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Japan Will Turn Ablaze!

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Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Letters of Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice, and Historical Notes About Japan

This etext is based on:
"Japan Will Turn Ablaze! Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Letters of Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice, and Historical Notes About Japan"

Revised Edition 1992

First Edition 1974

Reprinted 1975

Compiled by Barbara R. Sims

Bahá'í Publishing Trust of Japan, 1992

Copyright 1974 by Barbara R. Sims

Availability of this etext in no way modifies the copyright status of the above publication.
This etext is freely available through anonymous internet file-sharing.




The Epoch of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Ministry

1. Miss Agnes B. Alexander ..................................... 9
2. Dr. George J. Augur ......................................... 17
3. Mr. Kanichi Yamamoto ........................................ 20
4. Mr. Saichiro Fujita ......................................... 26
5. Tablets to Japan ............................................ 29
6. 'Abdu'l-Bahá Speaks to a Japanese Audience .................. 42
7. Excerpt from a Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá ....................... 49
8. 'Abdu'l-Bahá Meets President Naruse of Japan Women's
College ..................................................... 50
9. Excerpt from The Chosen Highway by Lady Blomfield,
Concerning 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the Japanese
Diplomat (1912) ............................................. 51


Letters of Shoghi Effendi and Communications
From the Universal House of Justice

10. Letters and Cables to Miss Agnes B. Alexander,
1923-1957 ................................................... 54
11. Letters and Cable to the Bahá'ís of Japan in the Early Days,
1922-1931 ................................................... 73
12. Letters and Cables to Administrative Institutions ........... 80
13. Letters to Individuals ...................................... 101
14. Shoghi Effendi Writes to Emperor Showa of Japan ............. 110
15. Message from the Universal House of Justice to the North
Pacific Oceanic Conference, Sapporo, Japan, September,
1971 ........................................................ 111
Afterword ................................................... 113
Bibliography ................................................ 114

Hand of the Cause Miss Agnes B. Alexander (Circa 1900)

"Your name will forever remain associated with the rise of the Faith and its establishment in Japan and the record of your incessant and splendid endeavors will shed on its annals a lustre that time can never dim." (Shoghi Effendi, June 8, 1933)  5


As early as 1903 and for years thereafter, 'Abdu'l-Bahá urged Bahá'ís to travel to Japan to spread the Message of Bahá'u'lláh. On occasion He said He Himself would like to go to Japan, and also to some other countries.

In 1908 'Abdu'l-Bahá wrote to an American believer, Mr. Howard McNutt[1], "A trip of the believers of God to the Orient is of the utmost importance and it will become the cause of great connection between the two regions... Perchance, God willing, in Japan, you may lay the foundation for the Kingdom!"
[1 Mr. McNutt, Mr. Wilhelm and Mr. Randall were staunch and devoted American Bahá'ís who tried to help the Faith in Japan as it was 'Abdu'l-Bahá's wish.]

In 1910 He said to the first two Bahá'ís to visit Japan, "Blessed results will appear from the Holy Cause established in that land. I have sent your letter regarding the work in Japan to Mr. McNutt in New York, that he may spread the word for some of the American Bahá'ís to go to Japan, and there serve and teach the Cause. It is very good for teachers to travel, and, through the love of God, give life to the people. American Bahá'ís should go to Oriental countries as teachers."

The first Bahá'ís to make the long voyage, Mr. Howard Struven[1] and Mr. C.M. Remey, 1909; Mme. Aurelia Bethlen, 1911; Mr. and Mrs. Dreyfus-Barney, 1914, stayed for brief periods of time and continued around the world. Dr. George Augur and Miss Agnes Alexander both arrived in 1914 -- Miss Alexander shortly after Dr. Augur. They sailed to Japan with the intention of residing there for some time. All these believers traveled in response to the wishes of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Besides Japan, He also encouraged travel in those early days to China, India, Persia and other Asian countries.
[1 Mr. Struven was designated as Herald of the Kingdom by 'Abdu'l-Bahá.]

In the Tablet of the Divine Plan written to the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada, Japan is mentioned six times and the Japanese language itself once. In those Tablets 'Abdu'l-Bahá again urged travel. "How good would it be were there any possibility of a commission composed of men and women, to travel together through China and Japan..."

