On March 28, the Students’ Spring Pilgrimage to Jiba, cosponsored by the Students Association and the Students Advisory Committee, was held in the Home of the Parent. Honored by the presence of the Shinbashira and his wife, as well as the former Shinbashira, the convention held in the Inner Courtyard of Church Headquarters was attended by a record number of 5,641 participants including high school, technical school, junior college, and university students from all parts of the country.
Even though it was a chilly day, the Inner Courtyard was full of the passion and enthusiasm radiating from the energetic students. Following the singing of the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo and the greetings delivered by Students Association Chairperson Yoshiaki Fukushima, the Shinbashira took the lectern to address the participants.
He started off by explaining how the students of the path should live their lives, saying, “I would like you to walk your path with the self-awareness and pride of being the children of the path, who are making efforts to follow the Divine Model that Oyasama left for us.” He went on to say, “In order to receive the blessings even a day sooner that will bring to realization the Joyous Life World where all people in the world live happily, I hope that you take it upon yourselves, as Oyasama’s children who have been drawn to the faith a step ahead of others, to live in a way that is in accord with the mind of God the Parent and Oyasama.”
After explaining Oyasama’s 50 years of the Divine Model by referring to the Ofudesaki; the Osashizu, The Divine Directions; and The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo, he stressed, “It is important to familiarize ourselves with the path of the Divine Model, and no matter how many years have passed, we need to make sure that we always bear in mind Oyasama’s parental love that led Her to show us how to follow the path through Her own example.”
He went on to mention, “It is the Divine Model of Oyasama that laid the foundation for the paths followed by our past generations, who in turn have led us to this path.” He concluded his address by saying: “You are all children of the path and important instruments in constructing the Joyous Life World. Just as each runner in a relay road race carries the sash forward while running his or her leg to the utmost before passing the sash to the next runner, I hope that you will aim to move forward and reach where your predecessors were not able to reach. With this in mind, I would like you to follow this path in a manner that will contribute to realizing the Joyous Life World even a day sooner by learning the teaching that the Joyous Life is possible in any situation depending solely on how to use your mind, putting the teaching into practice, and conveying it to those who have yet to know it.”
Ikumi Kawanishi, who had been appointed to serve as the association chairwoman, then made a pledge on behalf of all association members.
After the convention, the participants strengthened their bonds as students of the path through enjoying various programs organized by their directly supervised churches and the “Spring Festival,” which featured some 80 food booths as well as live music and dance performances. Also, 451 students, including 147 first-timers, attended the Besseki lectures on this day.