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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Modern Sectarian Groups
Honbushin
A religious group of the Tenrikyō lineage which seceded from Honmichi. Founded by Ōnishi Tama (1916-1969), the group originated in 1961 within Honmichi as the Tenri Mirokukai (Tenri Miroku Association). This group claimed that Ōnishi Tama, second daughter of Ōnishi Aijrō (1881–1958), was a divine mediator whom they called "Miroku" (the same name as the Buddha of the future Miroku, or Maitreya in Sanskrit).
       The group was incorporated in 1966 as a religious corporation in accord with the Religious Corporations Law (Shūkyō Hōjiinhō). Ōnishi Tama was considered by Honmichi followers to be a reincarnation of Nakayama Miki (1798-1887), the founder of Tenrikyō, but she had already withdrawn in 1947 to the house of a Honmichi believer in Kyoto, hoping to find the rest she needed to reflect upon previous doubts regarding the teachings of Honmichi. In January 1962, she raised a doctrinal dispute with leaders of Honmichi and led her group away to become independent.
       A private home near Honmichi headquarters in the city of Takaishi was donated by a member to be used as a temporary office to meet followers away from Honmichi headquarters. Ōnishi later moved to the town of Shiojiri in response to followers' concern for her health. As many followers lived in western Japan, the headquarters were relocated to their present site in the city of Okayama in 1969. Ōnishi died on September 1 of that year. In accordance with her will Takeda Sōshin was considered the new divine mediator and kanrōdai (heavenly pillar) and thus made her successor. Takeda took unified control over all aspects of the faith, from observances to ritual celebrations, doctrines, and proselytization activities.
       As exercises for the improvement of followers' thought and behavior, Honbushin today uses the practice of mongyō (a form of naikan reflection) and zendō, a method of relaxation meant to dissolve personal problems. The believers are also encouraged to cultivate a positive spirit in everyday life by practicing meditation on the so-called "word spirit power of a brave spirit" (yōkon no kotodama).
       The group also practices hinokishin, i.e., voluntary daily labor service. In Shiojiri, the group founded a World Health Center demanding no specific religious affiliation for admission. It also engages in the cultivation of "spring turmeric root" in Hawaii as a pure health food, and participates in the global peace movement, sponsoring various assemblies and events, such as a gathering of two thousand supporters in Hawaii in spring 1984, an assembly of two thousand believers in Beijing in autumn 1998, and delivering a peace message to the mayor of Honolulu.
       For its religious model, Honbushin looks to Tenrikyō as it existed during the times of the founder Nakayama Miki and her successor Iburi Izō (1833-1907). As a result, it considers Honmichi a "temporary residence" (kariya) in the sense of a provisional organization serving to preserve the truth until the "original lineage" could again emerge.
       Headquarters: Okayama Prefecture
       Nominal membership: approximately 900,000

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