Chiune Sugihara — “Righteous Among the Nations” — title given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/chiune-sugihara-japanese–jews-holocaust_n_2528666.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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Chiune Sugihara

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=chiune+sugihara+images&qpvt=chiune+sugihara+images&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=786A0E50FC4A496B7DE846DA39987417E92D00CB&selectedIndex=28

Meanwhile, Sugihara was transferred to Prague, where he worked in 1941 and 1942, and then to Bucharest, where he worked from 1942 to 1944. When the Soviets invaded Romania, he and his family were taken to a prison camp for 18 months. They returned to Japan in 1946, and a year later, the foreign office told him to resign. Years later, his wife, Yukiko Sugihara, who died in 2008, speculated the forced resignation was because of the unauthorized visas.

Chiune Sugihara, who took a series of menial jobs after returning to Japan, at one point selling light bulbs door to door, and later was employed by a trading company in Russia, worked in obscurity and never spoke of the visas. He never knew if anything came of them and survivors had no luck finding him. But in 1968, a survivor who had become an Israeli diplomat, Joshua Nishri, finally made contact. In 1985, a year before his death in Tokyo, Israel named Sugihara “Righteous Among the Nations,” a title given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

“There are so many people living today because he took the time and made the effort. It was not easy and it was not a matter of sitting down and saying, ‘Here, I’ll write you this,'” said Anne Akabori, an author who translated “Visas for Life,” Yukiko Sugihara’s memoir, and wrote “The Gift of Life,” an account of Chiune Sugihara’s life.

“And it’s been so important for the Japanese people to know there was a person who did whatever he could to lessen the Japanese involvement in the war. He was always for peace,” said Akabori, who was friends with the Sugiharas’ son, Hiroki Sugihara, who died in 2001, and chairs the Visas for Life Foundation. The organization’s mission is to “perpetuate the legacy” of Chiune Sugihara and connect “Sugihara survivors” and their descendents.

The group has documented 2,139 Sugihara visas (many were for entire families). It’s unknown exactly how many people can trace their ancestry to a Sugihara survivor, though Akabori’s organization estimated it to be more than 100,000. More conservatively, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has estimated that 40,000 people are alive today because of the Sugiharas.

Salomon’s son, Mark Salomon, a 23-year-old law student at New York University, said knowing that his family would not have existed without Sugihara has ingrained a lifelong lesson in him about the “power of an individual.”

“Most people have this idea that you can’t really help the whole world, so what’s the point?” said Mark Salomon. But Sugihara showed that “whatever you are doing with yourself, you are having a much broader impact. Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees, but it’s important in every aspect of your life to remember you are having an effect and to make it a positive effect.”

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http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/sugihara.html

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Sugihara, the Man

Sugihara’s personal history and temperament may contain the key to why he defied his government’s orders and issued the visas. Sugihara favored his mother’s personality. He thought of himself as kind and nurturing and artistic. He was interested in foreign ideas, religion, philosophy and language. He wanted to travel the world and see everything there was, and experience the world. He had a strong sense of the value of all human life. His language skills show that he was always interested in learning more about other peoples.

Sugihara was a humble and understated man. He was self-sacrificing, self-effacing and had a very good sense of humor. Yukiko, his wife, said he found it very difficult to discipline the children when they misbehaved. He never lost his temper.

Sugihara was also raised in the strict Japanese code of ethics of a turn-of-the-century samurai family. The cardinal virtues of this society were oya koko (love of the family), kodomo no tamene (for the sake of the children), having giri and on (duty and responsibility, or obligation to repay a debt), gaman (withholding of emotions on the surface), gambate (internal strength and resourcefulness), and haji no kakete (don’t bring shame on the family). These virtues were strongly inculcated by Chiune’s middle-class rural samurai family.

It took enormous courage for Sugihara to defy the order of his father to become a doctor, and instead follow his own academic path. It took courage to leave Japan and study overseas. It took a very modern liberal Japanese man to marry a Caucasian woman (his first wife; Yukiko was his second wife) and convert to Christianity. It took even more courage to openly oppose the Japanese military policies of expansion in the 1930s.

