Japan Will Turn Ablaze!Barbara R. Sims.
Tablets to Japan
Miss Alexander wrote in her account of the early days of the Faith in Japan, "After `Abdu'l-Bahá's ascension every word He had written became a sacred treasure. When I began collecting the Tablets He had revealed to Japanese living in Japan, and one to Koreans, I found there were nineteen in all." These Tablets were published in 1928, thus preserved for all time. In the foreword to the book Miss Alexander wrote: "The following are the Tablets which were revealed by `Abdu'l-Bahá to friends residing in Japan and Korea. There are nineteen Tablets revealed between the years 1916 and His passing in 1921. Eighteen of these Tablets were addressed to Japanese and one to Korean friends. Seven of those to Japanese were to school girls in Tokyo, the others, with two exceptions, were to young men, and five of these were addressed to blind young men, three having found the true Light of this Day.
"The first supplication by a Japanese in Japan to `Abdu'l-Bahá, was sent July, 1915 from a young student* in Tokyo who wrote his supplication in Japanese on a scroll. The following is the translation: 'O my Master `Abdu'l-Bahá!... Although I am a base and poor youth in this world, I have been awakened and bathed in the ocean of Thy mercy and am so happy that I pity the king and the prince who are wandering about in the dream of temporal variance. Accept, O Master, my deep thankfulness from the bottom of the heart. I am very sorry though, when I think of our fellow men who take no thought of real happiness and do not rely upon the warm hand of Thy love. O my Lord, water me forever from the fountain of Thy mercy; I will never refuse Thy command whatsoever it may be. Forgive my sins and allow me to awaken my fellow men.'
"In February 1917 a reply to this supplication was received in Japan from `Abdu'l-Bahá. It had come in the contents of a letter from `Abdu'l-Bahá's secretary and had been passed by the censor. This was the first Tablet received addressed to a Japanese resident in Japan and is the first herein published.
"The second supplication to `Abdu'l-Bahá was sent September, 1916 by a blind young Japanese** who wrote in Esperanto. After
* Mr. Kikutaro Fukuta
** Mr. Tokujiro Torii
Most of the original Tablets were translated in Haifa and sent to the recipients in care of Miss Alexander. One, to a group of students, was sent in care of Mr. Torii. A search in later years located only those Tablets addressed to Mr. Torii himself.
Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahá to Japanese
and One to Koreans
Thy first and second letter was received. Praise be to God that the light of Guidance shone forth, the glass of the heart became illumined and the darkness of ignorance dispelled. The most Great Guidance is a crown the brilliant gems of which will shine upon the future ages and cycles. If it is placed on the head of a servant, he will become the object of the envy of kings, for this is an imperishable crown and everlasting sovereignty. God says in the great Qur'an, He particularizes with His Mercy whomsoever He desireth.
Praise be to God, that thou hast become especialized with Divine Favor and Bounty. Thou didst become awake, beheld the lights and harkened unto the Melody of the Supreme Concourse.
In the Glorious Gospel it is said, "Freely ye have received, freely give." That is, you have found this Bestowal, you have paid nothing for it, therefore give it to others without any exchange. Now with a heavenly power, with a lordly gift, with spiritual morals, with Godlike deeds, and with supreme glad tidings be thou engaged in the promotion of the teachings of God in Japan. The confirmations of the Kingdom shall encompass and the cohorts of the Realm of Might will grant triumph.
(October 28, 1916. Translated by Ahmad Sohrab)
O thou possessor of a seeing heart! (Mr. Tokujiro Torii)
Although, materially speaking, thou are destitute of physical sight, yet, praise be to God, spiritual insight is thy possession. Thy heart seeth and thy spirit heareth. Bodily sight is subject to a thousand maladies and ultimately and assuredly will be obscured. Thus no importance may be attached to it. But the sight of the heart is illumined, it discerns and discovers the Divine Kingdom and is everlasting and eternal. Praise be to God, therefore, that the sight of thy heart is illumined, and the hearing of thy thought responsive.
The meetings you have organized, wherein you feel heavenly emotions and comprehend realities and significances, — that meeting is like unto the firmament with those souls as resplendent stars shining with the light of guidance. Happy is the soul that seeks, in this brilliant era, heavenly teachings, and blessed is the heart which is stirred and attracted by the love of God. At present the Sun of Truth
Convey on my behalf the utmost love and longing to Mr. D. Inouye* and Mr. S. Saiki*. My hope is that those two blessed souls may shine like unto two heavenly stars from the horizon of Japan and may be the cause of its enlightenment. That land has acquired material civilization and ephemeral advancement; we hope that it may acquire heavenly civilization.
