Graduation season in the Home of the Parent came to an end on March 22 with Tenri University’s commencement. This year a total of 2,065 students graduated from 11 schools and institutes around Jiba ranging from kindergarten to university.
Tenri University conducted its graduation ceremony on March 22 for both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Tenri University’s Gym #1. This year a total of 763 students (747 undergraduate and 16 graduate school students) completed their respective courses. Among them, 57 students finished the mission training course, 21 students finished the corrections and rehabilitation course, and 10 students finished the Japanese language teacher training course.
In the commencement, President Noriaki Nagao, who became president in March last year, took the podium to deliver his address. He mentioned that this year’s graduates had experienced significant events while at the university such as Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary and Tenri University’s 90th anniversary of its establishment. He then talked about the original intention in founding the university, which is to develop human resources that will contribute to building the Joyous Life World.
He then raised the question of what the Joyous Life World is and mentioned various problems arising from cultural and racial differences in the world. He said: “The Joyous Life is the world where all people savor the joy of living while maintaining their high spirits even in difficult times. . . . The Joyous Life World has yet to come about. All people in the world have to work together to realize it.” He went on to say: “I would like you to become open-minded in interacting with one another regardless of differences in values and ways of thinking. No one should build a wall in one’s mind.”
Further, comparing our life to riding a bicycle, he stated that we have to keep going so as not to fall down and that we cannot go backward on a bicycle. He then said, “I hope that, instead of worrying about making mistakes, you will have the courage to change the course of your life when necessary and thereby keep moving forward while trying different things.”
Quoting Oyasama’s words “From a knot, buds will sprout,” he said: “You will be able to grow through knots or hardships in your life. I hope that you will be able to find joy in any difficulties you may encounter in the days ahead.” In conclusion, he said: “The world is in need of your knowledge and abilities. I hope that you will play active roles and wish all of you a bright future.”
Tenri Elementary School
Tenri Elementary School conducted its graduation ceremony on March 20 in the presence of the Shinbashira. This year, 41 boys and 36 girls graduated.
Following the singing of the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo, Principal Yasuharu Shinomori presented a graduation certificate to each student with his congratulations.
The Shinbashira then took the podium to deliver his address. He mentioned that Tenri Elementary School aims at providing education based on the Tenrikyo teachings. He mentioned that we are able to be alive thanks to the blessings of God the Parent and said, “I want you to maintain a sense of gratitude for God the Parent’s blessings.” He went on to say, “Please be grateful that you have been able to celebrate this day. I hope that you continue to lead your life in good spirits and become the sort of middle school students who can keep the teachings in mind.”
After the ceremony, students and homeroom teachers exchanged farewells in their classrooms.
Tenri Kindergarten conducted its graduation ceremony on Mach 18 in the presence of the Shinbashira. A total of 50 children (26 boys and 24 girls) finished kindergarten this year. Principal Ueda presented a graduation certificate to each child. Children gave a cheerful response when their names were announced.
The Shinbashira took the podium to deliver his address. He said: “God the Parent’s blessings will never change no matter where you are. Please always remember that God the Parent is protecting you at all times.” Finally, the participants sang the “Song of Tenri Kindergarten” all together, and the graduating children left the ceremony hall with beaming smiles.