In 1919 'Abdu'l-Bahá wrote to Mr. Roy Wilhelm, "Attach great importance to the Japanese people. Mrs. Magee should continually communicate with them." And again, later in the year to the same believer, "Convey to Mr. Nasu[1], the Japanese, my greeting and say: The world of nature is darkness but the heavenly Sun dissipates by its light this darkness that prevails over the world. Likewise the world of mind and of souls is a dark one and nothing will illuminate it save  6  the rays of the Sun of Truth. My hope therefore is that thou mayest be the cause of the shining of the Divine Teachings in Japan, that thou mayest vivify the dead. The people of Japan are intelligent but they are in need of a leader that he may awaken them. I hope that thou mayest be the cause of their awakening and may vivify them."
[1 Mr. Shiroshi Nasu, a professor of Tokyo Imperial University, was a friend of Mr. Wilhelm.]

To Mr. William Randall[1], in 1920, He wrote, "The association which has been formed for promoting the relationship and love between America and Japan, will, God willing, be confirmed and assisted. This association is important. It will unquestionably, bring forth great results."
[1 Mr. McNutt, Mr. Wilhelm and Mr. Randall were staunch and devoted American Bahá'ís who tried to help the Faith in Japan as it was 'Abdu'l-Bahá's wish.]

-- -

"These are His very words, that still keep ringing in my ears: 'Japan will turn ablaze!'"

The title of this book was taken from 'Abdu'l-Bahá's prophecy of the spiritual future of Japan as quoted by Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, in his first letter to the Bahá'ís of Japan, January 26, 1922.

-- -

We have taken the liberty of adding a few words, for the sake of continuity, and also that the reader, knowing something of the individuals and circumstances might better observe the creative power in the words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi as reflected in the lives and actions of the recipients.

For further information on the history of the Bahá'í Faith in Japan, we recommend to the reader History of the Bahá'í Faith in Japan 1914-1938 by Agnes B. Alexander, and Traces That Remain, (A Pictorial History of the Early Days of the Bahá'í Faith Among the Japanese) by Barbara R. Sims.

Barbara R. Sims Tokyo, Japan 1992

Japan Will Turn Ablaze!

(Japan, Revised edition 1992)


FILEDATE: 1-1-95  7

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Part I

The Epoch of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Ministry  9

1 Miss Agnes B. Alexander


The year was 1913, and Miss Alexander recalls: "My only desire was to serve His Cause. The words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá rang in my ears: 'I have a lamp in My Hand searching through the lands and seas to find souls who can become heralds of the Cause. Day and night I am engaged in this work.'

"I prayed that His lamp might find me. For nearly twelve years I had been privileged to assist in establishing His Cause in Hawaii. Now the time had come when I was free to go forth to serve in other parts of His lands... I received a Tablet from the Master which contained the first intimation that He wished me to travel to Japan. He wrote in part: 'Therefore if thou travelest toward Japan unquestionably Divine confirmations shall descend upon thee.'

"Through the Divine favors all difficulties were overcome and I sailed ... reaching Japan November 1, 1914."

Between the time of her arrival and 1967 when she left for the last time, Miss Alexander spent a total of about 31 years in Japan. The rest of her time was spent in Hawaii or other parts of the world teaching the Faith.

Shoghi Effendi referred to Miss Alexander as a "distinguished pioneer" and wrote the following to her regarding her role in the development of the Faith.

"Your glorious services in those remote regions of the earth (China and Japan) are never to be forgotten. I ever pray on your behalf and wish you to remember the sacred interests of the Cause in far-away Japan as you are that radiant herald who has raised the Call of Salvation in its very heart and to whom it owes a great debt of gratitude... I never, never forget you." (January 27, 1924)

"I feel that your destiny lies in that far-off and promising country (Japan) where your noble and pioneer services future generations will befittingly glorify and thankfully remember." (January 10, 1928)

Miss Alexander received thirteen Tablets from 'Abdu'l-Bahá.

They are quoted below. 10

Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to Miss Agnes Alexander

O thou maid-servant of God!

The tongues have spoken of thy attraction to God, and the pens have testified of thy burning by the Fire of the Love of God. Indeed the heart of 'Abdu'l-Bahá approves of this because it feels its heat from this distant and Blessed Spot.

O maid-servant of God! By God, the Truth, the Spirit of Christ from the Supreme Concourse doth in every time and aspect announce to thee this great good-news.

Be, therefore a divine bird, proceed to thy native country, spread the wings of sanctity over those spots and sing and chant and celebrate the name of thy Lord, that thou mayest gladden the Supreme Concourse and make the seeking souls hasten unto thee as moths hasten to the lamp and thus illumine that distant country by the Light of God.

