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Japan Will Turn Ablaze!

by Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi, and Universal House of Justice

compiled by Barbara R. Sims.
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Chapter 10


PART II

Letters of Shoghi Effendi
and Communications From
the Universal House of Justice





Letters and Cables to Miss Agnes B.
Alexander, 1923-1957


"The beloved Guardian continually sent reinforcements to me in his precious letters which were the joy and strength of my heart," Miss Alexander wrote.

Aside from her own inner conviction, the main source of positive guidance and direction, during her early years in the Orient were Shoghi Effendi's letters.

Of the first personal letter she received from the Guardian (December 2, 1923) she wrote, "The words penned by his hand at the end of the letter so affected me that for several days my heart was filled with joy and inspiration, and a realization came to me of the power with which God had endowed him."

Following are excerpts from some of the many letters written to Miss Alexander by the Guardian, or on his behalf, which give insights, not only into her role as a "distinguished pioneer", but also into her relationship with the Japanese, among whom she lived for so many years and whom she loved so dearly.

My dear sister in God,

Your letter to our very dear Shoghi Effendi was most encouraging and created in him new hopes for the spread of `Abdu'l-Bahá's great and noble Message after the painful calamity in Japan*. It was indeed a miracle that amid a city all shaken to pieces and burned to ashes by the wild flames, the Lord should have kept you so safe and unscathed. We can never doubt that this is a direct proof of the mighty task which the Lord has wanted you to take up and fulfill in that far away East. Shoghi Effendi has always looked forward with great expectations at the progress of the Cause in Japan to which he attaches very great importance.

The Japanese are really progressive people and such vital teachings which comprise the principles of the Bahá'í religion are sure to seize their attention and arouse a deep interest in them. Your presence in Japan was always a means of comfort to Shoghi Effendi's heart because he fully realized the zeal and ardour with which you

__________
* The Great Kanto Earthquake of September 1923.

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had taken up your work there and although Japan might now miss you, he is sure that wherever you are you will strive to your utmost in spreading far and near this Message of Peace to humanity. Furthermore he hopes that you will not give up altogether your interest in that promising country, but as long as you are away you will keep your tender plants all fresh and green with stimulating messages to them. These are Shoghi Effendi's earnest hopes...

(signed by Soheil Afnan)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

With loving greetings and prayers for the success of my dearly-loved sister, Miss A. Alexander.

Shoghi

(December 2, 1923)

In October 1923 Miss Alexander and her sister went to Beijing, stopping on their way in Seoul, Korea. In China they joined Miss Martha Root and had an exceedingly fruitful time. After about a three month visit Miss Alexander left to go to her home in Hawaii. After she reached Hawaii she received a letter from the Guardian.

My dear Bahá'í sister,

Your letter to Shoghi Effendi was very gladly received and he was most delighted to hear of your activities in the wonderful country of China... It is very unfortunate that you are forced to leave for the time being your work in (Japan) but Shoghi Effendi earnestly hopes that you will soon return and take up your blessed task.

(signed by Soheil Afnan)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

My dear and esteemed Bahá'í sister,

Your glorious services in those remote regions of the earth are never to be forgotten. I ever pray on your behalf and wish you to remember the sacred interests of the Cause in far-away Japan as you are that radiant herald who has raised the Call of Salvation in its very heart and to whom it owes a great debt of gratitude. Fujita is with us happy, active, and extremely helpful. His presence is such a help and support to me in my work. I never, never forget you.

Shoghi

(January 27, 1924)

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My dear Bahá'í sister,

Our dear Guardian has instructed me to acknowledge the receipt of your welcomed letter dated June 3, 1927. He is delighted to hear of your intended visit to Japan where he hopes and prays you will receive your full share of confirmations from the Abhá Kingdom.

He cherishes great hopes for your future contributions to the progress of the Cause in that far away and promising country. He wishes you to write to him frequently of the progress of your activities and of those whom you will interest in the Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh.

He would specially request you to prolong your stay in Japan as the soil is exceedingly fertile and the workers are so few in number. The hosts of the Supreme Concourse will surely aid you and assist you in your endeavor to spread the Faith which the world needs so vitally today.