Thus Sempo Sugihara was no ordinary Japanese man and may have been no ordinary man.

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At the time that he and his wife Yukiko thought of the plight of the Jewish refugees, he was haunted by the words of an old samurai maxim: “Even a hunter cannot kill a bird which flies to him for refuge.”  [Nippon ninjo, to do what is right, not to do your duty/giri as required by outside decree such as the government][see samurai contradiction below]

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiune_Sugihara#Later_life

from Chiune Sugihara:

You want to know about my motivation, don’t you? Well. It is the kind of sentiments anyone would have when he actually sees refugees face to face, begging with tears in their eyes. He just cannot help but sympathize with them. Among the refugees were the elderly and women. They were so desperate that they went so far as to kiss my shoes, Yes, I actually witnessed such scenes with my own eyes. Also, I felt at that time, that the Japanese government did not have any uniform opinion in Tokyo. Some Japanese military leaders were just scared because of the pressure from the Nazis; while other officials in the Home Ministry were simply ambivalent.

People in Tokyo were not united. I felt it silly to deal with them. So, I made up my mind not to wait for their reply. I knew that somebody would surely complain about me in the future. But, I myself thought this would be the right thing to do. There is nothing wrong in saving many people’s lives….The spirit of humanity, philanthropy…neighborly friendship…with this spirit, I ventured to do what I did, confronting this most difficult situation—and because of this reason, I went ahead with redoubled courage.

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Our Issei [first generation] immigrants from Japan had their creed of giri [serve justly] ninjo [humanity].     Japan samurai were split by these incompatible notions.    Our Nisei [second generation] 100th Batt./442nd warriors such as my dad Toshi 1913-1998 had their creed of kuni no ta-may [serve our U.S.A. faithfully and courageously — all in — “go for broke, bruddah!”].

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samurai_cinema#Themes

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A recurring conflict the ideal samurai encounters is the ninjo and giri conflict. Ninjo is the human feeling that tells you what is right and giri is the obligation of the samurai to his lord and clan. The conflict originated from overwhelming control of the Tokugawa bakufu government over the samurai’s behavior.

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Often samurai would question the morality of their actions and are torn between duty and conscience.

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This conflict transcends eras in samurai films and can create the perception of the protagonist as being the moral underdog or steadfast warrior. In The Last Samurai, Katsumoto is no longer of use to his emperor and sentenced to self-disembowelment. He goes against his duty to follow through with his sentence and flees to fight his final rebellion against the central government’s army. Ninjo and giri conflict is dynamic to the character of the samurai.

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yamato damashii [corazon/kokoro/heart!]

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I dedicate this to my daughter Staycie age 40, who inspires me to no end. When you sense a need of another person, choose redemption [redeem yourself in service/love to such person] over indifference [incl. apprehension/uncertainty of the other person’s reaction],  no matter the risk.  

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To paraphrase Emily Dickinson,  one’s mind is so near that it does not see distinctly.  

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But one’s heart sharpens vision with life.

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 So that it is better to risk the question, “Is my heart too much for you to bear,”  than to feign indifference, or even to feel grief such as in failing to forgive yourself over a lost opportunity to save/rescue a lost soul.   It is not about a save/rescue, but to share in blessings and love for one another.   A gift is to share, the sharing being the gift itself in all respects.

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Bushido/karate [kill oneself to save another] is Taoist a la bushido, not Confuciust  –

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taoism#Relations_with_other_religions_and_philosophies

Early Taoist texts reject the basic assumptions of Confucianism which relied on rituals and order, in favour of the examples of “wild” nature and individualism. Historical Taoists challenged conventional morality, while Confucians considered society debased and in need of strong ethical guidance.