(Translated by Anton Haddad. Received in Paris, June, 1901)

[Photograph at bottom half of the page with the following caption:
"Mr. Struven became a herald of the Kingdom and traveled through the countries of China, India and Japan." (Abdu'l-Bahá) Mr. Howard Struven, the first Bahá'í to visit Japan, is at the far left. Dr. Augur is at the far right and Miss Alexander is sitting second from left. Taken in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1909.] 11

O thou bird warbling in the Garden of the Love of God!

Thank God that He has illumined thy insight, led thee unto the Fire glowing in the tree of man; caused thee to utter His Praise among the creatures and guided certain women to whom thou spoke the Word of God.

O maid-servant of God! Verily thy Lord lighteth the lamp of Love in the heart of whomsoever He chooseth. This is indeed the great happiness. He confirmeth him in the service of the Supreme Vineyard.

I pray God to confirm the relatives in attaining to the Brilliant Light, to let the light of Insight shine forth to the hearts and sights; to aid thy friends in being illumined by the Light of El Baha and fed from the Heavenly Table, and to make thee empty, void from the thoughts of the life of this world and filled with the Love of thy Lord, ready for His service, uttering His Praise and demonstrating with proofs the appearance of the Kingdom of God.

(Translated by Mirza Ameen, Chicago, Illinois, January 25, 1903)

O thou seeker of the Kingdom!

Thy letter was received. I prayed at the Court of Holiness to deliver thee from the darkness of the attachment to this world, enlighten thee by the Divine Illumination and purify the mirror of thy heart, so that the Rays of the Sun of Truth may shine therein.

Permission is granted thee to marry Mr. W ... W ... but thou must try with heart and soul to guide him and cause him to enter under the Shade of the Covenant and Testament, so that ye may become united as one soul in two bodies and be engaged in the service of the Kingdom.

(Translated by Ahmad Sohrab, Chicago, August 14, 1909. Received in Honolulu, September 8, 1909)

O maid-servant of God!

Thy letter was received. Thou hast written something about Mr. Remey. In reality that youth is the son of the Kingdom and the herald of the appearance of Bahá'u'lláh. All the believers of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful must summon the people to the Kingdom and be the means of the guidance of their souls. They must live and conduct themselves in such a manner so that they may become distinguished above other people in sanctity, prayerfulness and humility. I hope that thou mayest attain to this station and become the cause of the diffusion of the Manifest Light.

(Translated by Ahmad Sohrab, August 16, 1913, Ramleh, Egypt. Received in Honolulu, September 15, 1913) 12

O thou dear daughter!

Thy letter was received. It became the cause of infinite rejoicing for it expressed eloquently thy faith and thy turning thy face toward the Kingdom of God. This light of guidance which is ignited in the lamp of thy heart must become more brilliant day by day and shed its light to all parts. Therefore, if thou travelest toward Japan unquestionably Divine confirmations shall descend upon thee.

Convey the utmost kindness to Mrs. ... on my behalf and say: The doors of the Kingdom of God are open, the Call of the Lord of the Kingdom is raised, the Bestowals of the Almighty are endless and the effulgence of the Sun of Reality has illumined the East and the West. In such a time patience and tranquility are not allowable. Thou must engage with infinite joy and happiness in the mention of the Forgiving Lord.

(Translated by Ahmad Sohrab, October 31, 1913, Ramleh, Egypt. Received in Brooklyn, New York, January 1914)

O thou my dear daughter!

Thy letter was received. It imparted great happiness. Praise be to God that that dear daughter is sacrificing herself in the path of Bahá'u'lláh and enduring every difficulty.

It is now more advisable for thee to depart directly to Japan and while there be engaged in the diffusion of the fragrances of God. From there thou mayest return to India and from India to the Holy Land.

Today the greatest of all divine bestowals is teaching the Cause of God for it is fraught with confirmations. Every teacher is confirmed and is favored at the Divine Threshold. In the estimation of the Ideal King, the army which is in the front of the battlefield is encircled with the glances of His mercifulness and in the sight of the Divine Farmer, the sower of the seed is accepted and favored.

I hope that thou mayest be like unto a realm conquering army and a farmer, therefore thy voyage to Japan is preferred to everything else. Still thou are perfectly free.

(Mount Carmel, Haifa, August 4, 1914. Received in Geneva, Switzerland, August 22, 1914)

O thou heavenly daughter!

Thy letter through Mr. Hannen was received from Japan; likewise the letters of Mr. Fukuta. The contents of both letters imparted exceeding joy, for each word was an eloquent tongue explaining the wonders of the Love of God and elucidating the story of the attraction of the heart with the Breaths of the Holy Spirit.  13

Praise be to God that thou hast become assisted to promulgate the Word of God in Japan. Ere long this circle in Japan will be enlarged obtaining heavenly blessings.

