Rochell Vansickle

Rochell Vansickle

Modified & Updated: 07 Sep 2023


Tenrikyo is a fascinating religion that originated in Japan in the 19th century. With a rich history and unique teachings, it has attracted millions of followers worldwide. In this article, we will explore 16 intriguing facts about Tenrikyo that shed light on its beliefs, practices, and impact on society. From its connection to Shintoism to its emphasis on self-reflection and gratitude, Tenrikyo offers a distinct perspective on spirituality and personal growth. Whether you are already familiar with Tenrikyo or curious to learn more, these facts will provide you with a deeper understanding of this enriching faith. So, let’s dive in and uncover the mysteries and teachings of Tenrikyo!

Table of Contents

Tenrikyo is a Japanese new religious movement.

Tenrikyo is a modern religious movement that originated in Japan in the 19th century. Founded by Nakayama Miki in 1838, it emphasizes the concept of the Joyous Life and seeks to promote spiritual growth and harmony among its followers.

It has millions of followers worldwide.

Tenrikyo has a significant following both in Japan and internationally. With millions of believers worldwide, it has established itself as one of the major religions in Japan and continues to attract new followers with its teachings.

The scriptures of Tenrikyo are known as the “Ofudesaki.”

The “Ofudesaki,” meaning “tip of the brush” in Japanese, is the principal scripture of Tenrikyo. It is believed to contain the divine revelations of Nakayama Miki, the founder of Tenrikyo, and serves as a guide for spiritual practice and understanding.

Tenrikyo is known for its emphasis on healing.

One of the central aspects of Tenrikyo is its focus on healing. The movement promotes the idea that through sincere prayer and belief in divine providence, individuals can experience physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.

Followers of Tenrikyo practice a unique form of worship called the “service.”

The “service” in Tenrikyo refers to the spiritual ceremony conducted by followers. It involves prayer, chanting, and the offering of sacred symbols known as the “Sahohime,” which represent gratitude and reverence for the divine.

Tenrikyo has a strong emphasis on community.

Tenrikyo places great importance on fostering a sense of community among its followers. The movement encourages its members to support and care for one another, promoting unity and cooperation within the Tenrikyo community.

It has its headquarters in Tenri, Japan.

The main headquarters of Tenrikyo is located in Tenri, Nara Prefecture, Japan. The holy site attracts pilgrims from all over the world who come to pay their respects and deepen their spiritual connection.

Tenrikyo promotes the concept of salvation for all.

Tenrikyo teaches that everyone has the potential to attain salvation. It emphasizes the importance of self-reflection, spiritual growth, and living in harmony with others to achieve the ultimate goal of spiritual enlightenment.

The founder of Tenrikyo, Nakayama Miki, is considered the “Shrine of God.”

Nakayama Miki, the founder of Tenrikyo, holds a revered position within the movement. She is believed to be the “Shrine of God” and is regarded as a manifestation of the divine for her role in revealing the teachings of Tenrikyo.

Tenrikyo promotes environmental sustainability.

Tenrikyo emphasizes the importance of environmental stewardship and sustainable living. The movement encourages its followers to respect and care for the natural world, viewing it as a sacred gift from the divine.

Tenrikyo holds an annual pilgrimage to the Jiba.

Every year, followers of Tenrikyo embark on a pilgrimage to the Jiba, the holy ground in Tenri, Japan. The pilgrimage is seen as an opportunity for spiritual growth and deepening one’s connection with the divine.

Tenrikyo has its own unique symbol called the “Yorozuyo.”

The “Yorozuyo” is the distinctive symbol of Tenrikyo, representing its philosophical principles and core teachings. It consists of eight stylized characters that symbolize the unity and interconnectedness of all things.

Tenrikyo emphasizes the importance of gratitude.

Gratitude is a central theme in Tenrikyo. The movement teaches its followers to cultivate a mindset of gratitude towards the divine, fellow human beings, and all aspects of life, believing that gratitude leads to a more positive and fulfilling existence.

Tenrikyo has a strong emphasis on spiritual growth and self-improvement.

Tenrikyo encourages its followers to continually strive for spiritual growth and self-improvement. Through sincere prayer, acts of kindness, and self-reflection, followers aim to purify their hearts and cultivate a deeper connection with the divine.

Tenrikyo teaches the importance of harmonious relationships.

Tenrikyo emphasizes the significance of fostering harmonious relationships with others. It promotes forgiveness, compassion, and understanding as essential elements for creating a peaceful and harmonious society.

