NPO Chiune Sugihara. Visas For Life

Activities

Unveiling of Chiune Sugihara statue in Nagoya (March 26, 2021)

From left to right: Mr. Masami Yasujima, President of Kanto Zuiryo-kai, Mr. Takashi Kawamura, Mayor of Nagoya, Ms. Madoka Sugihara, President of Zuiryo-kai, Mr. Hirotoshi Sago, Vice President of Kanto Zuiryo-kai, Mr. Masanori Sato (honorifics omitted)

A ceremony was held on March 26 at Mizuhogaoka Junior High School (formerly Fifth Middle School) in Nagoya for the unveiling of a statue of Chiune Sugihara as a 16-year old youth. He is shown as a student wearing his school cap and holding an English textbook in his left hand. The image has an impressively dignified and strong expression. The sculptor, Shinsuke Yamamoto, explains that the figure’s open right hand symbolizes the power to open the way to the future. It also represents the hand that signed the visas that saved the lives of thousands of Jewish refugees.

Lithuanian Ambassador to Japan Gediminas Varvuolis, speaking at the event, described the statue as an important image connecting Chiune’s legacy to the future. He expressed hope that we could carry on his achievements with the same courage and determination.

NPO Vice Chair Madoka Sugihara also attended the ceremony and gave a congralutory address.


Commemoration of monument to Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara in Numazu (November 1, 2020)

Commemoration of monument to Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara
Commemoration of monument to Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara


A monument to Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara was unveiled in a ceremony in Minatoguchi Park in Numazu City (Shizuoka Prefecture) on November 1, presided over by Priest Sohaku Matsushita of Chokoji Temple. The monument, erected on the 120th anniversary of Chiune’s birth and 80th anniversary of the issuance of the life-saving visas, is the first in the world to be dedicated to Yukiko alongside her husband. Numazu is Yukiko’s birthplace.
The ceremony was attended by Numazu Mayor Shuichi Yorishige, Diet Representative Shu Watanabe, the Lithuanian Ambassador, the Israeli Embassy Press Attaché, Michi and Madoka Sugihara (representing the NPO), two other members of the Sugihara family and many others.

Details can be found in https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201102/p2a/00m/0na/030000c

Commemoration of monument to Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara


Special exhibition ends(30 August 2020)

Special exhibition ends(30 August 2019)


The Chiune Sugihara Sempo Museum’s special exhibition, “Another Visas-for-Life Diplomat: Polish Ambassador Tadeusz Romer – Polish Ambassador to Japan Tadeusz Romer and Jewish War Refugees in the Far East”, finished a successful run on August 30 (Sunday).

The exhibition examined the fascinating life of Ambassador Romer, a person whose virtuous actions are all too little known in Japan. We extend our great appreciation to the curator, Dr. Olga Barbasiewicz, and the Polish Cultural Institute in Tokyo for their kind support. We also thank those many visitors who braved the searing heat to attend this event.  

Our permanent exhibit continues as before. We look forward to seeing you.


Nagoya Celebrates 80th Anniversary of "Visas for Life"
Chiune Sugihara Gallery – traveling exhibition (31 August 2020)

Nagoya City will be celebrating the 80th anniversary of Chiune Sugihara’s issuance of life-saving visas with a traveling exhibition of the "Chiune Sugihara Gallery", a series of panels honoring the diplomat’s legacy and his history with Nagoya.

The exhibit will include materials being made public for the first time. We hope you can take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Sugihara story.

Chiune Sugihara Gallery
Featuring panels honoring Sugihara’s legacy and his history with Nagoya, and a guide to cities related to Sugihara.

