Dai-Roma Mission Station Head Hideo Yamaguchi, 65, who lives in Rome, Italy, was recently featured in the Italian newspaper Libero, which is based in Milan. Mr. Yamaguchi gave an interview about Tenrikyo, and its contents appeared in the paper on May 5.
Last year, a reporter with Libero newspaper came across a Tenrikyo website and sent a letter to Tenrikyo Overseas Department, trying to find out more about the teachings with a view to running an article on Tenrikyo.
Through Dr. Saburo Morishita, a former staff member of the Overseas Department and current associate professor at Tenri University, this department contacted Mr. Yamaguchi and discussed with him the request from the reporter. Mr. Yamaguchi sent some Tenrikyo publications to the reporter. In February, Mr. Yamaguchi was interviewed about the teachings via e-mail by the newspaper reporter.
After providing a profile of Mr. Yamaguchi, the article–appearing in a column called “Inchiesta / Le religioni (Inquiry / Religion)” with the title “Vita gioiosa grazie alla mente, la meta del Tenrikyo (Attaining the Joyous Life by working with the mind alone: the goal of Tenrikyo)”–raised five questions: “What is the meaning of the word ‘Tenrikyo’?”; “How do followers adore their Foundress?”; “Does Tenrikyo have its Scripture?”; “What are the main teachings?”; “How does Tenrikyo explain illnesses, sufferings, and other problems?” Mr. Yamaguchi’s answers followed each question.
With regard to the interview, he said: “This is a manifestation of the fact that the number of Italians who have interest in religions other than the Catholic Church is increasing. I would be grateful if this article would help people in Italy become interested in the teachings of Tenrikyo–even if only slightly.”