully with a generous heart. 10. Making a single offering is not sufficient gratitude for a major blessing, such as having your life saved or overcoming a serious problem. Have lifelong gratitude for these lifelong blessings. 11. Once you make an offering to the church, do not be concerned with how it is used. Do not attach conditions to your offering. It is Kami who gives you blessings. 12. Do not give an offering expecting to receive thanks or praise, in return. Offerings should be made to express appreciation for your own blessings.
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13 SERVE KAMI THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS
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01. It is very important to express your faith through action. 02. Regardless of your wealth, social status, education or age, help clean the church. Doing so, you will realize blessings. 03. Helping with tasks that others find undesirable, such as cleaning the toilet, sewer, bathroom or gravesite area, is a good way to train your faith. 04. Even those with wealth and high social status, who have never even cleaned their own house, can markedly change their outlook on life by taking the initiative to clean the church. 05. Church is a place to train your faith. Service at church is service to Kami, so perform it well and gladly. Maintain this positive attitude at your job. Do not complain about work. 06. Do hard, physical work gladly. Put on your work clothes, get your hands dirty and work up a sweat. 07. For those who have just recovered from an illness, doing whatever you can will help you regain your strength sooner. 08. If you just wear nice clothes and oversee others doing manual work, you do not know what it really means to do the work. Roll up your sleeves and help out, even if the work is menial. 09. When you visit church, time permitting, you should do whatever chores that you can. If you do perform these services, you will come to understand that just being able to perform them is a blessing in and of itself. 10. If you help with matters at church, you will receive help with your own matters. 11. Those with advanced faith should wholeheartedly help their ministers arrange the altar and prepare the offerings. LIVE WITH FAITH 39
14 MAKE THE MONTHLY SERVICE A PRIORITY
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01. Always attend the Monthly Service. 02. The significance of a church service is not determined by the number of attendees. However, the Monthly Service is the highlight of your faith for the month. Every believer should come together as a group at this Service to confirm his or her faith. 03. If you attend church at the convenience of your own schedule and do not make attendance at the Monthly Service a priority, both you and the church will lose vitality. 04. The Konko Faith does not emphasize attending church services. However, you, your minister, your church and Kami will feel happy with a robust attendance at the Monthly Service. The more people attending the Service, the more energy the congregation will have, the more motivated the minister will be in giving his or her sermon and the more positive you will feel about your faith. You will realize blessings more easily. 05. Your faith will become much more firm if you adjust your schedule to make attendance at the Monthly Service a priority. 06. The leaders of the church should set an example by worshipping at the church daily and attending the Monthly Service. 07. Church leaders, who make their hobbies (chess, fishing, golf, watching TV) a priority over attending the Monthly Service, are leaders in name only. Church leaders should help prepare for and run the Service.
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08. If a church leader misses the Monthly Service two or three times, something must be amiss with his or her personal life or spiritual faith. The church congregation should reach out to this person and provide support and encouragement. 09. There are some business owners who are so devoted that they treat the day of the Monthly Service as a holiday and close their business on that day. They publicly state “We are closed today in observance of the Konko Church Monthly Service” and encourage their family members and employees to attend the service. 10. You may think that closing your business for the Monthly Service will cause you to lose income, but those who have actually followed this faith practice have experienced an increase in profits instead. 11. Due to scheduling conflicts, you may not be able to take a day off from work to attend the Monthly Service. However, if you strongly wish to attend the service, a way will open up to allow you to attend. 12. You should encourage others you have introduced to the Konko Faith to attend the Monthly Service. Doing so will help them develop their faith and reinforce your own faith. 13. Those who attend the Monthly Service regularly are the nucleus of the church. Although daily worship at church is important, you should also make a firm commitment to help at the Monthly Service. Participating in the Monthly Service provides a service to the church and also enhances your own faith development.
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15 MAKE THE GRAND SERVICES SPECIAL
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01. The Grand Services cannot be held by a minister alone. It takes the concerted efforts of the entire congregation to make the Grand Services special. The success of the Grand Service depends on you. If you care deeply for the Konko Faith, Kami, Principal Mediator, your church and your minister, you will feel closer to the Service and your prayers will reach Kami. 02. Each Grand Service is an opportunity for you to reflect on and bring closure to the past year. You should also look back on all of the blessings that you have received. By comparing the quality of your life before entering the Faith, to your present life saved by the Faith, it will be clear what you are giving thanks for. 03. Attend the Grand Services to reflect on all aspects of your life, such as on your faith, your spouse, your parents, your children and your job. Appreciate these blessings and renew your heart. 04. Since you first entered the Konko Faith have you lost your purity and devotion? Has your faith stopped? Have you become a complainer? Tell yourself, “I shouldn’t be like this.” The Grand Service is an opportunity to apologize. Realize your shortcomings and renew your heart. 05. You and your family can always realize more blessings. Kami will present you with problems to test your faith. Do you try to see these problems as blessings, or do you just not deal with them? Instead of ignoring these problems, request Kami’s help at the Grand Service. Renew your heart. 06. Understand the significance of the Grand Service, attend, and then, your heart will reach Kami.
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07. Practicing faith daily is important, but the Grand Service is an opportunity to renew your heart so that you realize even more blessings. 08. If you are sick and wish to be well enough to attend the Grand Service, you can receive this blessing by praying hard for the specific date by which you want to recover. 09. If you are a farmer, pray hard to complete your harvest so that you may offer some of it to Kami at the Grand Service. If you are a fisherman, pray for a great catch so that you can offer it to Kami at the Grand Service. You will experience the wondrous Workings of Kami. 10. If you are in business, pray for more growth while deepening your faith. Attend the Grand Service. 11. In Japanese, the word “Matsuri” means “celebration” and the word “Matsu” means “wait in preparation.” In the Konko Faith, you do not focus on the Grand Service just on that day. Prepare your heart and mind for the Grand Service in advance by making resolutions for yourself that culminate at the Grand Service. Deepen your sincerity and help with preparations at the church. 12. You can offer your appreciation at church, as an individual, at any time. The Grand Service is the time for the entire congregation to combine their prayers of appreciation for Kami’s blessings. A successful Grand Service should be well attended. Therefore, not only should you attend, but you should encourage your family, friends and acquaintances to attend as well. A devoted believer is one who helps as many people as possible to attend the Grand Service.
