Meiji Tenno

The Usui memorial stone and the Meiji Tenno

Mikao Usui as stated on his memorial stone, that he was faced and gave in to the Meiji Tenno. This is certainly connected with the fact that Usui was born into a Samurai family. The Samurai saw particularly in the Meiji period (1868-1912) as loyal protectors of the Meiji Tenno, even if it is described as historically they have rebelled against the Meiji Tenno.

Usui-memorial-Foto-Mark-Hosak

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On the memorial stone at the grave of Mikao Usui is mentioned that the Usui Life-Rules pertain to the teaching of Mikao Usui. An important component of this was supposedly to obey the instructions of Meiji Tenno. Therefore it has awakened the impression to some in the West that the rules of life were also written by the Meiji Tenno. On the other hand are many historical facts speaking against this.

Many modern Japanese can hardly read such complex texts in classical Japanese written language today, let alone understand it. In Japanese, following the instructions of the Meiji Tenno is preceded by performing the Gassho meditation with the rules of life. This means that from this point of view at the time Usui asked Meiji Tenno for instructions about his own teaching or that this was a prerequisite for Usui. From that time until the end of World War II the assumption was that the Tenno was of divine origin.

Some Reiki masters in the West are of the view that preoccupation and recitation of poems of the Meiji Tenno are equally important in the context of the Usui Reiki and rules of life. The will, however, contends that the poems were only a personal expression of emotions. Consequently, they have neither something to do with Reiki nor with following instructions of the imperial Meiji Tenno.

The imperial instructions of Meiji Tenno refer namely to an imperial decree (chokugo 勅語) or an imperial decree (chokurei 勅令) during a speech of Meiji Tenno October 30, 1890, where he himself even spoke to the people. This includes the 12 points of virtuous behavior, but none of the five precepts of Mikao Usui, as they are told on the memorial stone and calligraphy.

However, when comparing the contents of the 12 points with ancient versions of the rules of life, fall partly some similarities. It has often been suggested that „honor your parents“ or „earn your bread honest“ is in life generally related to the Ten Commandments of Christianity and that someone from the West had added this content. However, this seems to be a mistake in more ways than one, because exactly the first place in the decree of Meiji Tenno emerge such sentences, which means that it must have, secondly given early confusion between Usui life rules and the decree of Meiji Tenno.

Adoption of Meiji Tenno in Japanese

両親に孝行し、兄弟姉妹が仲良く助け合い、夫婦が互いに調和し、友人どうしが信じあい、他人を敬い自分を慎んで自己を抑制し、人々に博愛で接し、学問を修め技術を習う、これらによって知識と能力を自己の中から発展させ、優れた人格者として完成して、そして自発的に公共の利益を求め、国家、社会に必要な仕事を見出し、常に国の憲法を重視し、国の法律に従い、もし有事になれば正義と勇気を持って社会に奉仕する事により、きわまることの無い天地のような永遠に続く皇室を守るべきである。このような人は、私(天皇)一人に対して忠誠で善良な国民であるだけでなく、同時にあなたの先祖の残したすぐれた伝統、功績を世に知らせるのである。
このような道は、代々にわたる私の先祖達の残した教訓であって、子孫である全国民が遵守すべき事柄で、これを昔から今まで守り続けても誤りが無く、国内同様国外で行っても道理に外れるものではないので、私(天皇)はあなたがた国民と一緒に、これを忘れないように心に刻み、完成された人格を共有したいと切に願っている。

Adoption of the Meiji and Supplement in English

Translation from Japanese Expert, Mark Hosak

Love and honor your parents. Go peacefully and helpful to with your siblings. Spouses should each take care for harmony. Friends should trust each other. Respect others and also restrain and dominate yourself. People should be met with philanthropy (love of mankind). Science should be studied and learn the techniques. In this way we will enhance our knowledge and skills. People of high rank should be perfected and strive on their own for the common good. One should pursue a profession that serves the state and society. Here you should always keep the importance of the constitution of the state in mind and obey the laws of the country. If necessary, one should show courage and justice and prove these things. This is to be followed between heaven and earth for all eternity. Such people are (Tennô) for me, not only loyal and virtuous citizens, but they will also let the children know what this is for an exceptional tradition and meritorious performance. Such a path is the teaching that our ancestors have left us. All citizens of our descendants are to follow this issue. Regardless of whether that was followed from the past to today, what will happen at home and abroad, there is no reason to turn their backs on the reason. I would therefore like (Tennô) to enshrine this with you my people irrevocably in memory. I sincerely pray that the perfection of our personality becomes our common possession.“

After the death of Meiji Tenno 1912 nationalized then to the term Meiji Tenno no ikun (instructions left by the late Meiji Tenno ) as a fixed phrase. In this respect, it can be seen that here on the memorial stone, whose space is limited for the content, certain partly historical keywords are used, behind which hides much more than it first appears. Since Usui had heard and lived this imperial decree during his lifetime, it is not surprising that this is mentioned here.

Striking at the instructions of the Meiji-Tenno, the first call: „Love and honor your parents.“ This is similar to namely one of many circulating translations of the rules of life with the sentences „honor your parents, teachers and elders; just today earn your bread honestly. “ However, there is nothing to be found in writing or spoken of in the five precepts. So it seems that at some point someone has dealt with the imperial instructions and those attributed to the rules of life of Mikao Usui and for omitting other sentences. Also one could assume that there are other unknown sources of life rules of Mikao Usui. As long as these do not appear in the original Japanese language, these are only speculations.

Interest in translations?

Those interested in translations from the Japanese of Japanese studies Mark Hosak simply please send an email to: markhosaka-at-shingon-reiki.de. please replace -at- against @.

Mark Hosak specializes in Japanese texts in the fields of Buddhism, Spirituality, Japanese culture, Reiki, martial art and shamanism.

2 Replies to “Meiji Tenno”

    • Hello Vichien,

      thank you for your comment. You find the translation above in the text.

      Best regards,

      Mark Hosak

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