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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 12

Letters and Cables to
Administrative Institutions

To the First National Convention
of the Bahá'ís of North East Asia — 1957

To the Delegates and Visitors assembled at the Convention of the Bahá'ís of North-East Asia.

With feelings of exultation, joy, and pride I hail the convocation of this history-making Convention of the Bahá'ís of North-East Asia, paving the way for the emergence of a Regional Spiritual Assembly with an area of jurisdiction embracing Japan, Korea, Formosa, Macao, Hong Kong, Hainan Island and Sakhalin Island.

This auspicious event, which posterity will regard as the culmination of a process initiated, half a century ago, in the capital city of Japan, under the watchful care and through the direct inspiration of the Centre of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh, marks the opening of the second chapter in the history of the evolution of His Faith in the North Pacific area. Such a consummation cannot fail to lend a tremendous impetus to its onward march in the entire Pacific Ocean, a march which will now, no doubt, be greatly accelerated by the simultaneous emergence of the Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of South-East Asia and of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of New Zealand.

I particularly welcome the establishment of this highly important institution in the capital city of Japan, as it affords a splendid opportunity for the diffusion of the Lights of the Faith, and the erection of the structure of its Administrative Order, among a people representing the overwhelming majority of the yellow race, living in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, and in a country regarded as one of the strongholds of the Buddhist Faith.

I feel a warm tribute should be paid, on this historic occasion, to the members of the American Bahá'í Community, as well as to their elected national representatives, who have, for so long and so devotedly, promoted the interests of the Faith in that country, and, in recent years in its neighbouring islands.

I call upon the Regional Spiritual Assembly now being formed to signalize its birth through the initiation of a subsidiary Six-Year


Plan, designed to swell the number of the adherents of the Faith throughout the area of its jurisdiction; to multiply the groups, the isolated centers and the local spiritual assemblies; to incorporate all firmly grounded local spiritual assemblies; to obtain recognition from the civil authorities for the Bahá'í Marriage Certificate, as well as the Bahá'í Holy Days; to inaugurate a national Bahá'í Fund; to consolidate the work initiated in the newly opened territories; to lend an impetus to the translation, the publication, and dissemination of Bahá'í Literature in divers languages; to establish Summer Schools, and Bahá'í burial grounds; to propagate the Faith throughout the smaller islands of Japan; and to acquire a plot to serve as the site of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of North-East Asia.

May the blessings of Bahá'u'lláh be showered, in an ever-increasing measure, on those newly emerged Communities now holding aloft, so steadfastly and so valiantly, the banner of His Faith, and may the outcome of their collective efforts illuminate its annals, and contribute to a notable degree to the consolidation of the institutions

click for larger image
The first National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of North East Asia elected in 1957. Sitting: Mr. Noureddin Momtazi, Miss Agnes Alexander, Mrs. Barbara Sims, Mr. Hiroyasu Takano. Standing: Mr. Ataullah Moghbel, Mr. Michitoshi Zenimoto, Mr. Philip Marangella, Mr. Yadollah Rafaat, and Mr. William Maxwell.


of the Bahá'í embryonic World Order now being erected throughout the length and breadth of so vast, so turbulent, and yet so promising, an area of the globe.


(April 1957)

Shoghi Effendi's cable to the first Convention of North East Asia:

Deeply appreciate message welcome dedication delegates tasks ahead fervently supplicating richest blessings. Deepest love,


(April 29, 1957)

To National Spiritual Assemblies

To the National Spiritual Assembly of
North East Asia — 1957

The Guardian's first cable to the new National Spiritual Assembly:

Fervently supplicating befitting discharge sacred manifold responsibilities. Deepest love,


(cable dated May 2, 1957)

Our beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you on his behalf and inform you that the Hand of the Cause Mr. Varqá, will shortly be forwarding to your assembly the equivalent of five hundred English Pounds, as the Guardian's contribution to your newly established National Fund.

He hopes that, in the formulation of your plans, particular attention will be given to the all-important teaching work, the foundation of all the activities of the Faith and the most urgent task facing the friends in this critical period the world is passing through.

You may be sure he will pray for your success.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(May 20, 1957)

He (the Guardian) has read with much interest the reports of the Convention recently held in Tokyo.


