April also brought about the sakura season, which I must say I don’t like as much as the plums. We went for a hanami (slower viewing) trip to
What was more interesting was our religion trip to Tenrikyou (NOT Shinto or Buddhist). A fairly unknown religion in
Here’s a good outline of what they believe which I stole from Wikipedia ^-^
~Tenrikyo (天理教 Tenrikyō) is a monotheistic religion originating in alleged revelations to a 19th-century Japanese woman named Nakayama Miki, known as Oyasama by followers. Followers of Tenrikyo believe that God, known by several names including Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, expressed divine will through Nakayama's role as the Shrine of God, and to a lesser extent the roles of the Honseki Izo Iburi and other leaders. Tenrikyo's worldly aim is to teach and promote the Joyous Life, which is cultivated through acts of charity and mindfulness called hinokishin.
The most basic teaching of Tenrikyo is kashimono-karimono, officially translated as "a thing lent, a thing borrowed". The thing that is lent and borrowed in this teaching is the human body. Tenrikyo followers think of their minds as something under their own control, but their bodies as a gift on loan from God.
The Joyous Life in Tenrikyo is defined as charity and abstention from greed, selfishness, hatred, anger and arrogance. Negative tendencies are not known as sins in Tenrikyo, but rather "dust" that can be swept away from the mind through hinokishin and ritual. Hinokishin, voluntary effort, is performed not out of a desire to appear selfless, but out of gratitude for kashimono-karimono.~
So they basically live to live a happy life. They don’t force people to join their religions or dislike others for believing something different because everyone has their own path. The building itself was HUGE! The center hall was over 3000 tatami mats large, and it wasn’t the only building there. It was also the cleanest building I have EVER seen. In order to clean away the “dusts” from your soul you’re encourage to do things like clean, so the following were cleaning every inch of the temple non-stop. It was amazing.
A few days after our field trip Aunty Nicky and Cousin Isaac came to visit! I met up with them in
After they went back to
The final big event of April was going to see Takarazuka for the 3rd time with Haaki, my speaking partner. I have to say it was the BEST Takarazuka I’d seen so far. I wasn’t expecting it to be any good but I really enjoyed the Brazilian themed Nova Bassa Nova, which is about 2 thieves and a young woman tourist during the carnival of