Faithology, The. "Tenrikyo Overview." Faithology.com. Faithology, 6 March 2013. Web. 24 May 2013.
Staff, T.F.E. (2013, Mar 6). Tenrikyo Overview. Faithology.
Staff, The, et. al. "Tenrikyo Overview" Faithology, LLC. Last modified March 6, 2013.
Faithology, LLC, 2012. (Accessed May 24, 2013).. Tenrikyo Overview.
- Earhart, H. Byron, Japanese Religion: Unity and Diversity. 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2004.
- Jones, Lindsay, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. 15 vols.
- Last Updated: March 6, 2013
- Originally Published: July 23, 2012
Tenrikyo 天理教 is among the largest of the so-called Japanese "New Religions."It is the first of these religions to have gained a large number of adherents. In addition, it is one of the few monotheistic religions practiced in Japan. Tenrikyo is centered on its founder, Nakayama Miki 中山みき (1798-1887), who was said to have received a divine revelation from a female deity known as Tenri-O-no-Mikoto 天理王命. During Nakayama’s lifetime, she was seen as a living 神 and the of Tenri-O-no-Mikoto. After her death, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto was believed to speak through subsequent disciples.
Eventually, Tenrikyo; was subject to strict religious restrictions in Japan and was forced to align with either Buddhism or the Shinto 神道 religious. It thus became an official Shinto sect in 1888. It was not until after World War II that these restrictions were lifted, and Tenrikyo was restored to its status as an individual religion. Adherents of Tenrikyo presently operate a university, a publishing house, a museum, a library, a hospital, and an orphanage in the city of Tenri 天理 in the Nara prefecture 奈良県 of Japan.
- Deity: Tenrikyo adherents the female creator kami Tenri-O-no-Mikoto. She is also referred to as Oyagami 親神.
- Worship of Nakayama: Nakayama Miki is worshiped as the living incarnation of Tenri-O-no-Mikoto.
- The Human Condition: Mankind was created by Tenri-O-no-Mikoto so that they could live a joyous life, and human life is seen as something borrowed from the divine. However, humans, in their selfishness and self-centeredness, eventually regarded life as a gloomy existence.
- : Reincarnation upon death is a part of Tenrikyo beliefs.
- Primary Belief: The goal of Tenrikyo is to remove the evils inherent within humans at birth and prepare the way for the new world order, the perfect divine kingdom to come.
- In 1838, Nakayama Miki's son became deathly ill. In accordance with the folk customs of the time, Nakayama summoned a 山伏 to attempt to heal her son with the assistance of a female medium. However, the exorcist’s medium was absent, and Nakayama voluntarily assisted the exorcist as the medium. In order to cure Nakayama’s son, the exorcist placed her under a trance.
- Placed under a trance, Nakayama was said to have received a divine revelation from Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, a deity claiming to be the one true and original kami.
- Soon after Nakayama made this claim, many came to her in order to pray for safe childbirth or protection from disease. Her influence quickly expanded: her writings became divine scripture, her songs became hymns, and her dances became ritual movements. Each of these elements became an element of the Tenrikyo religion.
- During the late 1800s, Japanese religions were subject to strict restrictions. At this time, Tenrikyo was forced to represent itself as a sect of Shinto in order to remain in existence.
- In 1947, these restrictions were lifted and the status of Tenrikyos as an individual religion was restored.