God says in the glorious Qur'án: "A seed, growing out of it seven ears, and God is able to double this for whomsoever He willeth." This verse means: Whenever the Word of Truth is proclaimed, it is like unto a seed, which sown in a pure soil brings forth seven ears and every ear produces one hundred kernels, and God says again that for whomsoever He desireth, He will double this number, that is, He will make the seven hundred kernels fourteen hundred.

Now I hope that thy call in Japan may be like unto that seed, so that it may obtain heavenly blessing and benediction, and the souls be educated and taught the oneness and singleness of God, the truthfulness of the prophets and the usefulness of the Divine Teachings.

An answer is written to the letters of Mr. Fukuta and forwarded. Present it to him.

(Translated by Ahmad Sohrab, Haifa, October 27, 1916. Received in Tokyo, February 7, 1917)

O thou daughter of the Kingdom!

Thy letter dated July 15, 1916 was received. Its contents indicated that thou hast organized a meeting in Japan. Consider thou what a great favor God hast bestowed that such spiritual meetings are being held in Tokyo and such heavenly gifts are being distributed.

God says in the Qur'án: "The example of the people of faith is like unto a field which obtains freshness and verdancy from the rain descending from the clouds, attaining to full fruition and finding the blessings of the Kingdom. There is no doubt that day by day it will grow and develop and in the end the ears of the sheaves will be laden with God's benediction bringing forth one hundred fold."

Now, ye are the fields of the plain of Reality and are under the protection of the educative rays of the Sun of Truth. At every moment ye obtain a new vitality from the rain of divine bestowals and ere long ye will produce full grown seeds which are blessed by the care and attention of the Divine Farmer. There is no doubt that such will be the end.

Convey on my behalf the utmost longing and greeting to the friends residing in Tokyo as well as the recently arrived travelers and say to them: All the individuals of humanity are farmers. Every soul sows a certain kind of seed, but at the season of the harvest there will be gathered no result except the seeds which are sown by the believers of God. That alone will obtain heavenly blessings. Reflect that  14  His Holiness Christ and His Holiness Muhammad scattered such holy seeds the fruits of which are being gathered until now, but all the other farmers were finally doomed to regret and disappointment.

(Translated by Ahmad Sohrab, Haifa, October 30, 1916. Received in Tokyo February 17, 1917)

O thou daughter of the Kingdom!

Although your letter has not yet been received, yet we do answer it. Praise be to God, that in Japan thou hast been assisted in the accomplishment of a distinguished service. Thou hast raised the Call of the Divine Kingdom and hast led the people to an illumined world and a heavenly Cause. Thou hast become the cause of enlightenment and the wisher for the education of human souls. For those regions are in sheer need of Divine Teachings and are endowed with sufficient capability.

Those souls must be emancipated from the obscurity of blind imitations and be illumined by the light of heavenly instructions. Whosoever arises for such a work, divine confirmations shall assist him and the power of the Kingdom shall be made manifest.

Effort must be exerted that the East and West may be reconciled, that the darkness of bigotry may vanish, that the unity of mankind may be made manifest and that East and West, like unto two longing souls, may embrace each other in the utmost love, for all are the sheep of God and God is the Real Shepherd and is kind to every one.

In accordance with the wish of the attracted maid servant of God to the love of God, Mrs. Maxwell, go thou to Canada and stay there for a time and then hasten back to Japan for in Japan you will be assisted and exalted.

Some letters are enclosed for the friends in Japan. Forward them.

(Translated by Shoghi Rabbani, Haifa, December 27, 1918. Received in Montclair, New Jersey, March 8, 1919)

O thou daughter of the Kingdom!

Thy letters were received. The travel to Japan was in the utmost necessity. Thou hast undoubtedly met the attracted maid servant of God, Mrs. Maxwell before sailing to Japan, for that maid servant of God is ablaze with the Fire of the love of God. Whosoever meets her feels from her association the susceptibilities of the Kingdom. Her company uplifts and develops the soul.

Thou didst well to travel to Japan for the seed thou hast sown needs watering. Capable souls are found in Japan; the Breath of the Merciful is necessary to stir and enliven them and to bestow a spiritual liveliness. A blind soul is there but is in the utmost enkindlement  15  and likewise a priest lives there and is endowed with great capacity. I hope that thou wilt find the doors flung open and become the cause of the guidance of souls.

Convey on my behalf the utmost love and kindness to the maid servants of God, Elizabeth Stevens and Maud Gaudreaux. Through the bounties and blessings of God, I supplicate that Mr. Weirs may become attracted to the Divine Kingdom and may be so enkindled with the love of God that he may illumine the surrounding regions.

