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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Modern Sectarian Groups
Reiha no Hikari Kyōkai
A Shinto-derived new religious movement whose founder was Hase Yoshio (1915-84). Born in Tokyo, Hase was sent to China at the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war, but he was repatriated after falling ill. Although he received medical treatment his condition failed to improve, and he returned to his family home. In 1939 he set out on pilgrimage to the island of Shikoku seeking divine healing, and ascended Mount Goken (known in the movement as reihōsan, or Spirit Peak Mountain) in Kagawa Prefecture, where he sat in meditation (zazen) for numerous days and received a mystical experience. After a divine voice told him, "You are the messenger of the kami," he found his illness had been healed.
       Hase returned home, but spent more than ten additional years traveling throughout Japan performing severe austerities. After the end of World War II, devotees gradually were attracted to him, and in 1956 he established Reiha no Hikari Sangyokai (spirit-wave-light dedication society) in Matsudo City. In the following year this was registered as a religious corporation under the jurisdiction of the Chiba prefectural government. It also changed its name to Reiha no Hikari Kyōkai. From this time the number of devotees grew rapidly and in 1969 it built a new main temple (honzan) in its current location. In 1975 it constructed a "castle of salvation" called Tenshikaku at its headquarters. Modeled after the donjon (tenshukaku) of a Japanese castle, the structure—unusual for a Japanese religious group—has drawn attention to the movement.
       When the founder Hase died in 1984, his eldest son Hase Keiji (1948- ) succeeded him as the second leader. Since its founding to the present day, the movement has focused on the use of spiritual healing and other activities that liberate people from suffering. At its headquarters various forms of thaumaturgic amulets—such as the Life Amulet (seimei fuda) —are used for the purpose of healing. Holy water (shinsui) is also used frequently as a method of healing. The group's main focus of worship is Daiuchū no kami (Great Cosmic Deity), whose spiritual emanation (bunshin) is Goshugojin-sama (lit., "protector deity"—the name given in the movement to the spirit of the founder Hase Yoshio).
       Headquarters: Chiba Prefecture
       Nominal membership: approximately 740,000 (M)

— Inoue Nobutaka
The headquarters of Reiha no Hikari Kyōkai. The building resembling a castle is known as the Tenshikaku and is also the symbol of this religious group.

Chiba Prefecture, 2007

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