The Visas that Saved Lives

The Story of Chiune Sugihara, Japan's Hero of the Holocaust

115 minutes, DVD Television Movie, colour, Japanese with English subtitles




The story of Chiune Sugihara, Japan's Hero of the Holocaust (the "Japanese Schindler")

A photo clip from the holocaust film "The Visas That Saved Lives" that depicts the story of Lithuanian Consul to Japan, Yukiko Sugihara who is credited with saving an estimated 6000 Jews from the horrors of Nazi Germany during World War Two.The story of an extraordinary Japanese diplomat who sacrificed his own career during World War II to write the precious visas that saved an estimated 6,000 Jewish lives. At 5:15 one summer morning in 1940, Chiune Sugihara, Japan's Consul-General in Lithuania, awoke to the sound of over 200 people crowding the street outside his Consulate. Consul Sugihara first feared an attack, but it did not take him long to realize that the people outside were Jews desperate for visas allowing them to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. In direct defiance of his government's orders, Sugihara took it upon himself to issue the visas. Working day and night, he hand-wrote an estimated 1600 transit visas, permitting Jews to escape the Holocaust.

This is the story of the bravery of one man, Chiune Sugihara, often known as "the Japanese Schindler" - a true hero of the Holocaust.

Chiune Sugihara, The Japanese SchindlerBased on the book Visas FOR LIFE, by Yukiko Sugihara, this dramatic film is a good supplement for Holocaust Studies programs.

Peter M. Nichols, New York Times


Director: Katsumi Ohyama
Producers: Tetsuo Suzuki (Fuji TV), Naonori Kawamura, Toshio Ozawa (Kazumo Co., Ltd.)
Original Story: Yukiko Sugihara
Script: Sentaro Kubota and Mamoru Sasaki
Music: Kensaku Tanikawa, sung by Yuka Kamebuchi
Cinematography: Takumi Seki & Satoshi Furutani
Starring: Go Kato, Kumiko Akiyoshi, Misako Konno, Mizuho Suzuki, Jiro Karasawa


  • New English Subtitles
  • * Bonus Film: A Journey to Kaunas - Mrs. Yukiko Sugihara revisits Lithuania(14 minutes)

An example of a transit VISA for Lithuanian Jews escaping the Holocaust in Europe to Japan enroute to safety in America and Canada Visit the Sugihara House online museum for more information on Sugihara, the Rescued, and clips from "The Visas That Saved Lives" film and documentary.

Wiki, The Free Encyclopedia reference: Chiune Sugihara

Remembering Yukiko Sugihara, Masha Leon, The Jewish Daily Forward, October 2008 (A touching account of one survivor's encounter with Chiune Sugihara's wife, Yukiko.)

Sugihara, the Japanese Schindler in "The Visas That Saved Lives"

Copyright © 1992 Kazumo Co. Ltd.

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The Visas that Saved Lives


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