28th-Year Memorial Service for Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi
Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi Gives an Address
Learning from Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi’s Will to Propagate and Study
The 28th-Year Memorial Service for Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi was held on June 17 at the Taniguchi Family Monument at the Seicho-No-Ie Main Temple in Nagasaki Prefecture. The President of Seicho-No-Ie, Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi, addressed 479 attendees.
In his message the President praised Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi’s strong fervor for overseas propagation even in his older age as well as the fact that he was studying foreign languages. He stressed that Seicho-No-Ie has been, and is an international movement throughout its history.
The President first touched upon the fact that Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi was a studious and hard working person and shared his recent experience which impressed him with that thought.
Recently the President was cleaning and tidying things at his house in the face of upcoming Seicho-No-Ie Headquarters’ move to Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture from Tokyo. Among the books which Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi left behind, he found many foreign books—many were very fine, hard-bound books.
Many of those books were of New Thought, a philosophy affiliated with Christianity that recognizes man’s divinity, as Seicho-No-Ie does. Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi introduced foreign authors’ works as early as in the first issue of Seicho-No-Ie Magazine. However, his actual interaction with them began after the end of World War II. Thus saying, the President looked back on the history of Seicho-No-Ie’s overseas propagation.
The President introduced the fact that Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi was forbidden to write for publication in 1948 due to his alleged support of Japan’s militarism. The same year, his communication with a New Thought thinker, Dr. Harvey Hardman, began. The following year (1949) Dr. Harvey visited Japan and gave a joint lecture meeting with Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi.
From 1950 to 1952, many overseas-related activities took place one after another: Rev. Yoichi Nakajima, Seicho-No-Ie General Director at the time, went to the U.S.A. twice on a propagation tour; the followers’ group from Hawaii came to Japan to visit Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi; Dr. Katsumi Tokuhisa, former Seicho-No-Ie Chairman and CEO, made propagation tours to the U.S.A. and Brazil; and the publication of the English Magazine, Seicho-No-Ie was launched. He pointed out that it was the pioneering days of overseas propagation.
The President also said that when he was born in 1951, Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi was 58 years old—an age close to his own, as he turned 60 last year. He noted that sometimes people say that he is doing things which are different from what Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi was doing. The President denied it and made a point that Seicho-No-Ie has a history of having exerted a serious propagation effort in the international arena and emphasized that ours is a big movement that does not focus on Japan alone but has an international perspective.
The President next introduced that among Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi’s books was Effective Speech, a book on how to give lectures, which shows that Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi was studying English with the intention of giving lectures in English and that he was also trying to study French, using the book, Eigo Taisho Jishusha no Furansu-go (French for Self-Learners with English References). The President pointed out that normally, it does not occur to people over the age of 60 to study a foreign language but that Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi was studying with the zeal to expand the Movement overseas.
In concluding his message, the President urged the attendees to learn from Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi’s burning sense of mission to propagate and the will to study and strive to always improve themselves both in the Movement and personal matters.
The Memorial Service started at 10:00 a.m., with Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi presiding as the Chief Priest. After the purification rite, Invocation, offerings and the reading of the supplication, Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi, President of Seicho-No-Ie; and Mrs. Junko Taniguchi, President of White Dove Association, offered sacred branches. It was followed by the offering of the sacred branch by the Head Priest. While the attendees read the Holy Sutra, Nectarean Shower of Holy Doctrines, sacred branches were offered by Rev. Kazutomi Otsuka, Chief of Seicho-No-Ie Missionary Council: and Rev. Kazuo Isobe, Chairman and CEO of Seicho-No-Ie. The attendees burned incense and expressed deep gratitude to Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi. After the removal of offerings and Affirmation of Perfect Peace and Harmony, the Service ended with Rev. Masanobu Taniguchi’s address.