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Dear and precious sister:

Do not feel disheartened if you meet at first with trials and obstacles in His Path. I will pray for their removal and will supplicate for you Divine Guidance and strength. Your reward is indeed great and glorious in the world to come for all your endeavors and exemplary services to the sacred Threshold.

Shoghi

(July 16, 1927)

My dear and precious co-worker:

I cannot exaggerate the importance, nay the urgent necessity of your return to Japan. Your place there is vacant, and the opportunities are varied and brilliant. The few friends there have to be nursed and assisted to renew their activity and consolidate their work. I will pray that you will be guided by our dear Master who loved you so dearly and wanted you so keenly to train and guide the rising generation in Japan into the light of this Divine Revelation.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(October 12, 1927)

My dear and precious co-worker:

Though immersed in an ocean of activities and cares, I find always the time to think of you and express to you in writing my sentiments of love and appreciation of all you are doing for our beloved Cause. I trust the way to Japan may open soon, and that you may

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resume in that important field, the work so dear to your heart.

Your true brother, Shoghi


Please assure dear Mrs. Augur of my tenderest brotherly sympathy in her affliction.* The services of her dear husband are engraved upon my heart. I will pray for him from the bottom of my heart at the Beloved's Shrine.

Shoghi

(October 22, 1927)

My dear and precious sister:

I am glad that the date of your voyage to Japan is at last settled and I hope and trust that you will be enabled to consolidate the great work you have initiated in Japan. My prayers will accompany you wherever you go, and I ask you to assure the loved ones in Japan of my continued prayers for their progress and spiritual advancement.

Shoghi

(October 31, 1927)

My dear co-worker:

What a relief to learn that you are at last on your way to Japan where I trust and pray you may witness the growth of the Cause so dear to our hearts. I will pray that your efforts may meet with the fullest success and that you may be enabled to establish a powerful centre in the heart of that promising country.

Shoghi

(December 30, 1927)

My dear and precious co-worker:

I rejoice to learn of the resumption of your most valuable and pioneer work in Japan, and I wish to assure you again and in person of my continued and fervent prayers at the Holy Shrines for your success in spreading and consolidating the Cause in that land. I urge you to make a special effort to organize the believers there into a local Bahá'í Spiritual Assembly as a nucleus round which will gather and flourish the future Bahá'í community in Japan. I trust that the Beloved may guide your steps and bless your efforts in this connection. Awaiting eagerly your good news.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(March 13, 1928)

__________
* Dr. Augur passed away the previous month.

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My dear Bahá'í sister,

Our Guardian has received with extreme pleasure your letter of February nineteenth from Tokyo.

He is so glad to know that you are finally there and actively busy in a work to which he pays the greatest importance. Being pioneer work it is bound to be slow, but he hopes that it will soon pass beyond the pioneer stage and that Bahá'í Assemblies and groups composed of full fledged and confirmed Bahá'ís will replace your isolated individuals with whom you now communicate.

(signed by Soheil Afnan)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

My dear co-worker:

Please assure the dear friends in Tokyo of my brotherly affection, and sincere and continued prayers for the success of their efforts in the service of our beloved Cause. May the Beloved aid you to assist them and guide them in their task, and strengthen you in your efforts to consolidate the work that has been started in that land.

Your well-wisher, Shoghi

(March 29, 1928)

He (the Guardian) was very pleased to receive the encouraging news that (your letter) contained and to learn that an article had already appeared on the subject of the Cause in the press. Perhaps you will make an effort that similar articles may appear in other papers so as to attract the attention of the reading and thinking public. Of course your ultimate goal, Shoghi Effendi is sure, is nothing less than the establishment of a capable, devoted and progressive Bahá'í center there.

(signed by Soheil Afnan)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

My dear and valued Bahá'í sister:

I wish to assure you in person of my eagerness to hear from you regularly, frequently and in detail, of my continued prayers for you, and of my sense of pride and satisfaction in view of your devoted and pioneer services in that promising country. Though trials, tests, anxieties and cares beset your path, yet you should never falter in your faith and hope that eventually, through you and those who after you will tread your path, the sovereignty of Bahá'u'lláh will be firmly established in that land and your heart's desire will in the end be fulfilled.