Of the death of Richard Potter we were made infinitely sad, but that nightingale of the Kingdom has flown to the rose garden of the Kingdom, and that drop returned to the limitless ocean. That wanderer has ascended to his original abode. On his behalf I supplicate from the Threshold of Oneness pardon and forgiveness.

Convey on my behalf to the maid servants of God, Miss Ragina Sunshine, Mrs. Louise Smith and Louise Bosch the wonderful Abha greetings. I have entreated and supplicated to the Abha Kingdom and have begged for those maid servants of the Merciful unbounded blessings, that each may unloosen an eloquent tongue and engage in the commemoration of the Beloved of the world.

Convey to the friends of Geyserville the intensity of my love and my spiritual attachment. At dawn I entreat at the Threshold of the All-Knowing God and beg for them the exaltation of the Kingdom.

Remain for some days in Honolulu and then immediately hasten to Japan.

(Translated by Shoghi Rabbani, Haifa, July 30, 1919. Received in Tokyo November 26, 1919)

O thou who art the daughter of the Kingdom!

Thy letter has been received. Praise be unto God that in those regions the Breezes of the Rose Garden of Abha are spreading. It is my hope that they (those regions) would become perfumed; the Breezes of Favor would waft, the Lights of Guidance would radiate and the Graces of the Merciful would unveil.

Convey on my behalf respectful greetings to Mrs. Finch. I hope that you two would in the utmost affection and union start in the service of the Kingdom, become the cause that that dark country may become illumined and that the Breezes of the Heavenly Rose Garden may be spread.

Convey my deepest love and affection to Mr. Torii and Mr. Inouye and Mr. Saiki, and also to all others. Through the graces of the Beauty of Abha I cherish the hope that those souls will become sublime emblems and fruitful trees in this Supreme Paradise because  16  a productive man is like unto a tree which is fruitful and of large shadow and so he is the ornament of the garden of Paradise.

This world, though apparently ornamented, yet its ornamentation is like unto the freshness of the flowers on the meadow whose prosperity lasts but for a short time, fading speedily through the heat of the sun and the blowing of the wind. The Heavenly Trees, however, are always green, fresh, full of blossoms and continually yielding fruits. They remain till Eternity in perfect fineness, freshness and vigor.

Extend my great kindness and praise to the maid servant of God, Fuyo (Yuri) Mochizuki, so that she may, with a divine power, a heavenly purpose and Godly motive start her writing and that the Breaths of the Holy Spirit may help her pen.

I am supplicating to God to help Mr. Fukuta progress day by day, to guide the Japanese women to tear up the curtains of superstitions, observe Lights of Truth, seek Eternal Life and long for everlasting Bestowals.

(Translated by Azizullah S. Bahadur, Haifa, June 3, 1920. Received in Tokyo, July 28, 1920)

O thou who wanderest in the divine Path!

In the path of God thou didst leave behind thy familiar country and traveled to those distant regions, so that thou mayest spread the Teachings of God and give the people the Glad Tidings of the Kingdom of God. Be assured that confirmations will reach thee and thou wilt become assisted in accomplishing a great service to the world of humanity. Thousand tidings may reach thee!

Thy brother Ono San, also will be confirmed and with utmost joy and happiness he will come back.

(Translated by Rouhi Afnan, Haifa, August 2, 1921)

O thou who proclaimest the Kingdom of God!

Thy letter has been received and gave much joy. Praise be to God that the confirmations of the Kingdom of Abha reached and thou becamest the cause of guidance of the souls. It is my hope that in Korea thou wilt raise the banner of the Greatest Guidance. Convey my utmost kindness to Mr. Roh[1]. I have utmost love for him and ask for him Heavenly blessings.
[1 Mr. Roh, a Korean, had studied in the West. Returning to Korea by way of Palestine, he met some Bahá'ís on the ship who told him of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. He met 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Tiberius and was allowed several interviews by Him. Miss Alexander met Mr. Roh in Korea. He was teaching at the Christian College and told some of his students of the Bahá'í Faith, but he could not commit himself to the Faith.]

(November 7, 1921, Haifa. Received in Tokyo, February 14, 1922) 17

2 Dr. George J. Augur 1853-1927

Dr. George Jacob Augur, a dedicated and deeply spiritual "Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá"[1] received several Tablets from 'Abdu'l-Bahá. At the Master's summons Dr. Augur left his home in Honolulu and went to Japan. He arrived the first time in June 1914 and stayed until April 1915. He made several other trips to Japan with his wife, Ruth, also a firm believer. The Augurs worked closely with Miss Alexander to establish the Faith in Japan. While there Dr. Augur lived in the Japanese style, learned Japanese and wore the kimono. With 'Abdu'l-Bahá's permission he returned to Hawaii to stay in 1919.
[1 Bahá'í World Vol. III, p. 84. ]

Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to Dr. George Augur

O thou dear son!

