Tokyo Reimei Kyokai

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My chattering, Singing Boy

K.S., Saitama Japan

Tokun, the nickname for Tomoharu, has a frightening experience when only nine years old. A large node on his vocal chords robs him of his voice. He faces surgery, which may or may not help him. Also, he had been told that after it was over, he must not use his voice at all for on whole week; if he did, he would lose it permanently. Being touched by the kind attention of Mr. and Mrs. Awauda who urged me to try Johrei, mainly from a sense of obligation in view of their concern, I took Tokun to Tokyo Reimei Kyokai.
Then just after a week after he started having Johrei, Tokun suddenly burst out in loud singing in the car. In just a month, that ominous nodule had shriveled to the size of a millet again. My son cried with joy, dancing around in glee. I cannot find words to express my feelings of utter relief and gladness, and boundless gratitude. (First published in June 1976.)

A Hoarse Voice

In the middle of February 1975 our son Tomoharu, then nine years old, almost lost all his vocal power. Since he was a baby his voice had been thin and husky anyway, and so we didn't really notice at first, thinking he had a cold or something. But when it began to get harder and harder for him to speak, with no change even after two weeks, we were worried. I tried vocal exercises with him, but that did not work, and his voice grew more and more labored. He could barely get any sound out when I finally took him to a local hospital.

Nodule of Vocal Chard

The ear, nose, and throat surgeon examined Tokun (that was his nickname), and without warning he announced bluntly, "OK, let's operate." He said it was nodule of the vocal chords, which meant that a mass or node had appeared in the larynx and was obstructing voice production. He said the shouting and yelling that children do could cause such a mass to develop, and if it grew too large, it could permanently disable the vocal chords. When I asked if an operation would completely restore Tomoharu's voice, the doctor said it depended on the child; in some, it worked well, and not in others. That was unnerving. But apparently there was no drug, no other kind of treatment that could deal with it. The surgeon contacted a large hospital in Tokyo by phone and he scheduled an operation right then for April 2 or soon thereafter. Our son would be hospitalized for about a week. With the unquestioning faith of a worried parent, I simply had to assume that the operation would be safe and that Tokun would come out of it able to sing and carry on like any other child.

My Friend's Experience of Johrei

The next day I told some of my colleagues at work about the impending operation. As we talked, I heard some chilling tales of things that had happened to them in similar situations. One remembered how tremors that started after surgery carried out under general anesthesia would not stop; another told of a patient who ended up permanently bedridden. I grew more and more apprehensive. One person in particular, Mrs. Tokiko Awauda, seemed almost desperate in her pleas that I cancel the operation.
"My husband was terribly sick," she said. "suffering from a severe case of multiple sclerosis. Just as we were wondering whether he would even live or not, a relative told us about Johrei, the way God can cure illness. I somehow got my husband to try it and he did actually begin to recover. Bit by bit he grew stronger and believe it or not, he got well. I cannot urge you strongly enough to try it with your child."
While half of me wanted to believe such a cure was possible, the other half thought it patent nonsense. I was quite sure that medicine, with all its faults, was still the most certain and trustworthy of all possible alternatives.

Johrei Works for Those in Doubt

That evening Tokiko's husband phoned. I was touched by his bothering to contact us, and impressed by the intensity of his effort to convince me that we should try Johrei. ""You still have a month," he said. "Why not do it and see if something---anything---happens." Mainly from a sense of obligation in view of his concern, I agreed to take the boy to Tokyo Reimei Kyokai in Higashi Nakano on February 25. My feelings were still divided between pure scorn and flickering fantasy that maybe this strange method might restore Tokun's voice and he would be really normal.
In all honesty, I had to admit that most of it sounded preposterous, but Rev. Yoshinori Nagashima, the assistant director, reassured me---"Don't worry. We realize how hard to believe it is at first. And it doesn't matter---Johrei works even when you are still in doubt." He suggested that we receive Johrei during the month remaining before the operation, telling me with absolute certainty that something would happen in that time. I gave in, and said all right---for a month. Looking back, I wonder what in order to receive Johreic"

"He's singing!"

Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Awauda and the ministers and others in the Johrei Center, I was encouraged to start commuting the hour-and-a-half distance from our house in Saitama prefecture to Higashi Nakano every day after work with my son. Within two or three days he started to cough up a lot of phlegm, rather violently. I was very surprised to see that everything was happening just as I had been told that first day at the center. The members shared my happiness, and told me that the boy was recovering remarkably fast. Just a week after he started having Johrei, Tokun suddenly burst out in loud singing in the car as we drove along. "My heavens," I thought, and Mr. Awauda, who was driving, said happily, "Well, well---his voice is coming back! So this is what it sounds like!" All of us, my mother, too, listened in utter rapture, hardly believing our ears. But it was real. I couldn't hold back my tears. My son seemed every bit as surprised as I was.

The Nodule Has Become Smaller

So much had happened in such a short time that before I knew it the day of the operation drew near. I was in a quandary, oddly. I didn't have the courage to cancel it, so I took Tokun to the neighborhood eye, nose, and throat specialist. He checked the child, and said, "Mrs. Sekiya, there is a little node the size of a millet grain. It's way too small to operate on." This medical confirmation reassured me completely.
My own feelings of utter relief and gladness, and boundless gratitude, were expressed by Tokun when he heard that he didn't have to have an operation. "I don't have to? Really? Hooray!!" he cried, dancing around in glee. An operation is frightening for anyone, but for a child it must be especially so. Also, he had been told that after it was over, he must not use his voice at all for on whole week; if he did, he would lose it permanently. With that terrible threat gone too, his joy increased hundred-fold.
In just a month, that ominous nodule had shriveled to the size of a millet again. It was still unreal to me. I had never known such feelings. Just believing at last that God really did exist and that He would help those in trouble was a source of unending happiness in itself. To know, without doubt, that this and much more was possible, with no medicine, no pain, no operation, was a realization that changed my life.