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13. Grand Services are observed twice a year, in the spring and fall. You should do your best to attend the services by planning well in advance. Schedule a day off from work, if necessary. Kami responds to those whose hearts are committed. You are not a sincere and devoted believer if you ask a friend to deliver your offering while you are off playing around. 14. Of course, there are times when you may not be able to attend a Grand Service. At those times, pray from a distance. Prayers made with a sincere heart will reach Kami, regardless of the physical distance. 15. Grand Services require a lot of preparation. You should help in any way you can. For example, cleaning the church inside and out, performing required maintenance, preparing the service hall, mailing out invitations and so forth. Your time and energy are offerings to Kami. Do not wait for instructions. Take the initiative to anticipate what needs to be done. 16. There are many assigned tasks for the Believers’ Association (“Shintokai”), Women’s Association (“Fujinkai”), Young Adult’s Group, and Youth & Children (Konko Youth Organization). Entertainers’ practicing is also an important part of the Grand Service preparations. It is important to clarify each individual’s role in preparation of the Grand Services.
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17. Invite guests to the Grand Services. Notify the local newspapers. This will let the whole community know about our special event. Believers who are confident in the Church will be more likely to realize blessings. Your contributions in making the Grand Services special are not only blessings for you, but also a service to Kami. 18. Grand Services are an opportunity to share the value of your faith, your faith practices, practical training sessions and testimonials, with the larger community. This is a chance for each of you to share why you are involved in the Faith and the blessings that you have received from Kami. 19. At the Grand Service, the depth of your sincerity can be seen in how you provide service to Kami, how you pray and how you seek Mediation. You should also humbly learn from others by observing how they practice their faith. 20. While providing service at the Grand Service, you bring disgrace to yourself and Kami by complaining, being depressed, irritated, critical of others or argumentative. 21. For Grand Services, the church should be clean, and the ministers and believers should be energetic, happy and sincere. 22. Attend the Grand Service with sincerity. Rid yourself of all negative thoughts, such as anger, worry, frustration and jealousy. 23. Your enthusiasm for the Konko Faith should inspire believers at other Konko churches and attract guests to the Faith.
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24. You should go out of your way to be warm and hospitable in welcoming those who attend the Grand Service, including those believers from neighboring Konko churches and also guests to the church. Attending a Konko Grand Service should be an impressive and pleasant experience. This is an important service to Kami. 25. If you are a member of a church holding a Grand Service, even if you are traveling from a long distance, you should help in the preparations for the Service in any way that you can. Help with cleaning the restrooms, pulling out weeds in the yard, helping in the kitchen and providing any other services needed. 26. The Grand Service is an opportunity to deepen your faith. It is not a party just for fun. You should be serious when attending the Service. Offer your prayers intensely and listen to the sermon with sincerity. 27. On the day of the Grand Service, the church should reverberate with continuous prayers. The worship hall should be filled with an air of purity, solemnity and sincerity. Those who are assigned tasks should pray while they are working. Those who are not busy should not be idle; they should be reciting prayers in their heart. The combined prayers of the entire congregation, coming from near and far, creates an inspirational and uplifting atmosphere. 28. You should strengthen your faith in any way that you can before the Grand Service; ten days, a week or even one day prior to the Service.
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29. Not only your minister, but you should prepare for the Grand Service by cleansing your heart, mind and body. Approach the Grand Service with intense spiritual energy, like that of a samurai risking his life dueling with a real sword. 30. You should sit quietly during the Grand Service. Making noise will disrupt the solemnity of the Service. 31. You should be seated for the Grand Service well before it officially begins, pray to Kami and solemnly wait for the procession of the officiating ministers. Everyone praying wholeheartedly, as one, provides the foundation for an inspirational Service. 32. The Main Pastoral Prayer by the head officiating minister is the heart of the Service. We should all sit silently during the Main Pastoral Prayer, listen intently and add our prayers to the officiating minister’s prayer. Do not let your child disrupt the Service. If your child starts to cry during the service, promptly excuse yourself and your child, and wait outside. If you are not attending the Service, do not call the church while it is in progress. If the phone rings during the Service, minimize any disruption by answering it quickly and keeping the conversation short. 33. Unless you have been asked to help set up for the after-service reception, stay and listen to the sermon. The sermon is an important part of the Service; do not disrupt it. 34. After the sermon is over, proceed promptly to the afterservice reception. 35. If entertainment is part of the after-service reception, it should be well-rehearsed and flow smoothly. LIVE WITH FAITH 49
36. Entertainment as part of the after-service reception is an offering to Kami. Kami is pleased when you relax and enjoy the performance with a pure heart. Rehearsing together creates a spiritual bond between each of you and the church. 37. Performing at the after-service reception is one way to practice your faith. For Kami, your sincerity while performing is more important than your talent. However, you should be aware of your skill as an entertainer. Be considerate of your audience and keep your performance short if your skills are limited, and do not brag, show off or monopolize the stage if you are a highly skilled performer. 38. Do not waste food that was offered on the altar to Kami. Do not drink so much sacred sake that you become rude, disruptive and argumentative. Do not spoil the Grand Service for others. Participating in the after-service reception is an important part of faith practice. 39. Do not selfishly seek high status roles during the Service. Show your faith by actively supporting the church behind the scenes. Kami recognizes your good deeds even if other people do not. 40. Do not be the kind of church official who just holds a title and complains, without positively contributing to the church. If you hold a title within the church, you should constantly work hard to deserve it.
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41. The sincerity with which you make an offering is more important than the monetary value of the offering. Also, the way you present your offerings is a reflection of your sincerity. Wrap your offerings with care. Write your name neatly on the offering envelope. Pay attention to details. 42. Be considerate and help clean up after the Grand Service. If possible, return to church the day following the Grand Service to offer any help needed. 43. Kami’s teachings are priceless. After attending a Grand Service, put at least one teaching into practice. Your faith development doesn’t stop just because the Grand Service is over. Get together with other believers to keep up the momentum of your faith development and encourage others to come to church.
