By 1952, I left home. My Mother wished me luck on becoming a priest.

�You will make your father and me proud,� she said. She kissed me on the cheeks and I left that boring neighborhood in Nara. Both of us knew the time for me to grow up and leave had come by that autumn. There was nothing left for me there. At eighteen years old, I became my own man.

Over time, my healing powers grew strong and more stable. Despite myself trying not to use them at all, I ended up putting them all to good use. However, I chose to use them in secret because I thought that my powers were not of Buddha. Instead, I believed that I had somehow become possessed by a demon with these healing abilities. I couldn�t stop using them though and I didn�t really know how to. In the end, I decided to try and put my secret abilities to good use, but only under the condition that I would never tell anyone about them. From there onwards when I became a priest, I used my abilities to heal the sick and the dying in my new community.

The first year on my own was filled with many challenges. I had to find a place to live and that was a bit of a headache. I was only given a certain amount of money to work with on my own. That�s really hard when you don�t have much to begin with. I had to split it up with housing, food, and my living expenses.

Lucky for me, I had a little help. An old priest named Hirata Hiroshi came along and helped me. I had heard of him before. He came by the temple I was studying at two years ago for a visit to the priest there, but I didn�t really get a chance to say hi to him.

�He�s not here for a social chat,� my teacher told me when I asked about him afterwards.

�Why not?� I asked.

�Priests do not have time for those sorts of things,� my teacher replied. �Priests have to be the rock of the community. Do you think they have time for social lives?� My soul died a little after hearing that. Priests aren�t allowed to be normal people? That�s not true. I couldn�t live like that. Of course, I didn�t say that out loud to my teacher. Instead, I lowered my head and mumbled, �Yes sir.�

I looked up to see him smiling. �Very good,� he said. I forced myself to smile. I decided that I wasn�t going to be one of those priests who locked themselves away from the world. If I was going to do this, I would be a normal, active person in my community.

Back to present day.

Hirata-sama helped me get started in Kobe. Thanks to him, I found a small apartment close to the temple that I would be working from and he gave me a job to help make ends meet. Within six months, I was set. My life had become stable enough for me not to worry about how I would make it anymore. I thought that I had it all working for me.

I didn�t realize I was missing anything until I met Hino Michiko in the spring of 1959.