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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Modern Sectarian Groups
Hikari Kyōkai
A new religion derived from Ōmoto. It was founded by the painter Okamoto Tenmei (1897-1963), who had been the senior editor of the periodical published by Ōmoto between 1923 and 1935. Okamoto's separation from Ōmoto and his own, independent religious activities were initiated by the experience of kamigakari (spirit possession) in the Ame no Hitsuku shrine in Narita, Inba district, Chiba Prefecture in 1944 and the automatic writing resulting from that possession. The text he produced is focused on numbers: the title is pronounced fude (brush), but written with the Sino-Japanese characters for "one, two, three." The kami is named kotoba (word, logos) but written with characters meaning "ninety eight" ("nine, ten" "eight) or other characters meaning "light, penetrating, wave."
       Thanks to a friend who expressed understanding for the text, the Hitsugi no Kami Hōsankai (Association for the worship of Hitsugi no kami) was established in 1945. In 1947 the Hikari Kyōkai (Church of Light) was founded and registered as a religious corporation in accordance with the Religious Corporations Ordinance (Shūkyō Hōjinrei). In 1953, it was incorporated under the new Religious Corporations Law (Shūkyō Hōjinhō).
       In time, the church moved into the home of a sympathizer in Gifu, but on the invitation of Takechi Tokisaburō, an authority of the "study of the spirit power of word" (kotodamagaku; see kotodama), it moved to Komono in northern Ise in 1955. At the group's grounds called Shiongō, a mountain facility of approximately 3310 m2, Okamoto drew crayon pastels and brush drawings in Chinese ink under the influence of his automatic writing. In 1959, he opened his first private exhibition. Okamoto died in 1963, since which time his wife Taeko (1917-) has organized exhibitions of his works in various places, introducing him to the public.
       Headquarters: Mie Prefecture.
       Nominal membership: about 200.

— Yumiyama Tatsuya
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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