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Hiromai of house.jfif

Our Founder Konko Daijin

From Farmer to Founder:  1814-1883

The Konko Faith was founded by Bunjiro Kawate in Okayama, Japan during the mid-19th century.  Bunjiro was an ordinary farmer yet he was unique in that he was very conscientious and devout. Despite his devout adherences to traditional folk beliefs, he suffered many hardships and misfortunes. However, instead of being discouraged and resentful, he became even more sincere and devout. Bunjiro's sincere attitude was recognized by Tenchi Kane No Kami, the Divine Parent of the Universe, commonly referred to as "Kami". This enabled him to find a new spiritual path outside of traditional folk beliefs and led to his broader understanding of Kami. 

Bunjiro​ realized that Kami exists in all things; all things are sustained by Kami. He realized a relationship exists between people and Kami that is reciprocal and inseparable. Therefore, when people live their lives fully through sincere and wholehearted faith, Kami is also being fulfilled--it is a mutually fulfilling relationship.

The blessings Bunjiro received were recognized by his fellow villagers and word spread far and wide of his success. Soon more and more people began to come to him to request his guidance. It was at this point that Kami asked Bunjiro to give up his life as a farmer and provider for his family and devote all his energy to helping Kami and humanity. The Konko Faith began and the way of Sacred Mediation called Toritsugi was born. 

Ikigami Konko Daijin & Ikigami - "Living Kami"

The Divine Parent of the Universe bestowed several divine titles upon the Founder as his faith and understanding of Kami broadened. The last divine title the Founder was given was “Ikigami Konko Daijin”. People often associate the shortened title "Konko Daijin" with Bunjiro's physical form, while the divine tile "Ikigami Konko Daijin" is mainly associated with the his spiritual form as an invisible and eternal-living spirit and workings of Sacred Mediation. 

​Konko Daijin was once described by a disciple, "He is in good health and he is gentle by nature. He has great dignity but is not overbearing. He is modest, candid, and broad-minded. He sits at the Hiromae [worship hall] everyday from early morning until night. It is unprecedented for a person born a farmer to receive the divine name "Daijin" and become a living kami" (Gorikai III, Omichi Annai 2.9).

​Konko Daijin served at his Worship Hall for the last time on September 27, 1883. That evening during a service, he received a divine message to leave the Worship Hall, and have one of his sons continue Sacred Mediation. Thus, with this permission from Kami, Konko Daijin retired to his room. Grateful for being allowed to serve both Kami and people, Konko Daijin said, "Although there were days when I couldn't eat anything, there was not a single day in twenty-seven years when I was unable to perform toritsugi mediation at the Hiromae" [worship hall] (Revelations 27-12).


Then on October 10, 1883, as was revealed "when the 9th and 10th day of both calendars will fall on the same day"* at the age of sixty-nine, Konko Daijin passed away peacefully in the light of a new day.

* "both calendars" refers to the use of both Lunar and Gregorian calendars.

Replica of House_edited.jpg

Replica of the Founder's worship hall

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