Two different Japanese cultural events took place in Anchorage in February, a performance of the opera An American Dream and a screening of a documentary about Chiune Sugihara.
The opera, ‘An American Dream’, took place February 15th, 16th, and 17th at the Performing Arts Center. The opera interweaves the story of two women during WW2, a Japanese woman whose family is sent to an internment camp, and a Jewish woman waiting to see if her family will escape Nazi Germany. The Saturday performance included an exhibition on Japanese Internment and presentations by Japanese Alaskans sent to internment camps.
On February 19th, an exhibition and documentary screening took place at the Loussac Library about the life of Chiune Sugihara. Called ‘Visas for Life’, Chiune Sugihara was the vice consul to Lithuana during WW2 and issued thousands of life saving transit visas for Jews in Lithuana. There was a screening of the documentary ‘Sugihara Survivors: Jewish and Japanese, Past and Future’ as well as discussion with the filmmaker Junichi Kajioka. There was also a photo exhibit about his life until March 2nd at the Library.