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Traces That Remain:
A Pictorial History of the Early Days of the Bahá'í Faith among the Japanese

by Barbara R. Sims

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Chapter 49

49. In Tokyo

Early pioneers to Japan, Lt. and Mrs. J. C. Davenport, Tokyo, 1950.


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Mrs. Davenport (seated) is entertained by children singing in English, in her honor, at a private school in Tokyo in 1950. She gave a talk on Bahá'í education to the teachers and parents.

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These two photographs were taken at the house, which, a few months later would be purchased by the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tokyo, to become the second Haziratu'l-Quds in Japan. Most of the meetings in Tokyo had been held there since the fall of 1953.

Tokyo always had interested people and good activities. Six people in the lower photo were to become members of the national spiritual assembly several years later.

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Tokyo, 1953. This is a meeting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Witzel, seated in the rear. Mr. Witzel was then attached to the U.S. Army in Tokyo.

Miss Kotoko Mochizuki, second from the left, worked for the Witzels, attended their meetings and became a Bahá'í. Now, over thirty years later, she still remembers how kind and loving they were. Two other friends of the Witzels, who are now long-time Bahá'ís, are Mr. Yuzo Yamaguchi (with glasses), and Mrs. Hisae Matsuo, woman on the right side.

The Witzels left Japan that fall. In 1968. Mr. Witzel was appointed by the Universal House of Justice to the Continental Board of Counsellors in South America.

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The Mottahedehs Visit Japan

This is a meeting in Tokyo, 1954. Mrs. Mildred Mottahedeh (left) and her husband Mr. Rafi Mottahedeh (third from the right) visited Japan occasionally through the years, the first time in 1953. In 1961 dynamic Mrs. Mottahedeh was elected as a member of the International Council, the institution which was the predecessor to the Universal House of Justice.

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1954. The Tokyo community has a picnic. Mr. Rafaat can be seen far right. Leaning against the tree on the right is Miss Kotoko Mochizuki (Honma.)


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1955. The Tokyo Bahá'í community has a pot-luck dinner at the Bahá'í Center. From left to right, Mr. Yuzo Yamaguchi, Miss Lecile Webster, Mr. Tameo Hongo, Mrs. Sims and Mrs. Virginia Hamilton.

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