The 26th English class of Shuyoka (the three-month Spiritual Development Course) began in the Home of the Parent on April 1. This year, there are 13 participants: four from the U.S.A., three from Nepal, two from the Philippines, two from Kenya, one from Thailand, and one from Malaysia. Shuyoka offers the English class once a year from April to June. This year the class is held in the 708th session of Shuyoka, which has a total of 895 students.
The instructors for this year’s English class are Rev. Hiroaki Tabayashi and Rev. Kenji Nakai, both staff members of Tenrikyo Overseas Department. Rev. Tabayashi serves as the homeroom instructor and teaches the class on The Doctrine of Tenrikyo and the service dance while Rev. Nakai teaches the class on The Life of Oyasama and the Mikagura-uta, The Songs for the Service.
From March 29, prior to the commencement of Shuyoka, the English class students participated in a week-long preliminary training session organized by Tenrikyo Overseas Department. The training session was held to let the participants get used to life in the Home of the Parent by studying and boarding together. During that week, participants attended introductory lectures on the teachings of Tenrikyo, watched videos about Tenrikyo and the Spiritual Development Course, practiced the service dance and musical instruments, and devoted themselves to hinokishin. When the session came to a close on April 4, the students moved to their followers dormitories, where they will stay until the end of the term in June.
Also in progress from April through June are the Chinese classes, in which 36 are participating (17 in the Taiwanese class and 19 in the Mandarin class).