2009 Graduation Ceremonies Held in Tenri

Tenri High School’s Day Course

Tenri High School’s day course conducted its graduation ceremony in the presence of the Shinbashira on the morning of February 22 in the school’s new multipurpose gymnasium. This was the first graduation ceremony to be held in the new gymnasium, which was constructed as a part of the projects to commemorate the school’s 100th anniversary last year. Prinicipal Shigehiko Iburi presented the diplomas of the 443 graduates (243 boys, 200 girls) to class representatives and then delivered an address in which he said, “We have been entrusted with the great task of building the Joyous Life World, and I hope that all of you will strive to focus your efforts on fulfilling that objective.” The Shinbashira then took the lectern to address the graduates, all of whom had become Yoboku during the previous month. Explaining that “the significance of being a Yoboku lies in working to realize the Joyous Life through one’s individual capacities,” he urged the graduates to keep working to nurture themselves so that they could grow into the sort of Yoboku who live in accord with Oyasama’s intention. Next, an underclassman delivered a farewell message to the graduates, and a representative of the graduating class reflected on the three years they had spent at the school while expressing appreciation to the many people who had helped them over the years. Perfect attendance awards were presented not only to those who had never been absent during their three years of high school but also to those who had never missed a single day of school throughout their 12 years of primary and secondary education. Awards were also given to the school’s brass band and boys’ field hockey team for their outstanding achievements in national competitions.

Tenri High School’s Evening Course

Tenri High School’s evening course held its graduation ceremony in the presence of the Shinbashira on the afternoon of February 22 in the school’s new multipurpose gymnasium. The ceremony honoring the 127 graduates (regular department, 97; nursing care department, 30) was attended by their parents, teachers, and underclassmen, as well as representatives from their daytime workplaces. After presenting diplomas individually to the graduates, Principal Shigehiko Iburi delivered a farewell address, in which he encouraged the graduates to make full use of what they had learned at the school over the years and to be on their guard against falling into worldly common ways. He suggested that they go through life abiding by the three guiding principles for Yoboku, which also serve as the school’s motto: “the spirit of single-heartedness with God, the attitude of hinokishin, and unity of mind.” The Shinbashira began his address by expressing admiration for the members of the graduating class, who had spent four years working at Tenrikyo offices and facilities in the daytime while attending classes in the evening. He asked them to stay true to the spirit of single-heartedness with God in their role as Yoboku and apply the teachings they had learned at the school to the next stage of their life’s journey. Following the ceremony, the graduates attended their final homeroom period together with their parents before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary to perform a thanksgiving service.

Tenri Kyoko Gakuen High School

Tenri Kyoko Gakuen High School conducted its graduation ceremony in the school auditorium on February 23 in the presence of the Shinbashira and the former Shinbashira. Principal Satoshi Nakamura presented diplomas individually to the 171 graduates (81 boys, 90 girls). He then spoke to the graduates about the school’s keywords “joy, gratitude, and hinokishin,” saying, “I hope you will always feel joy and gratitude for God the Parent’s blessings and show the world a model of how wonderful it is to express that joy and gratitude by doing things to help others.” The Shinbashira then delivered an address in which he reminded the graduates of the strong connection between their high school and Tenri Seminary. He went on to give them some pointers concerning the attitude that they should maintain as Yoboku regardless of what course of life they chose to follow thereafter. Referring to the well-known maxim “Buds sprout from knots,” which teaches that thresholds in our lives, though perhaps appearing to be junctures of difficulty or closure, are in fact opportunities for new growth, the Shinbashira reminded them that their graduation represented one such threshold. He asked them, therefore, to set out on the next stage of their lives in a manner that would enable fresh buds to sprout.

Tenrikyo Language Institute

The graduation ceremony for Tenrikyo Language Institute was held on March 8 in the institute’s assembly hall. Principal Hideharu Nakajima presented diplomas to the 76 graduates of the institute’s four departments: Japanese Language Department, 38; Oyasato Fusekomi Department, 24; Foreign Language Department, 13; and Missionary Training Department, 1. Sixty-two of the graduates were from 18 overseas countries and regions: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Congo, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, the Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.S. mainland, and Venezuela. In his farewell address to the graduates, Principal Nakajima said: “In the years ahead, you will find yourselves in a variety of new situations and interpersonal relationships. I hope that you will apply the teachings to every situation and feel close to God the Parent at all times.” Overseas Department Vice Head Hirokazu Moroi then delivered a congratulatory speech as the guest of honor, and four graduates gave talks in which they reflected on their experiences at the institute and set forth their resolutions for the future.

Tenri Seminary

A joint graduation ceremony was conducted on March 9 for the 115 graduates of Tenri Seminary’s four courses: Tenri Graduate Seminary’s research program, 4; Tenri Graduate Seminary’s practical training program, 22; Junior Seminary, 81; and Daini Junior Seminary, 4. Tenri Seminary, whose principal goal is to nurture human resources who can take the lead on the path of single-hearted salvation, has a history of 109 years, making it Tenrikyo’s oldest school. Honored by the presence of the Shinbashira and the former Shinbashira, the members of the graduating class, who were attired in the formal service kimono, met the occasion with firm commitment to fulfill their role as Yoboku by devoting themselves to single-hearted salvation. After presenting the graduates’ diplomas to their course representatives, Tenri Seminary President Motoo Matsuda delivered a farewell address, in which he explained: “You have now completed the courses of study designed to train you to be salvation workers. I hope you will regard yourselves not as having reached the finish line but rather as having arrived at the starting line for a new departure. In fact, I believe that it was because of your commitment to serve in the role of salvation workers hereafter that you were permitted to wear the service garment for this occasion. To enable you to serve as true salvation workers, please resolve to attain further spiritual growth and take actual steps in that direction. For starters, I suggest that you follow this path in a straightforward manner, keeping your mind joyous and taking delight in what lies ahead.” The Shinbashira then took the lectern to address the graduates. He began by expressing his appreciation for the efforts of hinokishin they had devoted to the various events taking place in the Home of the Parent during their enrollment in the seminary. He went on to explain: “This seminary seeks to give you a firm foundation in faith that will allow you go through life serving as splendid Yoboku. . . . During the days you spent at this school, you not only studied the teachings but also you sowed seeds of sincerity at the Home of the Parent. Though we are taught that every seed sown at this Residence will sprout, the sort of buds that will sprout depends entirely on your own mind and God the Parent’s intention. Sowing seeds of sincerity is not something you are expected to work at only while you are young. Rather, it is one of those things that you should see as a lifelong task. I hope that you will continue devoting your sincerity to the Parent and remain connected with the Parent throughout your lifetime.”

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