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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

edited by Sheridan Sims.
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Chapter 26

26. Confirmed Bahá'ís, 1922

In 1922 the Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi, in his first letter to the Bahá'ís of Japan asked for more information about that community. Miss Alexander sent him the following list of "confirmed Bahá'ís." Nineteen people were listed including herself and Mrs. Finch, Mr. Kenji Fukuda (who edited the "Star of the East" for one year in 1921/22), Miss Mikae Komatsu (later Mrs. Tadako Arakawa), Misses Otoe Murakami, Kimiko Hagiwara, Kazuko Fukusawa, Haruko Mori, Yuri Takao (who was only ten), Yuri Mochizuki (later Mrs. Furukawa), Mr. Tokujiro Torii, Mr. Kikutaro Fukuta, Mrs. Kazu Higashi, Mr. Daiun Inouye, Mr. Sanzo Misawa, Mr. H. Takayanagi, Mr. Yoshio Tanaka, Mr. Junichi Ota and Mr. T. Hamada.

Miss Alexander listed the following four as being friends of the Faith, Mr. Handa (a student), Miss Hide Tanaka, (Mrs. Futakami), Mr. Kobayashi ("a boy of twelve who loves 'Abdu'l-Bahá"), and Mr. Yoshida, a young business man.

She mentioned others such as Mr. Sensui Saiki, Mr. Tomonaga Noto, Mr. Kenjiro Ono, Mr. Jiso Iwami, Mr. Kenkichi Futakami and Mr. Nasu, who had all received communications from 'Abdu'l-Bahá, either personal Tablets or in Tablets of a general nature.

Miss Alexander carefully copied the Tablets of the first five people mentioned above as they were sent through her, but the originals were given to the recipients. The other Tablets addressed to Bahá'ís were also copied by her. She had all of them printed a few years later, with the help of Mr. Horace Holley. In much later years a search for original Tablets to the Japanese located only those addressed to Mr. Torii, and the prayer written by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the note book of Mr. Naruse, president of Japan Women's College.

In those days enrollment as a member of the Bahá'í Faith did not have the specific procedure it did in later years. Apparently Noto and Ono had been considered as Bahá'ís in earlier years but not in 1922.

Miss Alexander's friends, (and the Bahá'ís) were from a variety of backgrounds. They were teachers, businessmen, schoolgirls, men students, writers, a Christian minister and even one Buddhist priest.

Of the Japanese friends mentioned above, Miss Alexander stayed in touch with Mr. Torii and Miss Mochizuki throughout the years. She sometimes saw Mrs. Arakawa, Mr. Tanaka, and Mr. Fukuta. As to the others, some were lost track of, and perhaps some died, but all had a part, even though perhaps a small part, in establishing the Faith in Japan in those very early times.

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