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FOR YOUR HOME ALTAR
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01. Kami is everywhere. The entire universe is Kami’s home. You can worship Kami from anywhere. 02. While Kami is everywhere, it is useful to find something concrete to help you focus your prayers. You may choose to use a wall, a tree, or a packet of sacred rice (“Goshinmai”) to help you focus. However, it is better to have a fine altar in your home to help you to focus your prayers. 03. Devote your attention and care to the upkeep of your home altar, even if others think you are foolish for doing so. Caring for your home altar helps you deepen your sincerity. 04. If you can afford to spend a lot of money on your clothes or a fine meal, you can certainly afford a fine home altar. Obtain the finest home altar that you can afford. 05. Carefully maintain your home altar. Do not let it get dusty, and refresh your evergreen branches, flowers, water and rice. 06. You should offer the basic necessities of life, such as water, freshly cooked rice and even your paycheck, at your home altar, in appreciation to Kami. 07. Take care of your Goshinmai sacred rice packet. Do not fold or soil it. Place your Goshinmai at your home altar and pray. 08. Do not use your home altar for storage. Do not pile clutter on or near the altar. 09. Keep your home altar clean. Pray at your altar every morning and every evening. Greet Kami at your altar as you would greet your parents. Trust in Kami today and every day. 10. Use your home altar as a symbol for Kami and Konko Daijin, and live believing that you are allowed to live in Kami’s home. LIVE WITH FAITH 53
17 LIVE THE TEACHINGS
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01. The Founder’s teachings are stated simply and are easy to understand, yet they are profound. Deeply appreciate them. 02. You should understand the teachings not only intellectually, you should put them into actual practice in your daily life. 03. While easy to understand intellectually, some of the teachings are hard to put into practice in your daily life; for example, teachings about not getting angry and about not worrying. While getting angry or worrying are signs that you still need to deepen your faith, realize your limitations and keep trying. 04. Assess yourself. Do you get angry? Do you worry? Do you complain? 05. Practice what you preach. Do not expect others to practice teachings which you do not follow yourself. Do not try to force teachings on others that you do not practice yourself.
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18 MAINTAIN HARMONY WITHIN YOUR FAMILY
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01. Use Kami’s teachings in your daily life and watch their effect on your family. 02. The Konko Faith is a family-oriented faith. Do not practice your faith at the cost of neglecting your family. 03. Family discord stems from selfishness. Do not be selfish. Be considerate. 04. Our Founder treated each family member with respect and consideration. Follow his example in treating your family members.
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19 BE KIND AND RESPECTFUL TO YOUR PARENTS
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01. Parents are filled with love for their children. The Founder stated, “A heart of love is a heart of Kami” (II Kondo Fujimori 17-2). When you treat your parents as kamis, they will become better parents and you will realize more blessings. (Filial Piety) 02. Be courteous to your family. Do not use bad language. 03. Be particularly gentle and considerate with aging parents. 04. If you treat your parents with respect and sincerity, you will eventually resolve any problems with them even if they are, at times, “difficult.” 05. If you neglect your parents, you will not receive full blessings from Kami. Caring for your parents with sincerity pleases Kami more than anything else. 06. Do not take care of your parents out of a feeling of obligation. View caring for your parents as an opportunity to serve Kami. 07. You will realize blessings more quickly if you include your parents’ well-being in your prayers to Kami. 08. Your parents will appreciate even small acts of kindness from you. Do your best to help your parents be happy, and do it often. 09. Parents reach a stage where they become less able as they age. Children become increasingly able as they become more knowledgeable. Do not be condescending toward your parents. Be forever indebted to your parents for taking care of you when you were young.
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20 MAINTAIN HARMONY WITH YOUR SPOUSE
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01. It is common to choose your partner based on the expectation that he or she will make you happy. It is rare to marry for the sake of your partner’s happiness. Become less self-centered. Conscientiously and continuously focus on helping your partner to be happy. 02. Before getting married, realistically assess whether or not you can help your partner to be happy. Unless your partner is happy in the marriage, your marriage will not be a happy one. 03. A couple should understand and accept each other’s personality, be considerate and be willing to compromise. Be patient and strive to maintain harmony. 04. Most marital disagreements are common and trivial. For today, avoid having any confrontations with your partner. 05. Do not be angry at the same time. One of you needs to remain calm and listen quietly. 06. Worrying about your partner’s problems and trying to tell your partner what to do about them can cause marital strife. When listening to your partner’s “advice”, try to glean Kami’s message from within it. 07. You cannot achieve anything truly worthwhile unless you both put your heart and effort into it. Share your thoughts with and be supportive of each other. 08. It is not enough just to love your partner. You must express your love through words and deeds.
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09. Do not use bad language, even in jest. Express yourself using sincere and thoughtful expressions. Using harsh words when arguing with your partner will only inflame the argument and leave deep-rooted scars. 10. Do not hold a grudge over harsh words used by your partner. Look for his or her meaning in the context of a close and caring relationship and ignore the harshness of the words actually used. Strive to re-establish a positive relationship as soon as possible. 11. Try to accept your spouse’s jealousy as an expression of deep love for you. Try to change the behavior that caused your spouse to become jealous. Be thankful and view expressions of jealousy by your partner as an admonition from Kami. 12. Extreme jealousy may stem from being overly possessive of your partner. Extreme jealousy can ruin your marriage and drive your partner away. Keep your jealousy under control. 13. Rather than expressing feelings of jealousy, express feelings of love to your partner. You will lose your partner if you go into a jealous rage, lose your temper and use abusive language. Do not lose your partner. 14. Be true to your faith by being the first to give in during a marital argument. End the argument by using gentle words and a smile. Do not hold a grudge. 15. Do not forget that you are mates for life. Enjoy your life together as best friends.
