Tenrikyo Nioigake Day: Fragrance of the Teachings Sprinkled in Unity of Mind

This year’s Tenrikyo Nioigake Day was observed between September 28 and 30 under the slogan “Let all Yoboku make a concerted effort to sprinkle the path’s fragrance to the world.” Falling on the last three days of September–the month that had been designated by Tenrikyo Mission Department as the month to emphasize and promote nioigake, or sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings–the three-day period was designed to get all Yoboku to actively engage in missionary work. The final day of the period, September 30, was also designated as the day for church head ministers to give roadside speeches. Prior to Nioigake Day, many dioceses and districts across the country held seminars and study sessions to prepare Yoboku to engage in door-to-door missionary work and other missionary activities such as walking through the streets while calling out the name of God.

Since Osaka is where Oyasama’s youngest daughter, Kokan, spread the divine name “Tenri-O-no-Mikoto” for the first time in the history of Tenrikyo, Osaka Diocese decided to ask every district under its jurisdiction to kick off the three-day period by making a concerted effort to spread the name of God throughout Osaka Prefecture on September 28. At 10:00 A.M. on that day, all 33 districts of Osaka Diocese simultaneously began performing missionary work by walking through the streets while calling out the name of God and singing the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo. In Chuo District, for example, 14 people walked down Tenjinbashi-suji, the longest shopping arcade in Japan, while calling out the name of God. Some of the participants passed out Tenrikyo leaflets as well as pocket packs of tissues decorated with a Tenrikyo message. On the next day, many followers in the district did door-to-door missionary work and handed out leaflets in the communities where their churches or mission stations are located. On the third day, in spite of the rainy weather caused by Typhoon No. 15 (Jangmi), a total of 46 participants, consisting of 38 church head ministers and eight full-time missionaries from Osaka Missionary House, made roadside speeches at Dotonbori, one of the busiest shopping and entertainment districts in Osaka.

During the three days, approximately 1,500 people, including the staff members of Church Headquarters, engaged in door-to-door missionary work in Senboku New Town in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture. Furthermore, on the final day of the period, the Shinbashira paid visits to Chuo, Tenro, Ikuno-kita, Higashinari, and Naka-kawachi districts of Osaka Diocese, and he also listened to the roadside speeches delivered by a group of young head ministers of directly supervised churches.

In Chusun-higashi District of Shizuoka Diocese, some 80 people devoted their sincerity to doing door-to-door missionary work on September 29. The next day, three groups of church head ministers gave roadside speeches at sites assigned to them. Prior to these missionary activities, a Spiritual Growth Seminar for Yoboku was conducted at Shizuoka Grand Church on September 28, drawing 72 people. Chusun-higashi District has held this seminar for the past three years in order to prepare as many Yoboku as possible to take a more active role in Nioigake Day. The participants were divided into six groups to discuss the teaching of “early rising, honesty, and diligent work.” Following that discussion session, a lecturer addressed the participants. Basing himself on Anecdotes of Oyasama and a textbook published by the Mission Department, he shared his thoughts on what is implied by the phrase “living in a manner based on the teachings.” The district has spent the past six years hand-delivering the Tenri Jiho newspaper, which is currently an activity being jointly promoted by the Mission Department and Tenrikyo Doyusha Publishing Company. About 60 people from Chusun-higashi District are involved in this activity, and they are responsible for 94 percent of the newspaper’s circulation in the district. They also distribute flyers for the district’s monthly events when hand-delivering the newspaper.

Tokatsu District of Chiba Diocese designated all three days of the period as days for church head ministers to make roadside speeches. In the mornings, the district’s Yoboku and other followers spread the teachings from door to door and handed out Tenrikyo leaflets. In the evenings, church head ministers delivered speeches on the teachings at JR Kashiwa Station in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture. On September 28, for example, 31 people including seven church head ministers assembled at the station. While the church head ministers took turns speaking to passers-by, others distributed pocket packs of tissues containing a Tenrikyo message designed by the district as well as colorful balloons with Tenrikyo advertisements printed on them.

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