I had the privilege and joy in January 2005 to spend ten days as a guest of the Oomoto religion. There are two grounds, in Kameoka and Ayabe, both very beautiful. These photos are from the Kameoka Headquarters.
At an entranceway.
I had the great honor of meeting the Fifth Spiritual Leader of Oomoto, Mm. Kurenai Deguchi.
My gift of a hand-made shawl from India.
The only appropriate photo to follow my meeting with the Fifth Spiritual Leader, it seems to me, is one of plum blossoms in bloom on the Oomoto grounds.
Nature and architecture are integrated into a wonderful beauty and harmony.
Rocks define sacred presence and sacred space.
Above this rock wall one can see the pile of stones remaining from when the Japanese government destroyed the Oomoto headquarters during the second persecution of 1934. Onisaburo Deguchi declared this sacred ground to be preserved in remembrance. People are not allowed up there except in a ceremony conducted once a year.
Here is a closer view of the sacred remains from the second persecution.
One can see the bar across the stair signaling "no admittance" to the sacred ruins above.
The main entrance way to the Oomoto grounds.
I was asked to give a seminar for two days on the Manifesto, the Constitution, and the "road map" necessary for world peace with justice
The international offices above are modern, well equipped offices that promote the Universal Love and Brotherhood Association, world federalism, Esperanto, and recognition of the common source of all religions.
It reads, in Esperanto, "One God, One World, One Language."
The main shrine where we chanted morning prayers between 8:30 and 9 a.m. each day under the leadership of a priest dressed in white robes.
Beautiful pathways curved among the beautiful buildings.
This building houses the sacred scriptures and wonderful artwork of the founders Nao Deguchi and Onisaburo Deguchi.
Many buildings hosting many activities grace the grounds.
Here and there are monuments with inscriptions in Japanese of the poetry and wisdom of the founders.
Several smaller shrines grace the grounds.
Beautiful stone works of art appear within a natural context.
Onisaburo Deguchi acquired these grounds which had been the sight of an ancient castle occupied by Samurai. One of its walls remains as pictured above.
It snowed while I was staying there. This pool is part of the original moat around the castle.
The snow covered main shrine.
A rock reservoir for water with bamboo cups. Before prayer, one ritually purifies ones' hands and mouth.
I was given this room in the residence hall for my stay. Tatami mats on the floor and bamboo paper panels, and no furniture made it simple as well as beautiful.
Outside the building where the international offices are located is this stone monument, here framed in snow. A close up of the stone is on the left.