On June 25, the Social Welfere Section and the Culture and Sports Management Section, both part of Tenrikyo Misson Department, held the first “Social Welfare Festival” at Tenri University’s Gym #1 in the hope that participants would acquire some practical skills necessary to offer personal assistance and nursing care to people around them, skills that might prove useful in their salvation work. This festival comes at a time when the need to improve the welfare services in Japan has never been more urgent since the nursing-care insurance law came into force in 2000. Japan is an increasingly aging society in which one-fifth of the population are 65 or over.
This festival was composed of three parts: 1) “Tenrikyo Social Welfare Activities Exhibition,” which covers the 100-year history of social welfare activities in Tenrikyo; 2) “Sports Event with Disabled Participants,” in which disabled and non-disabled participants enjoyed sports together; and 3) “Mobility Equipment Exhibition and Test Rides,” in which participants were able to try out some of the newest models of mobility equipment. The Shinbashira attended the festival in the morning, looking at the exhibits and watching the Sports Event.