The Boys and Girls Association’s activity guidelines for 2020 were announced by Chairperson Isaku Nishida at the association leaders’ first meeting of the year, which took place on January 27 in Dining Hall 2, drawing 1,615 participants, including heads of directly supervised chapters and diocese chapters as well as nurturing committee members from those chapters and district chapters.
Chairperson Nishida said that the association would be promoting the same main guidelines for association activities as last year: “Let’s implement the Joyous Life each day and convey to children the joy it brings.” He went on to announce four concrete goals. The first, third, and fourth goals are the same as last year: (1) Having all chapters conduct children’s sleepovers and get-togethers at their churches; (2) Conducting and enhancing activities to maintain close contact with children in districts; (3) Redoubling efforts to nurture members in junior high school—conducting and enhancing the “Workshop for Children of the Path” in directly supervised chapters and the “Workshop for Association Members in Junior High School” in diocese chapters; and (4) Holding various seminars and workshops to develop human resources who will organize and conduct association activities.
Chairperson Nishida explained the second concrete goal, saying: “We are hoping that proactively conducting the Boys and Girls Association’s activities such as hinokishin-focused events will help children connect with one another and with their local Tenrikyo communities as well. This, we feel sure, will result in enhancing and expanding our district activities.”
He also announced that the theme for this year’s Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba would be the same as last year: “Gratitude! In joy we are united, to the Home of the Parent!” The association, he said, is calling on all involved to work together to “make sure that the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba is full of joy and smiles!”
He went on to explain changes being made to some of the attractions and activities held during the pilgrimage. In place of the Oyasato Parade, a stage show is being planned to take place in the area in front of the East Center Wing of the Oyasato-yakata building-complex. The association is also in the process of planning an event designed to offer a summer festival–like experience in and around that area. Further details of these attractions will be announced in March.
Another change concerns fife and drum bands’ dedicatory performance. This year’s participating bands will offer their performance in front of the East Worship Hall shortly before the evening service, instead of in front of the South Worship Hall at 9:00 a.m. The bands will be asked to assemble in front of East Left Wing 4 of the Oyasato-yakata building-complex and, after rehearsing together, they will perform while marching toward the East Worship Hall before dedicating their performance to God the Parent. It is hoped that their performance will bring joy to God the Parent as they express their sense of joy and gratitude through their music and that those who will come to the evening service will enjoy the children’s joyous and spirited performance.
Prior to Chairperson Nishida’s explanation, the leaders attending the meeting listened to an address delivered by Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs Yoichiro Miyamori. After referring to the purpose for which the Boys and Girls Association was established, Rev. Miyamori said: “The attitude we should adopt when nurturing young people who will carry on the spirit of the path of single-hearted salvation was demonstrated consistently throughout the Divine Model of Oyasama. . . . I would like to ask [those of you who are playing key roles in the Boys and Girls Association’s activities] to reflect on your way of living each day in light of Oyasama’s Divine Model.”
Following the leaders’ first meeting of the year, those in charge of fife and drum bands assembled in East Right Wing 1 where the changes related to the pilgrimage activities involving fife and drum bands were further explained. As a result of the changes being made to the dedicatory performance, the event known as the “Fife and Drum Bands on Parade” will now start at 9:00 a.m. instead of 10:00 a.m.