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41.       The Crossing

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      Miss Alexander kept these two photographs as souvenirs of her trip from Japan to her home in Hawaii in 1933. She can be seen among the multi-national passengers wearing a black "haori". It was on the Japanese ship the S.S. Taiyo Maru.


42.       A Tea Party

      On November 26, 1936, Miss Alexander was asked to speak at an Esperanto meeting at the Seikei School in Tokyo. She was most happy to respond to the invitation because it was the anniversary of her spiritual birthday, November 26, 1900, when

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      Seikei School tea party. The doll was presented to her in appreciation of the many favors she had done for the school.


she was guided to accept Bahá'u'lláh as the Manifestation for this day. She spoke in Esperanto of the significance of that day to her, and also spoke about the need for an international auxiliary language. Her talk was translated into Japanese.

      After the meeting the school gave a tea party in appreciation and presented her with a Japanese dancing doll in a glass case. When she left Japan the following spring to go to Haifa for her pilgrimage, she took the doll in its case packed in a box, and presented it to the Guardian and his bride.

43.       Mr. Fujita's Mother

      In December 1936 the Guardian cabled Miss Alexander to visit Mr. Saichiro Fujita's mother who was ill. Mr. Fujita was residing in the Holy Land and he had not seen his mother for two years. The Fujita family lived in Yamaguchi Prefecture which was an 18-hour trip from Tokyo. By the time Miss Alexander arrived there the mother had recovered. It was a great joy for Miss Alexander to be with the family and they all posed for a photograph to send to Mr. Fujita.

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Miss Alexander with Mr. Fujita's mother and his nieces and nephews. Hideo Fujita is at the far left.


      Many years later, in 1980, Hideo Fujita's photograph was taken with his wife in front of the original Fujita family's rice shop.

44.       A Japanese Scroll Hangs in the Holy Land

The Japanese scroll hanging in the House of Abbud.


      The tokonoma is a small recessed area in the main room of a traditional Japanese home. It is the place of honor. In her tokonoma Miss Alexander had the "Greatest Name" hanging. It had been mounted Japanese style on a scroll. In 1936 a thief entered her home and stole the scroll, along with some other things.

      To take the place of the stolen scroll, she bought a typical Japanese scroll. When she left Japan to make her pilgrimage in 1937 she took it with her to give to Shoghi Effendi.

      When he accepted it she was deeply touched, considering it an honor for Japan.

      This scroll of three storks in flight over the ocean, with the rising sun casting a glow, can still be seen hanging on the wall of the House of Abbud in Akka where the Guardian placed it.

45.       In the Holy Land

      This photograph of Mr. Fujita, Miss Adelaide Sharp and Miss Alexander was taken by Mr. W. S. Maxwell in Haifa in 1937. Miss Alexander and Miss Sharp were there on pilgrimage. Miss Alexander had waited many years for the privilege of being received by the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith in the Holy Land.


46.       The Years Between and the Later Years

      Miss Alexander left Japan in 1937 to make her long-awaited pilgrimage, not to return for many years. At the Guardian's direction, after her pilgrimage, she visited Bahá'ís in various parts of Europe and then went to the United States. Conditions in the world were worsening and it soon became apparent that any further journeys to Japan would have to wait.

      Miss Martha Root was the last Bahá'í from abroad to visit Japan. This time, Miss Alexander had already gone, and the two good friends could not meet. However, Miss Root endeavored to meet every Bahá'í in Japan.

      The political situation in Japan continued to disfavor many of the religious groups and even the Bahá'ís were suspect. The country was taken over by the militarists, and devastating World War II broke out.

      The small Bahá'í community was rather scattered and, as the years went by, the few remaining Bahá'ís could not meet and the community became nonfunctional, not to come to life again until after the war.

