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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Modern Sectarian Groups
Sekai Kyūseikyō
Church of World Messianity. A Shinto-derived new religion that emerged from the Ōmoto lineage. It was founded by Okada Mokichi, the second son of a street vender from the Asakusa district in Tokyo. Okada wanted to be an artist and enrolled in the preliminary courses of an art school, but he was forced to abandon his studies due to a malignant eye disease. Even though he suffered so many illnesses that he referred to himself as "a storehouse of disease," and experienced business failures and the death of his parents, he maintained an ardent religious faith and in 1920 became a member of Ōmoto. From around 1924 he began to become more deeply absorbed in his faith, and in 1928 he gave up his business activities and became a missionary for Ōmoto.
       In 1931 Okada had a revelatory vision at Tateyama in Chiba of "day and night inversion of the spirit world," allowing him to perceive that the current era would change from one of wicked and impure night to one of shining day. Originally versed in folk medicine, Okada focused his proselytizing energies on healing illnesses, and in 1934 he opened what he called the Ōjindō (Chapel of Ōjin) in Kōjimachi in Tokyo, where he began to carry out a form of spiritual healing known as Okada's method of spiritual shiatsu massage. In the same year he left Ōmoto and in 1935 founded a group called the Dainihon Kannonkai (Great Japan Kannon Association). He was arrested twice, however, and questioned for violations of the Medical Act (IshihÔ), and also suffered other pressures, such as having his written works banned from sale.
       Following the end of World War II, Okada revived his movement in 1946 and registered it under the Religious Corporations Ordinance (Shūkyō Hōjinrei) as the Dainihon Kannon Kyōdan. He built sacred places called Zuiunkyō (Land of Auspicious Clouds) and Shinsenkyō (Enchanted Land of Immortals) at Atami and Hakone.
       In 1950 he reorganized the Nihon Kannon Kyōdan and the Nihon Miroku Kyōkai into the Sekai Meshiakyō (World Messianity). In 1952 this was registered as a legally independent religious movement under the Religious Corporations Law (Shūkyō Hōjinhō) and, in 1955, its name was changed to Sekai Kyūseikyō. Rather than material civilization, Okada posited that religion was the basis for human existence, and spoke of the attainment of true civilization in which a paradise would be realized on earth through the synthesis of religion (truth), science (good), and art (beauty). He emphasized the importance of becoming aware of the innate power of natural healing and spiritual purification (jōrei) founded in the principle of "the spirit is master, the body the pupil," which he claimed is inherent in human nature.
       Based on these concepts, he promoted the notions of jōrei (spiritual healing and purification) and organic farming methods. He also strove for the transformation of daily life through art and for the transformation of society through beauty, and in 1982 established the MOA Art Museum at the Zuiunkyō in Atami. The movement has also developed active missions in North and South America.
       During the 1950s and 1960s, numerous groups broke away from Sekai Kyūseikyō, in part a reflection of the fact that the organization was fundamentally characterized by a high sense of local independence among branch churches. In response, Sekai Kyūseikyō initiated a drive known as the ichigenka ("centralization"), whose aim was to integrate the movement and strengthen central control over its branches, but this centralizing movement has led to further tensions within the group, and these continue to the present day.
       Headquarters: Shizuoka Prefecture
       Nominal membership: approximately 840,000 (M)

— Fukushima Shinkichi
The Hakone Museum of Art located inside the Hakone Shinsenkyō, Sekai Kyūsekyō's sacred site. This museum houses the art collection of the founder of the religion, Okada Mokichi.

Kanagawa Prefecture, 2007

©Ōsawa Kōji

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