The formation of this new Regional Assembly, whose area of operation is so vast and situated in such an important part of the globe, has been a source of great joy to the Guardian. He was also very happy to see that your Assembly has represented on it members of the three great races of mankind, a living demonstration of the fundamental teaching of our Holy Faith, and one which cannot but attract the interest of the public. The fact that so many believers attended the first historic convention, from practically all the territories your Assembly represents, was also most encouraging, and augurs well for your future work.

The work, so faithfully carried on, by both the American and Persian pioneers, has borne its first fruit. The long and loyal service of dear Agnes Alexander, who so faithfully carried out the beloved Master's wishes and served the spiritual interests of Japan for decades, has been richly crowned. Even the death of the devoted pioneer, Mr. Anthony Seto, has added a blessing to the work in that region, for he served in spite of failing health and remained at his post to be laid at rest in a distant land, his very dust testifying to the greatness of the love and the nature of the ideals Bahá'u'lláh inspires in His servants*.

It has been a great source of joy to the Guardian to see the marked increase of native Bahá'ís throughout that area, particularly in Japan, Korea and Formosa. However devoted the pioneers may be to these distant countries of their adoption, their relation to them cannot but be a transient one, especially in view of the disturbed state of the world and gloomy clouds that hang over its political horizons. They may suddenly be forced to go home; therefore, the native Bahá'ís, in particular, must seize this opportunity and arise too, themselves, in their own countries, pioneer to new cities and towns, new islands and as yet unopened territories, so that they may, with the help of their Bahá'í brethren from overseas, lay a firm and enduring foundation, and commence the great task of building up the Administrative Order, which is itself the foundation of the future World Order.

Special attention must be given during this crucial year to consolidating the precious goals already won, to creating new Spiritual Assemblies, to increasing the groups and the isolated centers.

Your Assembly must be very careful not to overload the Bahá'ís with rules and regulations, circulars and directions. The purpose of the administration at this time is to blow on the fire newly kindled in the hearts of these people who have accepted the Faith, to create in

* Mr. Seto, the first Chinese-American Bahá'í, died while he was in Japan attending the first Convention. He is buried in the Yamate-machi Foreign Cemetery in Yokohama.


them the desire and capacity to teach, to facilitate the pioneer and teaching work, and help deepen the knowledge and understanding of the friends. The beloved Guardian issues this word of warning, as long experience has shown that it is a tendency on the part of all N.S.A.s to over-administer. In their enthusiasm they forget that they only have a handful of inexperienced souls to guide, and attempt to deal with their work as if they had a large population to regulate! This then stifles the spirit of the friends and the teaching work suffers.

He hopes that special attention will be given to the translation of more literature into the languages in use throughout that area and its publication. Likewise, Summer Schools should be multiplied as they enable the friends to gain in knowledge, and, through taking part in the course, increase their ability as Bahá'í teachers.

He was most happy to receive news of the spread of the Faith to some of the other islands in Japan, and hopes that this initial effort will be carefully followed up, and that the Message of Bahá'u'lláh will be carried to all the Japanese islands — and those in their neighbourhood — including Sakhalin, which is one of the few remaining virgin territories to be opened under the Ten-Year Plan.

The extraordinary progress made in the Far East and the Pacific area has been a constant source of pride and joy to the Guardian, and he feels confident that the door has opened on a new era in the advancement of our beloved Faith in these promising regions, and, indeed, all over the world. To the degree to which the friends consecrate themselves to the teaching work will directly depend the results they achieve during this year and coming years.

The beloved Guardian assures you all of his loving and continued prayers for the success of your work, for your strength, guidance and protection.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Dear and valued co-workers:

The formation of the Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of North East Asia is to be acclaimed as an event of far-reaching historic significance, whose repercussions cannot be confined to the Pacific area, but are bound to affect the immediate fortunes of the entire Bahá'í world. The emergence of this epochal institution, however transitional its character, represents the culmination of a fifty-year old process that has had its inception in the days of the Centre of the Covenant, during the last decades of the Heroic Age of the


Bahá'í Dispensation. The rise and expansion of the Administrative Order of the Faith in the northern regions of the vast Pacific Ocean fills a great gap, and constitutes a notable parallel to the rise of similar institutions in the Antipodes, establishing thereby a spiritual equilibrium destined to affect, to a marked degree, the destinies of the Faith throughout the islands of the Pacific Ocean, in the years immediately ahead. It should be hailed, moreover, as a momentous development paving the way for the eventual introduction of the Faith into the far-flung Chinese mainland and, beyond it, to the extensive territories of Soviet Russia.

