Joyous Life Lectures were held at 12 locations in Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Nepal, and India between September 9 and 18. The lectures are mainly designed to introduce and explain the teachings to beginners and non-followers.
In Thailand, Mr. Toshiyuki Nakagawa, staff member of the Overseas Department, gave the lectures at five venues including Bangkok and Phuket between the 9th and 17th. About 700 participants attended the five lectures. Panels with photos and descriptions of the teachings were displayed at each venue. Exclusive to the Joyous Life Lectures held in Thailand were faith experience speeches made by local followers and friends of the path following the main lecture. At Chonburi in southeast Thailand, a Yoboku high school teacher gave such a speech and many of his co-workers and students attended. In Phuket, which suffered from the devastating tsunami of December 2004, a person who received assistance from Tenrikyo Mission Center in Thailand and the Tenrikyo Network for Mutual Help spoke on the theme of tsunami disaster relief and hinokishin.
The lecturer in the Philippines, Rev. Osamu Kishimura, head minister of Jose Branch Church in Osaka, spoke to a total of 113 participants at three venues: Manila, Santa Rosa, and North Luzon. Rev. Kishimura explained, “The teachings of Tenrikyo must not only be heard but be felt through actual experience.” He later gave an explanation of the service and held a short practice session. He told his listeners that even people who are new to Tenrikyo could become more acquainted with the teachings by dancing to the Songs for the Service.
Rev. Hirokazu Moroi, vice head of the Overseas Department, served as the lecturer in Nepal on the 16th and Singapore on the 18th. Fifty-five people attended the Joyous Life Lecture held at Tenrikyo Nepal Renrakusho in Kathmandu and 23 participants were present at the lecture in Singapore. While in past years the lectures in Singapore were always held at Tenrikyo Mission Center in Singapore after its monthly service, it was held this year at the center’s Cultural Section, where Japanese language classes are taught, with the hope that this would encourage more people who are new to the teachings to attend. Rev. Motoharu Kirinuki, head of the center, expressed the wish to hold future lectures at the Cultural Section upon seeing a rise in the number of first-time participants this year.
Mr. Toshio Yasuno, former secretary at Tenrikyo Mission Headquarters in America, gave the lectures in India, which were held at Calcutta Church on the 16th and Bombay Mission Station on the 18th. A total of 26 people participated in the two lectures.