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Remember old Chinese funerals half a century ago & before?   Rural Taoist tradition of decibel amplification/loud sounds spook away bad spirits, whereas urban Confucian tradition is quiet/settled.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/sublime/

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The legacy of Chiune Sugihara   –

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-b-salomon/the-legacy-of-sugihara_b_1228494.html?ref=daily-brief?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=012712&utm_medium=email&utm_content=BlogEntry&utm_term=Daily%20Brief

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Iconic images, such as a German cattle car used to transport victims to their extermination, must be seen and touched for Museum visitors to comprehend the enormity of the atrocities. The truth can only prevail through continual education of children at formative ages and broad exposure to man’s inhumanity whenever and wherever it arises. As I personally seek to “pay forward” Sugihara’s righteous deeds on behalf of my grandfather and countless others, I commit that his actions and its implicit message about the sanctity of human life and the need to combat bigotry will not be lost on my generation and those which follow.

The courage to act, even when the world remains silent, is a powerful lesson that needs to be taught to the young. Sugihara was not alone; others acted to save lives, often at great personal risk or suffering the ultimate penalty of death. Who were these points of light, in what was otherwise a vast sea of darkness? The list of righteous among nations from World War II includes Raoul Wallenberg, King Christian X of Denmark, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the entire village of Le Chambon, France (See “The Righteous” by Martin Gilbert). When interviewed years later, those still alive seemed genuinely surprised by the fuss, as they were merely following their moral compass and upbringing in daring to do what was right.

Winston Churchill once wrote: “We make a living by what we get; We make a life by what we give.”

By this standard, Sugihara and the other saviors represent heroes for the ages, whose stories must be told. They gave the ultimate gift: the gift of life.

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great Joseph Campbell [mythology thruout history]  –

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As the ultimate truth cannot be expressed in plain words, spiritual rituals and stories refer to it through the use of “metaphors,” a term Campbell used heavily and insisted on its proper meaning: In contrast with comparisons, which use the word like, metaphors pretend to a literal interpretation of what they are referring to, as in the sentence “Jesus is the Son of God” rather than “the relationship of man to God is like that of a son to a father.” According to Campbell, the Genesis myth from the Bible ought not be taken as a literal description of historical events happening in our current understanding of time and space, but as a metaphor for the rise of man’s cognitive consciousness as it evolved from a prior animal state.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell#Monomyth

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_of_Myth

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_recurrence#Modern_cosmology

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_recurrence#Friedrich_Nietzsche

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To comprehend eternal recurrence in Nietzsche’s thought [as well as Sugihara’s bushido], and not merely to come to peace with it but to embrace it, requires amor fati, “love of fate” —

My formula for human greatness is amor fati: that one wants to have nothing different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely to bear the necessary, still less to conceal it–all idealism is mendaciousness before the necessary–but to love it.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amor_fati

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Amor fati is a Latin phrase loosely translating to “love of fate” or “love of one’s fate.”  It is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one’s life, including suffering and loss, as good/virtuous life lessons. Moreover, it is characterized by an acceptance of the events or situations that occur in one’s life [bushido’s ninjo — moral imperative vs. duty to the State].

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Pre-Socratic Greece had cyclic concepts — later Socratic linear cosmogony [genesis of universe] manifested via today’s science — thence today’s linear Christianity w/encouragement of innovation [only one shot at mortal life, so to speak]. 

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Pre-Socratic Cyclic worldview tends toward fatalism [cyclic progress does not reward special efforts] — thence the counter-impact of Nietzsche’s amor fati  — embrace the infinity of life’s cycles for their inherent reward as growth in one’s own authenticity/holiness a la Asian beliefs such as Sugihara’s bushido/ninjo.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa%E1%B9%83s%C4%81ra#Cycle_of_rebirth

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa%E1%B9%83s%C4%81ra#Etymology_and_origin

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Caste system in heaven as well as on earth, thence, the pre- and contempo Hindu elite bought lock/stock/barrel the caste concept  — the elite had a short cut to heaven.

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Buddha rejected the Hindu caste system & transformed the unwashed/unclean of society into an egalitarian force to be reckoned with, as you see here with Sugihara’s ninjo [higher calling/divine moral imperative].

