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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Modern Sectarian Groups
Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyōdan
A new religion deriving from the lineages of Ōmoto and Sekai Kyūseikyō. The founder Okada Kōtama (1901-1974; original given name Yoshikazu) is known as its first generation oshienushi ("teaching master") or sukuinushi ("savior").
       In 1959 Kōtama, who served as the head of a branch of Sekai Kyūseikyō, awoke after five days of unconsciousness to receive a divine revelation in which a voice told him that "the age of Heaven has arrived. Awaken! Your name now is Kōtama. Raise your hand. The world is headed for crisis." As a result of this revelation Okada started his activities by founding the L.H. Yōkō Kodomokai (lit., "L.H. Association of Sun Light Children") which he registered as a religious corporation the next year (1960).
       After a further revelation in 1962 told him that "this is the first year of the world's baptism by fire," Okada changed the movement's name to Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyōdan. He received other revelations from time to time, and these are gathered in a collection of scriptures known as the Goseigen (Holy Words). These revelations state that humanity is now entering a time of great transformation under divine guidance, in which a shift is taking place from civilization based on materialism towards one based on spirituality. Since humanity has become consumed by selfish desires, however, it is unaware of this coming change, and God will thus seek to purify the world, a purification that will be manifested through natural disasters.
       According to the revelations, however, God has finally shown humanity the greatest path to salvation, namely, the performance of Mahikari no waza, the spiritual purification practice of Mahikari. Okada Kōtama was a divine messenger who, through the practice of Mahikari no waza conducted through tekazashi (the raising of one's hand), was purifying the spirits of humanity and teaching people about the existence of spirits and God, and thus preparing so-called "seed people (tanebito)" whose role would be to survive "the great tribulation of the baptism by fire" which was destined to come, and to bring about the realization of the "civilization of true light (mahikari bunmei)." These apocalyptic teachings and the practice of mahikari no waza thus form the core of the group's activities.
       When Okada Kōtama died in 1974 a succession dispute arose between Sekiguchi Sakae (1909-) and Okada Keishu (1929-). The courts ruled that Sekiguchi was the legal successor, and he became the movement's second oshienushi ("teaching master"), while Okada Keishu founded the new group Sūkyō Mahikari as a separate and independent organization. In 1987 Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyōdan chose a high plain in the center of the Izu peninsula for the site of its main shrine, called the Suza Sekai Sōhonzan Sunohikari Hii Ōkaminomiya, and which serves as the seat of its central deity Su God.
       Headquarters: Shizuoka Prefecture
       Nominal membership: approximately 98,000 (M)

— Tsushiro Hirofumi
Ceremony Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the Foundation of Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyōdan.

Shizuoka Prefecture,  2004

©Inoue Nobutaka

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