Episode 263 – Their Eyes Were Watching the Gods, Part 2

This week; the zenith of Omoto, its fall, and its postwar rebirth. Plus, what have we learned?


Stalker, Nancy. Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburo, Omoto, and the Rise of New Religions in Imperial Japan. 

Garon, Sheldon. Molding Japanese Minds.


A newspaper article on the first Omoto Incident (1921)
Deguchi Onisaburo in Mongolia.
Ruins of the 2nd Omoto Incident. This photo of a former Omoto Shrine was taken in 1950.
A Tokyo Asahi Shinbun feature on Onisaburo’s trial, from 1936.
Onisaburo as an old man.
Omoto’s internationalism remains an important part of the religion, even as the majority of its believers are still in Japan. This photo, from 1975, shows Omoto priests performing a service in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.03

2 thoughts on “Episode 263 – Their Eyes Were Watching the Gods, Part 2”

  1. I didn’t know that Morihei Ueshiba was affiliated with Omoto. My understanding is that he began developing his discipline sometime in the 1920s, correct? So that would mean that he had already met with Onisaburo. So in what ways did Omoto believes and practices influence Aikido (and vice versa)? Did he continue to stay with the movement after the government crack-downs began or did leave?

  2. The single best source for any info regarding the history and possible philosophical links between Omoto kyo and Ueshiba Morihei sensei are to be found in the very extensive series of posts by Professor Peter Goldsbury in Aikiweb.com

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