In Boundless Gratitude to Holy Master Masaharu Taniguchi
Tetsuya Abe, Acting Chief, SNI Hawaii Missionary Area
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all of you who attended the Public Lecture held at Ala Moana Hotel on September 20th. I believe you savored the wonderful truth of Seicho-No-Ie taught by Rev. Hiei Ando, National Ordained Minister, and Rev. Yoshiko Teshigawara, Bishop of the United States Missionary Headquarters. I also appreciate those who planned, publicized, promoted and implemented the Public Lecture as committee members. Please see page 3 for an article about this event.
November is the month in which the founder of Seicho-No-Ie, Masaharu Taniguchi, was born. He was born on November 22nd in 1893. November 22nd is considered a "good couple day" in Japan due to a good combination of sounds when read in Japanese. I would like to introduce how the founder and Mrs. Taniguchi were a good couple who fully understood and took care of each other by referring to Mrs. Taniguchi's book, "Shi to Aogi, Otto to Aogite," or "Looking up as Mentor, Looking up as Husband."
A few years after they founded Seicho-No-Ie, Mrs. Taniguchi read in a newspaper article that a mother who tried to save her drowning child died with her child in the ocean. She thought that if she had been taught how to swim when she had been a child, she could take her daughter Emiko, 8 years old at that time, to the ocean and river without any concern, and told her husband about it. Then, the founder Taniguchi kindly made a suggestion, saying, "It's not too late. Take a swimming lesson."
Mrs. Taniguchi found a group that gave swimming lessons from 5 a.m. in the morning at the seashore nearby. However, she was hesitant to do so because if she were to take those lessons early in the morning, she would inconvenience her husband and daughter since she could not prepare breakfast for them. Nevertheless, Founder Taniguchi allowed her to do so by saying, "Don't worry about us and take that training seriously. I will prepare our breakfast." Mrs. Taniguchi appreciated his kindness and took the training for two weeks and became an adequate swimmer.
The founder Taniguchi prepared their breakfast just as he said he would and waited for his wife to come back home every morning. After breakfast, he rushed to change his clothes and went to work. Mrs. Taniguchi reflected on that time and wrote as follows:
.... After he finished his work, my husband came back home in the evening and did writing for Seicho-No-Ie magazine until late night. Dawn came before he got enough sleep and he prepared our breakfast instead of his wife from early morning. I practiced with all my might every morning to respond to his loving thought. (Teruko Taniguchi, "Shi to Aogi, Otto to Aogite," or "Looking up as Mentor, Looking up as Husband" p. 46)
In this way, the founder Taniguchi's love for his wife was always brimming over. On the other hand, Mrs. Taniguchi looked up to her husband as mentor as well as loving him as her husband. She wrote how she respected him in the March 1937 issue of "Shirohato" or "White Dove" as follows:
Once I entered a training center, I am not his wife. He who is on the podium is not my husband but my mentor. I knew God who dwells within me. I, who knew indwelling God, no longer need to seek God without. However, my soul sincerely seeks to brighten my mind and manifest indwelling God. My soul also asks for the infinite growth by doing so. I visited the training center by following my mentor even on very windy and snowy days. (Ibid. p. 60)
I believe you understand that loving thoughts by husband and respectful thoughts by wife are foremost to a harmonious life for a couple. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the founder and Mrs. Masaharu Taniguchi who showed us this teaching by being role models, and I will pledge to practice the teachings and promote our movement with a cheerful and bright mind. Thank you very much.