Founder's gravesite.jpg
Head minister Rev. Masanori Takeuchi at the founder's gravesite on June 20,2009.





Ikigami Konko Daijin Grand Ceremony and Dedication of the new Konko Church of Chicago on November 1, 2009.




Group picture on November 1, 2009.











Hello, Everyone!

Today my heart is filled with awesome gratitude to see so many people come here from all over to support and encourage us. Thank you, each and every one, so very much.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. very famously declared to the world, "I have a dream...." on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

Like Dr. King, I too have dreamed of being of service in this world. Actually, I've envisioned a number of dreams in the last 12 years. In welcoming you to this dedication, my greatest dream has come true beyond all measure through Kami's blessing. Here's why.

My family and I decided to come to Chicago in 1997. But I believe Mr. & Mrs. Shinkichi & Ume Nishimura may well be the guiding pioneer spirits of this ministry. The Nishimuras became Konko believers in Seattle, WA some 90 years ago. Mr. Nishimura died in a WWII internment camp. After the War, Ume Nishimura moved in with her family to Chicago upon their release.

The Nishimura family has kept the spark of their Konko faith alive and followed their beliefs in Chicago all these years. We have acknowledged our appreciation to the Nishimuras as the inspirational foundation of this ministry since we opened the doors of the Konko Propagation Hall. And this was another dream I had. I prayed that one day I'd see all the Nishimuras descendants gathered here in celebration with their parents' Mitama spirits. This dream has come true today. The Nishimuras are here.

Another dream has to do with my friends and family who live in Japan. For more than a decade I have dreamed that one day they would come to Chicago and enjoy a meaningful time with us. This too also has come true.

Rev. Keiki Otsubo, assistant head-minister of my home church of Airaku, has led a group of 20 guests from Japan, including his uncle, Rev. Mitsuaki Otsubo, who also happens to be my brother-in-law, and his wife, Mrs. Emiko Otsubo, who is, of course, my sister.

I met Rev. Keiki's grandfather, the Rev. Soichiro Otsubo, when I was 15.  The more I saw of him, the more I was awestruck by his nature and great dignity.  This impression only grew when I trained my faith under his guidance for 20 years.  I was moved to tears to see all of the guests from Japan here in Chicago.

But as far as this country is concerned, none of these dreams might have happened without the Uzunoes. Rev. Nobuharu Uzunoe generously supported my desire to do missionary work in the United States. He and his wife, Rev. Michie's, unwavering faith in Kami have been guiding lights to the success of this ministry.

To them must be added Head Ministers Rev. Takao Kishii of the Toronto Church and Rev. Michihiro Yuasa of Seattle, who are here today as prominent leaders of our faith in North America. Rev. Mrs. Toshiko Kishii also played the Koto and Miss Stephanie Laite of Toronto shared a lovely Sacred Dance (Kibimai). Your presence has enriched today's ceremony and we thank you very much!

I would also like to thank Rev. Mitsuaki Otsubo for today's impressive sermon, which feeds my vision for this new church. His wife, Mrs. Emiko Otsubo, my sister, played the Koto music to precede the ceremony. I am deeply grateful for both.

I have dreamed that believers and friends in Chicago and even local people from different religions might join in this kind of celebration to discover our ideal of religious harmony and become an example of tolerance for a world family of faiths.

Finally, and most importantly, I have had a dream that we would have a church in Chicago some day and that the Dedication Ceremony of the new Konko Church of Chicago would be filled with loving, peaceful, joyful hearts united by Kami's glory. I am humbled to invite you to look around, you are all the proof that dream appears to have been miraculously fulfilled beyond all measure.

Konko Daijin assured us, "When people live out the following statement daily in their lives, 'On this very day pray with a single heart.  Divine blessings are within your own grateful and caring heart full of harmony and joy,' the glory of Kami will appear and true world peace will be attained."

It is through the demonstration of Kami's glory by our faith and lives that we can help achieve the happiness this world definitely needs. This is the foundation on which to bring about true harmony in our homes and genuine peace in the world. This is the essence of the Divine Reminder.

To commemorate today's ceremony, we would like to present each of you your own framed Divine Reminder. Please put it in a prominent place. Keep this message in mind and use it at any time. Then I believe you will be blessed fully.

I hope you all feel, as I do, that something of great importance for our lives has taken place in this ceremony. I thank you.





- 150th Anniversary -

Ikigami Konko Daijin Grand Ceremony and Dedication of the new Konko Church of Chicago








Konko Church of Chicago

6447 N. Albany Ave.

Chicago  IL,  60645

Tel/Fax (773) 465-5406


Home Page:






1.          Opening Address by Emcee (Mr. Tim Ogawa)

2.          Processional 参向/着席Officiants 

3.          Solemn Greeting* 拝礼Congregation

4.          Mediation Prayer – Congregation

              取次唱詞奉唱  (Please join in reciting together)

         Let us seek the Mediation of Konko Daijin

              with a pure and single heart

              each and every day.

