Thank you very much. Here is my address at Dr. Masaharu Taniguchi's 23rd Memorial Service at Seicho-No-Ie Hawaii Jisso Center on July 15th.
Rev. Tetsuya Abe
Acting Chief, SNI Hawaii Missionary Area
Thank you very much for coming to Dr. Masaharu Taniguchi’s 23rd Memorial Service in spite of your busy schedules. Today is Father’s Day. It is the perfect opportunity for us to extend our sincere gratitude to our spiritual father, Dr. Taniguchi. Thank you very much.
As you know, Dr. Taniguchi founded Seicho-No-Ie in March 1930 by publishing the inaugural issue of “Seicho-No-Ie” magazine. He was 36 years old and Mrs. Teruko Taniguchi was 33 years old when they founded SNI. It means they were younger than I at that time. Therefore, Dr. Taniguchi’s articles were filled with energy, vitality and vivaciousness as well as inspiration from God.
Although disseminating religious teachings by publishing magazines and books, and even on the internet, is now taken for granted, in those days in Japan, to propagate by publication was considered highly advanced. Moreover, the inaugural issue had many articles which were originally written overseas in English. So for the average Japanese who was not familiar with, or not interested in, foreign affairs, Dr. Taniguchi’s message was not easily understandable. In other words, readers of the magazine needed to be very educated to fully understand his articles.
Therefore, in the early stages of the founding of Seicho-No-Ie, Dr. Taniguchi’s books were mainly read by intellectuals or highly-educated people and spread among them. Especially before World War II, reading of the Truth of Life series was considered proof of a well-cultured Japanese.
Dr. Taniguchi published 1,000 complimentary copies of the “Seicho-No-Ie” magazine and gave 10 or more copies to his friends who seemed to be interested in spiritual affairs or who came to faith meetings sponsored by Dr. Taniguchi, and asked them to distribute those magazines.
After a while, Dr. Taniguchi began receiving some thank-you letters. The people said their diseases were completely healed, or their destinies were really improved, simply by reading the magazine. Dr. Taniguchi was very surprised to see those letters because he had simply written about how we should live with a right outlook on our life. In other words, he published educational magazines for a better life and never dreamed of having such responses.
In addition to publishing the magazines, Dr. Taniguchi opened his home for a reader’s meeting and talked about the SNI way of living. Some of the believers who were impressed by Dr. Taniguchi’s teaching, followed his example and started to hold reader’s meetings in their homes or visited their relatives and friends who suffered from disease or other problems, and talked about Seicho-No-Ie. When they did this, diseases were healed and problems that agonized people were resolved.(To be continued)