From thy letter the fragrance of the rose garden of significances was inhaled, that praise be to God, thou art assisted by the Divine confirmations, hast found the way to the Kingdom of God and thy heart and soul are quickened. Arise thou to perform the blessed intention thou art holding and travel thou to Japan and lay there the foundation of the Cause of God, that is, summon the people to the Kingdom of God. Japan has great capacity, but there needs be a teacher who will speak by the confirmations of the Holy Spirit. I hope thou wilt become assisted in this.

(Translated by Ahmad Sohrab, Ramleh, Egypt, November 21, 1913)

O thou who art advancing toward the Kingdom!

Thy letter was received. It indicated, praise be to God, that in the matter of advancing toward the Kingdom of God thou art firm and steadfast and thou hast resolved to go to Japan to spread the Divine Teachings. This lofty magnanimity befits praise. I hope thou mayest become confirmed therein and in the affairs of the Kingdom thou mayest follow the inspiration and the teachings of God and not any human suggestion. Rest assured that thou wilt become assisted.

(Translated by Ahmad Sohrab, Haifa, February 12, 1914) 18

O thou herald of the Kingdom of God!

Thy letter was received. A thousand times bravo to thy magnanimity and exalted aim! Trusting in God and while turning thy face toward the Kingdom of Abha, unfurl thou the divine Flag in Tokyo and cry at the top of thy voice: "O ye people. The Sun of Reality hath appeared and flooded all regions with its glorious light; it has upraised the Standard of Oneness of the world of humanity and summoned all mankind to the refulgent Truth. The cloud of Mercy is pouring, the zephyr of Providence is wafting and the world of humanity is being stirred and moved. The Divine Spirit is conferring eternal life, the heavenly lights are illumining the hearts, the table of the sustenance of the Kingdom is spread and adorned with all kinds of foods and victuals. O ye concourses of men! Awake! Awake! Become mindful! Become mindful! Open ye the seeing eye! Unstop the hearing ear! Hark! Hark! The soft notes of the Heavenly Music are streaming down, ravishing the ears of the people of spiritual discernment. Ere long this transcendent Light will wholly enlighten the East and West!"

In short, with a resounding voice, with a miraculous power, and with the magnetism of the Love of God, teach thou the Cause of God and rest assured that the Holy Spirit shall confirm thee.

(Translated by Ahmad Sohrab, Haifa, August 12, 1914) 19

On August 8, 1915 'Abdu'l-Bahá's secretary wrote: "Your beautiful petition ... was read to the Beloved ... as He was walking to and fro in the parlor of the Pilgrim House. His face beamed with a heavenly smile as he heard your name. He said: 'Write to Dr. Augur to return to Japan as soon as the first opportunity offers itself to him. Great blessings will descend upon the soul who teaches the Cause in that country. Its people are endowed with great capability. Should five or six of them be thoroughly grounded in the teachings of this Cause and attracted with its fire, great results will be forthcoming.'"

O ye the two doves nestling in the garden of the Love of God!

Your detailed letter was received. Your services at this spot are recognized and appreciated, particularly (your services) in Tokyo. Praise be to God that in that region ye have been assisted in diffusing the musk-scented perfume, and this in future is pregnant with remarkable results. These few seeds of corn that ye have sown in that soil shall lead to luxuriant crops, this limited number of souls will be converted into great cohorts, nay, rather into an imposing spiritual army, and that seed, under the Divine Direction, shall yield abundant and heavy clusters.

Praise ye God that ye have been assisted with such Divine Bounty. Ye have sown some seeds and now watering is needed. If souls should undertake a voyage from America or Honolulu to the land of Japan, the teachings of God shall thereby be swiftly propagated and important consequences shall result. You two have fulfilled your roles and have striven within the limits of your capacity. At present ye must rest for a time; the turn of others has arrived, that they may similarly travel to Japan, may water the seeds that have been sown and may serve and take care of the tender shrubs. The days of life are swiftly going by, and eventually man will be confined into subterranean regions and his name shall perish, except those souls who become Divine gardeners and who sow seeds in the soil of hearts. Those shall eternally remain shining and glittering like unto stars from the horizon of Truth.

