Over the course of 1999, Tenrikyo undertook an organized endeavor to have all its followers acquire the spirit of the Shinbashira’s Instruction One, and the new year is seen as the season for each follower to translate that spirit into actual practice. This was reaffirmed at Church Headquarters’ annual New Year’s meeting, which took place at the Assembly Hall on January 4 after the evening service, bringing together approximately 700 Church Headquarters’ officials, head ministers of directly supervised churches, superintendents of dioceses, members of the Assembly, and committee members of Tenrikyo associations.
To commence the meeting, Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi offered greetings to the Shinbashira on behalf of all who were present. He went on to state their resolution to serve in their role as leading Yoboku at the forefront of the path.
The Shinbashira then addressed them. He began by sharing his reflections on the past year, which for Tenrikyo, he said, revolved around the “Lectures on Instruction One” and the “District Lectures for Yoboku: Action and Progress.” Through these and other undertakings, he said, Church Headquarters sought to ensure that all Yoboku—or timber for constructing the Joyous Life—understood the intention of Instruction One thoroughly. He reiterated that the aim of the “District Lectures” was to motivate as many Yoboku as possible to do the actual work as Yoboku and that, if that state of affairs does not arise, the “District Lectures” served no purpose at all. What is important from now onward, he said, is to keep reinforcing Yoboku’s awareness of their mission in various ways, planning and conducting all activities with this in mind.
“Speaking of Yoboku,” he continued, “all of you, too, are Yoboku. What is more, many of you are serving in responsible positions. As I said here last year, your top priority should be to make sure that your work is always supported by a clear awareness that you are Yoboku, and I should like those of you in responsible positions to strive to become the sort of people who truly befit those positions. This, I believe, is one of the most important requirements that must be met if each and every Yoboku is to fulfill their role as Yoboku.”