Your true and affectionate brother, Shoghi

(May 20, 1928)

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My dear and precious co-worker:

It always gives him (the Guardian) great pleasure to hear of the progress of the Cause in distant lands and he prays for those who are undertaking the task with great zeal and unfailing sacrifice. The activities of such devoted souls will surely leave ever-lasting traces on the history of man. The pioneer work is always the most difficult and entails the greatest sacrifice. Be thankful to God for having chosen you to undertake such a task. The Master always looked to the Eastern countries as a ready field of service and promised a great harvest to one who would sow the seed.

(signed by Soheil Afnan)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

My dear and precious co-worker:

Your letter has served to reveal once again the undying spirit of devotion that animates you in the service of the Cause. My prayers will be offered again for you at His Holy Shrine that you may be assisted to establish permanently a Bahá'í Spiritual Assembly in that land, and help that centre to get in close and constant touch with Assemblies both in the East and West.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(November 14, 1928)

My dear and valued co-worker:

Your letters have gladdened my heart and fortified me in my task. I will continue to supplicate for you at His Shrine, that He may graciously assist you to make of those who are merely interested, active supporters of the Faith, recognizing fully the significance and station of Bahá'u'lláh, and who will form a nucleus of believers who will carry on the work, loyally and effectively after you and in your absence. This is my fervent prayer for you.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(December 21, 1928)

Your perseverance and constancy in the service of the Cause in Japan, your effort to sow the seed among the educated and enlightened people and at the same time to carry the comforting and inspiring teachings of the Faith to the poor and blind, all these are the causes of deep satisfaction and pleasure to the heart of the Guardian.

(signed by Soheil Afnan)

59

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

With the assurance of my keen appreciation of your devoted and constant efforts and of my fervent and continued prayers in your behalf at the Holy Shrines.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(April 19, 1929)

He (the Guardian) hopes that you will leave a wonderful group of Bahá'ís in that land. Once they come to appreciate the futility of mere material progress and come to desire a spiritual impetus they will see that the source of all inspiration in this day is Bahá'u'lláh and His teachings.

(January 5, 1930)

My dear co-worker:

Your separate messages have rejoiced my heart. I will pray for each one of you that the Beloved may bless you, guide you and strengthen you to render notable services to the cause of world brotherhood and peace. I deeply value your expressed sentiments and reciprocate your expressions of brotherly love.

Praying for your spiritual advancement,

Shoghi

(April 18, 1930)

He (the Guardian) sincerely hopes that the translation of Dr. Esslemont's book will proceed at a rapid pace, because no real advance can be made in the teaching work without proper literature, and this book is undoubtedly the most comprehensive exposition of the Teachings yet written. The language should, however, be worthy of the theme otherwise it would not make the necessary appeal to the educated classes.

Shoghi Effendi was very pleased to hear that Keith (Ransom-Kehler) has achieved some success in Japan. The explicit promise of Bahá'u'lláh is that God's spirit will assist all those who, with a sincere and detached heart, arise to spread the teachings. There is no reason for astonishment therefore if the teachers of the Cause find success in their work. May God's spirit continue to sustain them.

(signed by Ruhi Afnan)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Dear and valued co-worker:

I am eagerly awaiting the news of the publication in Japanese

60

of that prized book which Dr. Esslemont has so wonderfully laboured to produce. When received it will adorn the newly-restored mansion of Bahá'u'lláh adjoining His Shrine at Bahji. May the Beloved sustain and bless your magnificent efforts.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(October 8, 1931)

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated December 29, 1931 bearing the sad news of the death of Mr. Susumu Aibara*. It is surely a great loss to have a young man of his ability and standing leave the group. Our sole comfort should be in this that he is at present in a higher spiritual realm enjoying a blissful being far beyond our powers to appreciate. Shoghi Effendi hopes that the members of his family will view his passing in that light and appease their sorrows. Please convey to them all Shoghi Effendi's sympathies.

(January 25, 1932)

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to ... inform you of the safe arrival of the one hundred copies of Dr. Esslemont's book that you sent him. The book surely looks beautiful and is fully befitting the message it conveys.

