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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 20-21

3: Mr. Kanichi Yamamoto

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.
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’l-Bahá. 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

[Tablet of 1902]

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.
1. In the early days sometimes spelled Kwanichi.   [ Back To Reference]