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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 15


Message from the Universal House of Justice
to the North Pacific Oceanic Conference,
Sapporo, Japan, September, 1971


To the Friends of God Assembled in the Conference of the North Pacific Ocean. Dearly-loved Friends,

On the eve of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the opening of the Formative Age of our Faith we call to mind the high hopes often expressed by the beloved Master for the spread of the Cause in this region. His mention in the Tablets of the Divine Plan of many of the territories represented in this Conference, and the faithful and devoted services of that maid-servant of Bahá'u'lláh, the Hand of the Cause Agnes Alexander, who brought the Teachings to these shores in the early years of this century.

In these days we are witnessing an unprecedented acceleration of the teaching work in almost every part of the globe. In the North Pacific Ocean area great strides have been made in the advancement of the Cause since that historic Asia Regional Teaching Conference in Nikko just sixteen years ago. The next two years witnessed the formation of the National Spiritual Assembly of Alaska and of the Regional National Spiritual Assembly of North East Asia. To the Convention in Tokyo at Ridván 1957 the Guardian addressed these prophetic words:

"This auspicious event, which posterity will regard as the culmination of a process initiated, half a century ago, in the capital city of Japan ... 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..."

Since that time National Spiritual Assemblies have also been firmly established in Korea and Taiwan.

Hokkaido, the site of this Conference, first heard of the Teachings less than fifteen years ago, and the first aboriginal peoples of this land accepted Bahá'u'lláh just over a decade ago. Now you are the witnesses to the beginnings of a rapid increase in the number of believers.

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Peoples in other islands and lands of the North Pacific, including the Ryukyus, Guam, the Trust Territories, the western shores of Canada and Alaska and the Aleutians are also enrolling under the banner of the Most Great Name, and next Ridván yet another pillar of the Universal House of Justice is to be raised in Micronesia. We are heartened at the prospect that from indigenous peoples of this vast oceanic area, the Ainu, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Koreans, the Okinawans, the Micronesians, the American Indians, the Eskimos, and the Aleuts vast numbers will soon enter the Faith.

The final hours of the Nine Year Plan are fast fleeting. Praised be to God that you have gathered to consult on ways and means of assuring complete victory so that from these outposts the Teachings may spread to those nearby lands where teeming millions have not as yet heard of the advent of this Most Great Dispensation.

The sweet perfume of victory is in the air, and we must hasten to achieve it while there is yet time. Vital goals, particularly on the homefronts of Taiwan and Japan, remain to be won, and everywhere the roots of the faith of the believers must sink deeper and deeper into the firm earth of the Teachings lest tempests and trials as yet unforeseen shake or uproot the tender plants so lovingly raised in the islands of this great Ocean and the land surrounding it.

As you and the friends in the sister Conference in Reykjavik bring this series of eight Oceanic and Continental Conferences to a triumphant close, our prayers for the success of your deliberations ascend at the Holy Threshold. May God grant you the resources, the strength, and the determination to attain your highest hopes and enable you to open a new and glorious chapter in the evolution of His Faith in the North Pacific area.

With loving Bahá'í greetings,

The Universal House of Justice

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Afterword


The first printing of this book was done in 1974. As it contained new material, that is, Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahá and letters of the Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, many of which had never been published, and because its theme was Japan, it proved to be a successful addition to the Bahá'í literature throughout the Bahá'í world. It was translated into Japanese and has been one of the standard books in that language.

The Bahá'í Publishing Trust of Japan regularly has requests for the English edition although it has been out of print since the late 1970s.

When the compiler considered a second edition she decided to refer back to the original material for possible changes, to add new material, and also add more details such as the names of translators (when available), thereby hoping to increase the historical value. Very little of the original has been eliminated.

All of the Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahá to Miss Alexander and to Bahá'ís in Japan have been included. Only some of the Tablets written to Japanese, who, at the time, were living in the United States have been included. It was difficult to choose which of Shoghi Effendi's letters to Miss Alexander should be included.

The Guardian had requested that she write to him often so their correspondence was extensive. She actually received many more letters than are printed here.

Most of Shoghi Effendi's letters (which, of course, also means those written on his behalf) to the early Bahá'ís of Japan and to the institutions of the Faith in Japan are printed here.

It was felt that certain communications from the Universal House of Justice would add to this important subject, hence the expansion to later years.

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Bibliography

    Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahá, Vol. III

    Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahá (to Japan)

    Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahá and Letters of Shoghi Effendi

    The Promulgation of Universal Peace, Vol. II

    Communications from the Universal House of Justice

    Star of the West, Vols. 1, 10

    The Chosen Highway
    by Lady Blomfield

    Forty Years of the Bahá'í Cause in Hawaii 1902-1942
    by Agnes B. Alexander

    History of the Bahá'í Faith in Japan 1914-1938
    by Agnes B. Alexander

    Traces That Remain
    by Barbara R. Sims

    U.S. Bahá'í News, July 1977

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