Exhibition period
August 31 (Monday) to September 13 (Sunday)

City guides
September 5 (Sat) Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture
September 12 (Sat) Yaotsu Town, Gifu Prefecture

Location
Nagoya Station Sunflower Board (Nagoya Subway Station, south ticket gates)


Special exhibition opens (31 July 2020)

The museum reopened on July 31 with a special exhibition, “Another Visas-for-Life Diplomat: Polish Ambassador Tadeusz Romer”.
The museum reopened on July 31 with a special exhibition, “Another Visas-for-Life Diplomat: Polish Ambassador Tadeusz Romer”.

The museum reopened on July 31 with a special exhibition, “Another Visas-for-Life Diplomat: Polish Ambassador Tadeusz Romer”.

Ambassador Romer was instrumental in helping Polish Jews who had escaped to Japan with the Sugihara visas to gain the necessary documents, funds and visas allowing them to reach safely their final destinations. His extraordinary efforts on behalf of his countrymen are celebrated in panels, photos and video.

The museum is celebrating the 120th anniversary of Chiune Sugihara’s birth and the 80th anniversary of his issuance of the life-saving visas. We have introduced guidelines for visitors to ensure your safety and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We ask your cooperation.

We look forward to seeing you on this special occasion.


Special exhibition:

Another Visas-for-Life Diplomat: Polish Ambassador Tadeusz Romer
Polish Ambassador to Japan Tadeusz Romer and Jewish War Refugees in the Far East

Date: July 31 (Fri) to August 30 (Sun)
Time: 11:00am to 5:00pm
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Entry: Adults: ¥800
High school and below: free

https://instytutpolski.pl/tokyo/
https://instytutpolski.pl/tokyo/tadeusz-romer-wystawajp/
https://www.facebook.com/InstytutPolskiTokio
https://www.sankei.com/smp/life/news/200731/lif2007310082-s1.html

Mr. Pawel Milewski, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland Mr. Gediminas Varvuolis, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania Mr. Israel Strulov, Charges d'Affaires ad interim of Israel Mr. Minoru Kihara, Assistant to the Prime Minister
Mr. Pawel Milewski, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland Mr. Gediminas Varvuolis, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania Mr. Israel Strulov, Charges d'Affaires ad interim of Israel Mr. Minoru Kihara, Assistant to the Prime Minister
「『命のビザ』~もう一人の外交官タデウシュ・ロメル~」展      


Visit from son of survivor (24 October 2019)

We were happily surprised to receive a visit from a survivor’s sons who were in town recently for the Rugby World Cup. The two, who were here from Australia with their respective families, toured the museum before a game in Yokohama.
Eight members of their family were saved from three visas. Their great-grandfather Mojzesz Mouszouski heard at a synagogue in Poland that the Japanese consul in Kaunas, Lithuania was issuing visas. He immediately gathered his family and traveled the next day to Lithuania.
All other family members remaining in Poland were lost.
Raffy Mowszowski and Eli Raskin kindly allowed us to interview them about their family history.

Eri Raskin with Raffy Mouszowsky
Eri Raskin Elisheva&Akiba Zahtz


“The Courage to Remember: The Bravery of Anne Frank and Chiune Sugihara” exhibition (19 September 2019)

A Holocaust-related exhibition entitled “The Courage to Remember: The Bravery of Anne Frank and Chiune Sugihara” opened in the Yokohama Sanbo Hall on September 19. Michi and Madoka Sugihara attended as representatives of the NPO Chiune Sugihara Visas for Life.
Participants in the ceremony included Kanagawa Prefectural Governor Yuji Kuroiwa, Hiratsuka City Mayor Katsuhiro Ochiai and members of educational committees.
The show, featuring Holocaust-related materials with a focus on Anne Frank and Chiune Sugihara, enjoyed robust attendance. The photos are from the opening day.

