Joy of Life Expressed around the World

The annual Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day was observed at a large number of locations throughout Japan on April 29, which is a national holiday called “Greenery Day,” as well as at scores of locations in overseas countries mostly on weekends before or after that day. While hinokishin refers to daily actions that express one’s gratitude for the gift of life and one’s joy at being alive, this annual event provides followers with a special opportunity to combine their efforts in an outpouring of joy, thus enabling them to enhance a sense of community among themselves and make a contribution to the local communities at the same time. April 29 was recently designated as the annual day for the event in Japan, since holding it on a national holiday allows more followers to participate. On that day, the weather in Japan was fine and sunny, and the participants spiritedly engaged in various hinokishin activities all over the country, while taking advantage of the momentum they had gained during this concluding year for the pre-anniversary activities.

In the Home of the Parent, some 5,000 people gathered in Church Headquarters’ Inner Courtyard to commence the event. They included staff members of Church Headquarters and students of Tenrikyo schools and of the Spiritual Development Course. After a moment of prayer, Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi told the participants: “Today is a day when all followers will be participating in Hinokishin Day around the country. Through your efforts of hinokishin, you will naturally be sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings on the community. I want all of you, therefore, to actively engage in today’s activities with a full awareness that you are making repayment for the daily blessings you receive from God.” The participants then broke up into 55 groups and headed for their respective sites, such as elementary schools, community centers, and other public places and facilities.

In other parts of the world, too, Hinokishin Day drew many people to a number of locations. The Tenri Jiho newspaper has reported on activities conducted at the following venues.

In Brazil, Hinokishin Day was observed in 10 districts between April 21 and May 1, drawing 400 participants altogether. In the Bauru district, where the Mission Headquarters in Brazil is located, the event was held at a home for the elderly with 132 participants, including small children and a 94-year-old person. At 8:00 A.M. on April 21, participants assembled at the mission headquarters where, after a moment of prayer, a message from Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi was read aloud to them. The participants then drove to the home, where they spent about three hours engaging in various hinokishin activities, such as cleaning the garden and painting its facilities. Some young women entertained small children who were visiting the home by showing them how to make origami, the art of paper folding. Hinokishin Day is also scheduled to be observed at 15 more districts in Brazil.

In New York, over 60 followers cleaned the vicinity of New York Center, and 19 of them donated blood at a nearby hospital on May 1. In Hawaii, 120 followers engaged in cleanup activities at Honolulu Zoo on April 30. All the participants wore green T-shirts provided by the Mission Headquarters of Hawaii. On the back of the T-shirts were the words: “One World, One Family.”

In South Asia and East Asia, Hinokishin Day was observed at various sites such as the following. In Taiwan, 115 people participated at three locations on April 30 and May 1. In Hong Kong, 39 followers pulled weeds at Ma On Shan Country Park on May 1. In India, 31 people, including those who participated in the event for the first time, engaged in cleanup activities on the premises of Calcutta Church on May 1.

As for the rest of the world, in Melbourne, Australia, the plan for outdoor activities was canceled due to wet weather, and instead 13 participants engaged in repairing books and arranging them on the shelves at Melbourne Shinyu Church on May 1. In Mexico City, 60 people took part in the event at the Mission Center in Mexico on April 24, while in Coacalco, Mexico, 12 people cleaned a nearby Red Cross hospital and washed bed sheets on April 30. In Colombia, 70 followers cleaned a nursing home for the elderly in Cali and a city park in Palmira on April 24. In Yguaz Paraguay, 22 followers picked up litter at a nearby baseball field after the monthly service was conducted at Taiten Yguaz Church on April 17. In Lyon, France, three people donated blood at a local blood donation center on April 30.

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