      In 1937 when Miss Alexander was in the Holy Land on pilgrimage, Shoghi Effendi told her, "The immediate future in Japan is very dark. Japan is going to suffer. The time is not now for great headway. The Pacific will become a great storm center in the coming war, great suffering." Indeed, the Guardian' s words were soon to become truth.

      Japan emerged subdued and defeated. The rise of Japan as a first-world country and a powerful economic nation was a number of years off.

      In the late 1940s the first Bahá'ís from abroad came to Japan, Americans with the American Occupation Forces. Names we can recall from the days immediately after the war are Mr. Michael Jamir, Mrs. Lorraine Wright and Mr. Robert Imagire. They managed to find some of the scattered Bahá'ís. Mr. Jamir wrote of his successful trips to find Mr. Torii and Mr. Fujita. Mrs. Wright was the wife of an Army officer. One of the early Japanese Bahá'ís, Mr. Yoshio Tanaka, fondly saved pictures of the Wrights which he put in an album and eventually gave to the National Archives.


The Faith Spreads from Tokyo

      Not only is Tokyo the geographical center of Japan (and also the economic center), but it has always been the center of the development of the Faith in Japan. The American Bahá'ís who came to Japan in the late 1940s were all in the Tokyo area. It was natural that the Faith would start up again and flourish around Tokyo.

      Mr. Robert Imagire came to Japan in 1947 at the Guardian's encouragement. He found work with the U.S. Forces which enabled him to stay. He started regular meetings with the early Bahá'ís that he could find, and newly interested people. A new foundation was being laid.

      Miss Alexander, who was still in the United States, had asked Mr. Imagire to locate her Bahá'í books, which she had left in the care of her old friend, Dr. Masujima. The address Miss Alexander had given to Mr. Imagire was in an area in Tokyo that was completely bombed out. But he went anyway, and found only one building standing. Miss Alexander's books were in the basement of that building unharmed. There were two hundred copies of "Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era" in Japanese, which were desperately needed as there was nothing in Japanese to use to teach and deepen.

      In 1948 the first post-war local spiritual assembly was elected in Tokyo. When the Guardian was informed of it, a letter written on his behalf stated that it was "a historic and wonderful achievement." Apparently the same assembly was elected in 1949 and 1950. The members were: Mr. Toshio Hirohashi, Mr. Naoki Yoshino, Mr. Yoshiharu Kato, Mr. Shozo Kadota, Miss Fusae Ichige, Mr. Goro Horioka, Miss Shigeko Nakanishi, Mr. Kinya Saito and Mr. Imagire.

      Except for Mr. Imagire, who stayed eight years in Japan before returning to the United States, the other eight members were all new Bahá'ís and within a few years became disassociated with the Faith for various reasons, mostly because they moved and lost contact, or married, or their working condition changed. Still the foundation was solid and survived, with ever-increasing new adherents, new believers in the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh. The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Tokyo has continued


to flourish ever since.

      At that time, Mr. Imagire corresponded directly with the Guardian regarding the progress of the Faith in Japan. The Guardian told him not to be discouraged; he gave criteria for membership in the Faith; he suggested ways and means to deepen the Bahá'ís; he also gave guidance regarding what to translate, and other suggestions.

      Shoghi Effendi wrote to Miss Alexander encouraging her to return to Japan. She was able to do so in 1950 after being sponsored by Lt. J.C. Davenport (USAF), to obtain the difficult visa as Japan was still under the Allied Occupation. Miss Alexander stayed in the Tokyo area until 1952, when she moved to Kyoto.

      By 1951 four American pioneers were elected to the Tokyo Local Spiritual Assembly. The membership then was Miss Ichige, Mr. Kadota, Mr. Horioka, Miss Nakanishi and Mr. Yoshino. The Americans were Miss Alexander, Mr. Lane Skelton, Mrs. Barbara Davenport and Mr. Imagire.

