Between March 4 and late December this year, Tenrikyo’s headquarters officials are leading the seated service at noon on Sundays and public holidays by playing the wooden clappers. This is part of the Mission Department-led drive to encourage as many followers and others as possible to return to Jiba with their families. Aimed at promoting pilgrimages to Jiba by building on the efforts made last year–the year of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama–the drive is a response to the remarks made by the Shinbashira in his sermon at last year’s Autumn Grand Service about the need to ensure that the special, anniversary-related efforts would lead to enhanced activities in ordinary times.
The first day the service at noon took place, it drew many pilgrimage groups and families to the Main Sanctuary. “I started making frequent pilgrimages to Jiba with my family during the year of Oyasama’s anniversary thanks to the daily services performed regularly at fixed times,” says Mr. Katsunori Shibata, 38, who manages an auto sales store in Osaka. “I feel deeply grateful to be able to perform the service together with so many people, with the wooden clappers played. I’d like to continue returning to Jiba with my family on Sundays and public holidays whenever possible.”