Tenri University Celebrates Its 80th Anniversary

On April 23, a ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of Tenri University was conducted in its first gymnasium in the presence of the Shinbashira and his wife, as well as the former Shinbashira.

Drawing some 800 people including students, teachers, and those concerned within and outside Tenrikyo, the ceremony began with a moment of worship, which was followed by the singing of the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo. After that, the participants saw a video entitled “Tenri University–Philosophy of the Founder and Leap toward the Future,” which illustrated the 80-year history of the university.

Tenri University President Taketo Hashimoto then delivered an address. In it, he said: “The idea of establishing this university originated from the desire to nurture human resources equipped with the spirit that is based on the teachings, which we might call the Tenri spirit. This fundamental principle pervades our university’s entire history like a deep, continuous drone accompanying a melody.” He went on to say, “We need to cultivate the mind of saving others and put that into practice each day if we are to build a culture and civilization that allows all human beings to live in peace while helping one another.”

The Shinbashira then took the podium to deliver an address. After mentioning that this year marks the 100th year since 1905, the year the second Shin-bashira was born, he explained the intention in opening the Founder’s Memorial Museum, which is part of the commemorative projects undertaken to celebrate the university’s 80th anniversary. “The number one hundred implies a return to one, a new beginning,” he said. “With this in mind, therefore, we ought to ponder over the founder’s dreams and ideals on this occasion.”

He went on to say that the second Shinbashira’s intention in establishing Tenri School of Foreign Languages, the forerunner of Tenri University, was “to develop human resources who, equipped with language skills as well as a firm conviction of faith in this path, would rejoice in spreading Oyasama’s teachings overseas.” He pointed out that the second Shinbashira placed importance on the Korean language–which was scarcely studied in Japan at the time–and made great efforts to set up a new department for it. The Shinbashira also mentioned that the school was co-educational at the time of its establishment due to the intention of its founder.

The Shinbashira emphasized, “The development of this university depends on the efforts to maintain and uphold the intention of its founder.” He went on to explain the importance of contributing to the construction of the Joyous Life World by working in the spirit of single-heartedness with God.

In closing, he said: “It is important for those of you students and teachers to seek the intention of the Parent by coming face to face with God the Parent and Oyasama. It is also indispensable to impart the joy of being able to study and work at the Home of the Parent to those around you. In this important year, I would like to ask you to ponder over this university’s day of origin and make the utmost effort to attain the ideal of the founder.”

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