Tokyo Reimei Kyokai

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Black Rubber Gloves


A young interior decorator's terrifying experience with inflammable bonding material is described here in great detail. Although his clothing does not, miraculously, burn out of control, his hands are terribly burned when flaming adhesive spills over them. Even church members accustomed to seeing serious wounds are appalled. Each stage of the healing process is recounted here, along with the gradual change in Mr. Hagiwara as he realizes that not only are his hands getting better rapidly, but his faith in God is becoming much firmer. (written in November 1978)

Flames Leaped Up

In April 1976 I started working for my brother, who is an interior decorator in Atsugi, a two-hour drive west of Tokyo. Then the following January, something amazing happened. On the 30th my brother and I were putting down some vinyl floor covering in a house still under construction. At about 6:00 p.m. the vinyl sheets were in place, ready to have adhesive applied. I got up to spread some quick-drying bond that contained thinner to the underside of the floor covering. My brother was busy heating the covering with a small gas torch to help it stick. Just then, in a dreadful moment, with horror, I saw the torch swing in my direction and leap over to ignite the highly inflammable bond I was applying. Flames leaped up with a cracking sound and began to spread. I sprang into action, trying to stamp out the fire.

Fire Flames Consumed My Hands

And just as I had about gotten it under control, some bond spilled on my hands from the container I was still holding. Flames darted up again, this time engulfing my hands and then the container. In panic and agony I dropped the can and tried to smother the flames consuming my hands by slapping them together. As they kept on burning, I screamed out from the excruciating pain.

"This is the end"

When next my workclothes caught fire, I remember thinking, "This is the end." I dashed outdoors, threw myself down on the ground and rolled back and forth, pushing my hands into the dirt until the flames finally went out. Prone on my stomach, I breathed a deep sigh of relief. When at last I got up, my brother was still struggling desperately to put out the burning adhesive with bucketfuls of dirt.

I Received Johrei

For some reason I had no sensation of pain in my hands when I was rubbing them in the dirt, but now, suddenly the pain was agonizing and they felt terribly hot. I couldn't stand it. I asked my brother to take me to a doctor, but he took me home instead. When his wife Masato saw me she was aghast. "What have you done?" she cried out, and before I could say anything she began to give me Johrei. As she did I felt such awful pain that I couldn't breathe properly---I began to gasp for air with my whole body.

The Word of Assurance

My brother made a phone call to the center and was advised to wash off dirt still on my hands with water and go immediately to the branch center nearbyto receive Johrei. When we arrived, Mrs. Chiyono Namiuchi, very concerned about my burns, gave me Johrei immediately. She said, "God will help you, that is absolutely certain." I was so moved at her words of assurance and in such pain that I began to weep. I felt better as I received Johrei, but my shoulders, lower back, sides and armes ached. Mrs. Namiuchi continued to give me Johrei.

Good Appetite and Yellowish Fluid

It had been a long time since I'd eaten anything, and I suddenly felt very hungry. Masato brought me some food, and although my hands felt so hot I was gasping, I consumed three helpings. It occurred to me as I ate how strange---and propitious--- it was that I should have any appetite. During the next period of Johrei right after that, a yellowish fluid began seeping from the wounds in my hands in more and more volume until it had soaked up a whole towel.

The Pain Subsided

It had been about four hours since I began receiving Johrei; the pain had subsided almost completely, but my hands were still as hot as before. I left to go to the bathroom, and managed by myself --- amazed that in such a short time I had already recovered partial use of my hands. In bed that night I was so cold I couldn't sleep. It was as though my hands had robbed the heat from the rest of my body. Even after piling on blankets I was still too cold to sleep. Mrs. Namiuchi continued to give me Johrei at intervals of about thirty minutes. When I looked at the clock, it was 3:00 a.m. I knew I had to get some sleep, so I stopped blowing on my hands, relaxed my whole body, and tried to forget the intense heat I still felt in my hands. Then I fell asleep. But I slept fitfully and in the morning my head ached and my hands were swollen.

The Pain and Burning Heat Gone

Yet, as if the night before had all been just a bad dream, both the pain and burning heat had gone from my hands. I had some breakfast and noticed that my urine was a very dark color. Later I learned that Mr. Namiuchi joined his wife to give me Johrei by turn until about 4:00 a.m.. When I heard that, I was flooded with gratitude for God's help and for guiding me to such wonderful people.

Black Rubber Gloves

Even then, however, I wondered if the burns would really heal. Not completely assured, I went to the center at about 3:00 p.m.. Staff people were visibly shocked and said "That's quite a burn you've got!" My hands were black, and looked as though I had on rubber gloves. My fingers were so swollen that I could not even separate them. Since I had to hold my hands out in front of me, I must have looked like some kind of menacing monster. The director gave me Johrei, and as I left in the evening, said, "Come to the center every day, and plan to stay all day."

Receive Johrei Everyday

For a whole week, starting the next day, I drove daily to the center in the morning with my sister-in-law, received Johrei, read Mr. Okada's teachings, and then went back to house in the evening. Sometimes I received Johrei as many as eight or nine times in one day; at least four or five times. At those times the yellow liquid literally poured out of my hands. I could see the state of my hands changing even over the course of the same day, and I also knew that my body was excreting toxins that had accumulated in my head, shoulders, and elsewhere. I just couldn't get over the incredible things Johrei was doing.

On the Way to Full Recuperation

My hands grew better rapidly, and my whole body began to feel stronger through daily session of Johrei. I was amazed and totally delighted when I found that I could actually hold a soil-sifter when I went to help at the nature farming field. Scabs formed exactly one week after the accident, but the director warned me not to touch them. "Don't try to take them off, but leave them alone until they come off naturally. That way, you won't have any scars." The scabs did begin to come off by themselves around the tenth day, and I relaxed, knowing I was well on the way to full recuperation.

Recovered in 2-1/2 Months

If the whole house had gone up in flames, or if all my clothing had caught fire, I would have become a human torch and would not be here today. When I think of that now, I shudder. And I am awed by the wonder of being saved. I owe so much for all the help given me by so many people. My hands recovered, and I neither went to a hospital nor had any medicine at all. In two and one-half months, receiving only Johrei, my hands recovered enough that I could work again.

Suemi Hagiwara's right hand looked like a "black rubber glove" the day after the accident. (Jan. 31, 1978)

Scabs formed after a week of Johrei given for several hours daily. (Feb. 8)

By the end of the third week, most of the scabs came off naturally. (Feb. 22)