On October 27, the day after the Autumn Grand Service, the 83rd Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association Convention was held, drawing some 15,000 participants. The association will observe its 90th anniversary next year. The members of the association who assembled at the convention pledged to advance toward the upcoming anniversary, reaffirming the association’s founding spirit and deepening their awareness of being Arakitoryo, pioneers of the path.
Because of the heavy rain caused by Typhoon No. 20 (Kirogi), the venue for the convention was changed from the Inner Courtyard of Church Headquarters to the East, West, and North Worship Halls. Even one hour before the commencement of the convention, many members of the association’s chapters, with their flags flying at the front of their groups, started entering the worship halls.
Shortly after 10:00 A.M., the Shinbashira, who is also the president of the Young Men’s Association, ushered the former Shinbashira, Women’s Association President Harue Nakayama, and other distinguished guests into the East Worship Hall. The convention commenced with a moment of worship, and then the opening declaration was made. After the participants danced together to the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo in unison, Vice Chairman Michitaka Moroi presented the progress report on the previous year.
Following the progress report, Chairman Zenpei Kubo made an announcement about the 90th anniversary of the Young Men’s Association. He stated in his announcement that between the end of August and December next year, the year of the 90th anniversary, the association is going to hold the “Gatherings for Tenri Young Men: Unity and Progress” regionally and gather all members in order for them to pledge together to promote world salvation in unity of mind and also to renew their resolve to bring the Joyous Life World to realization. He said: “We ought to increase our awareness of being Arakitoryo and work as hard as possible to respond to the intention of God the Parent and Oyasama. Let us combine our energy, take advantage of our youthful vitality and enthusiasm, and take great strides toward the Joyous Life in unity of mind.”
Then, the president of the association took the lectern to deliver his address. After mentioning the day of origin of the Young Men’s Association, he explained the “Guiding Principles of Arakitoryo” in detail. He concluded his address by saying: “We have just a few months before the year of the 90th anniversary of this association. I want to take this opportunity to request that all of you maintain a strong awareness of being Arakitoryo and redouble your efforts to conduct enthusiastic activities in unity of mind so as to give genuine significance to the coming year.”
Following the president’s address, Hon’ai Chapter Chairman Satoru Matsubara made a pledge on behalf of all the association’s members. He said it is important for them to take their first step toward the association’s anniversary by exerting efforts to increase the number of their fellow members. He also stated, “I pledge as a member representative that we shall take pride in being useful timbers for the construction of the Joyous Life World, take an active role in performing missionary and salvation work, and courageously advance toward our goal in high spirits.”
To bring the convention to a close, all the members recited the “Guiding Principles of Arakitoryo,” and then all the participants joined together in singing the “Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association Anthem.” After the convention, many groups of young men offered a prayer in the worship halls, expressing their resolution to make progress toward the 90th anniversary.