Ofudesaki

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This article is about the term "Ofudesaki" in the context of Tenrikyo. For the Oomoto text, see Oomoto Shin'yu.

Part of a series of articles on
Tenrikyō

Tenrikyo emblem.svg
Beliefs and scripture
Tenri-Ō-no-Mikoto
Ofudesaki
Osashizu
Practices
Joyous Life
Hinokishin
People
Oyasama (Nakayama Miki)
Izo Iburi
Places
Tenri, Nara
Tenri University
Tenri Hospital
Oyasato-yakata

The Ofudesaki (おふでさき, "Tip of the Writing Brush", 1869–1882) is the most important body of scripture in Tenrikyō. A 17-volume collection of 1,711 poems, it is considered to contain the words of god as written through possession of the foundress Nakayama Miki. The text has been translated into English as well as many other languages.

The poems provide instructions for returning the human mind to its "original, pristine condition", also known as "returning to the origin", "single-hearted salvation", "the mind of a three-year-old child" or "the mind like clear water". The instructions involve using whatever means necessary to provide "a step-by-step return to the 'original condition', in ways that are appropriate to the time, place and spiritual maturity of all human beings". This strategy finds basis in that methods were originally to be appropriate for 19th-century villagers living in Yamato; each person being taught according to their need and level of understanding.

The Ofudesaki also provides for the training of Intermediaries, or "Timbers"; those responsible for the interpretation and proliferation of the Ofudesaki's material and content.

The Ofudeseki has only recently been available in the Western World. During the hypernationalist years of the 20th century, the poems were all seized and suppressed by order of the then Japanese government, and Tenrikyo, was, by order of the government, made into a Shinto Sect. After World War II, Tenrikyo was able to openly preach its practices and has since spread globally.