Convey to thy respected wife my greetings and my message and the same to thy young babe, Akira**, whose name may be ever blessed for it is quite an appropriate one.
(December 27, 1918. Translated by Shoghi Rabbani)
O thou who hast turned thy attention to the Kingdom of God! (Mr. Tokujiro Torii)
Thy letter arrived and imparted joy. Thou hast been longing to spread the Light (the Teachings) in those regions. My wish is also that the Musk of the love of God should be diffused in that land, and that Miss Alexander and Mrs. Finch may conjointly strive so that the rays of the Sun of Reality may be projected all over that country.
Whenever the means of travel is secured, thou art permitted to come. I am supplicating God to strengthen thee and make thee grow like unto a lily in the Garden of the Kingdom.
O faithful friend! The inhabitants of that region (Japan) are bright and noble-minded. Through the great distance however, the musky Breeze has not yet reached their nostrils. They know not of the rise of the Sun of Reality upon the horizon of Persia. If you who are there be self-sacrificing and become enkindled with the love of God, and like unto stars shine from the horizon of Truth, that country will before long be turned into a paradise of comfort. Japan will become illumined, and like unto a meadow and a rose-garden will invigorate the hearts of every assembly. Do ye strive as hard as possible in order to be attracted to the Beauty of the Beloved of the world, and through the fire of His love inflame that Kingdom.
(June 11, 1920. Translated by Azizullah Bahadur)
* Mr. Daiun Inouye, a Buddhist priest became a Bahá'í and gave up the priesthood. Mr. Sensui Saiki, a writer, was greatly attracted to the Faith and assisted Miss Alexander by translating literature into Japanese.
** The son of Mr. and Mrs. Torii. His name, Akira, means 'shining light' which the mother saw before his birth March 11, 1918.
Thy letter was received and was perused in the utmost joy, that, praise be to God, in the land of Japan, the light of the love of God has appeared resplendently and a torch such as thee, has been kindled, for thy heart overflows with the wine of the love of God and thy spirit is ablaze. Like unto a shrub, thou art fresh and tender, growing and flourishing through the outpourings of the cloud of Bounty. My hope is that thou mayest soon bud and blossom and bring forth delectable fruits.
The Real Shepherd is undoubtedly kind unto his flock and is in the utmost of attachment, mercy and solicitude. This is only a natural fact. Rest thou assured, therefore, that thou art always within sight and art encompassed by tender cares.
The people of Japan are like unto a soil that has been deprived of rain for cycles and generations and has had no share of the outpouring of rain and even of dew. Certainly it is quite athirst. Now thou shouldst become the divine gardener and should satisfy that thirsty soil with the water of divine teachings, so that heavenly bounties may be poured out and the flowers of reality and fragrant herbs of human perfections spring forth and that land turn into a paradise of Eden.
(December 17, 1918. Translated by Shoghi Rabbani)
O thou loved maid-servant of God! (Miss Yuri Mochizuki)
Do thou observe the Divine Bounty! We are in Haifa and thou in Tokyo, nevertheless how (our) hearts have become related to one another! This is through the power of the Kingdom which has made the East and West embrace each other.
I feel the utmost kindness towards thee. If thou art able to write the story of Qurratu'l-Ayn as a drama, thou art permitted to write it.
(August 10, 1920. Translated by Azizullah Bahadur)
O thou who art a new grown tree on the meadow of Truth!* (Miss Yuri Mochizuki)
Thy letter dated October 14, 1920 has been received. As it was indicative of the susceptibilities of thy conscience it became the cause of joy.
Japan is like unto a farm whose soil is untouched. Such a soil
* Accompanying this Tablet was a Japanese translation made by Mr. Saichiro Fujita at the command of `Abdu'l-Bahá.
It is my hope that in that farm ye will become divine farmers. The enlightened people of Japan are tired and disgusted with the superannuated and putrefied blind imitations. They are assured that these blind imitations are pure superstitions without any truth. Therefore they have capacity to hear the Call of God. The land is untouched. We will have to see what the divine farmers will do!
