Last week Susumu Nakagawa from Japan visited the Panevėžys Jewish Community. Mr. Nakagawa is visiting Panevėžys for the second time as a volunteer teacher, teaching beginning Japanese at the Panevėžys Technology and Business Faculty of Kaunas Technology University. Mr. Nakagawa is building a bridge of friendship between the two countries, he says. He’s interested in Litvak history and culture, and when he learned there is a living Jewish community in the Lithuanian city, he decided to visit. He was accompanied by art teacher Loreta Januškienė.
Mr. Nakagawa and his family are Christians and interesting in the Old Testament and Jewish history and traditions. Panevėžys Jewish Community chairman Gennady Kofman told Mr. Nakagawa about the history of the Panevėžys Jewish community over tea, and showed him documents and photographs. Mr. Nakagawa posed a number of questions to the chairman, and they touched upon the legacy of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese diplomat who rescued Jews in Kaunas during the first stages of the Holocaust.