A milestone of such tremendous significance in the progress of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, in so strategic and important an area of the globe, should be acclaimed by the members of your assembly, as well as by the rank and file of the believers throughout that area, as a demonstration of the creative energies released by its Author and the Centre of His Covenant, in territories and amidst peoples and races destined to play a role of immense significance in the future development of the human race.

This God-given opportunity, now presenting itself to the prosecutors of the Bahá'í world Spiritual Crusade, at so critical a stage in the history of the peoples and nations established in those far-off islands and territories, should be seized with eagerness and enthusiasm, and exploited to the full in the years lying immediately ahead.

The Six-Year Plan, designed to lend a tremendous impetus to the awakening of the peoples and races in those regions, should be prosecuted with the utmost diligence, unrelaxing vigilance and whole-hearted consecration. All must participate, young and old alike, both men and women, however limited their circumstances or circumscribed their resources.

An effort, unprecedented in its scope and intensity, must be exerted to attain, speedily and completely the specific objectives of this Plan. The number of the avowed supporters of the Faith must rapidly increase. The isolated centers, groups and local assemblies, constituting the bedrock of a rising Administrative Order, must steadily and continually multiply. All firmly grounded local spiritual assemblies must be speedily incorporated, in order to reinforce the foundations of the institution of this divinely conceived Order. The Bahá'í marriage certificate, as well as the Bahá'í Holy Days must, at the earliest possible opportunity, receive recognition from the civil authorities concerned. The work now being initiated in the Northern and smaller islands of Japan, with such zeal and devotion should be


constantly reinforced and its scope continually widened. The literature of the Faith must be translated into as many languages as possible, published and widely disseminated. The holding of the summer-schools is yet another objective that should receive the earnest and immediate attention of the members of your assembly. The purchase of Bahá'í burial-grounds, should, moreover, be, in due course considered and effectively carried out. The newly-opened territories, that have been so painstakingly brought within the pale of the Faith, must at whatever cost, be safeguarded, and the enterprises initiated within their confines carefully expanded and consolidated. The acquisition of a plot, in the outskirts of Tokyo, to serve as the site of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of North East Asia, must, likewise, be seriously considered and brought to a successful conclusion.

The task challenging the spirit and resources of your assembly, as well as those whom you represent, is admittedly arduous, pressing and sacred. The field in which you operate is exceptionally vast, and the barriers standing in your way are varied and formidable. Nothing short of complete dedication to the objectives of the Six-Year Plan you are called upon to fulfill, and of the utmost self-sacrifice on your part, as well as on the part of those who are to participate in its prosecution, can ensure the success to which I confidently look forward, to which your sister, as well as parent, communities throughout the Bahá'í world, are likewise, eagerly anticipating.

May those who are privileged, at this auspicious hour, to render so noble a service to the Cause of God, and fulfill so glorious a destiny, in the course of the evolution of so sacred and precious a Faith, arise to perform befittingly their task, and achieve such feats in the days to come as shall draw forth from the Source on high a still greater measure of divine blessings that will enable them to write a still more brilliant chapter in the annals of God's infant Faith, and to contribute an outstanding share to the world-wide establishment and ultimate recognition of its newly-born administrative institutions.


(July 15, 1957)

Congratulate attendants historic summerschool* fervently praying expansion valued activities

Love, Shoghi

(cable dated August 27, 1957)

* On occasion of first summer school in Japan.


He (the Guardian) was greatly pleased to learn of the contacts which have been made by the friends with the original natives of Japan, namely the Ainu people. He hopes that some of them will be quickened in the Faith so that they may teach the call of God to the remainder of their people. There is no doubt that great results will be achieved if this can be done.

Therefore the Guardian hopes your Assembly will take some very active measures to insure the teaching of the Faith amongst this Tribe.

The Guardian will pray for you and will pray for the success of your labors.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(October 20, 1957)

To the National Spiritual Assembly of
the United States, 1951-1956

He (the Guardian) feels there is no definite action that can be taken by the Tokyo Spiritual Assembly against ... any society which uses our Bahá'í ideas and principles. The best thing is for the Japanese believers, through strengthening their community, enlarging it, obtaining publicity in the press, and holding, whenever possible, dignified public meetings, to gradually assert themselves as the real body of the Faith, and make everything else appear to be mere plagiarism, a shadow of the Faith. Your Assembly should give them (the Japanese believers) as much moral support and encouragement as possible.