At present thou hast started a journal. It is my hope that this journal will shine as the Star of the East. In the journal write thus:
When the horizon of the East was covered with immense darkness; when dark clouds were predominant, and when all the heavenly stars were concealed to the eye, His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh, like unto
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Mr. and Mrs. Tokujiro Torii with Miss Alexander in 1916.
The light of the Sun of Reality consisted of heavenly teachings which were spread in the Orient, because there the obscurities of blind imitations of religions, sectarian, racial, political, economic and home prejudices were in ascendancy. The darkness of these prejudices had dominated the Oriental world to such a degree that it had blinded all the eyes and deafened all the ears. There prevailed quarrel and strife, warfare and bloodshed.
In short, it has a long description, but I mention it briefly. When the Sun of Truth shone forth with all might and energy, these obscure and dark clouds dispersed and the splendid Day presented to the eye an aspect with such freshness and beauty that the wise became astonished; the sick were cured; the blind received sight; the deaf obtained hearing; the dumb proved eloquent, and the dead quickened. A heavenly table was spread in the Orient. The divine teachings like unto an unshakable edifice were instituted.
The first principle of Bahá'u'lláh is independent investigation of truth, that is, all the nations of the world have to investigate after truth independently and turn their eyes from the moribund blind imitations of the past ages entirely. Truth is one when it is independently investigated, it does not accept division. Therefore the independent investigation of truth will lead to the oneness of the world of humanity.
Another one of these teachings is the oneness of the world of humanity. All mankind are the trees of the divine garden and the Gardener of this orchard is the Most High, the All-Sustainer. The hand of His favor hath planted these trees, irrigated them from the cloud of Mercy and reared them with the energy of the Sun of Truth.
Then there remains no doubt that this heavenly Farmer (Gardener) is kind to all these plants. This truth cannot be denied. It is shining like unto the sun. This is the divine policy and unquestionably it is greater than the human policy. We must follow the divine policy.
The point is this that some people are sick; some are immature and ignorant, and some without any knowledge of their beginning and of their end. The sick should be cured; the immature should be brought to maturity, and the ignorant should be taught to become wise and not that enmity should be exercised toward them.
Similarly describe fully in that journal the other teachings which thou art acquainted with, one by one, a detailed description. For example, that religion must be the cause of concord; that it should agree with science and reason; that it must be a factor of progress to the
Other examples are: The equality of men and women; the universalization of knowledge (education); the creation of one universal language; justice and righteousness; economic facilities among mankind; the need of the world of humanity of the breaths of the Holy Spirit; the establishment of universal peace; the institution of the Supreme Court of Arbitration; the freedom and equality of all mankind; the brotherhood of the world of humanity, and other teachings like these which are mentioned in the Tablets of God. Describe all these teachings fully in the most eloquent and sweetest terms expressive of the most charming realities and insert them in the journal.
It is my hope that thou together with Miss Alexander will be confirmed to accomplish this service. Miss Alexander is the herald of Truth in Japan. Rest assured that she will be confirmed and assisted.
(December 9, 1920. Translated by Azizullah Bahadur)
O thou wooer of Reality! (Mr. Tomonaga Noto*)
Thy letter was received. Praise be to God, the sight of thy mind has been opened and thou hast acquired the power of spiritual healing. Thou hast sought and found the Truth and hast been aware of Heavenly Mysteries.
The teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh like unto the rays of the sun illumined the East as well as the West, vivify the dead and unite the various religions. They prove the Oneness of God, for they gather all communities of the world under the pavilion of the oneness of the world of mankind.
Consider how stirred the world is and in what a commotion are the people of the world. Heavenly Power is needed to do away with this stir and agitation. Otherwise, this great Cause will not be realized through human power. Human power, no matter how strong it may be, it illumines like unto an ignited lamp a limited space and trains a small number of souls. It is the sun which illumines all regions, and it is the Heavenly Power which gathers around a single spot all the sects and communities. Strive therefore, that thou mayest serve this remarkable Power and attain unto profitable and far reaching results.
(December 17, 1919)
* Mr. Noto was blind.
Your letter of congratulation arrived and imparted joy, because its contents indicated that the Sun of Reality hath begun Its radiation upon those regions. It is my hope that that region may get illumination and the Heavenly Dawn may break forth. This will be attained through the power of Faith in the Covenant.
