First published: April 12, 2022
Last updated: May 23, 2022

The webmaster is currently translating the Reikai Monogatari ("Tales of the Spirit World") and would like to share it with you.

Although trying best to be as accurate as possible, the webmaster may be mistaken in his translation. Therefore, HE SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES ARISING FROM THE USE OF THIS TRANSLATION. Your understanding on this matter will be greatly appreciated.

The Reikai Monogatari

Volume 2[1]: Volume of the Ushi ("Ox")[2] in the Reishu-taiju ("Spirit the master, flesh the servant")[3] series

Author: Onisburo Deguchi

The webmaster's note:
[1] ^ Publication data:
  • Dictated at the Shoun-kaku Hall in Ayabe, Kyoto.
  • Dictated on October 26-31, Taisho 10 (1921) as well as November 1-4, 6 and 8-9, Taisho 10 (1921) - a total of 13 days.
  • Dictated by Mr. Toyoji Toyama, Ms. Haruko Kato, Mr. Shigeo Sakurai and Mr. Masaharu Taniguchi.
  • First edition issued on January 27, Taisho 11 (1922).

[2] ^ The first sign of the Japanese eto ("sexagenary cycle") zodiac. Each series of the Reikai Monogatari (except the Tensho-chizui series) consists of 12 volumes bearing the corresponding names of the following 12 zodiac signs:
  1. ne ("rat")
  2. ushi ("ox")
  3. tora ("tiger")
  4. u ("hare")
  5. tatsu ("dragon")
  6. mi ("serpent")
  7. uma ("horse")
  8. hitsuji ("sheep")
  9. saru ("monkey")
  10. tori ("rooster")
  11. inu ("dog")
  12. i ("boar")
[3] ^ The series of the Reikai Monogatari is shown in the table below:

SeriesVolumesNo. of Books
("Spirit the master, flesh the servent")
("Cintamani," or "Wish-fulfilling gem")
("Thousands of miles of seas and
("Outstanding performance as a
living shrine of the Kami")
("Truth, good, beauty and love")
("Mountains, rivers, plants and trees")
(*) Volumes 64 Parts 1 & 2, as well as the Nyumoki ("Onisaburo's Mission in Mongolia") included.
("Auspicious signs of the Mizu-Spirit
in heaven and on earth")

Table of Contents


Introductory Notes

General Remarks

Part 1: Chaos in the Shinkai ("Realm of Divinities")
    Chapter 1: The Deployment of Both Offensive and Defensive Forces 〔51〕
    Chapter 2: The Second Coming of Evil Deities 〔52〕
    Chapter 3: The Emergence of Miyama-hiko 〔53〕
    Chapter 4: The Divine Masumi Mirror 〔54〕
    Chapter 5: The Origin of the Black Death 〔55〕
    Chapter 6: Moses and Elijah 〔56〕
    Chapter 7: The Divine Heavenly and Earthly Mirrors Set Against Each Other 〔57〕
    Chapter 8: Jealousy and Enmity 〔58〕

Part 2: Right and Wrong, Good and Bad
    Chapter 9: Festivals on Mount Tacoma I 〔59〕
    Chapter 10: Festivals on Mount Tacoma II 〔60〕
    Chapter 11: Tanuki ("Japanese racoon dog")'s Clay Boat 〔61〕
    Chapter 12: Spies' Brilliant Performance 〔62〕
    Chapter 13: A Wasp-House 〔63〕

Part 3: Developments in Divine Battles
    Chapter 14: The Quintessence of Mercury 〔64〕
    Chapter 15: Wild Game and Other Food of the Mountains 〔65〕
    Chapter 16: Best-Laid Plans  〔66〕
    Chapter 17: The Martyrdom of Saga-hime 〔67〕
    Chapter 18: The Scheme to Spread Disinformation to Cause a Rift in the Rival Camp 〔68〕
    Chapter 19: The Aftermath 〔69〕

Part 4: The Tokoyo no Kuni ("Land of Eternity")
    Chapter 20: A Suspicious Love Letter 〔70〕
    Chapter 21: To the Tokoyo no Kuni 〔71〕
    Chapter 22: Kototama-wake no Mikoto's Ingenious Strategy 〔72〕
    Chapter 23: Tatsuyo-hime's Extraordinary Wisdom 〔73〕
    Chapter 24: Complete Disappearance 〔74〕
    Chapter 25: A Futon Quilt Tunnel 〔75〕
    Chapter 26: Short-Tailed Albatrosses [1] 〔76〕
    Chapter 27: A Mummy on the Lake 〔77〕

