OYASAMA: The Foundress of Tenrikyo


We call the foundress of Tenrikyo “Oyasama.” The translation of the term is the “beloved parent.” Oyasama is Miki Nakayama. Her soul is that of the original mother when God the Parent created human beings.

On October 26, 1838, when Miki was 41 years old, God the Parent received Her as the Shrine of Tsukihi. “Tsukihi (Moon-Sun)” is a term that refers to God the Parent, and a “shrine” is a sacred space where a god or deity resides. Since God the Parent resided in Oyasama, we call Her the “Shrine of Tsukihi”

The mind of Oyasama is no different from the mind of God the Parent—which is free from human thoughts—and, accordingly, the words She spoke are the words of God the Parent. It is through Oyasama that we learned of God the Parent, who is the Parent of all human beings, as well as the reason why God the Parent created humankind and the world. These teachings were not based on human knowledge or insight but were directly revealed by God the Parent.

Not only did Oyasama teach us the intention and workings of God the Parent through Her spoken and written words, but She also showed us the model for the Joyous Life—a way of life we can experience depending of how we use our mind—through Her actions over a period of 50 years. We refer to Her life during that 50-year period as the “Divine Model.”

On January 26, 1887, Oyasama withdrew from physical life at the age of 90, shortening by 25 years Her natural term of life, which was promised to be 115 years. Although we cannot see Her physically, Oyasama remains alive now and forever at Jiba of Origin, protecting and guiding humankind day and night.

This Parent, who began human beings, lives.

This is the truth.

Ofudesaki* VIII:37

*The Ofudesaki is one of Tenrikyo’s Three Scriptures. Consisting of 1,711 verses in 17 parts, the Ofudesaki was written personally by Oyasama, who revealed the divine intention of God the Parent to human beings.

Excerpts from “How to Lead a Faith-Based Life”: Pg. 6–7