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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 72

72. Two Birthday Parties


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Miss Alexander was born July 21, 1875. On July 21, 1963, for her eighty-eighth birthday, the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tokyo had a party in her honor. There were refreshments, and speeches of appreciation, which she graciously answered. There was even music, played on the traditional Japanese instrument, the koto. It was a happy time.

Seated. Mrs. Konno (a friend of one of the Bahá'ís); Mrs. Yasuko Mori Irwin, daughter of Miss Alexander's old friends Mr. and Mrs. Tsuto Mori; Mrs. Michiko Mizuno and Mrs. Bashir-Elahi. Mrs. Yuri Furukawa is sitting next to Miss Alexander (middle) and to the right is Mrs. Tadako Arakawa; Mrs. Suma Mori and Mrs. Ayako Ogi. Standing from the left are Mr. Philip Marangella, Mr. Masazo Odani; Mrs. Barbara Sims; Mr. Rouhollah Mumtazi; unidentified; Mr. Bashir-Elahi; Mrs. Michiko Takano; Mr. Irwin; Mr. Hiroyasu Takano; Mr. Shibukawa the koto player; Mr. Hideyasu Takashima; Dr. Yasuyuki Hosoda; Mr. Masaaki Ushibata; Miss Fumiko Hirayama; Mrs. Akiko Schreiber; Miss Reiko Masuto, Mrs. Chiyo Suzuki; Mr. Hiroshi Yamazaki; Mrs. Mitsuko Yamazaki; Miss Masako Inoue; Miss Yoko Ishihara and Dr. Mizuno.

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Within a few days of the party in Tokyo, the Bahá'ís in Kansai celebrated Miss Alexander's eighty-eighth birthday at the Osaka Center. At least two people aside from Miss Alexander attended both parties. In Japanese 88 is and it makes an ideograph which is the character for rice. Rice is the staple food and has all good connotations. Therefore when an individual reaches 88 it is time for a special celebration.

At the Osaka party, the first piece of birthday cake goes to Miss Alexander. Mr. Zenimoto is assisting her.

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