- Deguchi, Onisaburo
- (1871-1948)Born Ueda, Kisaburo, son of a peasant family near Kyoto, in 1898 he had a mystical experience and met Deguchi, Nao with whom, in a remarkable life filled with incident, he subsequently worked to organise and propagate the teachings of Omoto-kyo. He took the family name Deguchi in 1900 when he married Nao's fifth daughter, Sumi, and adopted the controversial personal name Onisaburo in 1904 (see Omoto). In 1921 as a result of the Omoto-kyo teaching that salvation began with the ordinary people under his leadership he was accused of lese-majeste (injurious affront to the sovereign) and imprisoned, while the Omoto headquarters was attacked. When released on bail Onisaburo dictated his compendious 'reikai monogatari' (tales of the world of the spirits), an account of his initiatory adventures in the spirit-world twenty-three years earlier when he had been told by the king of the underworld that he was to be the messiah between the two worlds and had joined up with Deguchi, Nao. Onisaburo later joined up with right-wing thinkers and went to Manchuria where he set up the kurenai manjikai (red swastika association), founded the sekai shukyo rengokai (federation of world religions) and took part in the Esperanto movement. He was imprisoned from 1935-42, again on charges of lese-majeste. The Omoto headquarters was once more attacked by the police and this time reduced to dust. Ater the war he lived quietly in retirement and Omoto teachings took a completely different tack, defending the postwar 'peace' constitution. On this basis Omoto-kyo has had considerable success in the postwar period. Apart from his leadership and organisational skills Onisaburo had considerable talents as a poet, calligrapher, potter and painter.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.