Tenrikyo has established various charitable and educational institutions.

As part of its commitment to serving society, Tenrikyo has founded numerous charitable organizations and educational institutions. These institutions aim to promote social welfare, provide education, and support individuals in need.


By exploring these 16 facts about Tenrikyo, we can gain a deeper understanding of this intriguing religion. Tenrikyo’s emphasis on the unity of all human beings and the nurturing of a joyful and harmonious society is truly inspiring. Its core teachings of gratitude, sincerity, and compassion resonate with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Tenrikyo’s rich history, dynamic practices, and expansive global community make it a fascinating and ever-evolving religious tradition. Whether you are a follower of Tenrikyo seeking to deepen your knowledge or simply curious about this unique religion, delving into these facts will undoubtedly leave you with a greater appreciation for Tenrikyo’s principles and impact.

As always, the best way to fully comprehend Tenrikyo is through personal exploration and engagement with its teachings. By immersing yourself in the Tenrikyo community, attending worship services, and studying its sacred texts, you can truly grasp the depth and beauty of this faith.


Q: What is the origin of Tenrikyo?

A: Tenrikyo was founded in 1838 by Miki Nakayama, also known as Oyasama, in the village of Shoyashiki in present-day Nara Prefecture, Japan.

Q: What are the core beliefs of Tenrikyo?

A: Tenrikyo centers around the belief in the “Joyous Life,” which is achieved through expressing gratitude to God and helping others with a sincere and compassionate heart.

Q: Can anyone practice Tenrikyo?

A: Yes, Tenrikyo is open to people of all backgrounds and is practiced worldwide. There are no restrictions based on age, nationality, or ethnicity.

Q: Are there any specific rituals in Tenrikyo?

A: Tenrikyo has unique practices, including the use of a sacred liturgy called the “Service” and the performance of a sacred dance known as the “Teodori.”

Q: Where are the main centers of Tenrikyo today?

A: While Tenrikyo originated in Japan, it has grown into a global faith with followers and centers in countries such as the United States, Brazil, South Korea, and Australia.

Q: How does Tenrikyo contribute to society?

A: Tenrikyo actively engages in charitable activities, disaster relief efforts, and environmental initiatives, with the aim of promoting peace, happiness, and the well-being of all.

Q: Are there any Tenrikyo festivals or celebrations?

A: Yes, Tenrikyo holds various festivals and celebrations throughout the year, including the New Year’s Day Service, the Spring Grand Service, and the Children’s Pilgrimage.

Q: Can one join Tenrikyo without converting from their current religion?

A: Yes, Tenrikyo welcomes individuals to learn and practice its teachings without requiring them to convert or renounce their previous religious affiliations.

Q: How can one learn more about Tenrikyo?

A: To learn more about Tenrikyo, one can visit local Tenrikyo centers, read Tenrikyo literature, or participate in Tenrikyo seminars and study groups.

Q: Does Tenrikyo have any sacred texts?

A: Yes, Tenrikyo’s main scripture is the Ofudesaki, which contains the teachings revealed by God to Oyasama.

Q: Does Tenrikyo have a hierarchy or clergy system?

A: Tenrikyo does not have a hierarchy or clergy system. The faith is guided by elected administrative bodies and emphasizes the spiritual growth and self-reliance of its practitioners.

Q: Is Tenrikyo involved in interfaith dialogue?

A: Yes, Tenrikyo actively participates in interfaith dialogue and promotes mutual understanding and collaboration among different religious traditions.

Q: How does Tenrikyo view the concept of God?

A: Tenrikyo sees God as the all-encompassing and ever-living creator who resides within each human being, guiding and nurturing them towards a joyous and fulfilling life.

Q: Does Tenrikyo have any dietary restrictions?

A: Tenrikyo does not impose any specific dietary restrictions. However, it encourages followers to eat in moderation and with gratitude.

Q: Are there any Tenrikyo prayers?

A: Tenrikyo has various prayers known as “Joyous Service Prayers” that are recited during worship services and personal devotions.

Q: Can Tenrikyo be practiced alongside other religions?

A: Yes, Tenrikyo recognizes and respects the diversity of religious beliefs and allows individuals to practice Tenrikyo alongside their existing religious affiliations.

Q: Does Tenrikyo have a concept of an afterlife?

A: Tenrikyo teaches that the soul returns to God after death and continues to exist in a spiritual realm, ultimately progressing towards spiritual maturity.