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Japan Will Turn Ablaze!

  • Author:
  • Various

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í Publishing Trust of Japan, 1992 revised edition
  • Pages:
  • 113
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Pages 82-86

[Letter of July 15, 1957]

He (the Guardian) has read with much interest the reports of the Convention recently held in Tokyo. 83
The formation of this new Regional Assembly, whose area of operation is so vast and situated in such an important part of the globe, has been a source of great joy to the Guardian. He was also very happy to see that your Assembly has represented on it members of the three great races of mankind, a living demonstration of the fundamental teaching of our Holy Faith, and one which cannot but attract the interest of the public. The fact that so many believers attended the first historic convention, from practically all the territories your Assembly represents, was also most encouraging, and augurs well for your future work.
The work, so faithfully carried on, by both the American and Persian pioneers, has borne its first fruit. The long and loyal service of dear Agnes Alexander, who so faithfully carried out the beloved Master’s wishes and served the spiritual interests of Japan for decades, has been richly crowned. 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 be laid at rest in a distant land, his very dust testifying to the greatness of the love and the nature of the ideals Bahá’u’lláh inspires in His servants 1 .
It has been a great source of joy to the Guardian to see the marked increase of native Bahá’ís throughout that area, particularly in Japan, Korea and Formosa. However devoted the pioneers may be to these distant countries of their adoption, their relation to them cannot but be a transient one, especially in view of the disturbed state of the world and gloomy clouds that hang over its political horizons. They may suddenly be forced to go home; therefore, the native Bahá’ís, in particular, must seize this opportunity and arise too, themselves, in their own countries, pioneer to new cities and towns, new islands and as yet unopened territories, so that they may, with the help of their Bahá’í brethren from overseas, lay a firm and enduring foundation, and commence the great task of building up the Administrative Order, which is itself the foundation of the future World Order.
Special attention must be given during this crucial year to consolidating the precious goals already won, to creating new Spiritual Assemblies, to increasing the groups and the isolated centers.
Your Assembly must be very careful not to overload the Bahá’ís with rules and regulations, circulars and directions. The purpose of the administration at this time is to blow on the fire newly kindled in the hearts of these people who have accepted the Faith, to create in 84 them the desire and capacity to teach, to facilitate the pioneer and teaching work, and help deepen the knowledge and understanding of the friends. The beloved Guardian issues this word of warning, as long experience has shown that it is a tendency on the part of all N.S.A.s to over-administer. In their enthusiasm they forget that they only have a handful of inexperienced souls to guide, and attempt to deal with their work as if they had a large population to regulate! This then stifles the spirit of the friends and the teaching work suffers.
He hopes that special attention will be given to the translation of more literature into the languages in use throughout that area and its publication. Likewise, Summer Schools should be multiplied as they enable the friends to gain in knowledge, and, through taking part in the course, increase their ability as Bahá’í teachers.
He was most happy to receive news of the spread of the Faith to some of the other islands in Japan, and hopes that this initial effort will be carefully followed up, and that the Message of Bahá’u’lláh will be carried to all the Japanese islands—and those in their neighbourhood—including Sakhalin, which is one of the few remaining virgin territories to be opened under the Ten-Year Plan.
The extraordinary progress made in the Far East and the Pacific area has been a constant source of pride and joy to the Guardian, and he feels confident that the door has opened on a new era in the advancement of our beloved Faith in these promising regions, and, indeed, all over the world. To the degree to which the friends consecrate themselves to the teaching work will directly depend the results they achieve during this year and coming years.
The beloved Guardian assures you all of his loving and continued prayers for the success of your work, for your strength, guidance and protection.
(signed by R. Rabbani)
(in the Guardian’s handwriting)
Dear and valued co-workers:
