The English used in this article may not be easy for everybody to understand. (November 2011)
PL Kyodan or the Church of Perfect Liberty is an international religion that developed from the Zen Buddhist culture of Japan early in the 20th century. PL teaches that "Life is art." Humans have been born to express their own unique individuality in everything they do - "creating true art".
To assist them in improving their lives and overcoming hardships believers are taught why they have these problems and are guided in solving them by the Patriarch (Oshieoya-sama) and ministers.
PL does not have a holy book (like a Bible), however, they have PL 21 Precepts and the PL 21 Principles which were revealed by the Founders of the Church.
Nowadays the group claims having more than 3 million followers worldwide. Most of the parishes are in Japan, however, due to the active missionary work in the 1960s PL was established in South-America and USA as well. Today they are present also in Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Peru. Oceaninan headquarters was founded in the 1990s in Brisbane, Australia. Small communities exist in Europe as well, especially in France, Portugal and Hungary.
PL presents each year in the Japanese headquarters the world' biggest firework. The baseball group of PL High School is very famous in Japan, often they win the national championship.
History[change | change source]
The movement was founded by the Rev. Tokuharu Miki (1871-1938), who was a Zen Buddhist priest of the Obaku Sect. He is referred to as the First Founder by adherents.
In 1912 he met the Rev. Tokumitsu Kanada, who instantly cured his chronic asthma by a sacred ritual. He asked Kanada to teach him this ritual so he could cure disease, and became his disciple.
Before his death, Kanada told Tokuharu that his Tokumitsu Church had 18 Precepts, but there were three more which were to be revealed to complete the teachings. Five years later, the three precepts were revealed, and he established the new Tokumitsu Church in 1924 and became the First Kyoso (Oshieoya, Founder). In 1931, the name was changed to the Hitonomichi Church, meaning "the way of humans."
The Church spread rapidly throughout Japan, Korea, China and to other Southeast Asia countries and its members numbered one million in a short period of time. In 1936 however, the Church was suppressed by the military government and ordered to disband. On July 6, 1938, the Rev. Tokuharu Miki died.
The Second Founder, the Rev. Tokuchika Miki (1900-1983), succeeded his father. He was also imprisoned, but was released in 1945. At Tosu City in Saga Prefecture, on September 29, 1946, Tokuchika Miki reestablished the Hitonomichi Church, but under the new name of the Church of Perfect Liberty, declaring the truth, "Life is Art."
On September 29, 1947, he revealed the PL 21 Precepts, the basic teachings of PL. The Church expanded rapidly all over Japan and in 1953, construction began on the present Headquarters in Tondabayashi, on the edge of Osaka. Tokuchika Miki organized the "Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan" and chaired it for many years. He visited Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II to discuss world peace. He died in 1983.
The Third Founder, the Rev. Takahito Miki (b. 1957), the adopted son of the Second Founder, succeeded to the divine position of Oshieoya in 1983. He has since visited over 700 PL churches throughout the world. Miki is also the vice president of Shinshuren, Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan.
The 21 PL Precepts[change | change source]
- 1. Life is art.
- 2. To live is to express one's self.
- 3. God appears through one's self.
- 4. Being annoyed limits your expression.
- 5. One's self is lost by being emotional.
- 6. Efface your self-conceptions.
- 7. Everything exists in relativity.
- 8. Live as the sun.
- 9. Human beings are all equal.
- 10. Love yourself and others.
- 11. Always be with God.
- 12. Everything has a way according to its name.
- 13. There is a way for men and a way for women.
- 14. World peace is everything.
- 15. All is a mirror.
- 16. All things progress and develop.
- 17. Grasp what is most essential.
- 18. Each moment is a turning point.
- 19. Begin once you perceive.
- 20. Live maintaining equilibrium between mind and matter.
- 21. Live in perfect liberty.