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Eastern religion is about release from suffering,  Christianity is about release from sin, & Islam is about release from self-centeredness [obedience to Allah].    Eastern thought:  End suffering, find relief or peace.   Christian thought:  End sin,  find salvation.   Islam thought:   End selfish pride, find acceptance of and obedience to Allah.   Eastern process:  Eventual metamorphosis away from earthly misery via reincarnation/cyclical existences.    Western [Christian/Islam] process:    One-time shot at salvation/obedience  — linearity from mortal birth to mortal death.

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Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil  –

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The more abstract the truth you want to teach, the more your must seduce the senses to it.

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Martin Bojowald  –

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The philosopher’s stone melts away in the Big Bounce/loop quantum cosmology  — what counts as certain knowledge may, upon further examination, turn out to be in need of correction.   Evaluating the results or promises of science must always takes into account its limits.   Often, such limits are even more important than establishing results, for they show the way to new insights.  

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Nietzsche –

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No time on earth exists  [relativity of space and time  — space-time transformers — Big Bounce]

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Xenophanes of Kolophon, Fragment  –

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Effortlessly swings he the world, by his knowing and willing alone [general relativity  — space and time unbound] .

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Mirabeau  –

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Beware of asking for more time  — no ill fate ever grants it  [limits of space and time  — the end of a theory — for space/time themselves change]

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Louis Bourdaloue –

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There is nothing more precious than time, for this is the price of eternity [time has no beginning, nor end, via Big Bounce ].

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Goethe –

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There one being, a tiny wretch, so happy smallest bite to catch.   Thus one is growing patch by patch, and practices to play a grander match [our infinite and timeless Universe/Big Bounce].

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Heraclitus, “The Dark”  –

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Nature tends to hide herself.

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Oscar Wilde  –

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We fought with the Megadae who are born old, and grow younger and younger every year, and die when they are little children  [time is a constant — there is no beginning, no end, per Big Bounce].

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Bojowald  — Ganesha, one intact tusk [perfection], one broken tusk [chaos  – deconstruction]  — Heraclitus [merger of duality as monism personified] — or as Bojowald says, perfection/chaos, emblematic of the combination of perfection & chaos in the real world  — though loop quantum cosmology/Big Bounce are not perfect, nor are they chaotic — though fearless tyrants roost, the rest are a bunch of anarchists anyway whose chaos balance out the perfection-tril [high notes] of tyrants.  

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Atheist’s witty argot is that in this/our fleeting life without supernatural consequences, there will be no hell to pay.    Only missed opportunities.  And then you die.   Query “what it’s all been for?” per proponent Jesse Bering.  It’s a non-question/false riddle.   “And that’s the truth — I swear to God,” per Bering.   :-)

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In the 1920s and 1930s the founders of  quantum mechanics split into realist and anti-realist camps.   Realists like Einstein came up with a mental picture of what objective reality is, while anti-realists like Einstein’s thorn Niels Bohr came up with a picture of chaos and contradictions.  Time has shown Bohr to be right  — the holographic idea of where you see the image — that is, of one’s perspective — is true  — that hard evidence is empirical/experiment science  –  but no such “reality” contends vs. the holograph perspective  — so in Bohr’s tradition, we need to dispense with the word “reality.”   “Reproducible” correctly is more about the limited process of science.  The multi-verse fad rests on our Tinkertoy String theory, but this is because so-called scientists don’t have the imagination to be random and chaotic, which comprise the nature of our universe or multi-verse, if you wish.   As with a falling object beneath the event horizon of a Black Hole reaching the center of the Black Hole & getting destroyed at the center/Singularity.    From the vantage point of an external observer, the falling object is incinerated at the event horizon.  Don’t try to think of things happening inside the horizon and things happening outside the horizon.   They’re redundant descriptions of the same thing — per the complementarity principle, they’re both valid  — meaning that we have to give up the notion of a trickle of information being in just one place.

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