Visit to Ootomo Religon in Japan by Caodai Sacerdotal Council
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This is the first time that the Sacerdotal Council of the Cao Đai Holysee in Tay Ninh province has accepted the invitation from the Oomoto Religion to attend the Oomoto Miroku Great Festival held on May 5, 2013.
The Sacerdotal Council was headed by His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh and consisted of 14 delegates of whom there were 8 male and female dignitaries working at the Holy See, as follows:
· Archbishop Huong Dat - Acting Principal Archbishop for Female Affairs.
· Archbishop Thai Con Thanh, Acting Principal Archbishop of the Taoist branch.
· Archbishop Ngoc Hong Thanh, Chief of Cabinet of the Principal Archbishop of the Confucianist branch, and Head of the Ministry of Interior for Male Affairs
· Archbishop Huong Cung, Deputy Chief of the Ministry of Interior for Female Affairs
· Bishop Ngoc Manh Thanh, Assistant Chief of the Ministry of Health Affairs.
· Student-Priest Thuong Em Thanh, in charge of the Cardinal’s Security Office.
· Adept Nguyen Tri Luc, Cameraman.
In addition to the above participants, there were also :
· 6 Dignitaries, Sub-dignitaries, and followers who are currently working overseas
including Deacon Thuong Canh Thanh, Official Representative of Cao Dai overseas; Deacon Thai Xuong Thanh, Chief of the parish in Camden New Jersey; Deacon Ngoc Tua Thanh, Deputy Chief of the parish in Washington DC; Deacon Huong Me, Deputy Chief of the Camden, New Jersey parish; Sub-dignitary Phan Van Sau, Deputy Chief of the Camden New Jersey parish and Mrs. Vo Kim Thoan, office manager of Caodai Overseas Missionary.
· Mr. Trang Van Hai, Deputy Director of the Department of Interior Affairs and Chief of the Committee for Religious Affairs from the Tay Ninh provincial government also joined the delegation to assist with diplomatic affairs.
The delegation set off from Tay Ninh at 6am on Thursday, May 2, 2013 and arrived at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City at 8:30am. Seeing off the delegation at the airport, there were over 50 people, including about 20 dignitaries and sub-dignitaries from different parishes in Ho Chi Minh City and another 30 dignitaries and followers from the Tay Ninh Cao Đai Holy See.
After exchanging greetings and wishes, the Sacerdotal Council’s delegation went to check in and flew with Cathay Pacific airline, flight CX 766 to Hong Kong at 11am. Then, they took another flight CX 502 with the same airline and arrived at Kansai Osaka International Airport in Japan at 20:45. At the airport, two senior dignitaries from Oomoto Religion’s Missionary Center met the delegation and took them to Kansai Washingtion Airport Hotel to spend an overnight rest before visiting the Holy Land, Kameoka, the next morning.
At 8:40am on Friday, May 3, 2013, the Oomoto hosts picked the delegation up from the hotel and drove them to Kameoka. They arrived there around 11:30am.
At 14:40 pm, the Cao Dai delegation came to the Administrative Center of the Oomoto Religion, met with Mr. Noriyuki Taga and Mr. Yasuhiko Inagaki, leaders of Kameoka Administrative Center, then visited the Oomoto Great Hall and surrounding buildings in Kameoka (Kameoka is considered as the second Holy Land of Oomoto Religion, belonging to the Aizenkai Charity organization, also called Universal Love and Brotherhood Association.).
It was coincidently the day when Japanese people were celebrating the Samurai anniversary. That was why a lot of people wearing costumes like Samurai warriors could be seen on the streets which were so crowded that the delegates had to dodge their way to enter the Oomoto Center.
The flag of the Oomoto religion is a white one centered with a large red circle (it looks like the Japanese national flag) but it has an extra 9 small circles surrounding it, which makes it look like a red apricot put on a white square background.
At 9 am on May 4, 2013, the Cao Dai delegation came to the Kameoka Great Hall to attend the 56th birthday celebration of Her Holiness Madam Kurenai Deguchi, Spiritual Leader of Oomoto Religion. This solemn ceremony lasted for 180 minutes in the rhythmical Samisen melody. Towards the end of the ceremony, the audience watched a traditional opera performance.
On this occasion, the delegation met with representatives of the Taiwanese Taoist religion and Thai Buddhist delegations. The two leaders of these two delegations showed their interest in meeting with the delegates from Cao Đai and expected further mutual meetings in order to tighten the relationship and assist each other in terms of love and humanity promotion. The Taiwanese Taoist delegation offered their invitation to His Eminence Cardinal and his delegation to visit their Great Ceremony this coming July and the Thai Buddhist Delegation also officially invited His Eminence Cardinal and his delegation to visit their religion’s International religious conference this coming October.
At 3:00pm on the same day, the Cao Đai delegation left Kameoka for Ayabe.
At 6:00pm, the Cao Đai delegation made a small presentation on Cao Dai philosophy and doctrine to about 100 dignitaries and fellow followers of the Oomoto Religion.
After showing some pictures about the Holy See’s architecture and its ritual practices, His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh gave a brief exposition about the doctrine, purpose and rules of Caodaism for about 30 minutes. Then, the Cardinal answered about 10 questions from the audience.
At 9:30 am on May 5, 2013, the Cao Đai delegation attended the Miroku religious ceremony in the Oomoto Great Hall in Ayabe. The ceremony lasted about 180 minutes.
At the end of the ceremony, His Eminence Cardinal Thuong Tam Thanh was invited to speak in front of the Oomoto followers, estimated at about 2500 people. He congratulated and blessed the ceremony, prayed for peace to come to this world, wished the Oomoto Religion to prosper intensively, wished prosperity and riches to Japan and wished all creatures on Earth to develop ethical life permanently.
After that, the ceremony organizing committee guided His Eminence Cardinal to have a brief meeting with Her Holiness Madam Kurenai Deguchi, Spiritual Leader of Oomoto Religion. His Eminence Cardinal presented to the Oomoto’s Spiritual Leader a souvenir picture of Tay Ninh Cao Đai Holy See and an embroidered picture of a pair of carps. In return, Her Holiness Oomoto’s Spiritual Leader presented His Eminence Cardinal a few valuable craft and antique objects of Oomoto.
The Tay Ninh Cao Dai Holy See and the Oomoto Religion agreed to continue future mutual cooperation in religious, social and educational fields.
In brief, the trip to Japan to visit Oomoto religion by the Cao Dai delegation was a successful one.
Source: caodai.com.vn (June 8, 2013)