Great Construction

Record of Oral Teachings, Issue 18
February 15, 1953

January 1, 1953

     On New Years Day, such things as gThis year is a year of profound significanceh or gThis will be a year of growthh are always said, but today when I say that it will be a good year, I am not being perfunctory. This year is one of great significance. The twentieth year of the reign of the Showa Emperor, that is, 1945, was the end of the war, and when we analyze the ideograms for gtwenty,h they are highly significant. They mean gto connect heaven and earthh or gto connect the spirit and the body,h what we mean by Izunome. So, the ending of the war meant the connecting of the spirit and the body. It is of great significance. Since antiquity and even in recent times, there have been eras lasting at least twenty years, but when the era name Showa is joined with the number gtwenty,h it is of great significance. The ideogram pronounced gshoh is composed of the sun radical combined with the ideogram for ggovernh to mean gunificationh or grule.h We see this word used in the Shinto prayer, gHeaven Shining Great Deity, please deign to rule this land.h The ideogram for gwa,h  hpeace,h is as in gGreat Peaceh or gYamato,h but gpeaceh here relates to peace on a larger scale, that of the world. So, it is referring to gthe sun that governs the world.h gSunh is the orb in our sky. The single ideogram for sun, ghi,h is a dot in a circle, the pictorial type of ideogram. So, the progression of the sun governing the stage where the spirit and the body are joined is gthe twentieth year of esun-governing-peace.fh Because it has that meaning, it was the year for the war to end. At the same time, Japan came to have freedom of religion. In these beginnings, our work was conducted under the name of the Japan Kannon Church, but now we have come to advance religious activities as World Messianity. From the perspective of God, the significance is rather profound. And, gradually time progressed to the twenty-fifth year of Showa [1950], the twenty-sixth year [1951], and the twenty-seventh year [1952], which is Miroku, Maitreya. It was precisely in the fifth month, May, of the twenty-fifth year [1950] that I was dragged off by the police and for which judicial proceedings continued until they were finally brought to a conclusion on the day after my birthday, on the twenty-fourth. I was handed a suspended sentence, which is the same as the matter being over. Because this form of conclusion did not involve an actual prison sentence, it was basically the same as being declared gnot guilty.h And, from this point, the years continued, twenty-fifth, -sixth, -seventh, Miroku developed as it did. This is, of course, Godfs plan, and this year is geight.h The physical form of the ideogram for geighth signifies gstarting,h that is, the divine work of Miroku begins to start, so in that sense, it will be quite tremendous from this year on. Since it is a beginning, for us this year is a very good year. I am sure you all understood from some of the poems I composed for today [gCelebrating the / New Year with a / Serene feeling that / Today just comes / Naturally this morning.h and gThreatening clouds / Go away and in the / Vast expanse of sky / Flickers the light / Of new yearfs sunrise.h], for the first time in a while, we have been able to celebrate the new year today with a clear, fresh feeling, sentiment. The year before last the weather was not so great on New Yearfs Day, and the years before that New Year was quite foggy or cloudy. Such weather is largely spiritual in nature, and the period before that major incident broke out was quite unpleasant. It was if spirit, not a usual spirit, but something like a black cloud surrounded everything creating for a very unpleasant atmosphere. New Yearfs Day today does not have one bit of that feeling. It is quite bright and cheerful. It was quite unpleasant until the final verdict was handed down. The feeling for me differs from the average person. It was the judicial proceedings. They were particularly unpleasant for me. Even hell is better than such a feeling. Hell is an awful place but it is fair, impartial. The sin is appropriate to the evil act committed, but in the physical world, it is not so, and unfairness, partiality is the keynote. It is not like hell whatsoever. It is called the hell of this world, but it is nothing like that. Hell in the spiritual world has a more pleasant feel. There is a presider, one who sits in judgment, who writes down each sin in the judgment book with absolute impartiality. Judgment is like a public hearing and you can do nothing but listen. It is indeed unpleasant. It is truly depressing to think one must suffer in such a way for so many days. That cloudy feeling lasted throughout the year, but it was unavoidable and I endured it. That it has gone away I feel is for me just as if the clouds had cleared away. So, among the first of todayfs gosanka were poems composed with this in mind. Thus, I say that from this year forward we will be able to work in an agreeable manner and that the activities themselves have become so.
