The opening ceremony for the 2008 Oyasato Seminar–a summer program geared toward transmitting the faith to mainly high school-age participants who are to carry on the path of the overseas mission–was held in the auditorium of Tenrikyo Language Institute on July 10.
The Oyasato Seminar initially began in 1984 as a program conducted in English, and courses in Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese were added in subsequent years. A new course in Korean is scheduled to start on August 5.
Fifty-nine participants hailing from seven countries and regions–the U.S. mainland, Hawaii, Canada, Hong Kong, Nepal, Brazil, and Taiwan–returned to Jiba to take part in this year’s seminar. There are a total of 29 participants in the English courses: 12 in Course I (counselors: Blayne Mima and Joyce Yagi) and 17 in Course III (counselors: Cheryl Horikawa and Yosuke Kimura).
At the opening ceremony, Overseas Department Head Yoichiro Miyamori gave an address and encouraged the participants, saying: “A baby is said to learn many things just from his or her mother’s facial expressions. My hope is that you will sense and learn from ‘Oyasama’s facial expressions,’ that is, perceive Her intention so that you can take it and reflect it to the people around you.”
Participants and staff members conducted a prayer service in the South Worship Hall after the opening ceremony. Participants in the Portuguese and Chinese courses and English Course I visited the historical buildings and the Foundress’ Birthplace, attended classes covering fundamental teachings, and practiced the dance and musical instruments for the service.
Meanwhile, English Course III participants engaged in hinokishin standing guard at the Main Sanctuary with members of the Precincts Section of Church Headquarters for a week. Course III participants attended the Besseki lectures during the seminar, and all 17 of them received the precious truth of the Sazuke, the Divine Grant, on July 15.
For the second half of the seminar, the four courses each went to a different missionary house to engage in door-to-door missionary work. English Course I went to Ishikawa Missionary House while English Course III went to Aichi. The Chinese Course ended on July 25, while the Portuguese Course and both English courses are to conclude on July 27.
The new Korean language course of the Oyasato Seminar is scheduled to have 20 participants. On top of attending classes covering fundamental teachings and practices in the dance and musical instruments for the service, participants are also scheduled to engage in hinokishin at Tenri Yotokuin Children’s Home.