Deguchi Onisaburo (出口王仁三郎)
"Onisaburo DEGUCHI," 1871? - January 19, 1948, was the practical founder of a new religion 'Omoto,' who laid out its teachings. He is called Seishi (聖師) in Omoto.
Some newspapers and magazines of those days ridiculed him by calling him 'Wanisaburo,' spreading the mockery of his name, which is in fact 'Onisaburo.'
Commonly thought to be born on July 12, 1871 in present day Anao, Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture, as Kisaburo UEDA, the first son of the Ueda family of farmers, but some say he was in fact born the previous year, in 1870. His grandmother, Uno UEDA, was the sister of Kodo NAKAMURA, who was known for "Nihonkotodama-gaku"(the spiritual word studies of Japan), and was knowledgeable in patrimony, the study of the power of language, superstition, etc. Kisaburo had such a weak constitution as a child that he could not attend school, and he was brought up by his grandmother who taught him various things at home. Because of his intelligience, he was called a 'Yatsumimi' (person with superior instincts and comprehension) and a wonder child.
In 1883, when times were chaotic, he held a position as a substitute teacher in the village elementary school at age of 13, but resigned and returned to farming after about two years when a formal elementary school teacher was assigned. From around 1893 (at age 23), he worked on a ranch in Sonobe, serving his apprenticeship by stock farming, and in 1896 (at age 26), he began his own business as Anao seinyu kan. He began selling expressed cow's milk.
Becoming a person of religion
Over time, he became interested in religion and psychic ability, and on March 1, 1898, went to the sacred mountain, Takakuma-yama, near Kameoka City with an oracle named Fuyo MATSUOKA (also known as 'Tengu') for week-long spiritual training. (See "Reikai Monogatari" Volume 1, Volume 37, "Honkyososei-ki"). In October of that year, he made one visit to Nao DEGUCHI, the founder of Omoto, in Ayabe City, Kyoto Prefecture. In July of the following year, led by a revelation of Nao, he visited Ayabe again, reformed the religious organization, and later formed 'Omoto,' the enormous religious organization of prewar times.
In 1900, he married Sumi DEGUCHI, the youngest daughter of Nao, and became a son-in-law, and changed his name to Onisaburo DEGUCHI.
In 1906 (at age 36), he was admitted to 'Kotenkokyu sho' (currently known as Kokugakuin University) education unit, regular course, second year. He graduated the following year, and held a position for a short time at the Kenkun-jinja Shrine. Later, he purchased Kameyama-jo Castle (Tanba Province) to use as a base, and along with Ayabe, of the religious organization, spread his teachings by buying the Taisho Nichinichi Shinbun to take part in speeches, but in 1921, he was arrested in the first Omoto jiken (incident). He began dictating and publishing the "Reikai Monogatari" that year. In the "Reikai Monogatari," the teachings of the chief god, the god of creation among the divine world, the realm of the dead, and this world, are explained with various parables, and the religious organization sees it as bringing the good news of salvation for mankind. In 1923, he attempted to adopt the global language, Esperanto, in the religious organization's activities.
Leaving and returning to the country
In February 1924, during his release from prison under sekifu (release from detention entrusting the accused to family members, etc.) after being imprisoned by the first Omoto crackdown, he escaped from the Empire of Japan to Mongolia to engage in activities with the head of mounted bandits called Rosenkai and came very close to death in June of that year in Paintara due to a concoction by Zuolin ZHANG (religious persecution in Paintara), but the six Japanese including Morihei UESHIBA, who engaged in activities with Onisaburo, found refuge and returned to the country the following month.
He later broadened his activities including the formation of a new religious organization called 'Showa shinseikai,' but was imprisoned again in 1935 in the second Omoto jiken.
He was released on bail in 1942, and in February 1946, newly established the religious organization's activities as 'Aizen-en.'
After the war, he was immersed in art, such as making pottery and drawing pictures, in Ayabe.
He died on January 19, 1948. He was 78 years old. He was laid to rest in Tennodaira, Ayabe.
What occurs in the 'spiritual world' also occurs in reality.
Said to have predicted the 'Great Kanto earthquake,' the 'Greater East Asian War' and its defeat, etc.
In 1942 when he was released on parole, he cried out loud, 'The day I am released is the day Japan's defeat begins.'
In 1944, he is said to have warned, 'Hiroshima will face disaster in the end. Residents of Hiroshima should evacuate.'
His main works include "Reikai Monogatari" (81 volumes, 83 copies), "Michi no shiori," "Tamashii no ishizue," "Honkyososei-ki," "Onizaburo DEGUCHI Zenshu," "Michi no Omoto," and poetry books such as "Kameyama," "Suisei," "Kozan no yume," "Higashi no hikari," "Kiri no umi," and "Aizen no michi." Additionally, there are journal-style books such as "Tohoku nikki," "Futana nikki," "Jinshin nikki," and "Nichigetsu nikki."
Prep school instructor Hiroshi DEGUCHI and Chairperson of 'Mekiki no kai' Hikaru DEGUCHI are his great-grandchildren.
Among the secret stories told in later years about his birth is a theory that he is the secret son whom Imperial Prince Arisugawanomiya Taruhito had with a woman other than his wedded wife, and some say that behind the crackdown of Omoto was the intent to seal this theory which could potentially become a threat to the imperial succession issue of Emperor Taisho.
In an interview with Soichi OYA when he was sixty, he said he wrote two to three hundred tanka (a thirty one-syllable Japanese poem) each day and had written five to six hundred thousand tanka by then.