Following the incident that occurred during the June Monthly Service on the 26th, Church Headquarters decided to replace the model Kanrodai on July 24 (the replacement ceremony itself will be reported in the August issue). Prior to commencing the construction of the new model Kanrodai, Church Headquarters performed the prayer Service on July 5 after the evening service. All head ministers of directly supervised churches, as well as all members of Church Headquarters’ resident staff, had been called upon to attend the prayer Service.
They first gathered in the Assembly Hall to listen to an address by the Shinbashira, who began by outlining the way Church Headquarters had been handling the incident. He then reiterated his view that the truth of the Kanrodai itself remains unaffected by this incident. The reason for deciding to replace the model Kanrodai, he said, pertains rather to how we feel about what happened. “In addition,” he said, “nearly 16 years have passed since the present model Kanrodai was installed. I have, therefore, decided to take this opportunity to replace it in view of the damage done to it, not only through the incident in question, but through being exposed to weather over these years.”
Concerning the incident itself, he said: “The Kanrodai is to be set up as the proof of human conception; it marks the Jiba and serves as the core of our faith. Therefore, [the fact that the Kanrodai was pulled over], in my view, indicates the importance of correcting our attitude of faith in reference to the Jiba.” This incident, he said, invites followers to reexamine their attitude of faith with regard to God the Parent and Oyasama.
He went on to quote the following Divine Direction:
All of you, there is the truth called the teachings. Because you do not follow the path in conformity with the teachings, the clear path becomes filthy.
Osashizu, November 13, 1897
The Shinbashira said that we are following the path while daily performing our respective tasks based on an understanding of the teachings that we have in our heads. “Though we might consider our practice of faith to be satisfactory,” he said, “in the eyes of God the Parent there may be times when we are following the path in a manner that renders the clear path filthy. . . . We must reflect on ourselves deeply, asking ourselves whether we are not unwittingly interpreting the teachings in such a way as to make them easier for us to follow, explaining the teachings in a way that is more convenient for ourselves, or trying to pull the teachings into accord with ourselves.” The Shinbashira thus indicated important questions that ought to be addressed in pondering over the incident.
The prayer Service—comprising the Dance with Masks and the Dance with Hand Move ments—was then performed from 9:00 p.m. in an atmosphere of unity. All four worship halls were filled with followers, who joined together in singing the songs for the Service in high spirits.
Following the prayer Service, the Shinbashira and other Service performers proceeded to the Foundress’ Sanctuary to pay respects to Oyasama. The Shinbashira then handed the chief carpenter a document showing the measurements of the Kanrodai. This was followed by the day’s final act—a ceremony in which the carpenter applied the first ink line to the timber to be used for building the Kanrodai. It was almost midnight by the time the ceremony was completed.