Three-day Course 1 was launched this month as part of the new instructional system being developed by the Education and Nurture Department during the current season leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. This new training course offers instruction in the basic teachings of Tenrikyo and is intended only for people between the ages of 30 and 60 whose jobs or family situations prevent them from taking three months off to attend Shuyoka. The course allots time for lectures and discussions as well as practice sessions for the musical instruments and the service dance. Addressing the needs of members of the work force and mothers raising families, the new Three-day Course 1 will be held mainly around weekends and national holidays. It will be offered ten times per year–once every month except in January and August. All participants will be required to lodge at a specified facility during the course.
The first session of the course was conducted on April 2-4 in East Left Wing 3 of the Oyasato-yakata building-complex. The 102 participants were divided into 17 subgroups, each comprising three men and three women. At the opening ceremony, Education and Nurture Department Head Motoyoshi Tomimatsu told the participants that he hoped they would profitably use the short time allotted for the course by making a determined effort to immerse themselves in the teachings and increase their proficiency in performing the service.
Four lectures were delivered during the course: “A thing lent, a thing borrowed” on Day 1, “God the Parent” on the morning of Day 2, “Oyasama” on the afternoon of Day 2, and “Living in a manner based on the teachings” on Day 3. Each lecture was supplemented by a short video. Following each lecture, the subgroups met with their facilitator to conduct a review session to ensure that all participants had understood the teachings presented in the lecture and knew how to integrate those aspects of the teachings into their daily lives.
On all three days, the participants received instruction in the proper hand movements for the seated service and the Yorozuyo. They also practiced the four instruments used in the morning and evening services: the wooden clappers, cymbals, gong, and large drum.
As a nighttime activity, the six-member subgroups conducted discussion sessions. This gave them an opportunity to talk about their faith and their family situations as well as exchange ideas on how they could enhance their personal faith thereafter.
Following the final lecture on Day 3, the participants watched a video introducing Shuyoka and took part in a service practice. At the closing ceremony, Rev. Tomimatsu encouraged the participants to attend Three-day Course 2 and Three-day Course 3, scheduled to be launched in 2005 and 2006 respectively, so that they could finish the program and receive their Three-day Course completion certificates.