Oshienushi (Spiritual Head)

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. From the time he was a university student, he became closely involved in youth education, pioneering 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 and first oshienushi, Kōtama Okada. Kōō Okada subsequently trained under the direct guidance of the second oshienushi, Keishu Okada, and in 2009, he was appointed as the third oshienushi. Succeeding to the will of the founder and the second oshienushi, Kōō Okada is presently working on promoting interreligious (interfaith) cooperation that transcends the barriers of religion and religious denomination. He has also been undertaking activities throughout the world to contribute to the realization of world peace. In 2017, he was awarded the National Order of the Southern Cross by the Federative Republic of Brazil. From 2018, he served as the chairperson of the Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan over four years. In 2019, he served as the chairperson of the Japanese Association of Religious Organizations for the year, and, as a representative of of the religious communities of Japan, he met with Pope Francis on his papal visit to Japan. The organization is engaged in initiatives to promote the purification and restoration of the natural environment. These initiatives include ongoing tree-planting activities across Africa and the generation of energy from renewable energy resources, such as hydroelectric, solar and wood-based biomass, in Takayama, Japan. In 2020, the Second Shrine, Aiwakan, was constructed. Thus, a steadfast spiritual foundation to eternally worship the Creator, Su God, has been established in the land of Hidama.


February 1959Kōtama Okada receives a revelation regarding the establishment of the organization.
August 1959L.H. Yokoshi no Tomo organization established.
August 1960Anniversary ceremony commemorating one year since the organization was founded.
August 1964The Fifth Anniversary Grand Ceremony.
September 1964Youth group activities commence.
April 1966Mahikari Youth Groups are formed.
August 1969The Tenth Anniversary Grand Ceremony.
From 1970The Light starts to spread abroad, starting with Paris and countries throughout Europe and Africa.
March 1971The declaration of the official establishment of a united national Mahikari Youth Group.
September 1971The first primary course in Paris.
December 1972Inauguration of Hidama Motomitamaza in Atami.
September 1973Kōtama Okada travels to Europe.From this time onwards the Light rapidly spreads to North America, South America, Australia, and Asia.
June 1974Keishu Okada succeeds Kōtama Okada as the second oshienushi.
June 1974The founder passes away.
July 1979Construction of the World Shrine commences.
October 1979The Twentieth Anniversary Grand Ceremony.
August 1980Procession of Light ceremony commemorating the tenth anniversary since the national unification of the youth group.
October 1984Construction of the Inner Shrine, Okumiya, completed.
November 1984The Special Grand Ceremony to inaugurate the World Shrine.
The (nine) ceremonies were attended by a total of approximately one hundred thousand representatives from around the world.
May 1986Keishu Okada travels to Latin America.
October 1986The first Yoko Civilization International Conference.
October 1989The second Yoko Civilization International Conference.
November 1989The Thirtieth Anniversary Grand Ceremony.
November 1990The twentieth anniversary of the official formation of the Mahikari Youth Group is commemorated by a grand procession of Light.Ten thousand Mahikari Youth Group members participate in the marching procession.
June 1992Hikaru Shinden inauguration.
May 1993Keishu Okada travels to Europe and Africa.
April 1999The opening of the Hikaru Museum.
August 1999The third Yoko Civilization International Conference.
November 1999The Fortieth Anniversary Grand Ceremony.
September 2000Keishu Okada travels to the Australia-Oceania Region.
November 2000The thirtieth anniversary of the official formation of the Mahikari Youth Group is commemorated by a grand procession of Light.
February 2001The centennial celebration commemorating the birth of the founder.
August 2002The opening of the Sukyo Mahikari Youth Center.
October 2002Kōya Okada (later known as Kōō Okada) appointed as the acting oshienushi.
February 2004Keishu Okada and Kōya Okada travel to the Asia.
August 2004Kōya Okada travels to Europe and Africa (followed by tours of Light to places throughout Japan and the world).
August 2005The Convention for the Practitioners of Divine Principles held at the World Shrine.
September 2005The fourth Yoko Civilization International Conference.
October 2006The Annual General Assembly of the Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan is held at the World Shrine.
August 2008The Second Convention for the Practitioners of Divine Principles is held at the World Shrine.
June 2009The ceremony reporting the succession of the spiritual lineage of Light is carried out at Hidama Motomitamaza, Atami, Japan.
August 2009Established two companies—L. H. Yoko Noen (Yōkō Farm) and the Tanebito (Seed People’s) Club to distribute yōkō rice across Japan.
November 2009The appointment of the third oshienushi. Official announcement of Kōya Okada’s new name, Kōō.
November 2009The Fiftieth Anniversary Grand Ceremony (announcement of reaching the milestone of one million L. H. Yokoshi no Tomo members).
November 2010The fortieth anniversary of the official formation of the Mahikari Youth Group is commemorated by a grand procession of Light.
August 2013The city and the state of São Paulo, Brazil, designate February 27 as Sukyo Mahikari Day.
August 2014In recognition of tree-planting activities throughout Africa, Sukyo Mahikari is presented with an award for excellence in tree-planting activities by the government of Côte d’Ivoire.
October 2014Promoting the conservation of the environment—construction of small-scale hydroelectric power station number two is completed.
September 2016The second oshienushi, Keishu Okada, passes away.
January 2017Sukyo Mahikari Day has been designated in over thirty cities and states throughout Brazil.
May 2017Inauguration of the newly constructed Hidama Motomitamaza in Atami.
June 2019Inauguration of small-scale hydroelectric power station number one.
October 2019February 27 is designated as Sukyo Mahikari Day for the Federative Republic of Brazil.
November 2019The Sixtieth Anniversary Grand Ceremony.
November 2020The Special Grand Ceremony for the Completion of the Second Shrine.
September 2021Seishuden inauguration.
October 2021The fiftieth anniversary of the official formation of the Mahikari Youth Group is commemorated by a grand procession of Light.