Author: Elena Chekulaeva
Source of information: "PEOPLE" magazine, December 1998.
History Sugimoto and Okada began as a Christmas fairy tale. Young theater director, translator of Russian literature, consisting in the Communist Party of Japan, believed in the idea of ??the great Stalin. For these views in Japan arrested him twice. In 1938, he persuaded the most beautiful Japanese woman, silent film star Yoshiki Okada run together in the Soviet Union. There in distant Moscow, worked great theater director Meyerhold, and only he was worth to study further.
Immediately after the New Year, on January 3, two of them with the permission of Japanese authorities arrived to Sakhalin to the Soviet-Japanese border. Sugimoto and Okada brought gifts to children of frontier guards and promised to arrange a presentation. Japanese border guards could not believe their luck - a movie star complained to him and she even wants to look at the border. Guests isolated sleigh with warm bedding, and they raced across the virgin snow. After driving away from the checkpoint, Sugimoto and Okada suddenly jumped into the snow and ran toward the USSR.
... On the distant frontier Zandas (O. Sakhalin) squad leader Grigory Sizenko first reported on violators of the State border of the USSR: "W in January 1938. The two men crossed the state border. He received orders from a lieutenant to take reinforcements and apprehend offenders. Approaching the tower I heard a whistle and, having reached the second sighting post, distinguished voice violators who together talking and whistle. I shouted: "Stop, hands up!" violators obeyed. The Japanese was holding boots, and he was standing in the snow in his socks . In shouts boots cast: "We are political. Go to you ", - he explained.
After the search, the guard brought the offenders to the outpost. Hardly Sizenko ever heard about the customs of faraway Japan - where cross the threshold of a new country, we must be sure to remove your shoes.
At the border crossing Sugimoto and Okada allocated a room with a stove, put on rations and waited for instructions from the Alexander. Two days later, escorted them to the city and there are already placed in different cells. Interrogations began.
The first called for questioning Sugimoto. He immediately confessed that he dreams of meeting with Meyerhold. And the NKVD at the time just fabricated "case" in the uncomfortable director Meyerhold. But it is not enough specific facts that could present in court. And here it is, welcome proof! NKVD eagerly set to work. After a few days of Sugimoto "knock out" the testimony that he was "a spy sent by the Japanese in the USSR General Staff purpose of transfer -. Contact spy Meyerhold long recruited by the Japanese to jointly carry out" sabotage operations ".
Six weeks later Okada and Sugimoto, broken in the broken glasses, from Khabarovsk special escort was sent to Moscow. They did not know that going to the neighboring carriages of the train T N97 and no longer see each other.
Secret message from Khabarovsk on Japanese deserters were sent to the Deputy People`s Commissar of Internal Affairs Frinovsky. Investigators interrogated for long hours Okada, beat Sugimoto. A couple of months later, with the arrival of Lavrenty Beria, for themselves and Frinovsky shot as enemies of the people.
In the first interrogation Okada did not understand what was expected of her want, telling the truth. She thought that a Korean interpreter misinterprets many words. And stubborn investigator asked: "For what purpose you crossed the border?" - She repeated over and over again: "My husband - a Communist, translating Russian literature. Now, with the coming to power in Japan, the reactionary forces, the husband was afraid of reprisals and decided to go over to the Soviet Union. However, it has passed and I have."
The answer did not suit the investigator, and he again inquired: "What made you flee from Sugimoto in the Soviet Union?" - "On the one hand, the love of Riokichi, on the other - changes in the theatrical art of Japan, I did not like. According to my husband, I knew that in the Soviet Union theater very much appreciate it reflects reality. And I really wanted to play on stage THE USSR".
Investigators could not grasp: why such a well-known, a successful actress, not a word is understood in Russian, to flee to another country?
Soon questioning tone changed. Translators were excellent, and Okada did not doubt their competence. Suddenly in Okada appears "sincere" confession: it turns out, they, along with her husband were sent to Japanese intelligence to carry out a special mission.