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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 57

57. Anthony Yuen Seto, 1890-1957

Mr. Seto was the first Chinese-American Bahá'í. His parents came from Canton, China and settled in Hawaii, where he was born. He became a successful attorney and an astute businessman. He married Miss Mamie O'Connor, a bright-eyed woman of Irish background. Together in 1916 they accepted the Faith and served it until the end of their days. In 1920 'Abdu'l-Bahá wrote in a Tablet to them "The East and the West have embraced each other."

Mrs. Seto was a fine speaker, deepener, and an administrator,


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This classic photograph was taken during the Nikko Conference in 1955. Mr. Fujita (left), the second Japanese to become a Bahá'í, and Mr. Seto, the first Chinese-American Bahá'í.

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having served on the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States.

After Mr. Seto retired from his law practice, he and his wife answered the Guardian's call for pioneers during the Ten Year Crusade. It was 1954 when they landed in Hong Kong, among the first pioneers to settle there to establish the Faith.

When the first Convention of the Bahá'ís of North East Asia, which included Hong Kong, was held in Tokyo in 1957, Mr. and Mrs. Seto attended. He was the only Bahá'í of Chinese background at the convention. A few days after the convention, as he and his wife were boarding the plane to return to Hong Kong, Mr. Seto was stricken with a heart attack and died. He is buried in the Yamate-machi Foreign Cemetery on the bluff in Yokohama.

Shortly after Mr. Seto's passing the Guardian wrote to the newly-elected National Spiritual Assembly of North East Asia these words about Mr. Seto, whose destiny laid him to rest in Japan.


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Mrs. Mamie Seto (far right) visits her husband's grave in Yokohama about 1961. On the left is Mr. Philip Marangella, next Mrs. Akiko Schreiber (her husband Eugene was the photographer), and Mrs. Sims.

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"...Even the death of the devoted pioneer, Mr. Anthony Seto, has added a blessing to the work in that region, for he served in spite of failing health and remained at his post to rest in a distant land, his very dust testifying to the greatness of the love and nature of the ideals Bahá'u'lláh has inspired in His servants."

Although her husband's death was a crushing blow, Mrs. Mamie Seto remained at her pioneer post in Hong Kong until the end of the Ten Year Crusade.

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