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16. You, the husband, should guide your wife with a tolerant and open mind, like that of her father or teacher. You should listen to your wife’s guidance as if you were her child or apprentice. 17. You, the wife, should tenderly care for and advise your husband like his mother would, with a calm, peaceful and forgiving heart. You should rely on your husband, like a beloved child, and listen to his guidance with an open mind. 18. Couples “settled” in their marriage should do all they can to maintain their loving relationship by: going on dates hand-inhand, enjoying meals and entertainment together, and exchanging caring and loving thoughts and gestures with each other. 19. As you age, do not neglect your appearance. Do not be sloppy or messy. Do not stop caring about what others think of you. Do not neglect your spirituality. Taking care of one’s self helps preserve love and caring within a couple. 20. Even if your marriage is failing, remember that you are still responsible for being a good parent to your children. Find ways to keep your children happy. 21. Even if you and your partner separate, communicate with each other calmly and with consideration. Under no circumstance discuss important matters in anger.
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21 TREAT YOUR CHILDREN
AS KAMI’S BELOVED CHILDREN
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01. The Konko Faith provides a way for a family to maintain happiness and well-being from generation to generation. Pray to Kami to be blessed with children. 02. If you do not have children, pray to Kami for the blessing of being able to adopt. Perform your duty to Kami to raise children. 03. All children are Kami’s beloved children. You are entrusted with nurturing Kami’s children; raise them with great care. 04. Do not favor one child over another. Give thanks to Kami if you have a gifted child, but do not brag about your gifted child. Parents who brag about their own children are foolish. 05. Do not be overzealous in trying to make your child a great success. Do not place impossible expectations on your child. Be content if your child is unremarkable. 06. Do not spoil your children or they will not know right from wrong. Do not be overly strict or your children may rebel and get sidetracked. Do not impose too much discipline on your children or they will not listen to you. 07. If you truly love your children, praise them more often than you give them guidance, and guide them more often than you scold them. Raise your children to be responsible adults. 08. Recognize and appreciate when children are well behaved or do good deeds, even if they are your own children. 09. A parent with a child who has an emotional and/or physical disability carries a heavy burden, day and night. Pray to and trust Kami. Do not worry about your child, as worrying does not help your child. Be cheerful and bright, and your home will be a happy one. LIVE WITH FAITH 65
10. Do not be ashamed of your children if they seem worthless. Do not bully or humiliate them or treat them as a nuisance. Acknowledge that they are burdened with meguri (irreverence and offenses) passed on from you, your family and your ancestors. Apologize to Kami, thank your children for bearing this burden and raise them with great love and care. 11. Raise disobedient children with the attitude that Kami has asked you to take care of and nurture them. Devote yourself to them with special loving care. 12. Even smart children can become disobedient. Be grateful even for a child that you or society may consider worthless, as long as he or she does not cause trouble and does not bring disgrace to your family. 13. View the frustration of raising a child who is disobedient as spiritual training. Work hard to develop your own spiritual virtue. Be a parent with the deepest love for your child. Become an Ikigami (an ideal human being who strives to save people from suffering and problems and to make the world a happier place to live in). 14. Think of the loneliness that your child with a disability will feel, after you are gone, and pray that a care facility for unfortunate children will be built. Work with the parents of other children with disabilities to make this care facility a reality. Find ways to make your child, and all the children, happy in the care facility.
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15. When your child is sick, your parental love deepens. View this as an opportunity to realize Kami’s sincere love for you. Also, apologize for taking for granted your own parents’ love for you. 16. When your child is sick, do not panic. Your anxiety will be transferred to your child. Stay calm. Pray to Kami with all your heart. 17. If your child becomes disobedient or even worse, a criminal, you will suffer torturous pain and agony. However, blaming or criticizing your child will not change his or her behavior. Consider this bad behavior to be connected with you, your family and your ancestors. Take responsibility for your child’s bad behavior. Apologize to Kami for your negligence in raising your child. 18. You cannot sever the bond between you and your children. Do not shirk the responsibility that Kami has bestowed upon you as a parent. While society may turn against you because of the acts of your children, never stop loving them. Wait patiently for your children to realize their blessings.
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22 BE A WALKING BILLBOARD FOR YOUR FAITH
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01. Your behavior, in and out of church, can work positively to spread the Faith or be an obstacle to its advancement. 02. You are a walking billboard for the Faith. Keep this in mind in whatever you do and say. 03. Strive to be recognized positively, and earn compliments like, “Konko believers are wonderful people.” Refrain from behavior that would damage the reputation of the church. 04. Regardless of how sincere you may act at church, if you behave badly toward your family and society you will be a disgrace to the church and you will enjoy few blessings. 05. Be a good neighbor. While sweeping in front of your own house, sweep in front of your neighbors’ houses too. Exchange greetings, morning and night, with a cheerful heart. 06. Do not ignore people because they believe in a different faith. Be involved in your community and appreciate other religions. Attend community functions and donate within your means. 07. Treat your employees kindly, so that they do not develop grudges against you. Care for them as if they were your own children, and pray for their well-being. 08. Be a trustworthy employee. Do not give your employer any reason to doubt your character. Earn your employer’s trust through honesty and sincerity. 09. Be loyal to your employer. Think of your employer as a parent. Pray for the health and well-being of your employer’s family. 10. Do not be a landlord despised by your tenants. Be a landlord who is respected by your tenants. LIVE WITH FAITH 69
11. As a tenant, appreciate the home you are renting; do not damage or abuse it. Even if the landlord pays for utilities such as water, electricity and gas, conserve their use. Pay your rent on time. 12. Never default on your loans. Do not ever forget your indebtedness to anyone who has lent you money. Do not think that you are no longer indebted just because you have repaid them monetarily. Appreciate those who helped you when you were in dire need, for the rest of your life. 13. Do not become preoccupied with money owed you. Maintain a positive attitude and consider forgiving the loan as an opportunity to clear yours and your family’s accumulated offenses (Meguri) against Kami. If the borrower does not pay you, Kami will find a way for you to be repaid. Pray for the happiness and success of a person who owes you money. 14. If you forcibly take money owed you, the day will come when you will cry and have to give back money, against your will. Happily give and happily receive money. 15. Use your money effectively. Appreciate that the value of money is determined by how it is used. 16. Do not be miserly when using your money for a good cause. Money used for a good cause will bring you greater return. 17. Money used for a good cause, combined with sincere prayer to Kami, will yield even greater benefit. Kami’s blessings are limitless. 18. Do not practice your faith in a manner that makes people dislike you. Practice a faith that causes you to be loved and respected. 70
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23 BE A GOOD MERCHANT
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01. When working, be conscientious, kind, considerate and thorough. Take responsibility for your work. 02. Do not deceive people in your business practices. Conduct your business in such a way that one customer leads to another. 03. Stores that are not clean, overprice their goods, or provide slow, poor customer service, will not prosper. 04. Please your customers by keeping your store clean and providing goods at reasonable prices, with quick and efficient service. 05. If your customer requests an item that you do not have, do not simply send him or her away. Be courteous and find out where the item is available and offer to get it for your customer, or direct him or her to the other store. Thoughtful and considerate service will attract loyal, repeat customers to your business. 06. Do not lightly treat customers who make small purchases. A customer who makes a small purchase may bring in a friend who makes a big, substantial purchase. Think of your customers as walking billboards for your business. 07. Do not assume that your customers are unaware of what would be fair prices. 08. Be courteous and patient in explaining to your customers how to use the items that you sell.