(February 29, 1951)

The Guardian attaches great importance to the teaching conference* ... and feels that as many friends as possible should attend. He thinks it will be a great stimulant to the Faith, and certainly foundations can be laid for the rapid expansion of the Cause... This will be a historic event, and one that should lay the foundation for great victories in the future.

The beloved Guardian has approved the attendance of one of the Hands of the Cause in Asia ... Mr. Zikru'llah Khádem...

(July, 1955)

* International Bahá'í Teaching Conference, Nikko, Japan, September 1955.


Your loving letter was received (with the) copy of Miss Linfoot's report to the National Assembly concerning the Teaching Conference held in Japan.

The Guardian was greatly delighted with the Conference and its results; more particularly with the effect which it is going to have on the teaching work of the entire area in the future.

It was a very historic gathering, because it marked the first time a general conference regarding teaching matters had been held in Japan, and furthermore was participated in by representatives of the other countries in the area. It released a new power of the Spirit in that part of the world which will certainly elevate the minds and hearts of the people and attract many to the Cause.

The Guardian appreciates the sacrificial efforts made by all those who undertook the development of the Conference, so that it might produce such beneficial results.

The Guardian is hopeful that the conditions in Japan may not force many of the pioneers to leave that territory. As you know, he attaches the utmost importance to the teaching work in Japan; he anticipates that the Faith will spread rapidly in that country. The help of the American Bahá'ís is very essential; and he hopes therefore it will not be necessary for any of them to leave.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(November 20, 1955)

The beloved Guardian feels the time is ripe for the settlement of the Northern Island of Japan, and he wishes your Assembly to consider what might be done to accomplish this before the coming Ridván without in any way interfering with the work now engaged in, in connection with the establishment of the new National Assembly next Ridván.

There are three tasks which the new National Assembly should undertake, when it is formed, and that is the sending of pioneers into Sakhalin Island, and Hainan Island; also the extension of the teaching work in the Northern Island (Hokkaido) of Japan. If no settlers are in the Northern Island, then they should undertake to send some in as quickly as possible.

Will you please actively consider the settlement now of the Northern Island; also pass on to the new N.S.A. the three tasks the Guardian feels they should undertake promptly.

(December 27, 1956)


To the National Spiritual Assembly
of Australia

...The emergence of a new Regional Spiritual Assembly in the North Pacific Area*, with its seat fixed in the capital city of a country which by reason of its innate capacity and the spiritual receptivity it has acquired, in consequence of the severe and prolonged ordeal its entire population has providentially experienced, is destined to have a preponderating share in awakening the peoples and races inhabiting the entire Pacific area, to the Message of Bahá'u'lláh, and to act as the Vanguard of His hosts in their future spiritual conquest of the main body of the yellow race on the Chinese mainland — the emergence of such an assembly may be said to have, at long last established a spiritual axis, extending from the Antipodes to the northern islands of the Pacific Ocean — an axis whose northern and southern poles will act as powerful magnets, endowed with exceptional spiritual potency, and towards which younger and less experienced communities will tend for some time to gravitate.

A responsibility, at once weighty and inescapable, must rest on the communities which occupy so privileged a position in so vast and turbulent an area of the globe. However great the distance that separates them; however much they differ in race, language, custom, and religion; however active the political forces which tend to keep them apart and foster racial and political antagonisms, the close and continued association of these communities in their common, their peculiar and paramount task of raising up and of consolidating the embryonic World Order of Bahá'u'lláh in those regions of the globe, is a matter of vital and urgent importance, which should receive on the part of the elected representatives of their communities, a most earnest and prayerful consideration...

May this community** which, with its sister community in the North, has had the inestimable privilege of being called into being in the lifetime of, and through the operation of the dynamic forces released by the Center of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant continue, with undimmed vision, with redoubled vigour, and unwavering fidelity and constancy, to discharge its manifold and ever increasing duties and responsibilities, and lend, as the days go by, an impetus such as it has not lent before, in the course of almost two score years of its existence, to the propagation of the Faith it has so whole-heartedly espoused and

* National Spiritual Assembly of North East Asia, with its seat in Tokyo, Japan.
** Australia.


is now so valiantly serving, and play a memorable and distinctive part in hastening the establishment, and in ensuring the gradual efflorescence and ultimate fruition, of its divinely appointed embryonic World Order.

