NVC Newsletter

Conspiracy of Kindness: You’ve Given Me Life

February 2017, Volume 67, Issue 2

2:00 p.m. Sunday, 9 April 2017

Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church, Seattle


On Sunday, 9 April 2017, the legacy of Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara, “Conspiracy of Kindness: You’ve Given Me Life,” will be presented at 2:00 p.m. at the Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church, in Seattle, Washington. This is the second of three events in the series “The Holocaust and Japanese American Connections.”

In 1940, Chiune Sugihara, aka the Japanese Schindler, was the Consul General for Japan in Lithuania. Thousands of Jews fleeing Nazi annihilation in Poland came to the Japanese Embassy seeking visas to help them escape.   Defying orders of the Imperial Japanese military government, and risking his life and career, Sugihara wrote over 2,000 transit visas, saving more than 6,000 lives during the Holocaust. In 1985, Sugihara was awarded “Righteous Among the Nations”, an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis. Mr. Sugihara was the first Asian recognized by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem.

International storyteller, Alton Takiyama-Chung will give a presentation depicting the story of Chiune Suigihara’s heroic effort.  Mr. Chung’s dramatic monologues have been described as riveting, poignant, nostalgic, and gripping.  A post-performance panel will feature Alton Takiyama-Chung, Lori Tsugawa Whaley, Ken Mochizuki, and Dee Simon discussing the life and career of Chiune Sugihara.  A reception will follow the presentation and panel discussion.

 “Conspiracy of Kindness: You’ve Given Me Life,” is the second in a series of three events planned by a coalition of the Holocaust Center for Humanity, the Nisei Veterans Committee, the Consulate General of Japan, and the Department of American Ethnic Studies of the University of Washington.  Co-sponsoring this event is the Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church. The third program “Japanese American Soldiers and the Liberation of Dachau” will be held on 30 April, at the Nisei Veterans Committee Memorial Hall in Seattle. Both events are free and open to the public.