Part 5: Divine Love and Benevolence
    Chapter 28: A Battle on Mount Koh-haku 〔78〕
    Chapter 29: A Maiden Angel 〔79〕
    Chapter 30: The Toyoh ("Ten-Luminary" or "Ten-Sphere") Flag 〔80〕
    Chapter 31: A Painful Hand Grip 〔81〕
    Chapter 32: Kototama-wake no Mikoto's Return to the Castle 〔82〕
    Chapter 33: Like a Pheasant Risking Life and Limb for Its Chicks in the Burning Fields 〔83〕
    Chapter 34: A Righteous Kami's Participation in the Divine Work 〔84〕
    Chapter 35: Divine Treasures Jewel on Mount Nankoh 〔85〕
    Chapter 36: A Tragedy on Mount Koh-haku 〔86〕
    Chapter 37: A Tragedy on Mount Choh-koh 〔87〕
    Chapter 38: Joy in Heaven and on Earth 〔88〕

Part 6: Worship of Divine Spirits
    Chapter 39: The Jewel of Venus 〔89〕
    Chapter 40: Divine Revelations on the Mount 〔90〕
    Chapter 41: Festivals at 16 Shrines 〔91〕
    Chapter 42: The Origin of Japanese Armor 〔92〕
    Chapter 43: A False Accusation 〔93〕
    Chapter 44: Devil Wind, Love Wind 〔94〕

Part 7: The Moral Principles of Heaven and Earth
    Chapter 45: The Laws of Heaven and Earth 〔95〕
    Chapter 46: A Violation of the Rules of Heaven and Earth 〔96〕
    Chapter 47: The Descent of an Angel to the Earthly Taka-ama-hara 〔97〕
    Chapter 48: Deliberations on the Laws of Heaven and Earth 〔98〕
    Chapter 49: Fickleness 〔99〕
    Chapter 50: A Steel Halberd 〔100〕