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09. Be pleasant when asked to replace a defective item with a new one. Trust that a positive attitude will bring you blessings in the future. 10. Be responsible for items you sell. Provide quality service even after the sale. Do not project an attitude that your only concern is profit. 11. Do not push your customer towards those products that you want to sell. Instead, find out your customer’s needs and sell your customer the right product to meet those needs. 12. Pay your suppliers promptly and pay your employees fairly. 13. Do not be unpleasant when you pay your suppliers and employees. Pay with a heart of gratitude. 14. Pray to Kami and run your business in a way that touches the hearts of your customers, employees and suppliers and their families. This will help share our Faith.
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24 BE A GOOD DOCTOR
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01. Doctors do not cure illnesses. Kami cures illnesses. If doctors treat their patients with the belief that they are acting as Kami’s representatives to help the ill, then their prescribed medicines will work well and there should be no mistakes in their medical procedures. 02. Since life is given by Kami, doctors bear a heavy responsibility. Pray that you will not make any mistakes while fulfilling your important duties. 03. There are thousands of people who have survived even though their doctors have given up on them as being hopeless. Realize that Kami’s power is unfathomable and beyond the understanding of medical science. Never give up on your patient as a hopeless case. Even if it seems hopeless, pray to Kami since Kami may help your patient recover. Konko Daijin related “Kami may change what may seem inevitable.” (III Konko Kyoso Gorikai 16). 04. Do not practice medicine for the sake of becoming wealthy. If you care for your patients regardless of financial considerations, Kami will provide for you. Do not place your monetary gain ahead of serving your patients. Helping your patients should always be your priority. 05. Be a doctor your patients trust. A doctor with high ideals, a warm heart and kind demeanor is trusted more than those who have only medical knowledge. 06. Do not burden your patients with only cold and discouraging medical facts. A doctor should never leave a patient with a feeling of utter hopelessness. Your patients are depending on you, so you must provide encouragement to improve their spirits and help them recover. LIVE WITH FAITH 75
25 BE A GOOD EDUCATOR
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01. Your duty as an educator is to help people cultivate their inborn intelligence given by Kami, nurture their potential abilities, succeed in their occupations and fulfill their responsibilities to society. 02. Do not overload students’ minds with knowledge. The knowledge they receive through external means can easily be lost. Education which fosters the growth of your students’ inner drive will help them expand and develop year after year. 03. Everyone has strengths. Educators should identify the strengths of each student and help each of them cultivate those strengths for the future. 04. Do not become an educator because of the income it brings. Your profession is important since you are educating Kami’s precious children. You do not have to worry about your own personal welfare since Kami appreciates true educators and will take care of you. 05. Teaching is not merely transferring knowledge. Be an educator who conveys high ideals and strong convictions to your students. Teach what you practice. 06. Mere pieces of knowledge learned can be forgotten. However, the ideals and deeds of an educator may leave a lasting impression for the rest of your students’ lives. 07. Do not teach just from your head, but also from your heart and your gut. Nurture your students to have high ideals, strong convictions and courage.
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08. Do not think, “I’m going to teach the students using my own abilities.” Instead, pray to Kami for the growth and development of your students, as children of Kami. 09. Everybody feels happy when they are praised. But when scolded, they become discouraged. In education, praising is more effective than scolding. 10. Do not put yourself in a position where you are disrespected by your students. Be well prepared for your classes and pray to Kami to receive virtue as an educator. With Kami on your side, your students will not look down upon you.
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26 BE A GOOD ARTIST
LIVE WITH FAITH
01. Whether you engage in the art of flower arrangement, painting or novel writing, by praying to Kami you can receive limitless new ideas and thoughts. 02. Heaven and Earth are full of beauty. Beautiful melodies can be heard everywhere in nature. Kami gives you a heart that can appreciate all forms of beauty. When you pray to Kami to open your spiritual eyes, you will receive inspiration for creating beautiful works.
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27 BE A GOOD ATTORNEY
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01. When preparing a legal case, if you believe that you are doing it for Kami and pray, you will get fresh, creative ideas and find a way to solve the case that you just could not solve with human capability alone. 02. Do not practice law just for the sake of becoming wealthy. Serve Kami and help people for the sake of justice and humanity. 03. Kami does not hate anyone, even criminals. Defend criminals with a warm heart, in the hope that you can help them and reveal the heart of Kami to them. Rely on Kami’s love and try to spiritually save those accused. 04. If criminals truly repent their crimes, the law will take that into consideration and Kami will forgive them. True repentance, rather than deceit, will help one receive a more lenient sentence. 05. If you pray to Kami while defending your client, creative arguments will come to you that will move both judge and jury. Be a lawyer who helps Kami save people.