>>https://www.agara.co.jp/article/22043

The Courage to Remember: The Bravery of Anne Frank and Chiune Sugihara” exhibition The Courage to Remember: The Bravery of Anne Frank and Chiune Sugihara” exhibition


Visits from survivor families (August 2019)

The museum welcomed three groups of families of Sugihara survivors on separate occasions in August: Elisheva and Akiba Zahta, the great-grandchildren of survivors; survivor Chaya Small and her granddaughter; and Vivian Zalcow, the granddaughter of a survivor.
As they toured the facility, examining the exhibits with keen interest, they related to us the harrowing stories of how their families escaped from Lithuania and reached freedom.
The accompanying photos were taken at the museum. We always enjoy hearing from those with their own tales of Chiune Sugihara and his bold actions. If you are from a surviving family, please contact us prior to your visit so that we can greet you personally.

Chaya Small&Sugihara Family Elisheva&Akiba Zahtz Vivian Zalkow
Chaya Small&Sugihara Family Elisheva&Akiba Zahtz Vivian Zalkow


Speech: Chiune Sugihara’s Decision and Beliefs(25 August 2019)

Speech: Chiune Sugihara’s Decision and Beliefs


Madoka Sugihara gave a speech at Kanagawa Plaza for Global Citizenship ("Earth Plaza") in Yokohama on August 25 (Sunday). The sold-out event was in great demand, and numerous people hoping for cancellations unfortunately had to be turned away.
Many in the audience said they felt they were hearing Chiune’s own voice through the words of his granddaughter. Comments later suggested that the section about Chiune’s beliefs in particular struck a chord.

>>http://www.earthplaza.jp/event/talk20190825/


Museum highlighted in major dailies (August 2019)


The museum has been featured prominently in articles in several major newspapers over the past two weeks.

Tokyo Shimbun (August 21) introduced our ongoing special exhibition “Beyond Duty,” celebrating nine wartime diplomats (including Chiune Sugihara) who have been declared Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for rescuing Jewish refugees from the Holocaust. After describing the exhibition in some detail, the article goes on to discuss the recent visit by American visitor Chaya Small, who was able to escape Lithuania as a small girl thanks to a visa issued by Sugihara. It notes that the museum, normally closed on Mondays, was opened specially for her, with the Sugihara family there to greet her personally. She is quoted as saying how moved she was to meet the family and how deeply grateful she remains even now for Chiune’s humanitarian deeds. She also recalled the happy time she spent in Kobe those many years ago.

Yomiuri Shimbun (August 28), the nation’s largest daily, interviewed two great-grandchildren of a Sugihara survivor visiting from Los Angeles. The museum had been surprised when siblings Elisheva and Akiba Zahtz showed up several days earlier looking for their great-grandfather’s name on the museum’s Wall of Survivors, and Yomiuri wanted to meet them and ask their story. They told of how they learned of their relative’s harrowing experience only after he died in 2000 from a recording he left behind. They keep a picture of his visa on their phones. Discovering the museum online, they made it a point to stop by and pay their respects during their trip to Japan and were delighted to meet the family of the man responsible, as they say, for their very existence. They offered to share the recording with the museum, a particularly valuable item for us as few such materials exist from direct survivors. The siblings probably never imagined that they would become media stars in Tokyo. The photo shows them holding a copy of the visa alongside the Sugihara family.

Articles about the museum could also be found in Gifu Shimbun (August 14) and Mainichi Shimbun (August 22) We have enjoyed a spike in visitors since the opening of the special exhibition and the related media exposure. We are grateful to all of these outlets for their coverage.


Gifu Shimbun (August 14) Tokyo Shimbun (August 21) Mainichi Shimbun (August 22) Yomiuri Shimbun (August 28)
Gifu Tokyo Mainichi Yomiuri

Opening of special exhibition "Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations" (2019.7.31)

Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations

Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations


The Chiune Sugihara Sempo Museum held an opening ceremony on July 31 for its special exhibition "Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations". The exhibition, held jointly with the Israeli Embassy, honors nine wartime diplomats whose courageous actions rescued thousands of refugees from annihilation in the Holocaust. It has traveled to 20 nations in 70 languages. Tokyo will be its last stop in Japan.