The formation of the Regional Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of North East Asia is to be acclaimed as an event of far-reaching historic significance, whose repercussions cannot be confined to the Pacific area, but are bound to affect the immediate fortunes of the entire Bahá’í world. The emergence of this epochal institution, however transitional its character, represents the culmination of a fifty-year old process that has had its inception in the days of the Centre of the Covenant, during the last decades of the Heroic Age of the 85 Bahá’í Dispensation. The rise and expansion of the Administrative Order of the Faith in the northern regions of the vast Pacific Ocean fills a great gap, and constitutes a notable parallel to the rise of similar institutions in the Antipodes, establishing thereby a spiritual equilibrium destined to affect, to a marked degree, the destinies of the Faith throughout the islands of the Pacific Ocean, in the years immediately ahead. It should be hailed, moreover, as a momentous development paving the way for the eventual introduction of the Faith into the far-flung Chinese mainland and, beyond it, to the extensive territories of Soviet Russia.
A milestone of such tremendous significance in the progress of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, in so strategic and important an area of the globe, should be acclaimed by the members of your assembly, as well as by the rank and file of the believers throughout that area, as a demonstration of the creative energies released by its Author and the Centre of His Covenant, in territories and amidst peoples and races destined to play a role of immense significance in the future development of the human race.
This God-given opportunity, now presenting itself to the prosecutors of the Bahá’í world Spiritual Crusade, at so critical a stage in the history of the peoples and nations established in those far-off islands and territories, should be seized with eagerness and enthusiasm, and exploited to the full in the years lying immediately ahead.
The Six-Year Plan, designed to lend a tremendous impetus to the awakening of the peoples and races in those regions, should be prosecuted with the utmost diligence, unrelaxing vigilance and whole-hearted consecration. All must participate, young and old alike, both men and women, however limited their circumstances or circumscribed their resources.
An effort, unprecedented in its scope and intensity, must be exerted to attain, speedily and completely the specific objectives of this Plan. The number of the avowed supporters of the Faith must rapidly increase. The isolated centers, groups and local assemblies, constituting the bedrock of a rising Administrative Order, must steadily and continually multiply. All firmly grounded local spiritual assemblies must be speedily incorporated, in order to reinforce the foundations of the institution of this divinely conceived Order. The Bahá’í marriage certificate, as well as the Bahá’í Holy Days must, at the earliest possible opportunity, receive recognition from the civil authorities concerned. The work now being initiated in the Northern and smaller islands of Japan, with such zeal and devotion should be 86 constantly reinforced and its scope continually widened. The literature of the Faith must be translated into as many languages as possible, published and widely disseminated. The holding of the summer-schools is yet another objective that should receive the earnest and immediate attention of the members of your assembly. The purchase of Bahá’í burial-grounds, should, moreover, be, in due course considered and effectively carried out. The newly-opened territories, that have been so painstakingly brought within the pale of the Faith, must at whatever cost, be safeguarded, and the enterprises initiated within their confines carefully expanded and consolidated. The acquisition of a plot, in the outskirts of Tokyo, to serve as the site of the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of North East Asia, must, likewise, be seriously considered and brought to a successful conclusion.
The task challenging the spirit and resources of your assembly, as well as those whom you represent, is admittedly arduous, pressing and sacred. The field in which you operate is exceptionally vast, and the barriers standing in your way are varied and formidable. Nothing short of complete dedication to the objectives of the Six-Year Plan you are called upon to fulfill, and of the utmost self-sacrifice on your part, as well as on the part of those who are to participate in its prosecution, can ensure the success to which I confidently look forward, to which your sister, as well as parent, communities throughout the Bahá’í world, are likewise, eagerly anticipating.
May those who are privileged, at this auspicious hour, to render so noble a service to the Cause of God, and fulfill so glorious a destiny, in the course of the evolution of so sacred and precious a Faith, arise to perform befittingly their task, and achieve such feats in the days to come as shall draw forth from the Source on high a still greater measure of divine blessings that will enable them to write a still more brilliant chapter in the annals of God’s infant Faith, and to contribute an outstanding share to the world-wide establishment and ultimate recognition of its newly-born administrative institutions.
(July 15, 1957)
1. Mr. Seto, the first Chinese-American Bahá’í, died while he was in Japan attending the first Convention. He is buried in the Yamate-machi Foreign Cemetery in Yokohama.   [ Back To Reference]