Oct 202008

Blogs are such great things, connecting so many people to so many others and ideas.

It’s these connections that projects like Blawg Review are designed to celebrate. This week’s is hosted by recent bar-passer Dave Gulbrensen, who included my mortgage post (replete with bar exam reference) in his bar exam-themed post. If the bar exam motif doesn’t make your skin crawl, enjoy his clever assembly of interesting posts from around the blogosphere.

But that’s not the only blog-inspired connection to speak of here… Reader Brian Pikelny reached out to me to fill me on some sad news updating a post I wrote on Chiune Sugihara a few years ago after watching a show about him on PBS:

After living a well-lived, fascinating, and uniquely interesting life, Mrs. Yukiko (nee Kikuchi) passed away peacefully at the age of 94 years on October 8, 2008. Mrs. Sugihara was the widow of the late Consul Chiune Sugihara, who was assigned to a Consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania, prior to the onset of WWII. During this assignment, despite the orders of his government, he was instrumental in saving thousands of Jews in their efforts to escape Hitler’s Holocaust by issuing life saving visas. With Mrs. Sugihara’s support and encouragement, the family (including three sons), chose to risk their lives and safety, declaring, “Although I chose to disobey my government, I could not disobey my God.”

Mrs. Yukiko Sugihara was born in 1913 in Numazu and grew up on Shikoku Island. She met and married Chiune Sugihara in 1935. Their first-born (1936) son, Hiroki, founded a Foundation in San Francisco dedicated to perpetuate the memory and legacy of his father in 1997, and which Mrs. Sugihara supported as Honorary Chair. Before Hiroki passed away in 2001, he became a familiar figure in Japan town where he lived, while in the USA, ironically staying sporadically, due to visa requirements.

Following a stroke, the last several years of Mrs. Yukiko Sugihara was spent in a nursing home near Fujisawa. She is survived by two remaining sons, Chiaki Sugihara of Fujisawa, Japan and Nobuki Sugihara who resides in Belgium. A private funeral service was held by Chiaki following her passing. Her ashes will be interned at Kamakura where she will be joined with her husband, Chiune, a son, Haruki who passed away in 1946, and with Hiroki. Formal services are planned by sons, Chiaki and Nobuki that is scheduled to be held on November 9, 2008 in Tokyo, (Aoyama District), Japan.

I post Brian’s update in tribute to Mrs. Sugihara, and note how the story of the Sugiharas is one more example of how the things we do have the power to touch so many people — something to celebrate indeed.

 Posted by at 9:15 pm

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