      Sometime during 1952 the membership changed to Mr. Imagire, Lt. Col. John McHenry, Mr. Goro Horioka, Mr. Tameo Hongo, Miss Ichige, Mr. Skelton, Dr. and Mrs. David Earl, and Mr. Donald Witzel. The Japanese friends in their deep affection and appreciation for the American Bahá'ís tended to elect them to the local spiritual assembly.

      There are old records of 1952 and 53 which show the activity of Tokyo, Mr. John McHenry and Mrs. Joy Earl spoke at the YMCA on different occasions. There was publicity in the newspapers for various events. When Hand of the Cause Mr. Khadem came to Japan for the first time in 1953, the Tokyo Assembly arranged a public meeting for him.

      In 1952 there was an Asian World Federation Congress in Hiroshima with fourteen Asian countries represented. Miss Alexander attended and spoke on the Bahá'í Plan for World Order. It was there she met Mr. Yan Kee Leong.

      In 1952 there was only one local spiritual assembly in Japan, in Tokyo, six isolated believers, but no organized groups. The Bahá'í community totaled about 35 believers; of these, twelve were Americans, eight being attached to the U.S. Armed Forces; the rest were Japanese. There were no resident Persians yet, although that year Mr. Y.A. Rafaat had made a trip to Japan to look over the possibilities, but he returned to Iran, not to transfer to Japan permanently until the summer of 1953.


      In 1952-53 the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tokyo made three mimeographed issues of a magazine they called "Higashi No Hoshi" (Star of the East), but it was not continued. Miss Alexander chose the name, which was the same as the publication in the 1920s, but it was not otherwise connected.

      However, in September 1953, the Bahá'í Geppo (News) was started by the Tokyo Local Spiritual Assembly and it continued for many years.

      In 1952 the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tokyo reported that it had extension teaching goals: Yokohama (there is a record of the first meeting there at which Mrs. Joy Earl spoke with Mr. Imagire translating), Sendai, Osaka, Hiroshima and Kofu. When the Guardian received this report, an answer written on his behalf indicated he was happy that extension teaching was being done and he mentioned that Tokyo, as the mother assembly, had great responsibility.

      It was the same letter (October 30, 1952) that said that the Guardian was particularly glad to hear of the teaching being done in Hiroshima where the people had a special right to hear of Bahá'u'lláh's Message.

      That year the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tokyo ambitiously appointed eight committees and they all seem to have been working. One of the responsibilities of Tokyo was to accept enrollments from all over Japan.

      In 1953 the Translation Committee of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tokyo compiled and printed an English-Japanese glossary of Bahá'í terms. This made the translation work go smoother. The first introductory pamphlet written in Japanese, the "Bahá'í Shinkyo no Tebiki," was printed. Two years later Mr. Torii transcribed this into a Japanese Braille pamphlet.

      A major achievement in Tokyo was the revision of "Baháu'lláh and the New Era." The original translation had been printed in 1932 as a result of Miss Alexander's endeavors. It not only needed reprinting but parts needed retranslation. Mr. Tameo Hongo and Dr. David Earl worked on this important project.

      In 1953 the first permanent Persian pioneers arrived. The American Bahá' is, except for Miss Alexander, who by this time was living in Kyoto, were all of necessity in the Tokyo area. But when the Persians came in 1953 and 1954, with the exception of Mr. Rafaat, (Tokyo), and Mr. and Mrs. Mohtadi, (Nagoya), they went to the Kansai area around Osaka. The Faith


was expanding.

      In the Guardian's Message to the 45th Annual Convention of the Bahá'ís of the United States (1953), he listed many tasks to be accomplished during the Ten Year Plan (also known as the Ten Year Spiritual Crusade) 1953-1963. He wrote that this Plan was the third and final epoch of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Master (Teaching) Plan. The American Bahá'í community was given most of the responsibility to accomplish the goals. Japan was listed as a consolidation goal; a National Spiritual Assembly in Japan was to be established during those years; to be incorporated; an endowment was to be purchased somewhere in Japan, and a Haziratu'l-Quds was to be acquired in Tokyo.