Israeli Ambassador Yaffa Ben-Ari, herself the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, gave a moving speech, including special words for Sugihara. "Chiune Sugihara ignored the risk to himself and his family to help Jewish refugees who had fled Poland," she noted. "He had no reason to reach out to these people, who were total strangers to him. But he ultimately decided to follow not the orders of his government but the dictates of his heart, saving a great many lives."

The ceremony was covered by NHK, Bloomberg and other domestic and foreign media.

We express our great appreciation to the Israeli Embassy for allowing us to co-host this important event. We also wish to extend special thanks to Ambassador Martin Tomčo of the Czech Republic for attending the ceremony as well as representatives of the German Embassy, Swedish Embassy and Polish Cultural Institute in Tokyo.

"Beyond Duty" will run through September 1 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). Details can be found at http://en.sempomuseum.com/

We look forward to seeing you.


Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nationss Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations

Special Exhibition: “Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations”


The Chiune Sugihara Sempo Museum and the Israeli Embassy in Tokyo are pleased to announce a special joint exhibition entitled “Beyond Duty,” honoring the 34 diplomats from around the world who have been designated as Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center for their heroism in rescuing Jews during World War II. The exhibition, which has traveled to 70 nations in twenty languages, celebrates the courageous deeds of these diplomats with a focus on nine select individuals, including Sugihara, who risked their lives and careers to save those in need amidst the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust.
The museum will supplement this with a special selection of previously unreleased items related to Chiune Sugihara in addition to the permanent collection.
We look forward to seeing you for this important exhibition.

“Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations”

July 31 (Wed) – September 1 (Sun)
11:00am – 5:00pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)
(The afternoon of July 31 is by invitation only.)
Chiune Sugihara Sempo Museum
2F Sagami Building, 2-7-9 Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
TEL 03-6265-1808

Sponsors; Israeli Embassy in Tokyo, Chiune Sugihara Sempo Museum




Sugihara House Director Simonas visits Japan


Simonas Dovidavičius, director of the Sugihara House in Kaunas, Lithuania, recently paid us a visit. He had toured various Chiune-related sites in Tsuruga, Gifu and Nagoya, as well as paying his respects at Chiune’s gravesite in Kamakura, which he had long wished to see.
We accompanied Simonas to the cemetery. Other families happened to be at the gravesite as well, making this something of a memorial day.
Simonas later came to our museum in Tokyo, where he spent a considerable amount of time looking at the exhibits. He took particular interest in the personal photos taken in Lithuania. We were grateful for his keen observations and insights. We thank him again for stopping by and look forward to meeting him again.
Many thanks as well to Hisayuki Sakamizu, head of the Japan-Lithuania Friendship Association, and Lithuanian exchange student Arvydas Kumpis.




Visit by Kanto Zuiryo Society and Zuiryo HS Principal Shimada


The museum recently welcomed former pupils of Aichi Prefectural Zuiryo High School, Chiune’s alma mater, and current Zuiryo High School Principal Machiyo Shimada. The members of the group viewed the exhibits and video with great interest.
We thank Principal Shimada and the entire group for taking the time to come from Nagoya to visit our museum.




Holocaust Memorial Day (29 January 2019)
United Nations in Thailand
Speech by Chihiro Sugihara

Chihiro Sugihara, chairman of NPO Chiune Sugihara Visas for Life gave a speech before the United Nations in Thailand on 29 January in commemoration of UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Speeches were also presented by the Israeli Ambassador Meir Shlomo, German Ambassador Georg Schmidt and Thai Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, along with a video message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Closing remarks were delivered by Danish Ambassador Uffe Wolffhechel.

Sugihara spoke of his grandfather’s actions as well as the lives of the people in Lithuania then and now. He emphasized that we must learn from history and work together always for peace.


United Nations in Thailand Speech by Chihiro Sugihara United Nations in Thailand Speech by Chihiro Sugihara United Nations in Thailand Speech by Chihiro Sugihara


 



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