On October 27, Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association sponsored its 76th annual convention in the Inner Courtyard of Church Headquarters. More than 17,000 people, including many from overseas, participated in the convention.
At 10:00 a.m., the Shinbashira, who is also the president of the association, ushered the former Shinbashira and Women’s Association Vice President Harue Nakayama as well as other guests of honor onto the stage. The convention commenced with the hoisting of the association’s flag. Following that all the participants joined together in singing the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo, and then Association Vice Chairman Taketomo Kanayama read out the progress report on the activities of the previous year. Referring to the Shinbashira’s address at last year’s convention, Vice Chairman Kanayama emphasized that the association’s mission is none other than world salvation. He said: “In this season to get to work, the Young Men’s Association must take action at the forefront of the path, stir ourselves up to advance world salvation, and promote missionary work thoroughly. At the same time, we must get as many members as possible to work together to conduct missionary activities and to inquire into the teachings, maintaining the awareness of being Arakitoryo, pioneers of the path. Based on all these points, we continued to uphold the guidelines ‘Advancing Missionary Activities and Increasing Active Members’ this year.”
The Shinbashira then took the podium to deliver his address. Mentioning the hundredth anniversary of Tenri Seminary, he shared with the participants his thoughts concerning the theme of nurturing people, or training human resources. He also emphasized that the members of the association need to make the effort to grow spiritually themselves as befits their role as people who nurture others. He said: “Those of you who are playing leadership roles such as chapter chairmen and diocese and district leaders ought to set an example, thereby guiding along younger members as well as those whose faith has yet to mature. In that manner, our association’s activities ought to involve as many members as possible who will, regardless of their positions and capacities, take pride in being Arakitoryo, pioneers of the path.” He concluded his address with the words: “The aim of our association’s activities is to get ever more people to follow the path. For us to accomplish this aim, we need as many people as possible to take part in our activities with the zestful enthusiasm of Arakitoryo.”
In response to the Shinbashira’s address, Kasaoka Chapter Chairman Takayuki Tanaka made a pledge on behalf of all the members. He said: “We shall never fail to follow in the footsteps that our predecessors made with courage and enthusiasm or to pass them down to our successors. We are now determined to take steady steps along the path of spiritual growth.” To bring the convention to a close, all the members recited aloud the “Guiding Principles of Arakitoryo” and then joined together in singing the “Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association Song.”
The convention-eve festivities held in the areas on both sides of the South Gate after the evening service on October 26 included a total of 54 food booths as well as a variety of entertainment provided on stages.