The Guardian hopes that now that this task is completed the friends in Japan will make a stupendous effort to spread it throughout the country and get it to the attention of those seeking souls who are yearning to find some source of spiritual light and help to which they can turn for guidance and salvation.

With such a comprehensive book at hand ready for distribution, the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh should spread in no time. The friends should become conscious of this, and, uniting their efforts, arise in an unprecedented form to spread the Teachings.

(signed by Ruhi Afnan)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Dear and much-prized co-worker:

With feelings of intense delight and gratitude, I have sent, this very afternoon the books you have sent me to the library of the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahjí. They will be placed by myself side by side with the fourteen different printed versions of "The New Era", and will be a constant reminder of your perseverance, your magnificent

__________
* Mr. Aibara, a vibrant Bahá'í with leadership qualities, died suddenly at age 32.

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efforts, your exemplary devotion to the Cause of God. It is a historic service that you have rendered to the Abhá Threshold. I urge you to send one copy to each of the most important Bahá'í centers in East and West. Its effect, I feel, will be remarkable.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(February 11, 1933)

He (the Guardian) has directed me to thank you on his behalf and to assure you of his abiding appreciation of your unforgettable services to the Cause in Japan.

He was very glad to learn that you have decided to leave for Honolulu as he firmly believes that such a visit will give you a chance to rest and will enable you, on your return to Japan, to better serve the Cause. There should always be a limit to self-sacrifice.

(signed by H. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Dear and valued co-worker:

I immensely appreciate your outstanding services in those far-away islands, and I will pray that you may be assisted to resume in the not distant future your manifold and valued activities in the service of our beloved Faith. Your name will forever remain associated with the rise of the Faith and its establishment in Japan, and the record of your incessant and splendid endeavors will shed on its annals a lustre that time can never dim.

Your true and grateful brother, Shoghi

(June 8, 1933)

The gratifying news of your projected trip to Japan has particularly strengthened (the Guardian's) hopes for the future expansion of your labours in that country. He trusts that on your return to that land you will find the friends more eager and ready than ever to carry on the teaching work which ever since your departure to the States seems to have been progressing slowly.

The Guardian will fervently pray for the success of your teaching trip, and he hopes that its results will be such as to encourage you to prolong your stay in Japan until a strong, active and well-united community of believers has been duly established. Your patient, sustained and selfless efforts in this connection, he is convinced, are bound to produce satisfactory and abiding results.

(signed by H. Rabbani)

62

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Dearly beloved co-worker:

I wish to add a few words in person in order to reaffirm my deep sense of gratitude to you for all that you have achieved and for your determination to carry on the work that you have so many years so splendidly initiated. I trust and pray that you may be fully guided and assisted to fulfill your heart's dearest wish.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(November 1, 1934)

Shoghi Effendi also cherishes bright hopes for your future work in Japan, where, he trusts, you will this time succeed in laying foundations for the establishment of new centers and groups in a not too distant future. He is fervently entreating Bahá'u'lláh to that end, and is confident that through His confirmations and guidance your work will be blessed, enriched and sustained.

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

May the Beloved, whose Cause you have promoted with such unswerving loyalty and devotion, continue to bless your manifold activities, and aid you to consolidate the foundations of His Cause in that promising country.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(April 17, 1935)

He (the Guardian) sincerely hopes that this trip to Japan will be quite successful, and that the results achieved will be most encouraging and stimulating to you, and will serve to bring to speedy and successful realization `Abdu'l-Bahá's deeply cherished hopes concerning the future of the Cause in these far-Eastern countries. The ground, of course, is not yet quite prepared. There is still a tremendous amount of publicity that has to be done before anything solid and enduring can be attained. But the peoples, if not in the large industrial centers, at least in the villages and country, are, as the Master has often remarked, spiritually-minded and eager to absorb a message as sound and as inspiring as that which the Cause offers.