         May we receive the Mediation anew

              with all our hearts and souls

              On this day, this very moment.

         Ikigami Konko Daijin Sama, Ikigami Konko Daijin Sama.

         Ikigami Konko Daijin Sama, Ikigami Konko Daijin Sama.

5.          Adoration Prayer - Congregation                

                       神徳賛詞奉唱 (Please join in reciting together)

         We lift our eyes in awe toward heaven, soaring above, (Leader)

         We lift our eyes in awe toward heaven, soaring above.

         We bow our heads in prayer toward earth, rich and deep.

         Living amid such gifts of Kami's great giving,

         How happy and grateful we are!

         The Mediation of the Living spirits does not stop for a single day.

         The protection of the Parent Kami embraces all, far and wide.

         The blessings of Kami flow without limit through all generations.

         The ways of Kami are mysterious and wondrous,

              beyond our understanding

         Day by day, every day, earnestly and reverently,

         We praise the virtues of Kami,

         We honor the power of Kami.

6.          Ceremony Prayer 祭詞奏上 - Head Officiant

7.     Symbolic Offering of True Heart – Head Officiant


8.          Recitation of Divine Reminder – Congregation

             天地書附奉体          (Please join in reciting together)

         Ikigami Konko Daijin  Tenchi Kane No Kami

              Isshin ni negae

              Okage wa waga kokoro ni ari

              Knogetsu konnichi de tanomei

              Pray sincerely,

              With all your heart.

              Be one with Kami.

              Kami's blessings begin within

              Hearts grateful and caring,

              In harmony and joy.

              Look to Kami always,

              Now and forever.

              On this very day, pray.

9.          Symbolic Offering of True Heart by Representatives


       Guest speaker: Rev. Mitsuaki Otsubo (KC Airaku)

          KCNA CAM:Rev. Roderick Hashimoto (KC Vancouver)

          Ministers from other religions: Rev. Lee Barker (Meadville/Lombard Theological School), Rev. Masahito Kimura (Tenrikyo Washington Church), Mrs. Yoshiko Murakami (Rissho Kosei Kai Chicago Branch)

         Representatives in the Japanese American Community in Chicago:  Mr. Ralph Fujimoto (CJAC), Mrs. Akiko Sugano (NCJAA), Mrs. Yoshiko Urayama (Chicago Shimpo)

          Parent Church in Japan: Rev. Keiki Otsubo (KC Airaku)

          Parent Church in the USA: Rev. Michie Uzunoe (KC Portland)

          Ministers in the USA: Rev. Michihiro Yuasa (KC Seattle), Rev. Joanne Tolosa (KC San Francisco), Rev. Toshio Ota (KPH Lancaster)

          Ministers from Japan and Brazil: Rev. Aiko Ikejiri, Rev. Fukuyo Otsubo, Rev. Sumio Ikemoto, Rev. Ryoichi Iwai

          Believers' representatives in the USA and Canada: Mrs. Setsuko Yoshida (KC Toronto), Mr. Randy Akagi (KC Portland), Mrs. Miyako Dusek (Tacoma Fellowship), Mrs. Jean Kawahatsu (KC Sacramento), Mr. Shigeo Kosugi (KC Gardena), Ms. Vivian Spies (KC San Diego)

          Believers' representatives from Japan: Mr. Katsumi Ikejiri, Mr. Yuji Ando, Mr. Takanobu Yasutake, Mr. Tetsuo Iida, Mrs. Toshiko Kumai

          Representatives in KC Chicago: Mrs. Masae Ogawa, Mrs. Shizuko Kusumoto, Mrs. May Ogawa, Mr. Harold Noji, Mrs. Ruby Noji, Mr. Tony Berardi, Mr. Michael Knuppel

          Shintokai president: Mr. Tim Ogawa (Everyone, please join him)

10.     Sacred Dance 吉備舞Miss Stephanie Laite,

『今日の御祭り(Celebration)Konko Church of Toronto

11.     Hymn "In Praise of Konko Daijin" 

「親神のよざしのままに」斉唱Congregation (Separate Paper)

12.     Sermon 御教話 - Rev. Mitsuaki Otsubo,

                         Interpreter: Mr. Takanobu Yasutake,

                                    Konko Church of Airaku, Japan

13.     In Gratitude on the 150th Anniversary of

   the Founding of the Konko Faith – Congregation

         立教150年御礼祈願詞  (Please join in reciting together)

         Let us praise Tenchi Kane No Kami, the Divine Parent of the Universe

         Let us praise Ikigami Konko Daijin, the Divine Mediator

         Our Founder, Konko Daijin, worshipped Kami as the Divine Parent

         And answered Kami's Call to Mediation.

