Encyclopedia of Shinto
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|8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities
|Modern Sectarian Groups
A Shinto-derived new religious movement started by Ogawa Kōichirō (1919-80). It is said that Ogawa had been gripped by nebulous fears of death since early childhood due to the various misfortunes that had befallen successive generations of his family. For these reasons he came into contact with nenbutsu faith (i.e. faith in the salvation powers of the Buddha Amida) and in the teachings of Tenrikyō, and in 1941, he also joined an association devoted to divination and fortune-telling, the Nihon Seitō Unmei Gakkai.
Ogawa was intense in his Tenrikyō faith, and completed training as a religious teacher in Tenrikyōs moral training division. In 1946 he established the Hachiraku Seishin Shūyō Dōjō (literally: "Hachiraku Spiritual Training Center"), and engaged in various religious practices. In 1954 he became the head of the Kyushu section of the Nihon Seitō Unmei Gakkai, and in 1956 he set up the religious corporation Hachirakukai Sōhonbu ("Hachirakukai Central Headquarters").
The movement venerates the spirit of queen Himiko, the legendary first ruler of the ancient Japanese state of Yamatai, as the ancestor of the nation of Japan, and emphasizes the importance of each individual's prayerful attitude. Besides carrying out parapsychic spiritualist techniques and fortune-telling, the movement also conducts such other rituals as its Star Festival (Hoshi matsuri) at Setsubun (the festival marking the end of winter in the traditional luni-solar calendar), and such practices as fire walking and a divination by boiling water (kamairi).
Headquarters: Fukuoka Prefecture
Nominal membership: approximately 3000 (S).
— Yumiyama Tatsuya