Pre-Anniversary Construction Projects Completed through All Followers’ Sincerity

On October 25, an opening service and ceremony marked the completion of two major construction projects undertaken as part of the preparations for the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama–the construction of South Right Wing 2 of the Oyasato-yakata building-complex and the westward expansion of the Sanctuary precincts. South Right Wing 2, whose construction involved 8,857 members of the Young Men’s Association Hinokishin Corps working at the site, is the 28th wing to be completed and is designed to serve as a place of education and nurture, in which a variety of events are planned to take place during the anniversary year. It had been four years since an Oyasato-yakata wing had last been completed–namely, South Right Wing 1, which houses Tenri Sankokan Museum. Work on the westward expansion of the Sanctuary precincts was finalized with the completion of a 12-meter-wide (39.37-feet-wide) West Approach leading from Naka-oji Avenue to the precincts, a 413-car-capacity parking lot on the north side of the approach, and stone stairs that replaced the iron stairs near the east end of the West Basement Entrance of the Main Sanctuary. The service was performed from 10:00 A.M. in the Main Sanctuary of Church Headquarters to offer gratitude to God the Parent for the successful completion of South Right Wing 2 and the work on the west side of the Sanctuary precincts. The service, led by the Shinbashira, was attended by many including those who were involved in the construction. Following the service, the Shinbashira proceeded to the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall to report the completion of the construction projects and express gratitude for it. Shortly after 11:00 A.M., the opening ceremony was held in front of South Right Wing 2 in the presence of the Shinbashira and his wife, as well as the former Shinbashira. Applause broke out and resounded when the Shinbashira cut the ribbon at the entrance to mark the official opening of the new wing. This was followed by his inspection inside the wing. He proceeded to the third floor, where he heard a report on the construction work from Oyasato Fusekomi Committee Chairman Hiroyoshi Shimamura. After that, the Shinbashira handed the master key of the wing to Oyasato-yakata Management Bureau Head Matsusaburo Nakata. After the participants in the ceremony reassembled in front of the wing, Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi made a speech expressing gratitude and resolve on behalf of all followers. He first thanked the Shinbashira for leading the inaugural walk that had taken place the previous day to complete the construction for the westward expansion of the Sanctuary precincts. With regard to South Right Wing 2, Rev. Iburi pledged that we Yoboku and followers would use the new wing to learn and understand the teachings of Oyasama ever more deeply and make the most of it as a key facility to promote “Tenri culture” in order to actualize the Joyous Life World. Then the Shinbashira took the podium to deliver an address. After expressing his appreciation for the sincere efforts of all the followers and those who were involved in the construction, he carefully explained the significance of the two construction projects. He then said, “The construction of the Oyasato-yakata is intended to encourage us human beings, God’s children, to build a model of the Joyous Life that is centered around the Jiba and has our Parent as the core.” Thus, those who are to use the building, he said, need to set their sights on realizing the Joyous Life. To this end, they should seek to work in accord with the intention of God the Parent. Only then, he said, will the building be put to the intended use. He stressed, “We must ensure that all activities that use this building are pursued in accord with the purpose for which it was built.” Referring to the ongoing progress in the Home of the Parent’s construction work in general, he added, “We ought to renew our determination to advance our spiritual construction without falling behind the progress of the material construction.” At 11:30 A.M., the building was opened to visitors. A large number of pilgrimage groups for the Autumn Grand Service had come to take a tour of the building, and there was a long line of people waiting to enter. The visitors enjoyed a sweeping view over the Sanctuaries from the fourth floor. They also walked on a terrace and down fan-shaped stairs–a new feature not seen on any previous Oyasato-yakata wing. South Right Wing 2 has a reinforced concrete structure with five stories above and two under the ground and 11,303.90 square meters (37,090 sq. ft.) of gross floor area. Its fourth and fifth floors constitute a conference hall with a seating capacity of 372 with six booths for simultaneous interpretation. This wing is designed as a facility where church head ministers and other Yoboku can study the teachings more deeply so as to strengthen their faith and where visitors to Jiba can come to know and learn the teachings of Tenrikyo. This wing has exhibition rooms, six classrooms for Tenrikyo Basics Course, and five classrooms intended for other activities such as “Hinokishin School.” Currently, preparatory work is underway for special exhibitions to be held in this building next year to commemorate the 120 Anniversary of Oyasama.

Inaugural Walk

On October 24, the day before the opening service, the Shinbashira, along with the former Shinbashira, inaugurated the West Approach to the Sanctuary precincts, the parking lot alongside it, and the stone stairs near the West Basement Entrance of the Main Sanctuary. Then he went east along the West Basement Entrance of the Main Sanctuary to use the new stone stairs and observed pine trees planted on the south side of the precincts on October 20, as well as lines of lantern stands leading to the South Gate. The new parking lot was formally opened to worshipers on October 25. The east third of the parking lot is always available while the rest of it will be opened around the Service days. The inauguration of these facilities came exactly one year after the earth-carrying hinokishin for the westward expansion of the Sanctuary precincts had been completed five months earlier than scheduled through the sincere participation of 881,882 followers putting into practice the conviction: “Sowing seeds of sincerity at Jiba builds the basis for salvation.”

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