(July 19, 1957)

To the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran

Regarding pioneers going to Japan, Brazil ... and other places, the beloved Guardian states that they must not gather in one place but scatter to make new centers, e.g., Mr. Assassi and his wife, and Mr. Labib who travelled to Japan must not stay in Tokyo but should go to places where there are no Bahá'ís, or very few Bahá'ís to make new centers. Furthermore (he) says that the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran must write to all pioneers that have left Iran for other parts of the world and instruct them not to gather in one place but to scatter in different places. He says that the matter stated above is very important... (translated from the original Persian)

(signed by Dr. Hakim)

(January 6, 1957)

To Local Spiritual Assemblies, 1948-1957

To the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tokyo

To know that a Spiritual Assembly of all Japanese members was formed in Tokyo greatly inspired him (the Guardian). This is a historic and wonderful achievement. At present it might seem to people of the world that these few devoted souls are insignificant when compared to the millions of people residing in Japan — but we who have recognized the Power of Bahá'u'lláh, and that His teaching is God's Message to men in this day, know that the seed of the Tree of Life has at last germinated in your land, and that it will grow to overshadow all those who dwell in the islands of Japan.

The love of the Japanese people, for truth and beauty is very great, and our Guardian feels sure that gradually many souls will become attracted to the Cause of God through your persevering and devoted labours.

Your loyalty and determination touches him deeply, and he assures you all that for each one of you he will pray for guidance and


blessings. He urges you to work together for the Cause as one soul in different bodies, and show by your love and unity what a force lies in our Faith for the regeneration of mankind.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

Dear and valued co-workers:

I was thrilled by your message and I greatly value the sentiments it expressed. I urge you to persevere and be confident, and labour unitedly for the spread of the Faith and the formation of new centres, however small, in the vicinity of your capital. I will, from all my heart, supplicate for you Divine guidance and blessings, that your historic work may flourish, your numbers increase and your highest hopes be fulfilled in the service of His glorious Faith.

Your true and grateful brother, Shoghi

(September 21, 1948)

The beloved Guardian has received your letter, so beautifully written in Japanese, and which he regrets very much he could not read in the original.

He very deeply appreciated the contribution the Bahá'ís of Japan have made for the Shrine of the Báb; and I am enclosing a receipt herein for the sum you mentioned in your letter, ten thousand yen.

The sentiments expressed by the Bahá'ís of Japan touched him very deeply; and he feels that the contribution they have made to the Shrine enriches its spiritual significance for all of us, coming, as it does, from believers in the Báb, our beloved Martyr-Prophet, who reside in a land so far away, and yet are filled with such great love and devotion for, not only the Báb Himself, but for the Faith He heralded.

The Guardian is most happy over the progress being made in Japan; and he wants you to know that his loving thoughts are with you, and you are mentioned often in his prayers in the Holy Shrines.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

May the Beloved bless you, sustain and guide you, reward you for your meritorious labours, and aid you to win great victories in the service of His Faith.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(December 20, 1951)


Your gracious letter of March 20th, conveying Naw-Rúz greetings to the beloved Guardian has been received, and gave the Guardian the utmost of happiness. It revealed anew the power of Bahá'u'lláh, that in that far off land, the banner of His Grace has been raised so effectively, and the friends have been quickened by the new spirit of unity which is sweeping the world.

The Guardian will pray at the Holy Shrines that the powers of the Holy Spirit will inspire and sustain you in your labors for the spread of the true teachings of brotherhood, and the spiritual elevation of the people of Japan.

Today, the head corner-stone of service to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh is teaching. It is the source of divine blessings. The beloved Guardian feels your consecration to this most important of all Bahá'í activities will achieve new goals and win many victories for the Faith.

He sends his loving greetings to each one of you, who will ever be in his heart.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(April 14, 1952)

It always brings joy to the heart of our beloved Guardian to receive news from you, as he is so happy over the remarkable growth of the Faith in Japan since the end of the war. He has instructed me to answer on his behalf your letter of July 12.

Plans for future works in Japan will certainly form part of the general plan for Asia, which will be discussed at the New Delhi Conference in October 1953. He would be very happy if some of the friends from Japan could attend this historic gathering.

He was delighted to hear that your Assembly is undertaking extension teaching work in other Japanese cities; as Tokyo is the mother Assembly, her responsibility is great. He was particularly glad to hear teaching will be done in Hiroshima, where the people suffered so mercilessly during the war; they have a special right — the people of that city — to hear of Bahá'u'lláh's Message of peace and brotherhood.

