The 46th English Class of Shuyoka (the three-month Spiritual Development Course) began in the Home of the Parent on April 1 as part of the 948th session of Shuyoka. This year, there are four participants from three countries: two from the United States (one from the mainland and the other from Hawaii); one from the Philippines; and one from Norway.
The homeroom instructor is Rev. Robert Susumu Yuge, head of Heritage Church (which belongs to Tenrikyo Mission Headquarters in America). The assistant instructor is Rev. Fusao Yamazaki, a staff minister of Koga Grand Church.
Rev. Yuge teaches the classes on The Life of Oyasama, the musical instruments, and faith experience speeches, and Rev. Yamazaki on The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, the service dance, the Mikagura-uta (The Songs for the Service), and the musical instruments. Rev. Yuge leads other class activities such as homeroom, sermon practice, guided tours of the Residence and historical sites, practice in missionary work, and practice in administering the Sazuke, together with the assistant instructor, Rev. Yamazaki.
Sharing his experience of serving as the homeroom instructor, Rev. Yuge said: “There are many thoughts of appreciation that come to mind when I think of this year’s English Class of Shuyoka, but I am most appreciative of the fact that we were even able to have the Shuyoka class from April despite the concern of COVID-19. As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, many of the people who were hoping to attend Shuyoka this year were not able to come to Jiba because of flight cancellations or travel restrictions. In fact, up until three weeks prior to the start of the classes, our student list was at ten, with students from seven different countries. Out of those ten, only four were able to attend. Three were already living in Japan, and the fourth student came only a day before the Japanese government passed tighter restrictions on incoming flights. Two of the students are young men from the U.S., one from California and the other from Hawaii. The third student is another young man from Norway, and the fourth student is a young woman from the Philippines. At present, we are in the middle of the second month. So far our classes have progressed smoothly, and the students continue to enthusiastically learn about the teachings at Jiba.”