“I was born in the slum area of Hashiba-cho, Asakusa-ku, Tokyo. Our home consisted of two rooms. I have a vague recollection that in the smaller room, which measured fifty-four square feet, where my father had a second-hand goods store. The other room was eighty-one square feet and we used it as a living room. Every evening we went to Asakusa Park, which is on twenty-four-and-one-half acres, to open our little stall. I remember my father told me quite often of his memories of those days. He would say, "If we cannot earn anything tonight, we cannot lift the lid of the pan tomorrow.” So, as long as there was no rain, we went out pushing the handcart with our meager wares to sell, my mother carrying me on her back. Needless to say, we were as poor as a church mouse. My mother was undernourished and had no milk from herself to nurse me, so I was sent to the neighborhood temple, Renso-ji, to receive milk from the priest's wife. By the time I finished elementary school, my family had managed to generate a little spare money and I was able to enter art school. It was through this experience of my childhood and even continuing after my marriage, that I was able to taste poverty and what it means to have money. This experience has now put me in good stead and I am so grateful now for those past diversities that will not allow me to be wasteful and squander needlessly on luxuries.”—Mokichi Okada (Meishusama)

In 1882, in the westernmost slums of Tokyo, Mokichi Okada was born into grueling poverty. Despite hardship, from childhood he had a deep love of beauty. He studied to be an artist but failing sight forced him to leave school.

His early life was one of sickness, failure, and tragedy. Yet, against all odds, he became a successful businessman, a poet, a connoisseur of art, a naturalist, a fine calligrapher, a philosopher, and a great spiritual leader. He became “Meishusama” (Master of Light).”

On Mount Nokogiri, Japan, in 1931, he had a vision of the world’s transformation from night to day. And, as the dark clouds of the Pacific War gathered, against all odds, he encouraged global fellowship and peace.

He taught that art and beauty enhance life and gave it meaning.

“A camellia freshly cut from my garden now decorates my room. I know life’s pleasures.”
“Looking at a flower, I am awed by the skill of God.”
“Heaven is a world of beauty and the hearts of those in heaven are beautiful as well.”

He developed Natural Agriculture so that people would live in harmony with their earth, would be healthy.

“It is foolish to sow the seeds of affliction, poisoning the earth, the body, and the mind.”
“To seek to know the mysteries of the world through the narrow tools of science is foolish.”
God’s grace gives life to the withered grass. God’s grace gives life to humankind.”

He developed Jyorei so that we could draw on spiritual energy so to advance physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

“When I see the anguish of sickness, my heart is enflamed with compassion.”
“Jyorei is a purification of fire.”
“To purify people in this corrupt world, one must spread God’s light.”

Meishusama’s great vision was of humankind creating Heaven on Earth.
“My hope is an age free of sickness, poverty, and strife.”
“Day by day, God’s Light grows, illuminating heaven and earth.”

On February 10, 1955, Meishusama passed on to immortality, leaving us with his guidance and the vision of Heaven on Earth that he found on Mount Nokogiri.

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