Tenri Japanese Language School of Hong Kong celebrated its 20th anniversary on February 11 by holding a ceremony in the presence of Tenrikyo’s Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi, Bishop of Tenrikyo Mission Headquarters in Taiwan Yoshiaki Mihama, Consul Kuniyuki Nakahara from the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong, and other distinguished guests.
Managed by Tenrikyo Mission Center in Hong Kong, this school has seen some 500 students complete their studies since its inception. At present, it is equipped with three classrooms and an office housed in a building located in one of Hong Kong Island’s commercial districts. Its current student enrollment is 45. Among its graduates are more than a few who became so interested in the path’s teachings in the course of attending the school that they sought to study them besides the language. Two such former students, who subsequently became Yoboku, served as interpreters at the anniversary ceremony. The ceremony, attended by about 100 people including the school’s staff members, students, and former students, commenced with an address by Director-in-Chief Iburi, who began by describing the circumstances that had led to establishing this school. He emphasized that the teachings of the path provide the basis for the management of the school and went on to say: “It goes without saying that, in order to establish world peace, it is necessary to develop intercultural understanding and respect. I have high expectations that this school will continue making a contribution to promoting cultural exchange between China and Japan.” Consul Nakahara then delivered a congratulatory address, followed by a speech by Principal Mitsuko Kitamura. In addition, a demonstration of traditional mochi-pounding to make rice cakes was given, creating a festive atmosphere, which was further enhanced by students singing songs in Japanese.