Japan Will Turn Ablaze!Barbara R. Sims.
Shoghi Effendi Writes to
Emperor Showa of Japan
Emperor Showa (Hirohito) of Japan had the longest reign (December 25, 1926 to January 7, 1989) of any sovereign in Japan. He was respected as a scholar; being an eminent marine biologist, and he was beloved by his people.
Following the custom in Japan, the reign of a new emperor is given a specially selected name. After that emperor dies he takes on the name of the reign. Consequently, Emperor Hirohito, as he was known during his reign, is now known as Emperor Showa.
At the time of his coronation in the fall of 1928 seven specially bound Bahá'í books were presented to His Majesty. The books which were sent in the name of two American Bahá'ís were presented by Dr. Rokuichiro Masujima, who was a friend of Miss Alexander and who was close to the Faith. He had access to the Imperial Household.
Shoghi Effendi was asked to write something to be sent with the books. The message sent to accompany the books was "May the perusal of Bahá'í literature enable Your Imperial Majesty to appreciate the sublimity and penetrative power of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation and inspire you on this auspicious occasion to arise for its worldwide recognition and triumph."
The books arrived after the coronation ceremonies so the presentation was delayed. On May 22 of the following year Dr. Masujima received a letter from the Minister of the Imperial Household that the seven books had been presented to the Emperor that day.
During World War II the palace did not suffer destruction so undoubtedly the books and message are still there with the other coronation gifts.
In 1930 the great Bahá'í teacher Miss Martha Root visited Japan. She sent two gifts to the Emperor; a small Persian rug and a sheet of Holy Writings written in Persian script in the form of a beautiful bird. Accompanying the gifts was a cable from Shoghi Effendi: "Martha Root care American Embassy Tokyo. Kindly transmit His Imperial Majesty, Tokyo, Japan on behalf of myself and Bahá'ís world over, expression of our deepest love as well as assurance of heartfelt prayers for his well-being and prosperity of his ancient realm."
Japan, after recovery from the devastation of World War II, shows the prosperity that the Guardian prayed for, and the Emperor, active and healthy until the end had a very long and fruitful reign.