On February 1, the South Korea chapter of the Boys and Girls Association held its first convention at Tenrikyo Mission Headquarters in South Korea with the participation of 611 followers including 300 association members. The chapter, which was established last May, aims to develop its activities with core emphasis on promoting participation in the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba in summer as well as holding the annual conventions.
This past summer was the first time the South Korea chapter had taken part in the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, during which 185 followers including 125 association members returned to Jiba and its fife and drum band made their first appearance in the Fife and Drum Band Performance Dedicated to God and the Oyasato Parade.
In preparation for the first convention, the members assigned to perform the service had participated in several practice sessions held at the levels of districts and churches for learning the dance and musical instruments for the service. They had also stayed together at the mission headquarters from the day before the convention and prepared themselves for the performance of the service.
The convention began with the seated service performed by ninth graders who are to grow out of the association this spring. This was followed by the dance to the Twelve Songs.
At the ceremonial portion of the convention, Bishop Yoshikazu Terada of the Mission Headquarters in South Korea first read aloud a congratulatory message from the Shinbashira, who also serves as the president of Tenrikyo Boys and Girls Association. He then delivered his address, in which he said: “I am deeply delighted to see the efforts you have all made toward this day. I strongly feel that the path in South Korea will continue to make sound and steady progress. I hope that both those who are nurtured and those who nurture them will keep making efforts, with sights set on bringing joy to God the Parent.”
Following the commencement ceremony for the ninth graders, South Korea Chapter Chairperson Masuhiko Yoshikawa encouraged the association members by saying: “I am sure that God the Parent and Oyasama were very pleased to see you all perform the service and play the musical instruments with your minds united. Let all of us who are here today return to Jiba this coming summer!”
After the ceremony, the participants enjoyed performances by some groups from districts and churches at a gathering named “Tenri Boys and Girls Festival–We Are All Brothers and Sisters.” The festival came to an end with the fife and drum band’s performance of the theme song for this year’s Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba.