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The man in the black-and-white photograph wore a dark jacket with wide lapels. His hair was cut short and parted to one side. His eyes were directed toward the camera as if he were looking directly at me. I recognized him immediately: Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese vice-consul in Lithuania who helped to save thousands of Jews fleeing the Nazis during World War II.

I was at the tourist information center in Tsuruga on the Sea of Japan coast in Fukui Prefecture. I had been asking what there was to see there when I saw that picture on a pamphlet. I knew Sugihara was originally from Gifu Prefecture, so I couldn’t understand what his connection was to Tsuruga. I was going to find out.

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