Oomoto aims at the construction of a Heavenly Kingdom on earth based on the Divine Love and Divine Truth of the Creator of the universe. Oomoto preaches that the source of all evil is selfishness, and emphasizes the awakening of humankind to the basic principles of "The Four Teachings" which are "Harmonious Alignment with Life and the Universe; Revelation of Celestial Truth and its Lessons; Innate Patterns of Behavior for Man, Society and the Cosmos; and Instinctual Creative Drives".
Humans should put into practice in their lives "The Four Principles", which are "Purity, Optimism, Progressivism, and Unification." Oomoto is active in interfaith activities and interreligious cooperation because it preaches that all heavenly religions spring from the same source, the Ultimate Being (the Highest Power).
On February 3, 1892, Foundress Nao Deguchi became possessed by the Divine Spirit, which marked the beginning of her sacred transcriptions. This grand festival celebrates this Divine Message. On this day, Oomoto followers pray for world peace and the happiness of all humanity. There is a Great Purification Ritual, an all-night event during which followers devote themselves to purifying the entire universe, beginning with purifying oneself and one's family. This winter celebration also includes prayers for a year of fruitful harvests, and honors the birthdays of the Second Spiritual Leader, Sumiko Deguchi, and the Fourth Spiritual Leader, Kiyoko Deguchi.
About the Great Purification Ritual
The Great Purification Ritual on the Japanese Setsubun holiday has been a solemn occurrence within Oomoto since shortly after the religion was founded. Before the ritual, followers write their name and address on a small slip of paper with symbolic human figure printed on it; this paper slip is then used as a representation of the person concerned. These paper slips are collected from all over the country and even from far overseas at Choseiden in Ayabe, where worshippers fill the Hall and spend the night absorbed in ritual prayer. Hundreds of female and male priests pray over each of the slips as they carefully place them into unglazed earthenware jars. More ancient Shinto prayers are recited as these slips are later floated in the pure waters of Wachi River, which courses through Ayabe City. In this way, purification takes place and potential misfortunes are averted
This festival was inaugurated on March 3, 1928, when Co-Founder Onisaburo Deguchi had reached the age of 56 years and 7 months [Shakyamuni Buddha determined the number '567' as a significant one for Maitreya], to pray for the realization of the Age of Maitreya or Heavenly Kingdom on earth. This great festival gives followers the occasion to pray for the attainment of the virtues of Maitreya.
This summer festival celebrates the birth of the Co-Founder Onisaburo Deguchi, and recalls and extols his role in the salvation of the world. On the previous night (of the 11th day of the 7th lunar month), a Poem Festival is celebrated in ancient-style rituals, during which participants pray for world peace and the happiness of all humanity. After these two events, Oomoto followers take time to enjoy some lively dancing, including the "Miroku Dance" based on local folk dances.
This celebration is in praise of the virtues of the Foundress Nao Deguchi, and the trials that she endured in her calling for the salvation of humanity. Joined together with the great autumn festival, services also show thanks for the new rice and that year's harvest.
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