Celebrating "Respect for Senior Citizens' Day"
Senior Citizens Course
The Founding Director General Mrs. Yoshiko Nomura once commented on "Respect for Senior citizens' Day" that while it was generally an event celebrated by young people, the most important element of the senior years is a spirit of independence. She noted that the great significance in having this day was to give thanks for fulfilling the life that have been given.
Members of the Senior Citizens Division took Mrs. Nomura's words to heart and in that spirit they have held a gathering every year on "Respect for Senior citizens' Day". Although preparations and management on the actual day are supported by young people, essentially the senior completely took the initiatives in running the event.
On Tuesday 20 September this year, in the presence of Director General Mrs. Yumiko Kaneko, a combined Senior Citizens Course and "Respect for Senior citizens' Day" celebration was held in the Second Seminar House of Nomura Center. The event was attended by 39 participants spanning an age range from 70 to 90 years, hailing from Tokyo and neighbouring prefectures and as far as Gunma and Shizuoka prefectures.
Following a lecture by the assistant chief of the Tokyo Branch, the celebration commenced with an address by Mrs. Yasuko Yasui, chief of the Senior Citizens Division. Then, ninety year old Mrs. Nobuko Izumi led a toast after which Mrs. Yasui read out a message on behalf of the director in charge of seminars, Mrs. Noriko Yamashita.
D.G. Kaneko presented each participant with a Respect for Senior Citizens gift which was followed by a luncheon in a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. During the lunch, children from the Division of Infant Education sang songs and presented gifts of hand-made book marks while the Senior Citizens Division reciprocated with gifts of their own.
During the open discussion in the afternoon, a number of people expressed the strong wish to devote themselves even more to self-education having heard the morning's lecture. However, there were also comments reflecting the current depressing societal situation: that education is vitally important when we consider that the children of today will have to carry Japan in the future; that increasing crime and the trend for younger people committing it make Japan's future a matter of concern.
In her congratulatory address D.G. Kaneko responded to these concerns saying that the founding Director General Mrs. Yoshiko Nomura started these activities alone and continued to educate us over a period of forty years. She stressed the value of each of us awakening to our mission and of practicing the Nomura principles, and urged people to be proud of what they are doing. D.G. Kaneko went on to speak of the importance of having spiritual independence in one's later years, and of the deep significance of the Senior Citizens Division holding a meeting such as this and celebrating in this way with the participation of children who represent our future.
In light of today with its growing population of the post-war generation, D.G. Kaneko urged the seniors to pass on to the next generation their valuable life experiences. She expressed a desire for senior citizens to explicitly convey to the next generation the fact that Japan has resolutely upheld peace since the end of the war and the preciousness of the values that made that achievement possible. D.G. Kaneko then concluded with a vote of thanks.
One young mother from the Division of Infant Education who helped out on the day shared her impressions. She commented that although she was only helping because it was the role she was appointed to do so she was thanked constantly by members of the Senior Citizens Division. She was moved by the way the seniors were living actively and independently, and hoped to be like them one day. She commented that she adored her grandmother but pondered whether perhaps that was because of the way her mother had raised her.
It was a valuable day where members of the Senior Citizens Division indeed conveyed to the next generation by their own example the importance of sharing "From knowledge-based to wisdom-based education."
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