Tenrikyo Religion

The Tenrikyo Religion is a monotheist faith originated by a Japanese woman named Miki Nakayama (Oyasama) in the early 19th century. Followers believe that God, known by several names including Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, expressed divine will through Nakayama's role as the Shrine of God.

The aim of the religion is to teach and promote the Joyous Life, which is cultivated through acts of charity and mindfulness called hinokishin.

It is estimated that there are 2 million worldwide followers with 1.75 million in Japan, with 16,833 churches.

Some people believe that the Tenrikyo Religion is a teaching about the universe and not a religion and does not interfere with other religious beliefs. For example it is not unusual for followers to also hold Christian beliefs.

The relationship between the church and the Protestant denominations are quite good, and much Christian symbolism can be seen in the English version of Tenrikyo's main instructional text, Ofudesaki (Tip of the Writing Brush). This may have arisen from the work of Christian missionaries, who provided aid in the initial translations to English.

The most basic teaching of Tenrikyo is kashimono-karimono, officially translated as "a thing lent, a thing borrowed". The thing that is lent and borrowed in this teaching is the human body. Tenrikyo followers think of their minds as something under their own control, but their bodies as a gift on loan from God.

The Joyous Life in Tenrikyo is defined as charity and abstention from greed, selfishness, hatred, anger and arrogance. Negative tendencies are not known as sins in Tenrikyo, but rather "dust" that can be swept away from the mind through hinokishin and ritual. Hinokishin, voluntary effort, is performed not out of a desire to appear selfless, but out of gratitude for kashimono-karimono.

Adherents believe in a single god, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, who is defined as the creator and caring parent of all mankind. Continuing reincarnation is part of the religion, but is not a major emphasis.

Key teachings include:

Tanno (Joyous Acceptance) - a constructive attitude towards troubles, illness and difficulties without placing judgement on what has happened in the past

Juzen-no-Shugo - ten principles involved in the creation which exist in Futatsu Hitotsu (two-in-one relationships), these principles are considered to be applied continuously throughout the universe

In Tenrikyo there are three successive levels of understanding of the nature of God: the first is Kami, which is God as understood in every day terms; the second is Tsukihi (lit. Moon Sun), or God as the creator of nature and natural laws; and lastly Oya (Parent), or God as the parent of human beings

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