Tenri Oyasato High School
Tenri Oyasato High School held its graduation ceremony on February 23 in the school auditorium. After Principal Shibutani had presented the 145 graduates (84 boys and 61 girls) with their diplomas, the former Shinbashira Zenye Nakayama delivered a congratulatory address. “The way we handle our mind,” he said, “is extremely important in today’s world. To ensure that you will always be able to use your mind properly, please make an effort to become the sort of people who can think and act on the basis of the teachings.
“Nowadays the Internet allows us to amass information effortlessly, just by sitting in front of the computer and entering commands. Though this achievement has been widely regarded as an evolutionary step in our civilization, there is some question these days as to whether we should be accepting this innovation without reservations. This new technology is extremely useful when handled with care, but it can also be detrimental if mishandled. Whether we use this technology properly or whether we abuse it depends entirely on the mind of the person using it. We must, therefore, pay close attention to the way we handle our mind and learn to distinguish clearly between what is right and what is wrong. I hope you will bear this in mind, regardless of which course of life you have chosen to set out on.
“As a rule, people prefer a life of ease to a life that requires painstaking efforts. Though Oyasama left us Her Divine Model which clearly shows us how we are to follow this path, could it be that we are trying to make the teachings accord with our own desires instead of making our mind accord with the teachings? Remember, the Divine Model exists for our own benefit. So long as we base our use of the mind on God the Parent’s intention and Oyasama’s Divine Model and continue deepening our understanding of these as we go through life, we cannot go wrong.
“When I was your age, there was something in the teachings that puzzled me. Having been taught that God the Parent created us human beings in order to see us lead the Joyous Life, I wondered why God had given us free use of the mind in the first place. After all, isn’t it our free use of the mind that keeps us wandering in the dark, creating a reality that is far removed from God’s intention? While reflecting on this, however, I attained an insight into the parental heart which was deeper than I had imagined. I realized that God the Parent allows us to use our mind freely while instructing us to settle it quickly so that we may live the Joyous Life. That being the case, I perceived the need for each of us to work hard at settling our own mind and thus bring ourselves into closer accord with God’s intention.”
In closing, the former Shinbashira asked the new graduates to respond to God’s intention by firmly settling their minds and thus to maintain unshakable faith as they set out to take their place in the world.
Tenri Seminary High School
Tenri Seminary High School’s graduation ceremony was conducted in the school auditorium on February 24. After Principal Mantaro Yoshikawa had presented the 68 graduates (41 boys and 27 girls) with their diplomas, the former Shinbashira delivered his congratulatory address, which was basically the same as the address he had given at Oyasato High School the previous day. Referring to the fact that the graduates of this high school will all be attending either the Junior Seminary or the Daini Junior Seminary, he closed his address by saying: “All of you will be staying in the Residence to continue your studies. I hope that you will use these years profitably so that you may grow into the sort of people who will be able to live the Joyous Life regardless of which course of life you may eventually choose to take.”
Tenri High School’s Day Course
The graduation ceremony for Tenri High School’s Day Course was held in the school gymnasium on the morning of February 22. After presenting class representatives with diplomas for the 403 graduates (226 boys and 177 girls), Principal Kikuo Takemura addressed them, saying: “You are very fortunate to have been studying here at a time when Tenrikyo was going through such an important phase in its history. Immediately following your enrolment, we celebrated Oyasama’s 200th birthday, and later that year the Inauguration Service for the present Shinbashira was conducted. In addition, last year marked the hundredth anniversary of Tenri Seminary. Since your graduation coincides with the season for implementing the spirit of Instruction One, I hope that you will take this opportunity to commit yourselves to implementing it in your own lives as well.” Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi then delivered a congratulatory address in which he asked the graduates to keep their minds focused on single-hearted salvation and be single-hearted with God at all times so that they may be assured of a truly fulfilling life.
Tenri High School’s Evening Course
The graduation ceremony for Tenri High School’s Evening Course was conducted in the school gymnasium on the afternoon of February 22. After Principal Kikuo Takemura had presented graduation diplomas individually to the 143 graduates (51 boys and 92 girls), Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi delivered a congratulatory address. Acknowledging the fact that the graduates of this course had spent the past four years working at Tenrikyo facilities during the daytime while attending classes in the evening, he said that the extra efforts required of them as evening course students had surely paid off in terms of what they had gotten out of their high school experience.
A joint graduation ceremony was held on March 9 for the graduates of Tenri Seminary’s three courses: Graduate Seminary (1); Junior Seminary (80); and Daini Junior Seminary (22). After presenting diplomas to representatives of each course, Principal Keiichiro Moroi reminded the graduates of the importance of the Service. He emphasized that, while it is faith in God the Parent and Oyasama that opens a path before us, it is the Service that is the key element in nurturing true faith.
The Shinbashira then took the podium to deliver his congratulatory address. He began by offering his appreciation for the hinokishin efforts that the graduates had devoted to Church Headquarters’ activities throughout their enrolment in the seminary. He went on to say: “I believe that God the Parent has high expectations for each of you, and I hope you will do your utmost to live in a way that measures up to those expectations.” The Shinbashira then encouraged them to make good use of what they had learned at the seminary as well as to make an honest and sincere effort to serve the path while constantly seeking the essence of the teachings.
Tenri Language Institute
The graduation ceremony for Tenrikyo Language Institute (TLI) was held in the school assembly hall on March 8. Principal Nobuo Nagao presented diplomas to the 88 graduates of the institute’s four departments: Japanese Language Department (40); Oyasato Fusekomi Department (19); Foreign Language Department (24); and Missionary Training Department (5). Sixty-one of the 88 graduates were foreign students from South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal, Thailand, the Philippines, India, the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Kenya.