Birth and Passing
Onisaburo Deguchi was born with the name Kisaburo Ueda in 1871, in Kyoto Prefecture's Kameoka City. He passed away on January 19, 1948, at the age of seventy-eight.
Childhood and Youth
From a young age Onisaburo was recognized as a prodigy, and he displayed extraordinary psychic abilities. Born into a small farming family, he dropped out of elementary school. He was able to continue his studies on the side while he farmed, made lemon soda, raised cattle, and did other odd jobs, but certainly tasted his share of hardship.
Mystical Training on Mount Takakuma
In the second lunar month of 1898, Onisaburo spent a week undergoing spiritual training on the sacred mountain Takakuma, in his hometown of Kameoka. During that time he profoundly studied many mysteries of the spiritual world, realizing a high degree of skill in clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, prophecy, mind-reading, and others. At this point he became aware of his great mission towards the salvation of the world.
Encounter with the Foundress
Receiving the divine instruction to "Go towards the northwest," Onisaburo met Nao Deguchi, Oomoto's Foundress, in Ayabe City, northwest of Kameoka. From this time, in 1898, he joined forces with the Foundress to promote Oomoto's divine work. Before long, he married Sumiko, Nao's youngest daughter who later became the Second Spiritual Leader. Later as Co-Founder he began proclaiming the teachings of Oomoto along with the Foundress.
Dictation of "Tales from the Spiritual World"
In 1921, to relieve the crises facing humanity, to right the confusion in people's minds, to make proper use of religion and science, and to aid in the reconstruction of human beings' souls, Onisaburo Deguchi dictated "Tales from the Spiritual World." The 81-volume set is a guide for humanity to pass into eternity.
"Tales from the Spiritual World" elucidates the true meaning of the Foundress' written oracles. In addition, it relates the history of the spiritual world (beginning with the creation of heaven and earth), and presents a design for the construction of paradise on earth.
All Religions spring from the Same Source: Interfaith Activities
In 1923 Onisaburo adopted into Oomoto the international language Esperanto. In 1925, the inauguration of the World Religious Federation took place under Onisaburo's initiative. Oomoto began to lead the way for the union of humanity. By establishing the Universal Love and Brotherhood Association (ULBA), Oomoto contributed to helping humankind go beyond the tangible and intangible barriers between different ethnic groups, races, religions, etc.. It joined forces with new spiritual movements all over the world, including Cao Dai in Viet Nam, Weisse Fahne (White Flag) in Germany, the Universal White Brotherhood in Bulgaria, Tao Yuan in China etc. These activities laid the cornerstone for Oomoto's international interfaith activities, continuing to this day.
The Arts and the Scintillating Tea Bowls
Onisaburo emphasized that "Art is the mother of religion; art gives birth to religion." He further explained: "The God who created the great infinite cosmos must be the Great Artist. The driving force to create heaven and earth is the germination of the Great Artist's seed."
Given that art and religion are one and the same, it naturally follows that one must love nature for its intimate connection with the arts-as source of materials, subject matter, and inspiration. Onisaburo left an expansive body of artistic works in many disciplines, including literature, painting, calligraphy, ceramic pottery, poetry, songs and others.
Amongst those works, many people have been surprised by the 3000 handmade tea bowls, into the creation of which Onisaburo poured his energy later in life. Glazed with vivid colors reminiscent of French impressionist paintings, they were given the name "Scintillating Bowls" in 1949. Later these tea bowls became the central works for an internationally acclaimed art exhibit that toured thirteen cities in six European and North American countries. The exibit was entitled "The Art of Onisaburo Deguchi and His School."
Mount Takakuma is located to the west of Kameoka City's Sogabe town. From downtown Kameoka, it is about 20 minutes by car, followed by a 30 minute climb on foot. Those wishing to make a pilgrimage to the shrine there are encouraged to contact
Oomoto headquarters at
(or phone: +81-771-22-5561).
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