      The American National Spiritual Assembly appointed the Asia Teaching Committee, whose secretary was Miss Charlotte Linfoot, to be the liaison between that assembly and the various Asian countries they were to help. Both the Asia Teaching Committee and the national assembly itself, whose secretary was Mr. Horace Holley, did everything they could to assist the Japanese community. There are dozens of letters in the Japan National Archives attesting to this. The Local Spiritual Assembly in Tokyo also corresponded directly with the Guardian.

47.       Naw-Rúz, 1948

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This photograph was labeled Naw-Rúz at the home of Mrs. Masako

Urushi. Thirteen people assembled for the Naw-Rúz celebration in Tokyo in 1948. It was the first Naw-Rúz party in Japan in many years. The program consisted of prayers and music. Mr. Imagire is standing at the left. Miss Alexander's old friend, Mr. Inouye, is sitting second from the left. Mrs. Urushi was a relative of Mr. Inouye by marriage.

      Mr. Imagire gathered the early Bahá'ís that he could find, and newly interested people and tried very hard to deepen them.

48.       At Kudan

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      This was one of the first photographs of Miss Alexander after she returned to Japan following World War II. It was taken May 23, 1950 and shows Mr. Robert Imagire, who came to Japan in 1947 at the Guardian's request, Mr. Saichiro Fujita and Miss Alexander. Miss Alexander sent this to the Guardian. She wrote on the back that it was taken at Kudan (which means nine steps), the area in Tokyo where the Faith was first established in Japan.


49.       In Tokyo

Early pioneers to Japan, Lt. and Mrs. J. C. Davenport, Tokyo, 1950.

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      Mrs. Davenport (seated) is entertained by children singing in English, in her honor, at a private school in Tokyo in 1950. She gave a talk on Bahá'í education to the teachers and parents.


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      These two photographs were taken at the house, which, a few months later would be purchased by the Local Spiritual Assembly of Tokyo, to become the second Haziratu'l-Quds in Japan. Most of the meetings in Tokyo had been held there since the fall of 1953.

      Tokyo always had interested people and good activities. Six people in the lower photo were to become members of the national spiritual assembly several years later.


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      Tokyo, 1953. This is a meeting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Witzel, seated in the rear. Mr. Witzel was then attached to the U.S. Army in Tokyo.

      Miss Kotoko Mochizuki, second from the left, worked for the Witzels, attended their meetings and became a Bahá'í. Now, over thirty years later, she still remembers how kind and loving they were. Two other friends of the Witzels, who are now long-time Bahá'ís, are Mr. Yuzo Yamaguchi (with glasses), and Mrs. Hisae Matsuo, woman on the right side.

      The Witzels left Japan that fall. In 1968. Mr. Witzel was appointed by the Universal House of Justice to the Continental Board of Counsellors in South America.


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The Mottahedehs Visit Japan
      This is a meeting in Tokyo, 1954. Mrs. Mildred Mottahedeh (left) and her husband Mr. Rafi Mottahedeh (third from the right) visited Japan occasionally through the years, the first time in 1953. In 1961 dynamic Mrs. Mottahedeh was elected as a member of the International Council, the institution which was the predecessor to the Universal House of Justice.


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      1954. The Tokyo community has a picnic. Mr. Rafaat can be seen far right. Leaning against the tree on the right is Miss Kotoko Mochizuki (Honma.)

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      1955. The Tokyo Bahá'í community has a pot-luck dinner at the Bahá'í Center. From left to right, Mr. Yuzo Yamaguchi, Miss Lecile Webster, Mr. Tameo Hongo, Mrs. Sims and Mrs. Virginia Hamilton.


50.       Two Bahá'ís

      Two small men, with mighty spirits. Mr. Philip Marangella, who had arrived in Japan to pioneer in 1953, and Mr. Saichiro Fujita. This was taken in Hiroshima, December 21, 1954, where the two had gone for teaching.

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