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The Founding of Konkokyo

Konko Daijin (1814-1883), the founder of Konkokyo, was a farmer in a small farming village in what is now Konko-cho, Okayama Prefecture. Despite being very religious and praying to gods and buddhas often, he encountered many misfortunes such as the deaths of three of his children and two oxen. He and his fellow villagers believed that his misfortunes were due to his irreverences toward Konjin, the most feared deity believed to wreak multiple deaths when angered. Although Konko Daijin did not think he had done anything wrong such as building his house in an ominous direction or on an unlucky day, he admitted that he may have upset Konjin unknowingly. He therefore sincerely apologized to Konjin and was forgiven.

Konko Daijin later became able to communicate orally with Konjin. He soon found that Konjin was actually a benevolent deity who desired to help and protect people and bring peace and happiness to the world. Konko Daijin prayed to this deity which was renamed Tenchi Kane No Kami. In turn, this deity, which spoke through Konko Daijin's voice, gave Konko Daijin various instructions and advice for farming and other daily activities. By following this deity's instructions obtained through prayers, Konko Daijin was able to receive many blessings such as larger harvests and aversion of fatal illnesses in his family.

People soon started noticing Konko Daijin's blessings and they started coming to him to request Tenchi Kane No Kami's instructions as well. Konko Daijin thereby became a conduit between people and the deity. He relayed people's requests for advice on daily problems and activities and in turn the deity would speak through Konko Daijin. This was the start of toritsugi mediation, the act of mediating between man and Tenchi Kane No Kami. By following the instructions of this deity, people received many blessings and good fortune.

With an increasing number of people seeking toritsugi mediation, Konko Daijin often had to interrupt his farm work to go back to his house and mediate for visitors. So on November 15, 1859, Tenchi Kane No Kami finally told Konko Daijin to quit farming and dedicate himself to toritsugi mediation full-time at his house. This date is thereby considered to be the founding day of Konkokyo.

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