This week's arts and culture column begins like this:
L.A. has Universal Studios, Hollywood Boulevard, the Venice Beach Boardwalk.
On a busy corner of downtown’s Central Avenue, we also have a sculpture of a modest man whose achievement, in its way, was perhaps greater than those represented by all those other monuments combined.
Chiune (Sempo) Sugihara (1900-1986) was known as the Japanese Schindler. By most accounts, he helped 6,000 or more Jews to escape the Holocaust.
In this day when the title “activist” is often claimed by those sitting in air-conditioned offices firing off Facebook rants, it’s instructive to consider the risks undertaken by a real activist.
Sugihara was born to a middle-class family in Kozuchi Town, Mugi District, now known as Mino City in Gifu Prefecture. As a young diplomat in Manchuria, he married for the first time and converted to Christianity in the Russian Orthodox Church. He divorced his wife in 1935. That same year, he quit his post in protest over the Japanese maltreatment of the native Chinese.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.
|SUGIHARA SIGNING VISAS.|
HELP ME TO BE MORE LIKE HIM.