Graduation Ceremonies Held in Tenri

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 413 graduates (251 boys and 162 girls), Principal Kikuo Takemura told his students that they had merely completed the “stage of sowing seeds” as high schoolers. He expressed his wish for them to work at those seeds and ripen them to become outstanding people. As words of appreciation, a representative of the graduates said that they would engrave in their hearts what they had learned at school, and live spiritedly to become active members of the Joyous Life community.

Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi then delivered his address to the graduating class. He said that Jiba, where the graduating students studied for three years, is the homeland of humankind and is, therefore, a special place for the followers of the path. He continued, “I am convinced that the three years you spent here will have a very important meaning in your future life.” Referring to the modern society dominated by pursuit of convenience and affluence, as well as by the flood of information, he said, “In order not to lose your way, it is important to have a firm grasp of yourself and to be responsible for your own life. You, who became Yoboku while in school, are expected to find the way you live in the vision of the construction of the society of the Joyous Life.”

He further said, “I think that one of the things you learned at Tenri High School is the teaching ‘Buds sprout from knots.’ As you live in a harsh and competitive society, your life will not always be smooth sailing. When you confront a difficulty, please remember that a new bud will surely sprout from it due to the blessings of God the Parent.”


Tenri High School’s Evening Course

The graduation ceremony for Tenri High School’s Evening Course was conducted in the school’s gymnasium on the afternoon of February 22. Principal Kikuo Takemura presented graduation diplomas individually to the 136 graduates (31 boys and 105 girls). The students in this four-year course spend the daytime working at Tenrikyo facilities and attend classes in the evening. Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi then addressed the graduating class.


Tenri Oyasato High School

Tenri Oyasato High School held its graduation ceremony in the school auditorium on the morning of February 23. Principal Yoichi Shibutani presented graduation diplomas individually to the 152 graduates (69 boys and 83 girls). He then told the graduating class: “After spending three years studying and living together, you will go your separate ways. However, the fact that all of you are Yoboku of the path will not change. I would like you to settle in your hearts the words of the former Shinbashira and put them into practice.”

The former Shinbashira then delivered his address. He said, “I think you have heard such expressions as ‘persons of the path’ or ‘schools of the path.’ The word ‘path’ referred to in these phrases is the path which was laid by Oyasama. And we are very thankful that, not only did She show the path, but also She walked on the path Herself. Her footsteps on the path constitute the Divine Model.” He then said, “I should like you to continue to walk on the path you have followed, in a manner worthy of someone who is a ‘person of the path’ and someone who has graduated from a ‘school of the path.”

Referring to Instruction One, he said, “In the Instruction, you read, ‘To strive for world salvation by taking that intention to heart is indeed the primary duty of everyone who has faith in this path.’ You are now departing on different courses of life, but I should like you to ponder over how you are able to contribute to world salvation as graduates of a school of the path and, in particular, as Yoboku. Having absolute faith and trust in Oyasama, let us advance together on the path of the Divine Model.”


Tenri Seminary High School

The graduation ceremony for Tenri Seminary High School was conducted in the school auditorium on February 24. Principal Mantaro Yoshikawa presented the 79 graduates (52 boys and 27 girls) with their graduation diplomas. “This seminary,” he said in his address, “was founded in 1900 for the purpose of educating future missionaries. The high school was founded in 1974 as an integral part of Tenri Seminary.” The principal explained: “Since its founding, this school has aimed to nurture people who could do missionary work. It started off as a boys school, but now it is coeducational, and the uniforms and buildings have changed. But the spirit has not changed.” He concluded by asking the graduating class to live each day with the mind to save others and to ponder constantly over what they could do to have their Parent be proud of them. After that, the students received words from the former Shinbashira.


Tenrikyo Language Institute

The graduation ceremony for Tenrikyo Language Institute (TLI) was conducted in the school assembly hall on the afternoon of March 8. Principal Nobuo Nagao presented 92 graduates (47 men and 45 women) with their graduation diplomas. TLI has four different departments: Japanese Language, Oyasato Fusekomi, Foreign Language (six languages), and Missionary Training (three courses). Principal Nagao said in his speech that he would like each graduate to shoulder their mission as Yoboku, make use of the teachings and languages learned at TLI and work toward the Joyous Life world which God the Parent desires.


Tenri Seminary

Tenri Seminary conducted a joint graduation ceremony on March 9 to honor graduates of the Seminary’s three courses: the Graduate Seminary (5 men), the Junior Seminary (51 men and 38 women), and the Daini Junior Seminary (29 men). After presenting the diplomas to representatives of each course, Principal Keiichiro Moroi addressed the graduates.

The Shinbashira then delivered his congratulatory address to the new graduates. “The education provided by Tenri Seminary,” he said, “has a twofold purpose. Not only does it give students a deeper understanding of the teachings but also it shows them how to integrate the teachings into their lives. As recipients of this education, you have all been awarded your diplomas today.”

He went on to say, “The time you have spent here in Jiba, both studying the teachings and engaging in various sorts of hinokishin, will undoubtedly prove to be of immeasurable value in the days to come. The seeds of sincerity that you have sown in Jiba have most assuredly been accepted by God the Parent, but whether these seeds will be nourished by the blessings of God the Parent and thereby sprout in your lives as joy and delight will depend on you and how you apply what you have learned here. . . . Until now, you have had your instructors to encourage you and guide you, but the time has now come when you must take the initiative and make decisions for yourselves. . . . This may seem difficult at first, but I believe that the education you received here has prepared you to make the right decisions so that you will be able to follow the straight course of the path.”

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