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The Japanese Hero

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A Japanese Hero of the Greeks


The Japanese Captain

(Smyrna 1922)


Three hundred thousands (300,000) people in Smyrna, Asia Minor (now Izmir, Turkey) were trapped between the flames, the sea and the Turkish swords--as 24 war ships of the Allied Powers looked the other way. They gave parties, and played music loudly in order to muffle the screams of agony of the people of Smyrna. With the exception of the American ships, most of the other ships refused those who swam to them for safety.

A definable example of human decency and civility came from a Japanese Captain of a commercial ship. He threw overboard his valuable cargo of goods in order to rescue as many as possible refugees as his ship could handle. Sadly, the name of the Japanese Captain remains unknown.

The City of Corinth, after the suggestion of the Hellenic Electronic Center (HEC), found a unique way to honor this unknown Captain. The Mayor of the City and the Mikrasiatiki Stegh (Asia Minor House)  invited the Japanese Ambassador, Mr. Takanori Kitamura--and in the name of Hellenism--we extended a big “Thank You” to Japan.

Ambassador Takanori Kitamura promised to search for the name of the ship and for the name of the Captain. Nancy Horton, the daughter of the U.S. Consul General of Smyrna was present for the ceremony. Few days later, she delivered to the Ambassador the Blight of Asia by George Horton—her father’s famous book.

Capt. Evangelos Rigos
HEC Director

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 February 2010 17:16  
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