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Sunday, January 27th, 2013

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Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Konkokyo or Konko is a new Japanese shinto sect that was founded by the charismatic shamanic figure known as Bunjirō Kawate or Akazawa Bunji who supposedly was appointed by the deity Konko or Tenchi Kane No Kami, the golden god of heaven and earth who is the  parent or universal kami, to act as a mediator or torit sugi between god and mankind. In his role he was to take on the pain and suffering of his followers and transmit them to god. Essentially Konko Daijin was possessed by Tenchikane no Kami, which ironically was initially seen as the wrathful outcome of Konjin, nevertheless he supposedly became the very essence of this supposed deity and who received honorific titles as advancing or progressing in his spirituality.

Conclusively it is this kind of religious ideation which is a common occurrence among the many and various expressions of shinshukyo in Japan today as these questionable individuals claim spiritual ascendancy forming a personality cult around a self proclaimed guru. It becomes obvious from among all of these exclusive claims that they can’t all be right and it is doubtful upon closer examination that any of them are correct.

Anyway this cult phenomena has lead to the development of hundreds of new sects in Japan as revolving around the essential role of a charismatic  leader who either “has the answer” or “is the answer” to life. Yet this quest for spirituality shows a lack of fulfillment in the Japanese people who desperately are seeking answers to life but who are looking for god in their own way on their own terms as seeking him in all the wrong places. They are making a god after their our own desires which is definably idolatrous as making a god after their own image and likeness. Therefore a god who is not based in objective truth but rather is molded and shaped to fit their identity as appealing to the subjectivity of merely their emotional needs is a fictitious god or a god of make believe. I think it would behoove any spiritual practitioner to check their motivation for belief and to also test the spirit of their movement for error to see if it really stands up to the claims and expectations of their founder and group and to honestly seek for discernment and wisdom regarding spiritual reality in respect to ultimate or essential truth not as to what merely attracts you but that which is independent of personal whims of which truth is not subjected to.

To begin with I believe that there is a real inconsistency to the leadership of this movement by its  flip-flopping or wishy-washiness. At one point Kawate Bunjirō participates in observing horoscopic and geomantic prescriptions and then latter denies these practices. He becomes ill and is healed by receiving magico-religious healing rites and then latter testifies that faith and spiritual strength rather than healing rites or medication are the keys to physical health. Another point of disagreement is that he sees Konjin at first as a malevolent spirit or deity but latter redefines him as the Tenchi Kane No Kami as representing him as a benevolent deity. This is how the bible depicts the deception and delusion of a malicious Satan who appears to be a magnanimous angel of golden light. Furthermore based on fear rather than conviction Akazawa aligns himself with Shintoism as taking a certification or license as deceitfully and secretly misidentifying his movement and then latter renounces and recants Shintoism. Moreoever Konkō Daijin taught that a person could receive help from Konjin by “having faith in the kami out of a sincere mind” and yet philosophically you can be sincere and still be sincerely wrong as sincerity is not the measure of all things. Yet ironically how sincere is a person who is unwilling to lay down their life as escaping persecution for what he claimed to be ultimate truth when essentially he dishonored his god by falsely misrepresenting his beliefs to Shintoism. If he was unable to take a firm stand for his religious beliefs then how willing are you to stand as putting your whole life on the line for this movement? Yet their have been others such as Jesus and his close disciples and followers who willfully laid down their lives for the truth of which they were unable to renounce or deny.

Not only that but Akazawa Bunji close disciple and successor Sato Norio also made a decision which was not based on conviction but on fear as to maintain the popularity and momentum of the movement as to once again bow down and embrace the kamis of Shintoism as identifying their movement with a form of national or state shinto which eventually contributed to pre-war militarism and nationalism of which this groups now renounces. However there is still a controversy as there remains an identity crisis today among followers of whom consider themselves to be Shinto which is more consistent with the similarity of their shrine shinto beliefs and practices. Regardless truth does not fluctuate and when it is compromised it is really non-truth which is not fit to believe or to dedicate ones life to. After all who knows if it will not change again tomorrow based on the oscillating tides of society?