Appendix: Poems on the First Pilgrimage to Mount Takakuma


    This Reikai Monogatari is a collection of various stories about what my spirit and soul witnessed in the yukai ("realm of stray souls") and the shinkai ("realm of divinities") of the Spirit World while leaving behind my flesh in the physical realm not only when I underwent rigorous ascetic practices on the Kami's orders for a week from February 9, Meiji 31 (1898) to February 15 of the same year (by the lunar calendar), but also when I was instructed by the Kami to go through the weeklong ascetic training of lying motionless on the floor at home upon my return from the discipline on Mount Takakuma. In the Spirit World, everything transcends time and space, and there is no distinction between near and far, small and large or light and dark. Events of all ages and places in the Spirit World appear on the same plane with one another in my spiritual eyes, so I found clues to those events and used them to dictate the Reikai Monogatari to my scribes, with my main focus on providing easy-to-understand descriptions for readers as much as possible.
     Some of those who are unfamiliar with how the Spirit World works may laugh off my Reikai Monogatari as a childish fairy tale. Others may ridicule it as a quixotic comical story. Still others may dismiss it as pure fantasy or consider it an allegory. But I'm fine with any criticism. The thing is that my dictation will serve its purpose if people read the Reikai Monogatari at least once to get even a slight glimpse into how the Spirit World works and what deities, gods and other celestial beings do there.
     This Volume 2 of the Reikai Monogatari can be summarized by the divine battles on Mount Zion, the enactment of the Laws of Heaven and Earth by the Great Kami Kunitokotachi no Mikoto (dubbed the "Kokuso" [2]), and the Kami Waka-zakura-hime no Mikoto[3]'s violation of the Rules of Heaven and Earth and her ensuing banishment to the yukai. Anyone skeptical of this volume can read it as a fairy tale or cheap novel. I would be truly gratified if you would read it even a little to transform yourselves spiritually.
     Ushitora no Konjin [4] made an impassioned world-saving declaration for the first time when he became one with Foundress Nao Deguchi, who would lay the foundations for a divine age as a John Soul, to say through her words, "The time has come for the reign of Ushitora no Konjin to burst into full bloom as plum blossoms in the three major realms of the Spirit World at the same time. Ushitora no Konjin will sit on Mount Sumeru [5] and protect the three major realms of the Spirit World as Kimon no Konjin [4]." What an eloquent and solemn speech of the Kami that was! The part "... burst into full bloom ... in the three major realms of the Spirit World at the same time" absolutely constitutes great words of divine love and mercy that energize all creation in the universe and provide every creature on earth with a key to resigning themselves to the Divine Will.
     Whenever the author reads these divine words, he is awestruck by the enormous work and lofty aspirations of the infinite and absolute Great Original God with no beginning or end. They make him feel as if the moon of tathata shone on the sea surface of his mind and the sun of mercy governed the world equitably all at once to break the darkness in its every corner.
     Kunitokotachi no Mikoto describes the warp thread of the grand design of the universe clearly and perfectly with "... burst into full bloom... in the three major realms of the Spirit World at the same time" and ends his sentence with the shortened phrase "plum blossoms." It is as if the Supreme Kami opened a white folding fan to create a cool breeze, with the fan sticks unified (fastened together) with the small plum-blossom rivet. The way he tells the truth about the exercise of the infinitely large and small divine authority eclipses attempts by any scholar or sage.
     Then the revelation says, "Ushitora no Konjin will sit on Mount Sumeru and protect...." What a great expression of Kunitokotachi's divinity that also is! What an excellent piece of prose! The passage is far beyond human knowledge or wisdom. In addition, the August Kami's possession of Foundress Nao resulted in his merciful admonishment of not only heavenly and earthly deities, but also various kinds of buddhas and individual human beings in the three major realms of the Spirit World, i.e. the shinkai, the yukai and the genkai ("physical realm"), along with his kind display of what the future will look like. This is an unprecedented event of all time.
     It is natural that the Omoto Shin'yu is hard for secular people to understand because it is revealed by a great august kami like Kunitokotachi no Mikoto. Therefore, his revelation is susceptible to misunderstanding. This is something the author has always had on his mind; he has yearned to interpret part of the Omoto Shin'yu to make the August Kami's will known to the public for as long as almost around 23 years, although the shinkai has prohibited him from engaging in any publicity activities until just recently. For this reason, it is till then that the author has never clarified the significance of even the slightest language of the Shin'yu.
     On September 8 this year by the lunar calendar, the author suddenly received divine orders to publicize what the Kami had revealed to him about the workings of the Spirit World in February, Meiji 31 (1898), so he made up his mind to disclose the tales of the Spirit World that he had kept to himself for 24 years. But he could not write freely since he had eye trouble and a headache this spring, and when he forced himself to write, he quickly complained of such an excruciating pain in his eyes and head that he could not do anything. This was a source of great concern for him, but on the morning of September 18, ten days after his receipt of the divine orders, an additional message from the Kami came to him, saying, "Thou need not write. The Kami will use thy mouth to dictate. Invite four believers - Toyoji Toyama, Haruko Kato, Shigeo Sakurai, and Masaharu Taniguchi - to have them take dictation of divine words that will come out of thy mouth."
     The Kami gave me the final push to give dictation of the Reikai Monogatari by secluding myself at the Shoh Un-kaku Hall in Namimatsu, Ayabe to act as a medium of divine revelations. The workings of the Spirit World that I had kept to myself for 24 years finally burst into full bloom as plum blossoms in the three major realms of the Spirit World. An auspicious wind blew to give off a lovely scent of evergreen pine trees, raising the curtains of divine dramas whose story lines may be so surreal, illusory, dreamy or celestial as to leave readers with their mouths agape. The still and limpid waters of the Shirase River, the Yura River running under the Otonase Bridge, the Wachi River and the Kambayashi River converge into the central Kokumo River, a tributary of which flows through the Roh Shoh River along the tree-lined river bank named Namimatsu. This is where I followed the Kami's orders to start dictating the Reikai Monogatari to four scribes, with all five of us filled with motivation and joy, in the study at the newly built Shoh Un-kaku Hall at the foot of Mount Hongu.