     Briefly summarized, these are the kinds of activities that are happening. I am thinking about holding a ukiyoe exhibition on a grand scale at the Hakone museum in May. First of all, since the summer exhibition of the museum closed last year, good ukiyoe pieces have continued to come into our hands. Also, I have been able to establish good connections in the field, and I can well understand that God is telling me to have a ukiyoe exhibition. With the pieces we have been able to purchase and with the pieces that can be borrowed from outside sources, we should be able to put together a better ukiyoe exhibition than the one held in Kyoto last year. And then, two or three days ago the following occurred. It involves a nouveau riche from long ago, quite an entrepreneurial success at one time. Even now his name is quite well-known though he has passed away. While alive, he had collected eighty hanging scrolls with the aim of assembling a collection of ukiyoe. Two or three days ago, I saw five or six of these pieces and they were really wonderful. The owners did not want to sell these works to others but said it would be all right if the pieces were sold to the Hakone Art Museum. In addition, since the family was not particularly hard up for money, we could pay what we wanted whenever we wanted. If this arrangement did not suit us, the family would still lend the pieces for display in an exhibition if we wanted. This is really a fantastic story. Such a situation could not come about simply by human means alone. The dealer who brought this business arrangement to me is a member but still the whole story is truly mysterious. And then, last year at the ukiyoe exhibition in Kyoto were displayed illustrated scrolls by Iwasa Matabei. One of these was an illustration of the legend of Oguri Kokan. Another one was called gEfforts of Artisans,h a genre that has existed for ages in which is depicted the everyday life of the artisan classes. Neither of these are good examples of Matabeifs works, but in autumn of last year, into my hands came the twelve illustrated scrolls of Yamanaka Tokiwa. This is the best of Matabeifs works. Another that I procured were the twelve scrolls of the Tales of Horie. For Matabei, Yamanaka Tokiwa and Tales of Horie are his best works. These have come into our hands. To have one of these works come into our hands is quite something, but to have these two is mysterious indeed. Specialists in the field were a quite impressed. There is a man called Fujikake who has a doctorate in letters who studies ukiyoe and is known to be the best of the field in Japan, and even he expressed his surprise the other day.
     For all these reasons, we are now constructing a second building for the art museum. There was a structure behind the House of Clover for women servers to stay and it has been moved, and on the site is being built the annex. With this annex and the room in the main building where the screens are displayed, I think it will be just right. And, depending on circumstances, we can divide the contents of the exhibition in half. Twelve illustrated scrolls are quite long when unrolled and take a lot of space to display. The illustrated scrolls Yamanaka Tokiwa were displayed at an exhibition at Mitsukoshi in 1930. The scrolls were exhibited at Mitsukoshi because no other place was large enough to show them all at once. The exhibit was quite a success. Every day were long the queues as well as the waiting times until the scrolls could be viewed, so these are truly works of value. We will display one part for one month. These works cannot be displayed for long periods or else their colors will fade, so one month seems to be just about right. The exhibition held at Kyoto lasted for about a month. All in all, I think it will be great success. Thatfs what is going on with the museum.
