On April 17, Tenrikyo Boys and Girls Association held a ceremony to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Sansai-no-Sato—Tenrikyoʼs youth outdoor activity center—with the Shinbashira attending as a guest of honor. Established in 1971 as a training site for successors of the path under the theme “Mutual Help and Creation,” the center is frequently used for summer camps and training programs organized by Tenrikyo schools. So far, approximately 145,000 people have utilized this facility.
Around the time of the centerʼs 30th anniversary ten years ago, a “reform plan” was implemented to install simple flush toilets and shower facilities in the center in an effort to promote the further use of the center.
Held at the centerʼs “Gratitude Square,” the ceremony was attended by 260 people including staff members of the association headquarters, heads of directly supervised chapters and diocese chapters, as well as representatives from Tenrikyo schools and management bodies of twelve “Tenri Camping Sites” in various parts of the country.
The ceremony started with the hoisting of the Tenrikyo flag, the Sansai-no-Sato flag, and the association flag, followed by a moment of prayer. The Shinbashira then took the podium to deliver an address, in which he reminded the participants of the significance of the center by saying: “Sansai-no-Sato is a place where association members can build the foundation to grow to be fine Yoboku who can measure up to Godʼs intention. . . . In addition to providing families and groups of students with an opportunity to get a close feel for nature and enjoy each otherʼs company in a different environment from everyday life, the whole point of this center is to have them learn the basis for savoring the Joyous Life through camping.
“Even though the center has changed on the surface over time,” he continued, “I would like to ask for your continued efforts to keep a firm grip on the core principle of the center while promoting various activities and nurture as many successors of the path as possible through them.”
Then, Rev. Yoshiji Matsumura, chairman of the association headquarters, offered words of appreciation to the Shinbashira on behalf of the participants and went on to say, “With the Shinbashiraʼs words as a guiding principle, we are all determined to enhance our commitment to organizing enriched association activities at the center so that we can help many association members prepare the groundwork to grow into fine Yoboku.”
After commemorative gifts were presented to the representatives from the Tenri Camping Sites, the ceremony was concluded with the singing of “Sansai-no-Sato Song.”