        In November by the solar calendar, or on October 9 by the lunar calendar, Taisho 10 (1921)

At Shoh Un-kaku Hall, penned by Zuigetsu[6]  Onisaburo Deguchi

Kunitokotachi no Mikoto, creater of Earth's spirit world

Explanatory Notes
  • Volumes 1 through 4 of the Reikai Monogatari concern stories prior to the descent of His Augustness Izanagi no Mikoto and Her Augustness Izanami no Mikoto from Heaven. Volume 4 is the first book to detail the forced resignation of Kunitokotachi no Mikoto, creator of the Earth's spirit world. It is in Volume 6 that His Augustness Izanagi no Mikoto and Her Augustness Izanami no Mikoto descend to the Middle Land of Reed-Plains from Heaven. Readers are therefore advised not to overly narrow the scope of their interpretation to the current Omoto religion when reading the Monogatari. For example, the term "Holy Land of Jerusalem" never refers to Ayabe. This is what the Great Master Zuigetsu (Onisaburo Deguchi) warns especially about, so readers might want to keep it in mind. To sume up, what they need most is probably to read the Monogatari literally and straightforwardly like a "newborn baby."

  • However, history repeats itself as they say. The Monogatari provides tales that date from 60 or 70 million years ago, but no matter how irrelevant they may seem to us, we might end up startled and panicky if we are caught off guard by something unexpected as though a bird took flight at our feet.

  • While we are aware that Volume 1 of the Monogatari has come under fire from various critics since its release, readers will not understand it in the least simply reading Volume 1 or 2. We ask them to put their criticism aside and waint until all the remaining volumes are published. The Omoto Shin'yu also says, "The end crowns the work." We think it imprudent of readers to make critical remarks about the Monogatari based solely on their partial glimpse into it. We fear that this may result in a major obstruction of the Divine Work.

  • Poems composed by deities appear in various parts of Volume 2 and its succeeding volumes. They were all chanted in a language commonly used in the age of the gods, but they are incomprehensible to us in this modern era. Therefore, they are specially translated into contemporary Japanese. For example, Chapter 23 "Tatsuyo-hime's Extraordinary Wisdom" of Volume 2 observes the Kami Tatsuyo-hime recite humorous and comical poems. The following is an excerpt of those poems written in divine words vs. contemporary Japanese words, as unraveled by the Great Master (Onisaburo Deguchi):

    A Poem Recited by Tatsuyo-hime (Vol. 2).
    Source: The Aizen-en

    The above poem in kana syllables:
    (e.g.) Contemporary Japanese vs. (Ancient Japanese)

    Kototama wake no kami san wa    (Kototomo oko yo kamu somo ho)
    Koshi no tokoyo e tsukai shite    (Kosu yo tokoyo i tsukoi sute)
    Michi ni taorete koshi o ori    (Mitsu i tohorete kosu yo oi)
    Koshi ni noserare koshi itamu    (Kosu i nosorore kosu itomu)
    Koshi no kuni demo koshi nukashi    (Kosu yo kushi demo kosu nukosu)
    Koshinuke kami to warawa reru    (Kosunuku kamu yo warowo reru)
    Hito no koto nara nantomo nai    (Huto yo koto noro nomutoyo noi)
    Koshi ya kamaya sen koshi ya kamaya sen koshi ya kamaya sen koshi ya kamaya sen    (Kosu kamoyo senu kosu kamoyo senu kosu kamoyo senu kosu kamoyo senu)

    English translation of the above poem:

    The Kami Kototama-wake
    Was dispatched to the ancient [7] Land of Eternity [8],
    Collapsed on the path with his lower back hurt,
    Felt a pain in his lower back after he was carried on the palanquin,
    Also had a lower backache in the ancient Land,
    Was laughted at as a kami petrified with fear (= a cowardly kami),
    Was all right with everything else, and
    Was fine with his lower back, fine with his lower back and fine with his lower back.

  • We editors hear that the kanji characters for numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 100, 1,000 and 10,000 (Fig. 1) were expressed as the numeric characters (Fig. 2) in the age of the gods.

    Fig. 1

    Fig. 2

  • We would like to share a mystical story we have recently heard with readers for their reference.

    In the past, the following characters appeared on the worm-eaten round wooden pillars of the five-story pagoda on the premises of the Todaji Temple in the acient southern capital of Nara:

    Note: Words that come after the numeric kanji characters, namely those that begin with the kanji ("add up") and go down from it, were added by the Great Master Zuigetsu.

    9 9 5 1These numbers are added up (24) to become a 4th-day moon rising from the nishi ("20" or "west").
    1 5 1 1These numbers are added up (8) to become a divine site in the 8-island nation.
    0 5 0 6These numbers are added up (11) to herald the beginning (1) of the age of the gods (10).
    1 3 1 1These numbers are added up (6) to become a whole wide world (6).
    2 1 6 1These numbers are added up (10) to become a kami (10).
    1 1 1 1These numbers are added up (4) to become 4 souls.
    3 1 6 1These numbers are added up (11) to become the kami of the earth (11).
    1 0 1 1These numbers are added up (3) to become 3 Great Kami.
    0 0 0These jewels are added up (3) to become 3 souls.

