Mr. Kōtama Okada, the founder and first oshienushi
Kōtama Okada was born on February 27, 1901. Following in his father’s footsteps, he entered the military academy and spent a part of his adult life as a military officer. Serving as a regimental standard bearer, he fell from his horse and injured his spine during practice for an equestrian display. He later suffered from caries of the vertebrae. Told that he only had three more years to live, he decided to dedicate the rest of his life in service to God and others. During air raids in 1945, he lost all his assets, including four companies, one of which was an aircraft manufacturing company. Although faced with enormous debts, he was miraculously able to repay them in a relatively short period of time. He felt obligated to repay the blessings he had received. It was around this time that he received a revelation: “Rise. Your name shall be Kōtama. Raise your hand. Severe times are approaching.” At the age of 58, he set out to spread the teachings of the universal principles and raise his hand to radiate Light to people who were suffering. Thus, the foundation for Sukyo Mahikari was established.
Ms. Keishu Okada, the second oshienushi
Keishu Okada was the daughter of the founder, Kōtama Okada. She became his first disciple and served as his main assistant once the organisation was established. On June 13, 1974, ten days before he passed away, the founder received a revelation referring to the succession of his missions and the spiritual leadership of the organisation. Immediately following her succession to her father’s missions, Keishu Okada commenced preparations for the construction of Suza—a shrine for the Creator. The special inauguration ceremony of Suza was held in November 1984, fulfilling a covenant between the Creator and the founder, Kōtama Okada. Furthermore, Keishu Okada oversaw the construction of Hikaru Shinden (a shrine dedicated to the founder), the Hikaru Museum, and the Sukyo Mahikari Youth Centre. The construction of these four holy sites established a spiritual foundation for realising a better world.
Mr. Kōō Okada, the third oshienushi
Kōō Okada was born in Tokyo in 1947 and became a practitioner of the Light at sixteen years of age. As a university student, he was closely involved in the formation of the Mahikari Youth Group, in which he would later play a leading role. In 1970, he was admitted to the inaugural class of the Staff Training Institute, becoming a disciple of the founder, Kōtama Okada. Kōō Okada has also trained under the direct guidance of the second oshienushi, Keishu Okada. After serving as the assistant oshienushi, he was appointed as the acting oshienushi in 2002. In 2009, he was appointed as the third oshienushi of the organisation. During the current “third stage” of development in the organisation, he has been actively engaged in service activities across the world. In particular, he has been involved in initiatives to address environmental problems, constructing environmentally sustainable small-scale hydroelectric power stations in the forested area of Takayama City, Japan. He has also been closely involved in youth education, heading projects such as building a primary school, and providing assistance for orphanages. In 2013, both the city and the state of São Paulo, Brazil, announced the designation of February 27 as “Sukyo Mahikari Day.”