Historical photo: Onisaburo Deguchi dictating his “Tales of the Spirit World”

Onisaburo Deguchi dictating an episode of his “Tales of the Spirit World” to his scribes c. 1922

“Morihei had a complete collection of “Reikai Monogatari” in his personal library and and is said to have read the entire text.”

The Reikai Monogatari was considered a sacred text by Omoto believers. Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba was a high-ranking member of the sect beginning in 1920 until its suppression by the Japanese government in 1935.

Morihei Ueshiba was living in the Omoto community when Onisaburo began work on this expansive work. This 81-volume narrative work was begun in 1921 after Onisaburo had been released from jail following the first Omoto suppression. He dictated its contents in the morning before arising while still reclined in his futon. A team of scribes would transcribe Onisaburo’s speech and then edit the text based on Deguchi’s corrections. The Reikai Monogatari is an eclectic work detailing Onisaburo’s spiritual experiences and contains novelesque passages, poems and essays. It is considered a sacred text of the Omoto religion and offers as well a great deal of social commentary and prophecies.

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