Another controversy among both the leaders and their adherents is their dangerous participation with the occult like practices of Konko Daijan who perviously had been involved with distributing talisman, almanacs, horoscopic and geomantic prescriptions along with the demonic possession and revelatory inspiration from the Tenchikane no Kami. In addition to this is the contemporary practice of Konko-kyo mediators who have the power as “Mediums”  to convey messages from the kami to individuals. Metaphysically speaking one of the discrepancies of this group is its disbelief in heaven or hell as advocating that departed individuals are seen as wandering spirits upon the earth. Though I am not denying the presence of terrestrial demonic or familiar spirits the bible depicts that once a person dies that they undergo the judgment of heaven or hell as their final resting place. I have previously written some posts about others who have experienced these realms as having returned to life after coming back from the dead who described this out of body experience as being consistent with what the bible confirms as real destinations. This has even resulted in the conversion of Atheists after their near death experience or NDE and who were not previously sympathetic to Christian views regarding the interpretation of the after-life. You can watch some of their personalized testimonies in the first link that I am providing here.

Lastly there is a spiritual battle for your soul which is being tugged at in all directions by the multiplicity of spiritual forces which are at work within Japanese religious culture and society. Thus I would like to propose a more plausible religious worldview in which 1 out of 3 people in the world uphold apart from the claims of these many and various counterfeit groups. This isn’t about just advocating the use of sheer numbers alone as proof but rather it rest upon the prevalent reality which has been globally sustained as surviving the test of time over the ages as embracing the equality of humanity regardless of sex or ethnicity. I would like to send you a link to my testimony and that of many others who have undergone this reality.

Additionally it is a reasonable faith as gaining credibility from all aspects of society which is not based in mythological and legendary accounts of superstitions of ancient culture but rather it is presented in a historically reliable context.

Atheist and Agnostic

Finally much of the language, terminology and  beliefs of the Konko movement revolve around Christian concepts and themes which perhaps you can readily identify with and which supersede the claims of this fringe group as it encompasses the earth with the dynamic and overwhelming power of Jesus.

Moreover God nature is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. He has made and sustained you in that you live, move and have your being and apart from Him you are nothing. Thus He is not distant as residing in Heaven but is immanently present and tangibly real by which He has sent His Son into the world to give mankind a relevant representation and manifestation of His compassionate being. In John 3:16 it says  16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

The bible depicts One mediator between God and man and that person is Jesus who is the Christ. Jesus offered himself upon the altar of life through His sacrificial death for the sins of humanity to restore our relationship with God. This happened as God the  Son became flesh and blood and dwelt among us as He identified Himself as our representative and who victoriously conquered and overcame sin or moral failures and in turn delivered mankind from the grip of spiritual death by averting the righteous judgment of God’s wrath which convicts our hearts of wrongdoing. Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly as bettering humanity by giving us a life producing Spirit resulting in our transformation and regeneration through a new nature with a changed heart as becoming one with Father God in joining our lives to Him as His children in which we give Him glory as we represent His nature and character. In summary Jesus paid the cost by offering His precious life on our behalf through the pain and suffering of His soul so that inevitably we will not have to pay the ultimate price of a hellish realm of eternal suffering or damnation in the life to come.

The good news is that this salvific work of God is not dependent upon ourselves and is incongruent with our meritorious works or good deeds of self cultivation. Salvation is not earned but rather it is freely received having been sufficiently satisfied and efficacious as it is based solely on the independent and saving work of Christ who has shouldered the burden of our just and condemning guilt by which we are no longer objects of God’s wrath but rather beneficiaries of His kingdom as we receive the gift of eternal life.


Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”



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Konko-kyo Resources



Encyclopedia of Religion Second Edition, copyright 2005 Thomson Gale a part of The Thomson Corporation, Lindsay Jones Editor in Chief, Vol.8, pgs.5224-5226, Helen Hardacre

Encyclopedia of Religion Second Edition, copyright 2005 Thomson Gale a part of The Thomson Corporation, Lindsay Jones Editor in Chief, Vol.10, pg.6573 , Robert S. Ellwood and Shimazono Susumu

Encyclopedia of Religion Second Edition, copyright 2005 Thomson Gale a part of The Thomson Corporation, Lindsay Jones Editor in Chief, Vol.12, pg.8367 , Brian Bocking

Encyclopaedia Britannica,Inc., copyright 1993, Vol.6, pg.949, Konko-kyo

Religions of the world: a comprehensive encyclopedia of beliefs and practices/ J. Gordon Melton, Martin Baumann, editors; Todd M. Johnson, World Religious Statistics; Donald Wiebe, Introduction-2nd ed., Copyright 2010 by ABC-CLIO, LLC. Reproduced with permission of ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. ESV Text Edition: 2007