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Thursday, December 02, 2004

Sukyo Mahikari

Mahikari Parade

Everyone loves a parade.... especially the Su God.

Takayama is a lovely town, as I've opined before. It is also, however, the world headquarters for Sukyo Mahikari, or just "MahiKari" to the locals. MahiKari was founded in 1960 by
Okada Kotama. It all started :

"In 1959, Okada is said to have had his first revelation (Davis:5). The Su God, also known as Revered-Parent Origin-Lord True-Light Great God, is said to have returned to the world after a period of withdrawal (Young 35). The deity appeared to the founder at five in the morning with a revelation. Su God, whose name means "True God of Light," is said to be God of fire, light, and the sun (Young 35). Though lesser deities failed at the task, Su God's goal is to rid the world of evil spirits, and cleanse the human body of defilements that lead to sickness and unnatural death (Young 35). Defilements refer to the toxins of modernization, like pollution and medicine (Young 35). Su God also promised to bathe the world " in a Baptism of Fire " with a light that heals for followers and a light that destroys for non-believers."
I find I always do my best thinking at 5 a.m.....

But MahiKari is huge in this town, their main shrine dominates the skyline, like some massive, cheesy sci-fi prop. It's all a mishmash of architectural and religious styles:


Much like their religious imagery:

And they have some suspect practices:

Most of which have to do with cleanliness, "holy light" and a rejection of modern medicine.

They also happen to believe that Japan was once at the heart of an ancient Pacific landmass called Mu:

But they are incredibly influential here, owning several properties besides the main shrine, including an art museum and several office complexes. Miyuki tells me that many local businessmen are converts to the cause, simply in order to land lucrative contracts with the group. But they are an international organization though attracting initiates and converts from around globe. Which puts me in the odd position of wondering everytime I see a gaijin (foreigner) wandering around town, if they're either a tourist, a local like myself or part of Su God's army.

Mahikari Parade

But, once a year they have a parade, so what's not to love?

Mahikari Parade

If you'd like to see more parade shots, click here.

If you'd like to read a fair and balanced account of the CULT(!) click here.

However, to get down into the freaky deeky go here and here.