The sixth International Hinokishin Corps, which worked from July 18 to 24 at the Home of the Parent, comprised 270 members of the Young Men’s Association from 10 countries–namely, the U.S. (including Hawaii), Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, the U.K., France, Slovenia, South Korea, and Taiwan. The record number of participants this year–the year of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama–was about triple that of the last corps.
The corps–which serves as a special corps of the Oyasato Construction Young Men’s Association Hinokishin Corps–is designed to provide overseas members with an opportunity to sow seeds of sincerity at Jiba through hinokishin. This corps is organized every three years, and last year would have been a year to form the corps. However, the Young Men’s Association decided to postpone the formation of the corps for a year in order to have overseas members contribute to maintaining a lively atmosphere at Jiba in the anniversary year.
On the morning of the 18th, the participants assembled for a ceremony in Moya 12 to mark the beginning of the corps. In the ceremony, the Shinbashira, who serves as the president of Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association, delivered an address regarding the Oyasato-yakata construction and the spirit of the Young Men’s Association Hinokishin Corps. He encouraged the participants to make efforts to understand the intention of God the Parent as much as possible through engaging in hinokishin. He went on to say: “Even if you have different nationalities and cultures, you are all members of Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association. I want you to be aware of that and fulfill your tasks throughout the duration of the corps in unity of mind.” After his address–which was simultaneously interpreted into English, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Korean–the participants went to the Main Sanctuary for a prayer service.
The members divided into 12 groups to work at different locations from the next day. Their work included cutting weeds at the earth-carrying hinokishin site and setting up the Oyasato Swimming Pool for the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, installing car stoppers in the North No. 4 Parking Lot, and removing trees as part of forest thinning operations on Mount Jatani, owned by Church Headquarters. On the following day, although the ground was wet and slippery due to rain, American and Brazilian groups participated in hinokishin on Mount Jatani in high spirits. Besides attending the daily evening service at the Main Sanctuary, the participants practiced the musical instruments for the service and engaged in discussions every evening.
Mr. Daniel Suzuki, a Yoboku belonging to Honolulu Church in Hawaii, was one of the participants who were drawn to Jiba through the guidance of God the Parent. He said: “When my wife became ill, we decided to attend the Hawaii Spiritual Development Course, for we realized that we had not been connected closely enough to the path. At that time, I also resolved to join the International Hinokishin Corps. My wife was able to receive a miraculous blessing and was saved one week before I left for Jiba to join the corps. My heart was full of gratitude, and, through devoting myself to Jiba, I realized how precious it is to be able to borrow a healthy body. I would like to visit my church more often with my wife from now on.”