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 McNutt1, “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!”
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. ”