(signed by H. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

May the Beloved of our hearts whose Cause you have served and are still serving with such zeal, devotion and constancy, reward

63

you a thousandfold for your ceaseless services, your high endeavors and historic accomplishments for the furtherance of His glorious Faith.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(July 6, 1935)

Regarding Mr. and Mrs. Torii, he (the Guardian) is immensely grieved to learn of the passing away of their son Akira*, and wishes you, therefore, to convey to them his heartfelt condolences and sympathy for this cruel and unexpected loss they have sustained. Will you also assure them of his prayers for the soul of their departed son, that it may develop and receive its full share of Divine blessings in the next world.

The Guardian has been very pleased to learn of Mr. Torii's desire to put the Japanese translation of the "New Era" into Braille for use of his blind friends. He would urge you to encourage him to complete the work as soon as possible, as it may prove of considerable help to the spread of the Teachings throughout Japan.

(signed by H. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Dear and valued co-worker:

Your past and present services are engraved upon my heart. The Beloved is well-pleased with your constancy, your zeal and exemplary devotion. I am proud of the spirit that so powerfully animates you in His service. I will continue to pray for your success from the bottom of my heart. Rest assured and persevere.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(September 23, 1935)

Beloved Bahá'í sister,

Shoghi Effendi was very happy to receive your letter of October 2, and wishes me to congratulate you on having succeeded in getting the enclosed article on the Cause published in one of the leading Japanese newspapers. He trusts that this important piece of publicity work will serve to attract the attention of a few competent and spiritually-minded people to the Teachings and thus gradually open the way for the wider penetration of the Message throughout Japan.

(signed by H. Rabbani)

__________
* Akira Torii, the only second-generation Bahá'í in Japan at that time died at age 17.

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(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Dear and valued co-worker:

Do not feel discouraged if the work you are doing for His Cause does not bear rich and immediate fruit. The seeds you are so patiently and devotedly sowing will assuredly germinate, and future generations will reap an abundant harvest. The Master is watching over and blessing your historic services. Rest assured.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(November 3, 1935)

He (the Guardian) is truly pleased to learn of the many contacts you have succeeded in forming with distinguished people and especially with young Japanese students... (He) feels also deeply appreciative of Dr. Masujima's* kind offer in presenting his library for the use of the Bahá'ís. He hopes and fervently prays that this eminent friend of the Cause may become one day a confirmed and devoted believer and that through his services the Faith may rapidly spread throughout Japan.

(signed by H. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

May the Beloved bless you and keep you, reward you abundantly for your manifold services, and enable you to extend the scope of your meritorious activities.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(May 11, 1936)

Regarding your wish to visit the Holy Shrines, he (the Guardian) fully approves of it and wishes me to extend to you a most hearty welcome.

(signed by H. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Dear and valued co-worker:

Your previous letters of May 21 and June 29 have also reached me, and I deeply appreciate the sentiments they convey. The strike and disturbances in Palestine have at last ceased and the obstacles to your pilgrimage have been removed. I would be so pleased to meet you face to face at this Holy Spot.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(November 3, 1936)

__________
* Dr. Rokuichiro Masujima was a good friend of the Faith but he could not commit himself to becoming a Bahá'í.

65


The Guardian wishes me to heartily congratulate you for the success of your efforts in connection with the publication of this new (Japanese) Braille edition of "Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era", which undoubtedly constitutes a most valuable addition to the literature of the Cause for the blind. I wish to also ask you to transmit the Guardian's grateful appreciation and thanks to Mr. Torii for his painstaking labours for the preparation of this new Braille publication on the Cause.

(signed by H. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Wishing you success from all my heart, your true and grateful brother, Shoghi

(November 19, 1936)

On behalf of the Guardian ... (I) wish to assure you again of his abiding appreciation of the splendid activities in which you are so laboriously and so devotedly engaged for the spread and establishment of the Cause in Japan. Do not feel discouraged at the meagerness of the results you now obtain. The Master's promises regarding the share you are destined to contribute towards the spread of the Faith in the Far East will sooner or later be completely realized. No matter how dark the present may appear, you should feel nevertheless confident that the distant future is immeasurably bright. Strive, therefore, with a joyful radiant and confident heart to hasten the fulfillment of `Abdu'l-Bahá's glorious promises. Your reward is unimaginably great, and the success that awaits your labours certain.

