Graduation Ceremonies 2003 in Tenri

Tenri High School’s Day Course

The graduation ceremony for Tenri High School’s day course was held in the school gymnasium on the morning of February 22. After presenting class representatives with diplomas for the 417 graduates (230 boys, 187 girls), Principal Shigehiko Iburi delivered an address, in which he said: “As you venture out into the world, there may be times when you feel disheartened or imagine that you cannot possibly cope with certain difficulties arising in your lives. At those times, I hope you will recall these years you spent studying at this school and remember that Oyasama is always waiting for you here at Jiba.”

Next, the Shinbashira addressed the graduates. After explaining that the upcoming 120th Anniversary of Oyasama is a season for making spiritual growth, he spoke about the attitude that the graduates–as new Yoboku who received the Sazuke in January–should maintain during this season. He said: “If you want to grow crops but carelessly let the season slip by without sowing any seeds, obviously nothing is going to grow. Similarly, however much we may talk about this being a season for spiritual growth, you will not end up making any growth at all if you let the season come and go without making a determined effort to grow. Naturally your bodies are going to keep growing year after year, but please understand that you won’t grow up in the true sense of the word if you just live as you please without giving a thought to the mind of the Parent of Origin who created us. Since you have graduated from this high school at the outset of this important season, I truly hope you will take advantage of it by trying your best to grow spiritually in a manner that accords with the intention of God the Parent and Oyasama.

“In addition to your regular curriculum,” he continued, “you have been taught God the Parent’s teachings and have learned about Oyasama’s Divine Model. Whenever you have to make a decision, therefore, I hope you will take due care to base it on God the Parent’s teachings, always trying to keep your mind single-hearted with God.” Before closing, the Shinbashira summarized his hopes for these young Yoboku by telling them: “First and foremost, it is important for you to polish yourselves and make repeated efforts to grow into the sort of Yoboku that Oyasama will find easy to work through. In addition, since your youth enables you to meet every challenge with vitality and enthusiasm, I want to ask you to apply those qualities while seeking out the path and implementing the teachings in your lives.”

Tenri High School’s Evening Course

The graduation ceremony for Tenri High School’s evening course was conducted in the school gymnasium on the afternoon of February 22. After presenting diplomas individually to the 154 graduates (57 boys, 97 girls), Principal Shigehiko Iburi delivered an address in which he emphasized the importance of maintaining the “mind of true sincerity,” the “mind of joyous acceptance,” and the “mind of unwavering devotion,” which he said the graduates had taken such pains to nurture during their four years in this high school. “In addition to attending classes in the evening and working at Tenrikyo facilities in the daytime, you all spent your fourth year as Yoboku,” he said. “It is these special efforts you have made that constitute the immense value and significance of graduating from this evening course.” He reminded the graduates that the way they had handled themselves and treated others during their student days had brought cheer and courage to so many people around them, and he said that he himself had often been able to lift his spirits merely by interacting with them. He then asked them to maintain that posture throughout their lifetimes.

The Shinbashira then addressed the students, offering them his appreciation for the dedicated efforts they had made in the evening course and requesting them to always maintain an awareness of being followers of Oyasama’s path.

Oyasato High School

Oyasato High School’s graduation ceremony was conducted in the school auditorium on February 23. After Principal Satoshi Nakamura had presented the 139 graduates (69 boys, 70 girls) with their diplomas, he reminded them that the education provided at Oyasato High School was designed to train human resources who could make a contribution to the overseas mission as well as to nurture Yoboku who could serve as effective instruments based on the teaching of universal brotherhood in today’s increasingly internationalized world. He told them that so long as they followed the Divine Model of Oyasama and held fast to the spirit of the teachings, God the Parent and Oyasama would give them support regardless of where they might go in the world. He also asked them to commit themselves to making spiritual growth during this three-year period leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama and to work at implementing that resolution day after day so they would have nothing to regret when the anniversary finally arrived in three years’ time.

The Shinbashira then delivered an address in which he asked the graduates to maintain an awareness of being followers of this path, no matter which course of life they would be setting out on.

Tenri Seminary High School

Tenri Seminary High School conducted its graduation ceremony on February 24 in the school auditorium. After presenting the 64 graduates (33 boys, 31 girls) with their diplomas, Principal Motoo Matsuda delivered his address. Referring to the fact that graduates of this high school will all be attending either the Junior Seminary or the Daini Junior Seminary, he said: “Instruction Two asks us to cultivate the mind of saving others and implement salvation work, and it so happens that the seminary courses you will be attending are focused on training people to serve as the core in salvation work. I hope that each of you will devote yourself to growing into the sort of person Oyasama will be pleased to use in Her salvation work. That, I believe, should be your activity resolution for this pre-anniversary season.

“The essence of Oyasama’s Divine Model,” he continued, “lies in using the mind in such a way that even painful and trying occurrences are transformed into sources of joy. You young people, given your flexibility and limitless possibilities, have an advantage in accomplishing this. I want to ask you, therefore, to take joy in being alive at any given moment and be spirited in making headway on the path of spiritual growth.”

The Shinbashira then addressed the graduates, expressing his high expectations that they would delve ever deeper into the teachings during their enrollment in the seminary courses.

Tenrikyo Language Institute

The graduation ceremony for Tenrikyo Language Institute (TLI) was held in the school assembly hall on March 8. Principal Tadami Taniguchi presented diplomas to 87 graduates of the institute’s four departments: Japanese Language Department (38); Oyasato Fusekomi Department (20); Foreign Language Department (26); and Missionary Training Department (3). Fifty-eight of the 87 graduates were foreign students from Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States (mainland and Hawaii), Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Russia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong.

Tenri Seminary

A joint graduation ceremony was conducted on March 8 for the graduates of Tenri Seminary’s three courses: Graduate Seminary (3), Junior Seminary (89), and Daini Junior Seminary (25). After presenting the 117 graduates with their diplomas, President Yoshikazu Terada delivered an address, in which he encouraged the graduates by saying: “I would like you to continue following the path in high spirits and with pride, always confident that the sure and steady steps you take day after day are directly tied to world salvation.”

The Shinbashira then delivered his address. He said that their education at the seminary was a period for sowing seeds of sincerity at Jiba and, inasmuch as all seeds sown at the Residence are guaranteed to sprout, God the Parent would undoubtedly accept their sincerity in the degree that they had made efforts to sow those seeds. “In the years ahead,” he continued, “you may frequently find yourselves in situations in which you cannot be joyous or spirited. At such times, if you recall that every occurrence arises from the intention of God the Parent and ponder over what sort of response would put you in accord with the parental heart, you ought to be able to accept any situation with joy.

“Fundamental to Yoboku,” he emphasized, “is the spirit of single-heartedness with God. Single-heartedness with God implies basing all our thoughts and decisions on the teachings. Whether or not one can embrace this spirit of single-heartedness with God depends solely on one’s own mind. I hope all of you will implement in your daily lives what you have learned at this seminary and continue to regard yourselves as young seekers of the path.”

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