Oyokawa Ryuho’s eldest son, Hiroshi, reveals his memories of his father, who was not happy at all. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Oyokawa Ryuho’s eldest son, Hiroshi, reveals his memories of his father, who was not happy at all.

I couldn't make myself or my followers happy.

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He was wearing a T-shirt with the word “Godchild” on it. He had to make a story out of it!

I heard about his death from a reporter who knew him. I was not saddened by the loss of my parents.

Hiroshi, 34, the eldest son of Ryuho Okawa, 66, the founder of Happy Science, recalled his father’s death without hesitation.

I hadn’t seen Ryuho for many years. The last time I spoke to him was five years ago. He said, ‘Nobody believes in spiritualism, so you should stop now. I tried to persuade him for five hours that he should stop campaigning for a candidate he had no chance of winning. However, Ryuho would not listen to me, saying, ‘We’ve been doing this for 30 years, and we can’t change it now. Five days later, he was given a letter of resignation from a senior official of the mission headquarters, demoting him to the position of counselor in charge of the Media and Cultural Affairs Department, effectively firing him. That was the moment I parted ways with Ryuho.

During the interview, Hirohiro never referred to Ryuho as “father.

He said, “Ever since I was a child, he always called me ‘Mr. President. His secretary took care of most of the childcare, and Ryuho was left out of it. When I was in elementary school, there was a conflict between Happy Science and Aum Shinrikyo, and there was a possibility that Ryuho and I might be attacked by Aum followers. Therefore, we were transported to and from the school in a bulletproof car.

There was no such thing as a happy family meal, and after the meal we would listen to Ryuho’s spiritual speech. I was the listener. Every day, I heard spiritual sayings from about five to ten people, including great figures such as Kukai, celebrities such as Michael Jackson, and even familiar leaders of the cult. So, even if Ryuho suddenly said to me in front of his followers, ‘Today’s spiritual talk is to be given by Hiroshi,’ I was able to get through it just by watching and imitating him,” he said.

About six months after Ryuho’s death on March 2 of this year, Hiroshi, who calls himself the “representative of Japan’s parental gacha-hazura,” published his father’s memoirs, “The Man Who Wanted to Be God: The Reminiscent Father, Ryuho Okawa” (Gentosha, September 21, 2012).

In preparing the book, I read a vast amount of material on the cult. I noticed that the first edition of Ryuho’s book “The Law of the Sun,” which is treated like a sacred book in Happy Science, had been substantially rewritten between the first edition in 1987 and the current new edition. Before 1991, Ryuho was doing business as a mere “study group,”” he said.

However, in gathering followers as a religious organization, Ryuho decided to become the supreme deity “El Cantare” himself. So the new edition eliminates all of the autobiographical statements in the first edition. He had no friends, was rejected after making the mistake of losing his car keys on a drive-through date, and was a ronin (ronin) who got into the University of Tokyo, which he had longed to attend, but had to stay there for the rest of the year. He was rejected because he had no friends and lost his car keys on a drive-through date.

(The cult denies this description in the first edition of the book.) Hirohiro, who spent his childhood as a “child of God” and has now parted company with the cult as a “traitor,” described his late father as follows: “He was a pitiful man.

I felt sorry for him. Because he was surrounded by yes-men, he was a lonely president who could not get honest opinions from anyone and could not accurately grasp the number of followers. Even though he lived in a huge mansion and wore expensive suits, he did not appear happy. It is also pathetic that he was so tormented by high donations that he failed to notice the existence of his unhappy followers.”

The ″child of God″ who still suffered from his father’s curse after the separation also did not look happy.

Mr. Ryuho says that he was unable to use his cell phone or computer at all. He even had videos from the Internet burned onto DVDs for his viewing.
Unpublished cut
Unpublished cut from the magazine

From the September 29, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Shinji Hamasaki

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