Regarding your visit to Fujita's mother*, the Guardian feels rejoiced and thankful for all the kindness and assistance you have so lovingly extended to her, and would certainly approve of your wish to continue helping her in every way you can...

(signed by H. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

With the assurance of my deepfelt and abiding appreciation of your wholehearted and touching response to my request*, and wishing you success and happiness from the depths of my heart.

Your true and grateful brother, Shoghi

(January 24, 1937)

__________
* The Guardian had asked Miss Alexander to visit Mr. Fujita's mother, who lay ill in Yanai, Yamaguchi Prefecture. At that time it was an 18-hour train trip from Tokyo.

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Miss Alexander left Japan in 1937. She made her pilgrimage to Haifa and rejoiced in being in the presence of the Guardian. After that she traveled to various places and ended up in her ancestral home in Hawaii. At the Guardian's urging she returned to Japan in 1950. Below are some of the letters from the Guardian sent to her home in Hawaii and then to Japan upon her return.

He (the Guardian) was ... glad to know you have put the soldier Bahá'ís in Korea and Japan in contact with the friends in those places, and hopes and prays this will lead to the rebirth of the Cause out there.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

May the Beloved bless, sustain, and guide you, at all times and under all conditions, aid you to add fresh laurels to the crown you have won in the service of His Faith, and fulfill your heart's desire for its promotion.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(June 3, 1946)

It is wonderful to know the Japanese believers are alive and devoted and he (the Guardian) hopes you will do all you can to assist them and stimulate their activities.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(July 23, 1946)

He (the Guardian) was very happy indeed to receive the good news of the devotion of the Japanese friends to the Faith, and he feels that the greatest service you can render the Cause is to do everything in your power to encourage and help them. Your letters, the news you give them, and the books you may be able gradually to forward will teach them and keep them up to date in the development of the Cause and its activities.

He does not feel a so-called Bahá'í School is a wise undertaking for Mr. I..; the great need at present is to teach, and he hopes in your letters you will impress this upon him, and the other Bahá'ís there and assure them of his loving prayers on their behalf.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(June 28, 1947)

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He (the Guardian) thinks it would be excellent if you could return to Japan and meet with your old co-workers there, and assist the new Bahá'ís in their work. Your long and deep association with this country, which at last has begun to put forth flowers in the Bahá'í world community, would be befittingly crowned by this service, and he hopes the way will open for you to go there as soon as possible.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(May 31, 1949)

He (the Guardian) is so happy to have you at last in Japan, and feels your presence there will be of great help and inspiration to the Japanese friends.

They seem dear and devoted souls, and he rejoices to see that, after all these years, and the long period of patient toil you spent there in the past, the tree of the Faith has struck deep roots, and the fruits are beginning to appear at last.

He feels you, and dear Fujita too, should devote particular attention to deepening the friends in the Covenant, which is the ark of safety for every believer.

(signed by "Ruhiyyih")

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

May the Almighty sustain, guide and bless you always, give you all the strength you need to enrich the splendid record of your past services in Japan, and enable you continually to extend the range of your meritorious accomplishments.

Your true and grateful brother, Shoghi

(October 6, 1950)

He (the Guardian) urges you never to feel discouraged but to go on showering your love on the friends (in Japan) and helping them to a deeper understanding of the Covenant.

The Guardian was pleased to hear Mr. Torii is arranging for the Hidden Words in Braille. Please thank him and assure him of the Guardian's loving prayers.

(signed by "Ruhiyyih")

(November 15, 1951)

The Guardian was most happy to learn of the many teaching opportunities which have been coming to you in that land, where you have labored so tirelessly and so lovingly, and assures you of his

68

prayers for you and for those whom you are attracting to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(May 22, 1952)

The Guardian greatly values your continuous sacrificial services in behalf of the Faith, particularly in Japan. He prays for the success of the efforts of the friends in Japan, that the Cause may spread rapidly in that country. He will particularly pray for the success of your work in Kyoto. He is hopeful that your contact with the Esperantists in Japan will bring many of them into the Faith.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(September 29, 1952)

The Guardian is indeed deeply grateful for your ceaseless services in the Cause of God, and was very happy to learn from you of the progress of the work in Japan.