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28 BE A GOOD FARMER
LIVE WITH FAITH
01. All things that take place between Heaven and Earth are the workings of Kami. A farmer’s work is most closely related to the blessings of Heaven and Earth. Without sunlight, air, water and soil, farming would not be possible. Always remember that you are able to farm only with the blessings of Kami. 02. Crops continue to grow even while the farmer is at rest or asleep. Do not ever believe that you alone are producing the crops. All crops are produced through the Workings of Kami. 03. Everything, including farming tools, fertilizer, your hands and feet are blessings of Kami. Without Kami, you cannot be a farmer. 04. Do not farm just for financial gain. Farm as a way to help the workings of Heaven and Earth, in praise of Kami. 05. If you farm, you can avoid damage (insect, frost, flood, drought, etc.) by praying sincerely. Also, you can avoid loss due to market fluctuations. Kami knows which fields are cultivated by those with faith in Kami and those which are not. 06. If you raise livestock (cattle, horses, chickens, etc.) with a heart of love, your animals will flourish and be free from infections. Your chickens will even lay better tasting eggs. 07. All food is provided by Kami to sustain our lives. Kami provides fish in the waters between Heaven and Earth. Fisherman should appreciate the blessings of Heaven and Earth.
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29 BE GOOD
AT WHAT YOU DO
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01. Although we cannot see what is happening, Kami creates and stores minerals underground. As a miner, be thankful as you excavate what has been provided by Kami. 02. Hot springs are blessings provided by Kami for the treatment of ailments. Whether you enjoy bathing in a hot spring or work at one, remember to be thankful for the blessings of the Earth. 03. Science is the study of the workings of nature. Scientists should realize that the Workings of Kami are precise and correct. If you study science with a humble and open mind, you will deepen your insight into the principles of nature. 04. Scientific knowledge is becoming increasingly broad, farreaching, deep and precise. Thus, you as a scientist should be humble in acknowledging the profound vastness of nature and be thankful to Kami for the human ability to understand and study such knowledge. 05. As a politician, you should devote yourself to improving the well-being of your people, your nation and all humanity. You should not be self-centered. Reflect Kami’s heart as you work in the world of politics. 06. Kami will protect those politicians who are willing to sacrifice their personal aspirations, monetary gain, social recognition and even their own lives, for the public good. 07. Kami is the Parent of all the people of the world. Politicians can best serve by praying for the well-being of everyone, regardless of national boundaries. Politicians who pursue only their own personal, family or political party’s interests will never be successful. You should maintain a global perspective. LIVE WITH FAITH 87
08. You can achieve mastery in the arts, such as Go (chess), Kendo (sword martial art), Judo (hand-to-hand martial art), Shodo (calligraphy) and music, by attaining Satori (acquiring a new viewpoint that leads to the deepening of your perception of the world). Instead of trying to improve your skills only through the practice of your art, rid yourself of selfish desires while rigorously training your mind and body. By attaining Satori you will receive inspirational guidance from Kami to achieve mastery in your art. 09. Do not think that you do anything by yourself, on your own. Realize that everything you do, you do with Kami’s help. Pray to Kami for help, and Kami will increase your abilities two-, three- or more- fold.
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30 BE CLEAN
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01. The Founder taught, “Kami dislikes fields and estates that have been deserted” (III Konko Kyoso Gorikai 14). It is important to keep your house clean and organized, inside and out. 02. When your home is clean and organized, you feel calm and refreshed. You can work more effectively in a clean, wellorganized place. 03. Even if you live in a small, modest home, you can make a good impression by keeping a well kept home, maintaining a home altar, displaying the Founder’s teachings, having flowers and plants, and a welcoming entry. 04. Even if you wear makeup and beautiful clothes, it is shameful for you, as a Konko believer, to not keep a tidy home. 05. As a Konko believer, it is important for you to keep your kitchen and bathroom clean. 06. No matter how intensely you may pray, your family will not prosper if you keep your kitchen untidy, dirty dishes in the sink and food rotting in the pantry. 07. Do not shove dirty laundry in the closet and neglect it for several days. 08. Your home reflects you. Cleaning your home regularly is the first step toward self-improvement. Maintain this habit throughout your life.
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09. As you advance in age, do as much as you can to take care of yourself and your home. Do not hesitate to pick up a broom to sweep your floor. Try not to depend on others. 10. Living in a home beyond your means will become a burden, and will not gain you the respect of others. Live in a home that is appropriate and maintain it well. Find contentment spiritually. 11. Fill your home with personally meaningful items rather than merely expensive ones. 12. If you live in a rented home, take good care of it, even if your stay will be brief. 13. Always remember to appreciate the blessings of the land you live on and the home that shelters you.
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31 BE A GOOD CHURCHGOER
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01. Long-time believers have a great responsibility as they serve as role models for new believers. 02. The attitude of the lay leadership toward their minister determines the atmosphere for the entire church. As a tugboat may pull its ship in the wrong direction, a bad attitude by the lay leaders will pull the church in the wrong direction. 03. At the initial stage of church involvement, new believers are eager to follow the church’s faith practices with an open mind and pure heart. However, over time, believers may lose their fresh attitude towards church and find it mundane. They may begin to find shortcomings with the minister and the church. They may become dissatisfied and complain. This type of attitude can spread like cancer and weaken your faith. 04. You must keep your faith firm and fresh. As the Founder believed in Konjin with absolute trust, you should believe in your minister and church without doubt. Kami will recognize your sincerity and patience, and you will enjoy divine blessings and be a useful member of society. 05. Ministers and parents are in positions of authority, and may, at times, not listen to your advice no matter how good it may be. If you force your opinion on them, it will not benefit any of you. View their disregard for your advice as an opportunity given by Kami to deepen your faith. 06. As a long-time believer, you should not brag about the services that you have provided to the church in the past. Always keep in mind that what is important is what you are doing for the church now. Take care that you do not cause problems for your minister or other members of the church.
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07. One may follow various paths to spiritual growth. As an old proverb says: “A crow that is flying behind may end up in front.” Some believers may advance in their faith rapidly. Some may start out enthusiastic but lose momentum quickly. Some may be intellectually sharp but spiritually fragile. As you deepen your faith, you may go through various stages. Faith development does not follow a smooth and steady progression. 08. Senior church members: Guide the faith development of your junior church members. Junior church members: Acknowledge and respect your senior church members for their achievements and the support that they have provided you in your faith development. 09. The Konko Faith is like one big family – we should feel close to one another. We should share our hardships and joy, and help and encourage each other. 10. It is easier to pass on the Faith if you select a spouse who is also a believer. 11. Before marrying someone from a family that believes in a religion other than the Konko Faith, you should have an open discussion about your faith with your partner and come to an honest understanding as to how you each will practice faith as a married couple. 12. In business, believers should help each other as much as possible.
