An inauguration ceremony for the South Korea chapter of the Boys and Girls Association (BGA) was held on May 18 following the May monthly service at Tenrikyo Mission Headquarters in South Korea.
At the inauguration ceremony, Rev. Toshihiko Yamamoto, the chairperson of Tenrikyo BGA Headquarters, presented the charter recognizing the establishment of the BGA South Korea chapter to Bishop Yoshikazu Terada. Rev. Yamamoto also presented a letter of appointment to Masuhiko Yoshikawa, chairperson of the same chapter.
Rev. Yamamoto then gave his congratulatory address. He stated: “It is necessary to convey the faith through countless generations in order to bring the Joyous Life into reality. There are high expectations for the development of BGA activities in South Korea. . . . I wholeheartedly ask for your dedication in nurturing the next generation and hope that you will make steady efforts toward developing your BGA activities.”
The ceremony was concluded with a performance by the 85-strong Fife and Drum Corps in front of the mission headquarters worship hall, which drew a large round of applause from worshipers.
In South Korea, a “Nurturing Seminar,” mainly attended by members of principal churches, has been held twice a year since 2004. The effort to establish a BGA chapter in South Korea kicked into full gear the year before last when prospective staff members were sent to take part in training courses for fife and drum corps instructors among other courses held at the Home of the Parent in order to develop human resources who would plan and run future BGA activities. These prospective staff members then took the lead in starting fife and drum corps at their respective churches.
Then, in June last year, a combined fife and drum corps performed for the first time to commemorate the visit by the Shinbashira and his wife, Mrs. Harue Nakayama, to South Korea. There are plans to have this South Korea Boys and Girls Fife and Drum Corps participate in the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba this summer for the first time as well.
BGA South Korea Chapter Chairperson Masuhiko Yoshikawa expressed his aspirations for the future, saying: “The first step is to participate in this year’s Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba and make it an annual event. We would also like to hold an annual BGA convention as well as fife and drum corps recitals.”