(1919)  20

3 Mr. Kanichi Yamamoto 1879-1961

Mr. Kanichi[1] Yamamoto has the distinction of being the first Japanese believer. He immigrated from Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, to Hawaii, where he worked in the home of the family of a believer. Also living there was one of the early Bahá'ís of Hawaii, Miss Elizabeth Muther.
[1 In the early days sometimes spelled Kwanichi.]

Miss Muther wrote to a friend on September 8, 1902, "After I became a believer I felt that sometime I might tell (Mr. Yamamoto). I prayed that his heart might be prepared to receive the truth. Although it was a little difficult to give him the Message because of his imperfect knowledge of English, yet God helped me so that he understands perfectly and is rejoicing in the Knowledge of His Truth. I have just  21  had a little talk with him and he told me how happy he was and that he expects to write his letter to the Master this evening."
[Photograph with the following caption:] Mr. Kanichi Yamamoto, the first Japanese Bahá'í with four of his sons. The three oldest boys were given Persian names by Abdu'-Baha. Taken in Berkeley, California in 1920.

Mr. Yamamoto rewrote his letter four times before he was satisfied. "He felt that he could not write in English, so I told him that I thought it would be all right for him to write in Japanese. I was sure the Master would understand the spirit of his letter. Mr. Yamamoto said that although his letter was written in Japanese, the Master fully answered him."

Mr. Yamamoto wrote other letters to 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Japanese. At the time no one in the Holy Land could read Japanese. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's secretary recorded that He said, "I will turn to Bahá'u'lláh, and He will tell me what to say." He always answered Mr. Yamamoto's questions.

Mr. Yamamoto later lived in the Berkeley-Oakland area of California. When 'Abdu'l-Bahá visited Oakland in 1912, Mr. Yamamoto had the privilege of arranging a meeting for him at the Japanese Independent Church. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's talk is quoted in Ch. 6.

Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to Mr. Kanichi Yamamoto

O thou who art attracted by the Word of God to the Kingdom of God!

Turn with the whole of thy being to God, forget aught else save God, and supplicate God to make thee a sign of guidance in the midst of people who are veiled from God; perchance they may be guided to the Orb of all horizons, enter the kingdom of harmony, drink of the cup of the love of God, rejoice at the manifestation of the Kingdom of God, taste the delight of the mention of God, and shelter themselves in the shadow of the Tree of Life in the midst of the Paradise of God.

This beseemeth the believers; this is the qualification of the sincere; this is the path of the knowers; and this is the utmost aim of the faithful.

Exert thy utmost power that thou mayest share this great bounty.


O thou who hast addressed 'Abdu'l-Bahá!

Verily, I pray my Lord to teach thee a language and writing of the Kingdom which will satisfy thee, so as to dispense with all things; for that spiritual writing and instructive tongue are eloquent, clear,  22  laudable, legible, read by the tongue and preserved in the heart. Blessed is he who knows it in the world of man!

Know, verily, that the Ocean is waving, the Sun shining, the Stars dawning. (Understand what I say!)

The tree will grow, the earth will send forth hyacinths[1] and give blessings, and man will become of the heavenly angels. Feed on the light of guidance and impart light to the people. The bird will warble melodies unknown save by the birds of heaven; then tear asunder the veil and see the realities of things with the eye of God. Verily, thy Lord guideth whomsoever He willeth unto the Straight Path!
[1 Hyacinth -- the flower of knowledge. ]

The Promised Spot will be made a racecourse for the steeds of the race of Knowledge and the lights of the Merciful will shine upon it. The dispersed ones will return to the Center of Gathering and the birds will return from the meadows of the world unto the Nest of Harmony. This is a preordained matter.

As to thee: Thou hast borne every difficulty and hardship and soon will be rewarded by God with a good reward. He will destine to thee all that is good, and choose for thee the manifestation of His mercy among the servants; that they may thus see that the Sons of the Kingdom have gone out[1], while there hath come a soul from the remotest horizon who hath entered the Kingdom of God.
[1 Comparing those near at hand who disobeyed the command of Bahá'u'lláh with the recipient of this Tablet, a Japanese]

(January 1903)

O thou youth of God!

Thank God that thou hast found thy way to the Radiant Kingdom, torn asunder the veil of superstition and learned the reality of the mysteries.

All the people have formed a god in the world of thought, and that form of their own imagination they worship; when the fact is that the imagined form is finite and the human mind is infinite[1]. Surely the infinite is greater than the finite, for imagination is accidental (or non-essential) while the mind is essential; surely the essential is greater than the accidental.
[1 Infinite in regard to imagination, for without the mind there would be no imagination.]