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13. Do not exploit your relationship as a Konko believer for selfish gain. Do not cause trouble to your church or other members. It is important that you have a strong sense of responsibility toward being a member of your church. If you exploit your status as a Konko believer, you will lose trust and bring ruin to yourself. 14. A Konko church is like a hospital, but for spiritual illnesses. Like patients who visit a hospital, many believers come to church with a wide variety and intensity of problems. Getting along with all of these people is part of faith training. Do not think to yourself “I do not want to deal with this person.” Instead, reach out to him or her. 15. Even if someone speaks ill of you, do not get angry. Accept this situation as a teaching and view it as an opportunity to practice faith. 16. Do not speak ill of the ministers or other church members. If you see someone who does so, either disregard their statements, explain to them why they their criticism is unwarranted, or admonish them and educate them based on the teachings of the Faith. 17. If you believe you are correct in your faith beliefs, stand firmly. If others do not accept your view, carefully consider how and when to revisit your point. Pray to Kami for divine blessings.
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18. You may believe that what you are doing is for “the good of the Faith,” but it may, in fact, be driven by your ego and controlled by your emotions. Be careful not to make this mistake. Be truly selfless and act with utmost sincerity. 19. You should learn to enrich your faith by listening not only to ministers, but also to senior members and other devoted believers in the Faith community at large. 20. You are encouraged to attend and help out at functions of your parent church. 21. Although any Konko church represents Konko Daijin’s church, you should be faithful to your church. Do not change your primary church without just cause. 22. Do not view yourself as a member of a particular church. You should pray to be a useful member of the Konko Faith. 23. Try to attend the Grand Services of your neighboring Konko churches, and encourage other believers from your church to attend also. Participating with and supporting neighboring Konko churches helps invigorate those churches in particular and the Konko Faith in general. Pray for the spiritual prosperity of your neighboring Konko churches and the entire Konko Faith.
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32 HONOR YOUR ANCESTORS
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The Konko Faith respects and appreciates other religions. Regardless of one’s faith practice, everyone is a child of Kami and can enjoy blessings. In the Konko Faith, believers are not required to hold all of their services following Konko Faith practices. However, as your commitment to the Konko Faith deepens, you will naturally choose to have your marriage, funeral and memorial services conducted according to Konko Faith practices. 01. Our Faith has a unique spiritual perspective regarding the future. There is no separate “future.” The Founder was fully satisfied with the present and did not seek out a separate, “ideal” existence. The Founder emphasized that we are cared for by Kami whether or not we are alive. The Founder believed that after death our spirit leaves our body and enters the spiritual world, freed of self-centered desires. When we die, we do not become part of the future, we become part of the past. However, all of the past continues into the present. Therefore, this world is an endless succession of now. Our Faith saves people now. 02. Funerals in the Konko Faith are based on the belief described above. One’s physical remains are buried or cremated. We believe that the Mitama, or soul, remains as the guardian deity of the family. We care for the Mitama just as we do for those who are with us physically. 03. Seeking Kami’s blessings through the Konko Faith while living, yet turning to another faith as you near death, reflects a lack of sincerity in the Konko Faith. If you do this, you will not gain spiritual salvation or peace of mind after death.
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04. You should state in your will that if for some reason your funeral cannot be conducted in accordance with Konko Faith practices, you wish for your family to have your Konko minister conduct a conversion ceremony (“Senrei-Shiki”) after the funeral officially transferring your Mitama spirit to the Konko Faith. Thereafter, have your memorial services conducted in accordance with Konko Faith practices. 05. Whether or not your ancestors converted to the Konko Faith, all generations of your family will receive blessings if you conduct their memorial services in accordance with Konko Faith practices. 06. If you decide to have a separate gravesite from that of your ancestors, build it at a cemetery affiliated with the Konko Faith or at a non-denominational cemetery. Conduct a conversion ceremony at your new gravesite to transfer your ancestors’ Mitama spirits to the Konko Faith. 07. Visit your ancestors’ gravesite regularly and do not allow any weeds to grow there. 08. By conducting the conversion ceremony for your ancestors’ Mitama spirits and holding their memorial service in accordance with Konko Faith practices, you will attain true peace of mind, now and forever. 09. A family which neglects its ancestors’ Mitama spirits and family gravesite will not prosper. Pray that your ancestors’ Mitama spirits receive blessings. As they receive blessings, your family also receives blessings.
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10. To help keep your faith fresh, you are encouraged to have your minister conduct annual services on special anniversary dates, such as memorial services for your ancestors, the day you entered the Konko Faith or the days you received special blessings of personal significance. Celebrating such occasions will create your own Konko Faith traditions and deepen your family’s commitment to the Konko Faith. 11. Funeral services, marriage ceremonies, and other services held at your home should be conducted with sincerity, without being either cheap or extravagant, and in accordance with the Konko Faith. 12. Funeral services, marriage ceremonies, and other services held at your home are important opportunities to introduce your guests to the Konko Faith. These services are just as important as those conducted at church. Invite fellow Konko believers to attend, and work together to take full advantage of these opportunities to spread the Konko Faith.
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POSTSCRIPT This book is the final publication authored by the late Reverend Yoshiaki Fukuda. I deeply regret that we could not publish this book before his passing. We asked the late Reverend Fukuda to write this book for publication in October, 1957. Even though he was super-humanly busy, he agreed and made a special effort to complete it. However, the publisher asked to postpone the printing of the book until April, 1958. Again, we truly regret not being able to present the late Reverend Fukuda with a published copy of this book. As evidenced by the many manual erasures and re-writes in the original manuscript, as well as additional thoughts inserted throughout, it is clear that the late Reverend Fukuda put much thought and prayer into this book. He made so many edits to the original manuscript that often it was almost impossible to read his handwriting. He also sent several revisions of the book from San Francisco to Konko Town by airmail.