     In Atami, as I am sure you are aware, the construction for the foundation of the hall is continuing and either from next month or the month after will most likely start construction of the main structure. No matter how much the pace of the work is hurried, construction of the hall will last throughout the year. I have had a model made. I didnft like the first attempt, so I had it redone, and for the last two or three days, it has been displayed over there. There was not enough time to get it painted, but that should be finished today. For the most part, I do not intend to change much of the contours of the building. It will be constructed as the model shows. In the first model, the columns were too thick, so I had them made more narrow and increased the number to produce a solemn feeling. This is the Corbusier style which I am always referring to that was started by the architect named Le Corbusier. This is the design I had made into a model after studying the style. Until now Le Corbusierfs style has been mostly limited to use in buildings of a utilitarian nature, such as government offices, department stores, apartment buildings, company offices, and hotels. A recent example is the United Nations building in New York City. The rectangular, matchbook-like shape is representative of the style. This style could be said to be almost perfect for utilitarian architecture, but there are no examples of the style being used for religious architecture. Whether abroad or here in Japan, when it comes to religious architecture, it seems the practice is to adhere to old and antique forms. In Tokyo, the Hogan-ji temple at Tsukiji is a reinforced steel building, and quite a bit of money has been spent on it, but it is modeled after an Indian temple. There are lots of other examples on a smaller scale, but most of them are all styled on Shinto shrine or Buddhist monastic styles from long ago. None of these express a modern sensibility. So, I have planned an idea that could not be more new and modern, extremely modern. It is religious architecture based on the Le Corbusier style, a design that no one ever dreamed of, and I believe that at the very least will stand out prominently in the global architectural world. Now, it seems that Le Corbusier will be coming to Japan this spring, so I am thinking of showing him this model. I am sure he also will want to see it. Ifve heard he is planning a lengthy stay in Japan. Another point is that the construction is not in an urban area, but in such beautiful scenery will be located new religious architecture, so overall it is one form of art work. Indeed, this is truly a new concept, a new, global concept, joining natural beauty and beauty fashioned by human beings, so I am sure Le Corbusier will look forward to seeing the site. Additionally, on the observation hill, I will build a house of glass, and I am sure that with the hall the two structures will come to be seen as a set. This is unparalleled in the world anywhere. Someplace in the United States on a slightly elevated site on a rather high mountain, there is a glass house. I saw a photograph of such an observatory-like structure, but mine will be entirely different. In that sense, I think it will be unparalleled anywhere in the world. The surrounding gardens will also be gradually completed, so people will see it and the attention of the public will be drawn.
     Next, this is still some time in the future, but in May or June of this year when the flowers are in bloom, there is a plan to film various locales on the grounds in natural color. This is being sponsored by the Mainichi Newspapers who has contracted with an American film company. It is a pity as it would be better to make such a film one year from now. Then, the Messianic Hall would be completed, and it would be very good, but since so much of Hakone has been completed, the gardens in Hakone and the museum will be filmed, and the whole world can see it all at one time.
     Next is the book, Salvation for Americans. The Japanese-language edition has been printed and it will go on sale this month. The English translation will probably be finished next month or the month after. Along with this, Miss Higuchi will be going to Hawaii and the United States very soon. At first she will most likely go to Honolulu, Hawaii. And after that, Los Angeles in the U.S. will probably be the base of operations as at long last activities abroad commence. But, even abroad, in places like U.S., religious organizations such as Hongan-ji, Tenri-kyo, and Seicho-no-Ie have a number of branches and quite a few members. We, however, will be entirely different. These other religions serve Japanese immigrants, so they have few foreigners. I understand that recently Buddhism has gained quite a few members, and this is because these people are not satisfied with Christianity, but still want to believe in something, want to study religious subjects. These people do not find Christianity appealing, and so seek, and as they seek, they find Buddhism, which they study on their owncthose who truly believe are few, but they do exist. In that sense, we are entirely different. Our work is the great salvation of the Messiah. Our purpose is to save those of each nation overseas. Americans in the U.S., and so on. Therefore, I am thinking of publishing over there an English-language version of Eikô. And, then to create an English-language Chijô- tengoku to be read as much as possible by the people over there. These plans have a connection to the numbers in the date twenty-eighth year of Showa (1953). As I said in the beginning, spirit and body will be joined, the spirit being Japan and the body being the United States. As these two elements are joined and activities commence, such is the meaning of the ideograms for gtwenty-eight.h As World Messianity gains renown in the U.S., when it gains attention, it will be a success. Then, salvation of the Japanese will quicken. This is because, suppose Japanese persons were to go to the U.S., they will be asked, gIn your country is this great religion called World Messianity. What kind of religion is that?h So, when Japanese go to the U.S., they at least are going to have to know something about World Messianity. If World Messianity becomes a big topic in the U.S., it will become a great help to saving Japanese. In any case, God handles matters skillfully, so from this year there will greater development and in various directions matters will become interesting. There are still various aspects to Godfs plan that I have not mentioned, but there will be the time when specific items can be talked about, so when the time comes, they will come to the fore. And, at that time, according to circumstances they will be discussed and announced. So, in this sense I would like to have all of you look forward as much as possible to this year.

Pages 1-8.
translated by cynndd