The Assembly of Tokyo, until such time as other local assemblies are formed, can receive the applications for enrollment from people living elsewhere. Anyone living outside the civic limits of Tokyo, however, cannot be a voting member of that community, but of course, may attend meetings and Feasts until a local nucleus is established.

The Guardian was particularly happy to note that there are so many Japanese Bahá'ís; although the American friends have rendered


a great service in Japan, the object of all teachings is to establish firmly the Faith of God in the hearts and lives of the people of the country. He hopes that special efforts will be made to teach the Japanese, and to provide them with Bahá'í literature in their own language, and to conduct meetings in Japanese, and also to encourage them to understand the Administration and take an active, constructive part in its workings. Without a proper understanding of the Administrative Order, extensive plans cannot be undertaken and harmony will not prevail within the community.

He (the Guardian) will remember you in all his prayers, and is most pleased with your progress and your devoted spirit.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

May the Almighty bless your high and persistent endeavours, guide every step you take in the path of service, and enable you to extend continually the range of your splendid activities, and win great and memorable victories for His Cause.

Your true and grateful brother, Shoghi

(August 30, 1952)

The beloved Guardian has said that the future of Japan from every standpoint is very bright indeed. The Faith will spread rapidly in Japan, once the public become acquainted with its universal principles, and its dynamic spirit.

What is necessary at this time is for the Bahá'ís to adhere firmly to the teachings of the Faith, and to become a clear channel through which the power of the Holy Spirit might disseminate itself throughout the country.

So far as the Ananai-kyo Movement is concerned, and their desire for affiliation:

The Bahá'ís may associate with Movements such as this, without becoming supporters and active workers therein; the object being to make friendly contacts which can be developed into firm Bahá'ís.

So far as non-Bahá'ís affiliating with the Bahá'í Faith is concerned, either a person becomes a Bahá'í and accepts Bahá'u'lláh as the divine Manifestation for this day or he does not. The tenets of the Bahá'í Faith are simple as outlined by the Guardian, but they do not permit any variations. In other words, if any members of the Ananai-kyo Movement wish to become Bahá'ís; they will be most welcome; but they can only become Bahá'ís on the basis of accepting


Bahá'u'lláh as a divine Manifestation, and of course, with this goes the acceptance of the Báb as the Fore-runner, and `Abdu'l-Bahá as the Center of the Covenant, and the present Administrative Order.

When a person has reached the sea of immortality, it is idle to keep seeking elsewhere; and when the members of the Ananai-kyo Movement reach Bahá'u'lláh in their search for a world teacher, they have reached the goal, and not another step along the path.

I presume you have received by this time full details concerning the Ten Year Crusade, and the Plan which the Guardian has enunciated for the American National Assembly to assist in the development of the Faith in Japan, so that ultimately there may be a National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís in Japan itself.

The American National Spiritual Assembly has appointed a special committee for the Asian countries, and I am quite sure you will find the very closest possible cooperation from them in the development of the work.

You will find, as the Extension Teaching work in Japan moves forward, there will have to be constant and continuous consultation with this important committee.

You can appreciate it will be entirely impossible for the International Council or the staff of the Guardian himself, to undertake the supervision of the teaching work in any one part of the world; furthermore it would be contrary to the general principle of Bahá'í administration. Under Bahá'í administration, Local Assemblies, and the development of teaching work are placed in the hands of National Assemblies. The National Assemblies themselves report directly to Haifa — to the Universal House of Justice, when it is established; and until that time, to the Guardian himself.

At the instruction of the Guardian, I am communicating with the American National Spiritual Assembly, to ask them to set up a program, whereby there will be the closest possible collaboration between their Asia Teaching Committee and your own Assembly. I hope this will be the means of all data reaching you very promptly.

The beloved Guardian asked me to convey to you his deep love. He appreciates and values very highly your devoted services to the Faith. He will pray at the Holy Shrines, for your guidance and confirmation. It is his hope that heavenly blessings may be with you at all times, and every obstacle in the path of your efforts to continually spread the Message in Japan may be removed, so that you may ultimately gain complete victory.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(July 24, 1953)


The Guardian is hopeful that some day it may be possible for the Bahá'ís of Tokyo to establish their Hazira; and of course if this were done, some day it will become the National Hazira, because when the National Spiritual Assembly is formed in Japan, Tokyo will no doubt be the seat of the National Assembly.

