On April 18, the Oyasama Birth Celebration Service was conducted to commemorate the everliving Oyasama’s 225th birthday in the Main Sanctuary and the Foundress’ Sanctuary of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters with Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama presiding as chief officiant. Many followers of the path returned to Jiba from various parts of the world out of a yearning for the everliving Oyasama.
At 9:35 a.m., Rev. Daisuke Nakayama and other Service performers left the Staff Quarters and proceeded to the Main Sanctuary after paying their respects at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall. In the meantime, the Shinbashira—who is recuperating—proceeded to the Main Sanctuary from the north side of the East Corridor to join in worshiping together inside the partition bars in the South Worship Hall.
In the Service prayer, Rev. Daisuke Nakayama said: “All of us Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku will return our thoughts to the path that Oyasama demonstrated cheerfully and spiritedly despite going through many challenging situations. We are determined to continue to move forward on the path of single-hearted salvation in ways befitting the current season by taking to heart these words: ‘If you do not follow the path of the Divine Model, there is no need for a Divine Model.’”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service, after which the Shinbashira and his wife, Harue, as well as Successor-Designate Nakayama and his wife, Nobue, proceeded to the Foundress’ Sanctuary to serve a meal to the everliving Oyasama. In the meantime, the Dance with Hand Movements was performed in high spirits.
Following the Service, Honbu-in Chutaro Yamanaka took the podium to deliver the sermon. In his sermon, Rev. Yamanaka emphasized that we followers should carry out the pre-anniversary activities leading up to the 140th Anniversary more concertedly and spiritedly than during any of the previous pre-anniversary periods with our sights set on Oyasama’s Divine Model. After touching upon how we are taught the service and the Sazuke as means to achieve the Joyous Life, Rev. Yamanaka noted that Oyasama even withdrew from physical life to start bestowing the Sazuke as a means of world salvation. He concluded his sermon by saying: “If we completely rely on God the Parent and administer the Sazuke with a sincere mind that is singly intent on the salvation of others, God the Parent will surely work for us. In the hope that we will encounter more people to whom we can administer the Sazuke, let us gain momentum and devote ourselves to imparting the fragrance of the teachings and helping others be saved.”
After the sermon, Successor-Designate Nakayama returned to the Foundress’ Sanctuary to read a prayer to Oyasama. After extending words of celebration, he said, “All of us followers are determined to further raise our awareness of and find ever greater joy in serving as Your instruments as we endeavor to engage in the work of single-hearted salvation in unity of mind while straightforwardly following the Divine Model during the ‘three years, one thousand days’ period leading up to the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama.”
The “Joyous Harmony” then took place in the Inner Courtyard, creating a celebratory ambiance. The event was cosponsored by the Women’s Association, the Young Men’s Association, and the Boys and Girls Association.