Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day was observed at about 2,400 locations throughout Japan on May 12 as well as at other locations in overseas countries on different days. Selfless and thankful action, known as hinokishin, is performed by Tenrikyo followers day after day whereby their joy at being alive is expressed through their actions. The significance of Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day is to enable followers to demonstrate to their communities that the Tenrikyo teachings are focused on reconstructing this world into the world of the Joyous Life. In addition, Hinokishin Day serves to enhance the sense of solidarity among followers and provide them with an opportunity to reflect upon their life of faith. Through their acts of hinokishin on that day, the participants expressed their gratitude to God the Parent for the gift of life.
Especially this year, which marks the 70th anniversary of Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day, all Yoboku had been called upon to participate in Hinokishin Day together with their family members as well as people in their communities.
At the Home of the Parent, Hinokishin Day was attended by about 4,700 people including the staff members of Church Headquarters as well as the Administrative Headquarters, students of the Spiritual Development Course, members of the Young Men’s Association Hinokishin Corps, and students of Tenrikyo schools. Prior to their hinokishin, all the participants assembled in the Inner Courtyard to listen to a message delivered by Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs Tomoo Itakura, who explained the meaning of hinokishin and asked them to engage in it spiritedly with a sense of gratitude. After his message, the participants, who were divided into 61 groups, headed out to their respective sites which included public facilities such as parks, civic centers, train stations, day care centers, and kindergartens within Tenri City. They engaged mainly in cleaning and weeding.
At the end of the day, the participants reassembled in the Inner Courtyard. Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi delivered a message in which he thanked them for their hinokishin efforts and said that the number of participants in this year’s Hinokishin Day had shown a great increase over previous years. He further expressed his desire that the spiritedness of Hinokishin Day would be carried forward to Tenrikyo Nioigake Day to be conducted this September as well as implemented in the activities leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, which will be conducted in 2006.
Out of the dozens of overseas districts conducting Hinokishin Day, the following sites in English-speaking areas were reported in Tenri Jiho, the weekly newspaper published by Doyusha. In New York, Hinokishin Day was conducted on May 5 with 100 people cleaning the areas around Tenrikyo New York Center. Twenty-four of them also donated blood at Queens Hospital. Also on that day, 15 people in Brisbane, Australia, picked up litter and empty cans at Col. Bennett Park, which is in the vicinity of Tenrikyo Oceania Centre.