Tenrikyo Terminology—Excerpt from Tenrikyo Jiten: “Three Years, One Thousand Days” (Sannen sennichi)

This term refers to a period of three years-that is, roughly a thousand days-which is expressly set aside with a sense of resolve for the practice of faith. It is a period in which followers concentrate their efforts on achieving a specific goal so that they might receive God’s creative blessings through that endeavor. A “three years, one thousand days” period is often set aside in anticipation of an anniversary of Oyasama in order to conduct anniversary-related activities.

This term derives from a Divine Direction delivered on November 7, 1889-three years prior to the Fifth Anniversary of Oyasama-which taught the followers to spend the next three years, one thousand days, doing their utmost to follow the path in the exact manner shown by Oyasama’s Divine Model so that they might serve their communities as exemplary models.

Just three of the ten years. It will be good if you follow the path for just three days. I tell you to follow the path for just one thousand days. A thousand days of the path is difficult. But there is no path but the path of the Divine Model.

Osashizu, November 7, 1889

This passage made clear that the basis for a Tenrikyo follower’s life of faith is to be found in the Divine Model of Oyasama. Though Oyasama’s journey extended over a period of fifty years, the passage did not tell the followers to spend as many years following Her example but, rather, to set aside three years to focus on implementing the Divine Model. This Direction encouraged them to make a commitment to do the best they could to follow the path of the Divine Model throughout a period of three years. That endeavor, it was implied, would unfailingly lead to splendid blessings.

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