    But no one was able to read the above characters, let alone understand their meanings. Kukai (his posthumous title: Kobo Daishi), a high Buddhist priest in those days, read them as follows:

    We asked the Great Master Zuigetsu about Kukai's interpretation, and he quickly let us know what the Buddhist priest meant. The enigmatic characters that appeared on the round wooden pillars of the five-story pagoda total ("77" = 24 + 8 + 11 + 6 + 10 + 4 + 11 + 3). For the horizontal (= Fig. 3 (A)) or the vertical (= Fig. 3 (B)), the number is always 77 when read from right to left, left to right or from top to bottom, bottom to top. In other words, the top is aligned with the bottom.

    The number is the pronoun of , with signifying "fulfillment (or completion, achievement, etc.)," representing "God" and also signifying "land" - hence, the "fulfillment of divine kingdom" altogether according to the Great Master Zuigetsu. Hidden in the number are , or three jewels/souls. Simply put, the Mizu Soul is concealed (Note: Japanese "3" is pronounced "mitsu" = "mizu"). Kobo Daishi knew it all along but kept it undisclosed purposely.

    The Great Master read the numeric characters as follows:

    This seems like a mysterious and intriguing anecdote that suggests the coming of the time when the light of the Moon will be shed on spiritual darkness in all realms of the Spirit World to establish a divine reign.

      On January 6, Taisho 11 (1922)      At Ryugu-kaku Hall, written by editors

    Everything, sweet or sour, comes out of the anus, eluding it like a fart. Conceited farts with a stupid look on their faces have their butt hairs pulled out (= get completely caught off guard) and have their eyebrow hairs counted (= have their minds read and made fun of).

General Remarks

I think I need to give you a broad outline of what kami, gods and deities wear in the divine kingdom because it would be quite time-consuming to describe how celestial beings are dressed each time they appear in the Reikai Monogatari. Generally speaking, noble deities like the Kami Kunitokotachi no Mikoto mostly wear silk clothes, with their upper garments being solid purple, lower garments pure white and middle garments solid crimson.

To be continued...

The webmaster's note:
[1] ^ The Japanese name for the short-tailed albatross is ahoh-dori, which literally means "dumb bird" or "idiot bird."

[2] ^ Literally, the Progenitor of the Earth. In Omoto theology, the creator of the universe and the creator of the Earth are different. The former is dubbed the "Tenso" (Progenitor of the Universe). The latter is Kunitokotachi no Mikoto, who made the famous declaration - The time has come for the reign of Ushitora no Konjin to burst into full bloom as plum blossoms in the three major realms of the Spirit World at the same time - through Foundress Nao's automatic writing in Meiji 25 (1892).

[3] ^ Also called "Waka-hime-gimi no Mikoto." She is believed to be a former incarnation of Foundress Nao Deguchi.

[4] ^ Another name for Kunitokotachi no Mikoto. Ushitora refers to Ushitora no Konjin ("Konjin residing in the northeast"). The northeast is a direction associated with directional taboos (= kimon) because of Konjin, or literally "metal-god," who was traditionally regarded as a dangerous Taoist deity. A Chinese text reads that if Konjin were offended, he would kill seven people. The Reikai Monogatari, especially, Volume 4, says that Kunitokotachi, supreme ruler of the Earth's divine world, fell for evil deities' trick and was forced into seclusion in the northeast of the Earth. They even put a curse on him so that he could not get out.

[5] ^ Same as Mount Meru (the highest cosmic mountain in Buddhism) soaring infinitely high in the center of the universe.

[6] ^ A pseudonym of Onisaburo Deguchi. It means "Udumbara Chandra," or "Auspicious Moon."

[7] ^ The original Japanese "koshi" is somewhat unknown. The webmaster translated it as "ancient," but it could mean something else.

[8] ^ The Tokoyo or the Tokoyo no Kuni usually refers to "North America" in the Reikai Monogatari. One model of the Tokoyo no Kuni at the Omoto level is Yagi near Ayabe in northern Kyoto. Yagi is where Hisa Fukushima (third daughter of Foundress Nao Deguchi; also a model of the Kami Tokoyo-hime) founded her own religion and would later obstruct Onisaburo's activities.

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