Shoghi Effendi feels that the time has now come when the Faith will spread rapidly in Japan. The Japanese people have great vision and spirituality, and the difficulties of the last war have prepared many of them for the Divine Guidance. He therefore urges each and every one of you to treble your efforts, so that the Cause may grow and develop rapidly.

He sends his loving greetings to you, and assures you all of his prayers in your behalf.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(November 26, 1953)

The beloved Guardian sends his loving greetings to each and every one of the friends in Japan. He greatly values their devotion and sacrifice for the Faith, and the noble manner in which they are arising to spread the Teachings in that land.

He feels the future of Japan is very great. The hearts and minds of the Japanese people are awakened; and if the teaching work is carried on very actively and audaciously, many souls will be attracted by the Divine Fragrances.

The beloved Guardian is so confident that the Faith will spread rapidly in Japan, and the believers will firmly establish the institutions of the Cause, that he has chosen to send to them for ultimate display in their National Haziratu'l-Quds in Tokyo one of the very precious relics from the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh. He has entrusted with our dear brother, Hiroyasu Takano, a very precious brocade, which has rested immediately over the remains of Bahá'u'lláh in His glorious Shrine. It is very precious and very sacred.

The Guardian is sending this to the Spiritual Assembly of Tokyo as a gift. The friends may wish to have it carefully and beautifully framed for display in the Hazira, when it is acquired. Ultimately of course it is to be hung in the Hazira of the National Assembly, when that great goal has been achieved by the Japanese believers.

The beloved Guardian assures each and every one of you of his prayers in your behalf.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(March 2, 1954)


The beloved Guardian was pleased to see the manner in which the Assembly has undertaken its responsibility of enthusing the believers to carry on teaching work throughout Japan in an aggressive manner.

The keynote of activity during the second year of the Ten-Year Crusade is the multiplication of Assemblies, groups and isolated centers. The Guardian feels the time is ripe for the active spread of the Faith throughout Japan; and if pioneers and settlers will go to additional cities and very actively teach the Faith, they will find that the Cause will grow and develop in each of these new areas.

You should not overlook the fact that one of the goals of the Ten-Year Crusade is the establishment of a National Assembly in Japan. This can be brought about more quickly if the friends set aside all other considerations and actively teach the Faith.

The sacred gift which the Guardian sent to the Japanese Bahá'ís through Mr. Takano is of course for the Hazira as soon as it is procured. It is one of the very sacred relics, and the Guardian hopes it will be a source of inspiration to the friends to redouble their efforts in the teaching field.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(May 29, 1954)

The beloved Guardian sends his loving greetings to each and every one of you. He is praying for the success of your teaching work. He feels the time is ripe for a rapid expansion of the Faith in Japan; and that if everyone will arise with renewed effort, they will be surprised at the spiritual victories which they will achieve.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(June 7, 1954)

Please refer to our previous correspondence with regard to the purchase of a Haziratu'l-Quds in Tokyo. The beloved Guardian feels this is a matter of great importance, and should be accomplished during the present year.

He has written to the American N.S.A. in detail concerning the matter, instructing them to proceed at once with the development of this project, so that it may be concluded during the present year, if at all possible.

The beloved Guardian is sending a contribution of £500.

As you know, a Haziratu'l-Quds was given by Mr. Momtazi in Mukonoso, Hyogo-ken. The Guardian would see no objection to this


Haziratu'l-Quds being sold, and the fund received thereby being used to defray the cost of the Haziratu'l-Quds in Tokyo. It is far more important that a Hazira be established in Tokyo, which is the seat of the future National Assembly, than in Mukonoso, Hyogo-ken. Of course this can only be done in case Mr. Momtazi is entirely agreeable.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(June 8, 1954)

Your loving letter ... has just come to hand, telling of the funds which you have available now, since the generous gift of Mr. N. Momtazi, for the Haziratu'l-Quds in Tokyo.

You have in mind that the Hazira need not be an elaborate place. It should be a building which you own, and which can be used now as the Haziratu'l-Quds for the Local Tokyo Assembly, to be utilized later as the National Haziratu'l-Quds for the National Spiritual Assembly when it is formed.

The important thing is that this piece of property should be acquired for as reasonable a price as possible.

The Guardian will await with expectation, advice from you as to the acquisition of this important piece of property*.

The Guardian sends each one his loving greetings.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(July 19, 1954)

Your loving letter ... has come to hand, giving the latest information concerning the International Teaching Conference which was to be held at Nikko, September 23, 24, and 25.