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There are few books that describe how one should be a Konko believer in such clear, concrete and well thought-out statements. In other words, this book provides guidelines for how a Konko believer should live. I hope that you will put what you have learned from this book into practice, deepen your faith and realize blessings. This will make the Mitama Spirit of the late Reverend Fukuda happy. With a sincere heart, I hereby present this book to the Mitama Spirit of the late Reverend Yoshiaki Fukuda. Kikuzo Kashiwabara Konko Kyotosha Publication Office, Editorial Room March, 1958
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Yoshiaki Fukuda, who was born in 1897 in Nara Prefecture of Japan, graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1927, majoring in Literature. He was ordained a Konko minister in 1928. After undergoing rigorous spiritual preparation for his overseas ministry under Reverend Tokusaburo Hata, founding Head Minister of the Konko Church of Tokyo, he and his wife Shinko embarked upon their mission in the United States of America in October, 1930. Reverend Fukuda was an extraordinarily charismatic leader. He was installed as the founding Head Minister of the Konko Church of San Francisco in April, 1931, and in 1939 he was appointed to serve as the North America Propagation Administrative Director (title later changed to Konko Churches of North America’s Chief Administrative Minister). Serving under both capacities, Reverend Fukuda significantly contributed to spreading the Konko Faith, establishing additional Konko Churches in the United States and Canada, and organizationally unifying North America’s mainland Konko churches, during the 27 years he made this country his home and final resting place.
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In addition, Reverend Fukuda made major contributions beyond the Konko Faith, as a highly respected and effective leader for such organizations as: Society to Aid Japanese in Hardship (Nihon Nanmin Kyuusai-Kai), Japan Society, Jikei Society, Japan-US Society (Nichibei-kai ), Cultural Society (Bunka Kyokai )and others. He devoted an entire book (My Six Years of Internment) to his experiences as a leader among leaders in several World War II internment camps. Reverend Fukuda passed away on December 6, 1957. An unprecedented number of people attended his funeral, which attests to his prominence, genuine appeal and the deep respect he held in society. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Shinko, first son Michisuke, second son Nobusuke, third son Saburo, daughter Makiko, fifth son Hiroshi and sixth son Koichi.
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Reverend Yoshiaki Fukuda July 22, 1898 to December 6, 1957 Summarized Curriculum Vitae Source: Wasurenagusa (In Memoriam: The Reverend Yoshiaki Fukuda) and My Six Years of Internment 1898 Born the 5th son to Kamejiri and Kiwa Fukuda at Kitayama Village, Yoshino County, Nara Prefecture, Japan 1917 Graduated from Kohriyama Secondary School, Nara Prefecture Contracted tuberculosis, a life-threatening illness at that time, while preparing for college entrance exams Introduced to the Konko Faith 1918 Sought Mediation for his illness from Rev. Kumaichi Matsuda, Konko Church (KC) of Minami-Muro in Mie Prefecture Regained health Served a one-year mandatory Tour of Duty in the Japanese Army Commissioned as Second Lieutenant of Artillery 1921 Entered Matsumoto College 1924 Graduated from Matsumoto College Entered the Imperial University of Tokyo, Majored in Sociology Tuberculosis recurred Sought Mediation at KC Koishikawa in Tokyo Deepened faith and made plans to enter Konko ministry 106
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1927 Graduated from the Imperial University of Tokyo Became religious trainee at KC Koishikawa Entered the Konko Seminary 1928 Ordained as a Konko minister Returned to KC Koishikawa Actively propagated in the Tokyo-Yokohama Area Received religious mentoring from Head Minister Rev. Tokusaburo Hata, KC Tokyo 1929 Konko Headquarters staff member Konko Theological Research Institute Instructor Married Shinko Kimura, the eldest daughter of Rev. Umekichi Kimura. KC Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture 1930 Resigned from Konko Headquarters position Began religious preparation at KC Tokyo for propagation in the U.S. Immigrated to the U.S. to propagate in North America Opened KC San Francisco at 2076 Bush Street Propagation spread to San Mateo, East Bay area, Fresno, and other places 1932 Rebuilt and opened KC San Francisco at 1909 Bush Street (present site) 1933 Attended the Congress of Religions’ “First World Fellowship of Faith” as a Konko Faith representative and gave the speech “Peace in the Pacific” Visited the Konko Headquarters in Okayama, Japan with his family members and followers LIVE WITH FAITH 107
1935 Visited the Konko Headquarters to help resolve an administrative crisis 1939 “Goodwill trip” to Korea, Manchuria and China. Visited Army field hospitals Headquarters of Konko Missions in America (currently referred to as “Konko Churches of North America”) established in San Francisco, with Rev. Fukuda as Bishop (currently referred to as “Chief Administrative Minister”) 1941 War broke out between Japan & the U.S. He was immediately arrested and detained by the FBI while officiating the Ikigami Konko Daijin Grand Service at KC San Jose Held for six years at five different Internment Camps: Missoula, Montana; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Lordsburg, New Mexico; Santa Fe, New Mexico and Crystal City, Texas He devoted himself to defending the rights and promoting the welfare of his fellow internees 1946 Lost his 4th son Yoshiro to illness 1947 Released from internment Returned to San Francisco with displaced Peruvian-Japanese internees with nowhere to go, and subsequently helped them to re-settle in the U.S. Re-opened KC San Francisco
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1949 Visited Japan for the first time after World War II Brought a Sequoia tree sapling (one of the oldest tree species in the world) and presented it to Emperor Hirohito at the Imperial residence. Related the conditions of the Japanese in the U.S. Made suggestions for the rebuilding of Japan to General McArthur’s headquarters, and the Japanese Government 1953 Visited Japan to attend Ikigami Konko Daijin’s 70th Anniversary at the Headquarters with his wife and followers 1955 Visited Japan to attend the Tenchi Kane no Kami Grand Service at the Headquarters Purchased a house adjacent to KC San Francisco for expansion purposes 25th anniversary of propagation and completion of KC San Francisco renovations Became a U.S. citizen on June 14, 1955 1957 Visited Japan to attend the committee on constructing the Main Worship Hall Visited Canada, Eastern and Mid-Western U.S. for propagation Joint Ikigami Konko Daijin Grand Service – Community Senior Appreciation Party Fell ill with a heart disease. Admitted to Franklin Hospital in San Francisco Died at 10:55 am, December 6, 1957 at the age of 59
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