He urges you by all means to make your plans to attend the International Teaching Conference to be held in New Delhi in October. You should then return to Japan, as he feels that this is the time for you to resume your work in that country.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

May the Beloved bless, guide and sustain you always, reward you abundantly for your long record of historic services, and enable you to enrich it in the days to come.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(August 15, 1953)

The Guardian has been greatly pleased with the manner in which the Faith has been spreading in Japan. He sincerely hopes that during the second year of the Crusade it will spread even more rapidly, and to more centers.

The future of the Faith in Japan is very great. It now depends upon the Bahá'ís to teach, to develop the Faith in a city and then move on to a new area. If this is continued diligently, it will bring the light of guidance to all parts of Japan in a very short time.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(May 3, 1954)

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He (the Guardian) was very happy to hear of the progress of the work in Japan; and he greatly appreciates the fact that you have returned once more to that country, so dear to your heart, and where the Master was so eager for you to serve.

He wishes to assure you that he will pray for Mr. Mori*, and that before he passes from this world, his spirit may be illumined, and he may come to accept Bahá'u'lláh.

The Guardian was also very pleased to hear that the Momtazis have given their home as a Bahá'í hall and Hazira, and hopes that this will open the way for the foundation of a firm Spiritual Assembly in the city.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(May 5, 1954)

He (the Guardian) was glad to hear Mr. Mori died a firm Bahá'í and that his funeral was in itself a service to the Faith. He will pray for his soul, and for his dear family.

(signed by "Ruhiyyih")

(May 27, 1954)

He (the Guardian) hopes that, in your capacity as a member of the Auxiliary Board of the Hands in Asia, that you will be able to create ever greater unity and enthusiasm amongst the Japanese friends, and the other believers in Japan.

(signed by "Ruhiyyih")

(May 27, 1954)

The progress of the Faith in Japan is a source of great joy to the Guardian. It is truly making rapid strides among these keen-minded and receptive people.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(March 1, 1955)

Gladly announce your elevation rank Hand of Cause. Praying further enrichment record historic services, Shoghi, Haifa

(cable sent March 29, 1957)

He (the Guardian) is confident that you will discharge your duties as a Hand with the same characteristics of loyalty and devotion,

__________
* Mr. Tsuto Mori, at that time lay critically ill in the hospital and not expected to live. He declared his Faith shortly after, just before he died.

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and in the same spirit of service, that you have always shown in your Bahá'í life, and which has entitled you to this great honor.

It will no doubt be a source of encouragement to the believers that they now have two Hands of the Cause, one in the South and one in the North Pacific; and, in view of the remarkable spread of the Faith throughout that whole region, your services will be of much help in stimulating and reassuring the friends, and encouraging them to arise and constantly extend the outposts of the Faith.

He will remember you in the Holy Shrines, and pray that you may be strengthened, guided and blessed in this new form of service to the Cause you love so dearly.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

May the Almighty, Whose Cause you have served so long, so nobly and so devotedly, shower His manifold blessings upon you, and aid you, now that you occupy so lofty a position in the ranks of the followers of His Faith, to enrich the record of your distinguished and truly historic services to its institutions.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(April 14, 1957)

At the time of the passing of Hand of the Cause Miss Alexander, the Universal House of Justice sent the following cable to the Bahá'í world:

Profoundly grieve passing illumined soul Hand Cause Agnes Alexander long standing pillar Cause Far East. First bring Faith Hawaiian Islands. Her long dedicated exemplary life service devotion Cause God anticipated by Center Covenant selecting her share May Maxwell imperishable honor mention Tablets Divine Plan. Her unrestrained unceasing pursuit teaching obedience command Bahá'u'lláh exhortations Master guidance beloved Guardian. Shining example all followers Faith. Her passing severs one more link heroic age. Assure family friends ardent prayers holiest Shrine progress radiant soul...

Universal House (of) Justice

(Cable sent January 4, 1971)

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Miss Alexander and Sheridan Sims at the old Bahá'í Center in Tokyo in 1960. The Haziratu'l-Quds was demolished and a new one built on the same property in 1982.

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