From the word we have received, the Conference must have been a great success with so many being present, and representing so many different countries. As I understand it, there were representatives of nine different nations.

The Guardian has attached the greatest importance to this Conference, as it is the first to be held in Japan, and is therefore a great historic event. Let us hope the teaching work will develop rapidly in Japan, so that there may be a large number of Assemblies and groups established who may take part in the election of the National Assembly.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(September 26, 1955)

* The purchase of the Tokyo Hazira was accomplished that year. It was not necessary to sell the Mukonoso property as Mr. Momtazi contributed a like amount toward the purchase of the Tokyo Hazira. When the Guardian was informed of the purchase, he cabled "Delighted loving prayers" to the Tokyo Local Spiritual Assembly.


It was a great pleasure to have some of the friends from Japan here, and particularly to get dear Fujita back again.

The Guardian is particularly happy over the news conveyed by Mr. Momtazi for the formation of seven new Assemblies. This is a great step forward in the progress of the work, not only in Japan, but in the Pacific area; and augurs well for the formation of the Regional National Assembly with Japan as the hub, which is to be elected next Ridván.

The Japanese believers are often in his thoughts and prayers, and he is proud of their achievements, and cherishes great hopes for their future. He will pray that your Assembly may be instrumental in bringing in many new souls during the coming year.

(signed by R. Rabbani)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

May the Almighty, whose Cause you serve so devotedly, aid you to extend continually the scope of your valued activities, and enable you to win great victories in the days to come.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(April 24, 1956)

He (the Guardian) was very happy to receive the copies of the Japanese Geppo. They are historic, marking the first Bahá'í Newsletters to be published in that country. He hopes its scope will gradually widen, and it become a most effective means of stimulating the friends in Japan in service to the Cause of God.

Great victories have been won by the friends in Japan. He hopes during the short period between now, and when the new National Assembly is formed, the friends will treble their efforts, so many many souls may find eternal life, through the teaching services of the true servants of God.

As Bahá'u'lláh has stated, true victory is winning the hearts of men to the Cause of God. The Guardian is praying for many more such glorious victories, so the Faith may be firmly established in that far off land, which has such a bright and promising future.

The Guardian will pray for the friends, for the success of their work. He sends his loving greetings.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(June 11, 1956)


The various materials which you sent to the Guardian he has read with great interest — the pamphlet on the recent Congress of Religions held in Tokyo, the English summaries of the important Bahá'í News Geppo, and your report of the progress of the Faith in that promising country.

The Guardian is looking forward with keen anticipation to the forthcoming Ridván period, as it marks the establishment of thirteen new National Assemblies; the most important of which are in the Pacific area; the one centered in Tokyo, the one in Djakarta, and the third in New Zealand.

The Guardian is well pleased with the teaching work in Japan. He hopes this branch of your service will be greatly reinforced and stimulated by the establishment of the new National Assembly.

He will pray for the friends, for Japan, and for the success of the labors of the Faithful.

He sends his loving greetings.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(April 19, 1957)

To the Local Spiritual Assembly
of Hyogo-ken (prefecture)

It is indeed a great privilege for the Bahá'ís of Japan, so remote from the Holy Land, to have two of their most devoted teachers come to Haifa on pilgrimage; and he (the Guardian) feels sure that they will carry back to the work in that important Center in the Pacific area a fresh impetus and a new inspiration.

It is also a source of great satisfaction to him that dear Fujita has returned to serve here. It brings the Japanese believers even closer to the International Center to have a representative of their nation working for the Cause at its World Center.

He assures you all that he will pray for the success, not only of the work in Hyogo-ken, but throughout Japan, and urges you and your co-workers to persevere in the face of every obstacle.

(signed by Leroy Ioas)

(in the Guardian's handwriting)

May the Almighty remove all obstacles from your path, enable you to lend a great impetus to the onward march of His Faith, and contribute to the consolidation of His institutions.

Your true brother, Shoghi

(January 2, 1956)


click for larger image
The first International Teaching Conference in Nikko, Japan, 1955. Mr. Fujita is holding the frame containing the "Greatest Name". Hand of the Cause Mr. Khádem, who was the Guardian's representative, is behind Mr. Fujita. Miss Alexander is holding the picture of `Abdu'l-Bahá. This conference marked a turning point in the Bahá'í Faith in Asia, especially in Japan.


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