Therefore we are expecting that every one of those friends may in that country become like a brilliant and luminous candle, and so the Light of Guidance may emanate upon the hearts.
How often it hath happened that one blessed soul hath proved to become the cause of guidance unto a continent. I also congratulate you on (the advent of) this Blessed Day.
(February 1920. Translated by Azizullah Bahadur)
O thou beloved maid-servant of God (Miss Haruko Mori)*
Praise be unto God, that through the guidance of Miss Alexander thou couldst hear the Call of God. Then strive as far as thou art able to spread the Divine Teachings, so that thou mayest become distinguished with this great Bestowal among the women of the world.
(August 10, 1920. Translated by Azizullah Bahadur)
O thou who art a favored servant at the Threshold of the Most High! (Mr. Kenjiro Ono**)
Thy letter was received. Verily, verily hast thou suffered in thy life time. Do not thou be grieved because of the loss of thy sight. Praise be unto God, that thy insight is keen. Do not thou lament over thy poverty, for the Treasury of the Kingdom is thine. Do not thou worry that thou couldst not study in the material schools, because thou hast received lessons in the Verses of the Oneness (of God) in the Divine University.
Offer thou thanks to God that thou couldst finally attain to Truth. Then be thou firm and steadfast so that the doors of the most Great Bestowals may be opened unto thy face. The greatest of all questions is steadfastness and firmness. Every tree which is firmly rooted grows.
(August 10, 1920. Translated by Azizullah Bahadur)
* A school girl of 17 years.
** Mr. Ono was blind.
Praise be unto God, that having rent asunder the veils and having seen the rays of the Sun of Reality, thou didst turn thine attention to the Center of the Covenant.
Rest thou assured that thou wilt be confirmed to give sight to the blind and hearing power to the deaf and even thou wilt give life to the dead!
(December 8, 1920. Translated by Azizullah Bahadur)
O ye daughters of the Kingdom! (Six school girls; Otoe Murakami, Kimiko Hagiwara, Kazu Fukusawa, Haruko Mori, Yuri Takao, and Yuri Mochizuki)
Your congratulation on the Feast has been received. Its perusal imparted joy and happiness. Through the Bounties of the Supreme Lord do I hope that these daughters of the Kingdom will, day by day, progress so that they may, like unto a magnet, attract the Divine confirmations. I am always supplicating for you that ye may attain to the Most Great Bestowal and act and behave according to the Teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh.
(August 19, 1920. Translated by Azizullah Bahadur)
O seekers for the Truth! (revealed to nine persons, eight of whom were young men students)
Praise God that you have heard the celestial Call, seen the ray of the Sun of Truth, followed the right Direction and reached the longed-for Home!
You have sent me your congratulations for the Feast: I was very much gratified at your feelings and at the fact that such a tie exists now between East and West, such friendship between different nations!
It is evident that, through your efforts, the inhabitants of those regions are now inhaling the fragrances of Musk from the Garden of the Kingdom. In Japan the divine proclamation will be heard as a formidable explosion, so that those who are ready will become uplifted and illumined by the Light of the Sun of Truth.
(August 19, 1920)
O ye daughters of the Kingdom! (the previously mentioned six school girls)
The reflection of your forms (photograph) arrived in this Holy Land. Praise be unto God, these figures are luminous. From your eyes the light of the love of God is emanating. This picture has been
Through the graces of His Holiness, Bahá'u'lláh — may my life be sacrificed for His friends — I cherish the hope that ye will, day by day, progress more and more in the Kingdom of God; that each one of you will shine like unto a brilliant star from the horizon of the supreme Guidance, thus proving to be the cause of guidance unto others, giving sight unto their eyes, hearing power unto their ears and quickening unto their hearts.
(January 11, 1921. Translated by Azizullah Bahadur)
O thou blessed soul! (Miss Mikae Komatsu, who in later years was known as Mrs. Tadako Arakawa)
Thy letter was received. It was not a letter. It was a scent bag of the musk-deer from which the fragrance of the love of God was perceived. After I read it, I turned to the Kingdom of the Merciful and supplicated so that thy soul may become purified; that thy heart may be converted into a brasier of the fire of the love of God; that in every moment thou mayest find the Light of Truth radiating; that thou mayest kindle the lamp of Guidance; that thou mayest seek heavenly joy and happiness, and mayest consecrate thy life to the service of the Heavenly Father.
