What are the Beliefs of the Tenrikyo Religion?

A Tenrikyo temple in Japan.
A Tenrikyo temple in Japan.

Tenriism, or Tenrikyo, is one of the growing religious faiths in Japan, and in the world as a whole. Having been originated by Japanese woman named Nakayama Miki in the 19th Century, the religion now has over 1.75 million followers in Japan and over 2 million worldwide.

3. History, Sacred Texts, and Overview of Beliefs

The story of the origins of the religion is dated back to 1838 when Nakayama Miki, or Oyasama as she is called by her followers, was possessed by the One god (Tenri-O-no-Mikoto), who demanded her husband that Miki be given to him as a human shrine. After three days, her husband accepted the proposal and Miki then turned to a shrine of god through whom God himself spoke. The sacred texts of Tenrikyo are Ofudesaki, Mikagura-Uta and and Oshashizu. All these books contain either poems or songs regarding the words of the god told through the possession of the religion's founder, Nakayam Miki.The primary book is considered to be Ofudesaki. The religion is neither strictly monotheistic nor pantheistic.

2. Global Presence and Notable Practitioners

The religion is one of the many "new religions" of Japan, and has grown significantly over the past one hundred years, with over 1.75 million followers in Japan and over 2 million followers worldwide. Considering the fact that the religion and its preaching began in the late mid-1800s the number of followers it has is simply astounding. The simple yet noble principals it believes in has led to its prominence and increasing number of followers. The most notable practitioners of the religion are Avram Davidson the science fiction writer, Naoki Matsuyo the Japanese footballer, and Ayaka Hirahara, a Japanese pop singer.

1. Development and Spread of the Faith

Tenrikyo was named as one of the thirteen groups included in Sect Shinto between 1908 and 1945 under the State Shinto classification. The main operations today are conducted by 16,833 churches in Japan, as well as many other community based organizations such as Jiba and Oyasato-Yakata. Due to the prestigious Tenri university and Tenri Foreign Language School the religion has made a name for itself although less than half of the students there are the followers of the religion itself. In the past few years the religion has grown significantly even outside Japan. There are 22 centers of the religion outside Japan with many of them being in Southeast Asia and the Americas. These centers mostly focus on preaching the teaching of the religion and teaches people to live "The Joyous Life".


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