Therefore consider: All the sects and peoples worship their own thought; they create a god in their own minds and acknowledge him to be the creator of all things, when that form is a superstition -- thus people adore and worship imagination (or illusion). 23

The Essence of the Divine Entity and the Unseen of the unseen is holy above imagination and is beyond thought. Consciousness doth not reach It. Within the capacity of comprehension of a produced (or created) reality that Ancient Reality cannot be contained. It is a different world; from it there is no information; arrival thereat is impossible; attainment thereto is prohibited and inaccessible. This much is known: It exists and Its existence is certain and proven -- but the condition is unknown.

All the philosophers and the doctors know that It is, but they were perplexed in the comprehension of Its existence and were at last discouraged, and in great despair they left this world. For the comprehension of the condition and mysteries of that Reality of realities and Mystery of mysteries there is need for another power and another sense. That power and sense is not possessed by mankind, therefore they have not found any information. For example: If a man possess the power of hearing, the power of tasting, the power of smelling and the power of feeling but no power of seeing, he cannot see. Hence, through the powers and senses present in man the realization of the Unseen Reality, which is pure and holy above the reach of doubts, is impossible. Other powers are needed and other senses required. If those powers and senses are obtained, then information can be had; otherwise, not.

As to the question of marriage, according to the law of God; First you must select one, and then it depends upon the consent of the father and mother. Before your selection they have no right of interference.

Endeavor as much as thou canst to acquire the English language with the utmost eloquence and excellence, so that thou mayest be enabled to translate the Tablets into the Japanese tongue. This is my advice. Certainly exert thy utmost endeavor to attain this bounty.

O thou who art the single one of Japan and the unique one of the extreme Orient!

That country hath been deprived of the divine breath until this time; now, God be praised! thou art initiated in the mysteries and conscious of the secrets of the lights.

Thou hast been earthly, I hope that thou wilt become heavenly; thou hast been gloomy, I desire that thou wilt become luminous. Thou wert wandering in the wilderness, thou hast found a way to the abode of the Beloved One; thou wert a thirsty fish, thou hast attained to the endless Ocean; thou wert a roving bird, thou hast reached the divine  24  Rose Garden; thou wert spiritually sick and thou hast found real health!

Now is the time that thou shouldst entirely abandon the comfort, ease, enjoyment and the life of this transient world, and wholly arise to guide the people of Japan, illuminating faces, perfuming nostrils and conquering, through the heavenly hosts and divine reinforcements, the hearts of the people of that region.

Do not wonder at the favor and bounty of the Lord. By the favor of God, how often a drop hath become undulating like a sea, and an atom become shining like the sun!

The Sun of Truth hath enlightened the divine world and illumined the universe. The rays of His grace have shone upon the East and West, and His heat hath caused vegetation in all countries. So the lights and the heat of the Sun of Truth being help and assistance, what more dost thou need?

Thou must warble, like the nightingale of significances, in the rose garden so that thou mayest inspire all the birds of the meadow to chant and to sing.

(August 4, 1904)

To Miss Elizabeth Muther in Hawaii

I have written a reply to the letter of Kwanichi Yamamoto and have enclosed it with this letter. I ask God to make him a sign of guidance and to guide through him souls of his native land and of other people.

(January 25, 1903)

To Mrs. Helen S. Goodall

The Japanese youth, K. Yamamoto should act in accord with the Law of God -- namely -- he must first choose a companion (wife) for himself and then his father and mother must sanction. If their sanction and consent is not attained, that engagement is not completed.

He must acquire the English language well, so as to enable him to translate the Divine Tablets into the Japanese language.

(October 18, 1906)

To Mrs. J. D. Brittingham

Announce greetings on My behalf, to the two young Japanese (Yamamoto and Fujita) and say: His Imperial Majesty, Mikado, became the cause of the material progress of Japan. I hope that you may become the cause of her spiritual development. This is the principle of progress.  25

Unless man makes spiritual progress in the world of spirit, intellect and heart, he cannot gather universal results from material advancements. Now, you must gird up the loins of endeavor, and reflect duly, so that ye may quicken the people of Japan through the Spirit of God.

(Translated by A. Esphahani, Washington, October 6, 1907)

To Mrs. Ella Goodall Cooper

It is written in Miss Barney's book that the human fetus is not an animal fetus although it has gone through various and complex transformations and metamorphosis in the womb until it has taken to itself human form and appearance. Therefore that fetus was essentially human and the problem is solved when we realize that it has transformed from one form to another until it appears and manifests with the utmost beauty...