I feel the utmost kindness toward thee. And I pray, through the Infinite Bounties, for a spiritual dynamic force and a heavenly blessing unto thee. Convey to all the friends my greetings and love.
(September 9, 1920. Translated by Azizullah Bahadur)
O thou who art seeking the Truth! (Mr. Sensui Saiki)
Thy letter has been received. Thou hast taken much pain in inventing the new Japanese writing. Thou hast rendered a service to the world of humanity — May God reward thee!
Today, however, there exist many kinds of writing. That which is most necessary and is assisted by divine confirmations is the propagation of the heavenly Call. It is this which energizes the world of existence. It is this which bestoweth life unto the dead souls, which refresheth the dried tree and ornamenteth it with leaves, blossoms and fruits. Concentrate all thine energy in this that thou mayest make heavenly progress, that thou mayest attain to the light of the Sun of Reality, that thou mayest become the cause that the dead body of Japan
This is important! Convey on my behalf the warmest Abhá greetings to all the friends one by one.
(October 15, 1920. Translated by Azizullah Bahadur)
O thou who art devoted to Truth! (Mr. Kenkichi Futakami)
In this divine garden, thousands of fresh and verdant trees have raised their tops to the Supreme Apex and on every tree there are thousands of nests. Therefore, for thee, who art a bird of high flight, a nest has been prepared. Then soar, that thou mayest attain to that nest. This is a divine nest in the Heavenly Kingdom. Every bird that attained to this nest learned a melody and also taught the birds of the meadows the divine harmony which moves and enraptures the East and the West. Do thou therefore strive with all thy heart and soul that thou mayest abide in this nest and thrive till eternity.
(June 1, 1921. Translated by Azizullah Bahadur)
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The first photo of a Bahá'í meeting taken in Japan. Miss Alexander is in the back row; Miss Martha Root is in front. Mr. Fukuta, the only other Bahá'í in the group is in the front left. Behind Mr. Fukuta is Miss Ichi Kamichika who helped Miss Alexander translate articles. Many years later she became prominent as one of the first women elected to the Japanese Diet (parliament). Taken in July 1915.
Thy letter has been received. The contents were indicative of spiritual susceptibilities. I pray God that thou mayest rise above worldly attachments and restricted thought to the realm of the Kingdom; that thou mayest become enlightened and spiritual, be completely released from the darkness of the material world, like unto the bud and rose mayest diffuse fragrances in the Heavenly Rose-Garden, be confirmed by the breath of the Holy Spirit and assisted by the Hosts of the Supreme Concourse. By deeds and words awaken thou the unaware souls and confer upon them the spirit of Life.
(October 7, 1921)
O ye heavenly sons!
(The following Tablet was addressed to the "new friends in Korea", fifteen names being mentioned in addition to Miss Alexander's: Sang Sun Oh, U.U. Cuan, Kinng S. Ko, Chy Rin, Inki Hong, Pyung C. Lee, Soon Y. Lee, Wen H. Ma, Young N. Pyeur, Chan Young Kim, Z.Y. Roe, S. Wo Kloon, S.Y. Zee, Ze Kyung Sang, S.T. Suh.)
Your heartfelt and sincere greetings have reached `Abdu'l-Bahá's ears and your message gave great spiritual pleasure.
Praise be to God, that celestial light guided and led you to the Sun of Reality, bestowed everlasting life and granted heavenly illumination. Ye are like seedlings which have been planted by the hand of Bestowal in His Spiritual Rose-Garden. It is my hope that through the warmth of the Sun of Reality, the pouring down of the showers of mercy and the wafting of the breezes of bestowal, ye may progress day by day, so that each one may become a blessed tree, full of leaves and flowers and throw your shade over great multitudes.
The Graces of the Kingdom of Abhá are the rays of the Sun of Reality. It illumines the earth and heaven, makes the star a shining moon, turns the speck into a huge mountain, bestows strength to the weak, gives everlasting healing to the sick, grants heavenly treasures to the poor, confirms the oppressed ones to everlasting glory and turns the people of darkness to those of light.
O heavenly friends, the doors of heaven have been opened, the lights of God have shone forth and the heavenly Call has been raised. Summon ye all humanity to listen to this Heavenly Call and invite them to the Celestial World, so that they may find a new spirit and attain to a new life. In all conditions my heart and spirit are with you.
(November 5, 1921)