Bahá'í Library Online
. . . .
.
>>   Biographies Books East Asia
TAGS: History; Japan
> add/edit tags

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

by Barbara R. Sims

previous chapter chapter 55 start page single page chapter 57 next chapter

Chapter 56

56. The First Convention of the Bahá'ís of North East Asia, 1957

One of the goals of the Guardian's Ten Year Crusade was to form a national spiritual assembly in Japan. At the time the Crusade was launched in 1953, there was only one local spiritual assembly in the northern Asia area. However, just four years later the National Spiritual Assembly of North East Asia was elected. Its seat was to be in Tokyo and its scope was Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. The islands of Hainan, off the coast of China, and Sakhalin, north of Japan, were included in the original jurisdiction. Later Hainan Island was assigned elsewhere and Sakhalin Island remains one of the areas for the National Spiritual Assembly of Japan to open.

The year before, 1956, a total of eight local spiritual assemblies were elected or formed by joint declaration in Japan. Four additional assemblies were elected in Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. With twelve local spiritual assemblies participating, the National Spiritual Assembly of North East Asia was elected by the delegates.

Hand of the Cause Mr. Jalal Khazeh, as the Guardian's representative to the convention, presented the Guardian's message (in part here): "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.

Elected to the first National Spiritual Assembly of North East Asia were two Japanese, three Persians and four Americans, one of whom was Miss Agnes Alexander, who just the month before,

145


click here for larger image

The First Annual Convention of the Bahá'ís of North East Asia, held at Gakushi Kaikan in Tokyo, Japan, 1957. Hands of the Cause Miss Alexander and Mr. Khazeh are holding the frame containing the "Greatest Name."

146

had been elevated to the high station of Hand of the Cause. The Guardian was pleased with the membership of the new national assembly and wrote (through his secretary): "... He (the Guardian) was 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..."

A new era in the development of the Faith in the North East Pacific area had begun.


click here for larger image

The first National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of North East Asia, 1957. Seated: Mr. Noureddin Mumtazi, Hand of the Cause Miss Agnes Alexander, Mrs. Barbara R. Sims and Mr. Hiroyasu Takano. Standing: Mr. Ataullah Moghbel, Mr. Michitoshi Zenimoto, Mr. Philip Marangella, Mr. Yadollah Rafaat and Mr. William Maxwell.

147

previous chapter chapter 55 start page single page chapter 57 next chapter
Back to:   Biographies Books East Asia
Home Site Map Forum Links Copyright About Contact
.
. .