         The work of Mediation has continued since that time,

         From the Founder through five generations,

         And the blessings of Kami have been revealed to the world.

         Through the years and across generations,

         This sacred Way of Mediation has been handed down to us

         By the dedication of numerous predecessors.

         Mysterious are the Workings of Kami that led us to this Faith,

         Countless are the blessings that we have received.

         As we celebrate 150 years since Kami revealed the Call,

         Let us give sincere thanks for the blessings of this Way.

         Now, on this day, we bow our heads in prayer,

         And receive the Truth of Divine Mediation.

         Daily, we renew our joy at being allowed to live

         In Kami's infinite love, in Kami's limitless virtue.

         Let us share with others this Way of Mediation,

         That all may realize Kami's blessings and be saved.

         Let us answer Kami's earnest Wish for the happiness of all,

         For the mutual fulfillment of Kami and humanity.

         Thus we pray, believers all,

         United with a single heart,

         That Kami's great Wish be fulfilled.


14.  Greetings 御挨拶Head Officiant

15.  Solemn Acknowledgement* 拝礼 - Congregation

16.  Recessional 退下Officiants

17.  Closing Remarks by Emcee

*Clap four times together----

         As a tradition of the Konko religion, we begin our prayers and services by clapping our hands four times.  This gesture, performed with whole-hearted sincerity, symbolizes our concept of working together---"Mutual Reliance" between the Principle Parent of the Universe and human beings.  One hand alone, cannot make a sound.  Together, both hands are needed to create a clapping sound.  In the same way, we believe that we need the Principle Parent in order to live/survive, and the Principle Parent needs us "children" in order to be fulfilled, so together, we have a mutual reliance and can be happy.


                                             Officiants 祭員

       Rev. Nobuharu Uzunoe                     Rev. Masanori Takeuchi

            Asst. Head Officiant-副祭主                                           Head Officiant-祭主

                                           KC Gardena                                     

       Rev. Byron Ishiwata                          Rev. Takao Kishii

            Prayer Leader-先唱                                                        Service Emcee-典礼

                                           KC San Jose                                                                           KC Toronto

       Rev. Yoshiko Ota                               Rev. Lisa Uzunoe

            Tamagushi Assistanst-玉串後取                                     Saishi Assistant-祭詞後取

                                    KPH Lancaster                                                                      KC Portland

       Rev. Dick Dusek                                 Rev. Hironobu Nakahara

            Assistant-賛者                                                                  Assistant-賛者

                                           Tacoma Fellowship                                                                 KC Portland


Musicians 楽人

       Koto - Rev. Toshiko Kishii, KC Toronto or

       Mrs. Emiko Otsubo, KC Airaku

       Japanese Cross Flute 龍笛 – Mr. Jamal Leki-Albano

Dancer 舞人

       Miss Stephanie Laite, KC Toronto






Reception (祝宴)                                         

Opening Remarks by Emcee (Mr. Tim Ogawa)

Congratulatory Address, Before Meal Reminder &Toast


           Reverend Nobuharu Uzunoe

-Before Meal Reminder-

As we partake of this food and drink

Provided by the Divine Parent,

Let us be thankful and remember they

Sustain our gift of life.




       Congratulatory Address ご祝辞

           Reverend Roderick Hashimoto (KCNA CAM)

             Reverend Lee Barker (Unitarian Universalist)

             Mr. Katsumi Ikejiri (KC Airaku)


             Japan, KC Portland, KC Toronto & Other Churches




       Dedicatory Dance 奉納舞  

                                               Kazume Mizuki (水木歌寿女)

                      『菊の盃(Chrysanthemum's Sake Cup)

       Koto Music 琴演奏          Chicago Koto Group

                      『日本のわらべ歌 (Japanese Children's Songs)

                      『さらし風手事(Sarashi fu Tegoto)

       Chorus コーラス              Soyokaze Chorus

                      『花の街(Street of Flowers)

                      『野ばら(Wild Rose)

                      『喜びの歌(Song of Joy)

       Taiko Drum  太鼓演奏


       Open to All   飛び入り



Closing Remarks by Emcee









Sep. 29 – Konko Daijin (Founder) was born.


Nov. 15 – Bunji (Founder's boyhood name) received the Divine      Call (founding date of Konkokyo).


Nov. 11 – Bunji received the Divine Title, Ikigami Konko Daijin, from the Principle Parent of the Universe.


Apr. 11 – Konko Daijin received the Divine Reminder.


Oct. 10 – Konko Daijin passed away.


Propagation in the North America began.


Konko Churches of North America (KCNA) was incorporated.


Konkokyo celebrated the 100th anniversary of its independence.

[Return to Sermons]

[Return Home]

Copyright (C) 2010 Konko Church of Chicago