History of Clergy Sexual Abuse
Timeline of Nakayama, 1900-1995
Stories of clergy sexual abuse are full of secrecy and inaction. Nakayama's situation is no different. The information on Nakayama is fragmented, especially when concerning pivotal periods in his abuse. This is due to secrecy, the loss of information with time, deaths of knowledge keepers and limited access to information.
Early Life, Japan
Nakayama was born in 1900 on the island of Shikoku, Japan.¹ He was raised in the Buddhist faith and, after the passing of his father at age 14, he moved to Kyoto. During his childhood in Japan Nakayama was sexually abused.² ³
He moved to Vancouver, Canada in 1919 and the following year he converted to Christianity.¹ In 1929 he was appointed pastor of the Third Avenue Mission while attending the Vancouver Theological College. He would retain this position until 1942.¹
Nakayama went on missionary trips regularly throughout his career. The earliest trips began in 1929 where he would travel across British Columbia, Washington and Oregon.⁴ In 1930 he took his first missionary trip to Japan accompanied by his wife, Lois.⁴ In 1939 he undertook a North America-wide trip where he preached at 33 churches.⁴ The earliest testimony recording Nakayama abuse dates from the 1930s. It is likely many more incidents are now lost to time. The average age of offenders are in their mid-to-late 30s.⁵
WWII Internment, British Columbia
During the WWII internment period (1942-1949) Nakayama had unparalleled mobility rights as a Priest. Travel permits were available to priests and physicians. He and his family were interned in Anglican-administered Slocan City.¹ During this time survivors recollect that Nakayama would travel to internment camps for ministerial and community outreach, often staying the night with community members.⁶ This would become a pattern for his abuse. In 1943 he made a missionary trip to visit all Japanese Canadian internment camps: Tashme, Greenwood, New Denver, etc.⁴ By 1945 Nakayama had visited every community where Japanese Canadians were living, from Coaldale, AB, to Montreal, QC.⁴
In 1945 at the close of WWII hostilities Nakayama and his family move to Coaldale, AB,¹ while most of the Anglican congregation in Slocan City uproot to the Niagara peninsula.⁷ The exact reason why the Anglican Congregation did not follow their Priest is not known. The following year Nakayama becomes convinced that he must be a missionary.⁸ Survivor testimonies from Alberta at this time reveal rampant sexual abuse by Nakayama, often during his outreach missions when staying the night with local families.⁶ In 1947 Nakayama is granted a special permit from the United Stated government to preach.⁴ He visits 70+ Canadian and American cities. From 1949-1950 Nakayama visits Japan, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, America, and travels across Canada, preaching in hundreds of communities.⁴
A pivotal moment in the history of Nakayama's clergy sexual abuse came in 1952 while he was on a mission in Naha, Okinawa, Japan. Nakayama was caught in the act of sexually abusing a child by two priests.⁹ ¹⁰ He is sent home after 14 months in Okinawa to Coaldale, AB,⁷ where he is questioned by the Anglican Diocese of Calgary.⁹ ¹⁰ The details of those conversations are unknown but the result is that Nakayama is allowed to retain his position as a minister under the Bishop of Calgary, Harry Ragg (1943-1952) or Bishop George Calvert (1952-1967).
Three years later he is promoted by Bishop Ragg's successor, Bishop George Calvert and Archdeacon R. Axon.⁷ By 1958 is is on international missionary trips again, visiting 20 countries on all six populated continents by 1974.⁴ ⁷ ⁸ ¹¹ In 1966 he is made Canon of St. Paul of Calgary's Cathedral Church of the Redeemer.⁸ ¹²
Holy Cross Church, Vancouver
Arrangements were made to have Nakayama cover the position of Rev. John Shozowa, who was retiring as minister of Holy Cross, Vancouver, in September 1978.¹¹ ¹³ Nakayama was permitted a leave of absence by the Diocese of Calgary to Vancouver for six months to provide continuity to the congregation. At this time a consortium of congregants approached Bishop Hambidge to protest this appointment bringing specific examples of Nakayama's history of sexual abuse.¹⁴
By hiding the truth of his clergy sexual abuse Nakayama received many accolades from the Anglican Church and the public. Many articles regard Nakayama as a model of excellence in ministry.⁷ ⁸ His own conscience, however, must have weighed heavily on his decades of abuse in his later years.
A letter dated December 28th, 1994, was mailed to the Diocese of Calgary. Inside was a signed confession by Nakayama asking the Church for forgiveness for his crimes. Archdeacon Mitchell from the Diocese arrives in Vancouver from Calgary shortly thereafter to question Nakayama.¹¹ ¹⁵
Bishop of Calgary Barry Curtis (1983-1999) charges Nakayama with immorality on February 10th, 1995. Nakayama is allowed to resign his ministry rather than face an ecclesiastic trial.¹⁶
No mention of criminal charges have been found from correspondence from the 1995 immorality charge, the Holy Cross protest in 1978, or from the Okinawa scandal in 1952. No concern for the survivors of these heinous crimes has been found.
The actions of Nakayama up to his final months showed no remorse for his actions. Likewise, the Anglican Church of Canada remained protectionist for another two decades following the death of Nakayama. In 2014 information on Nakayama began to be released.¹¹ The Healing Fund for Japanese Canadians offers support against the traumatic legacy of Nakayama's clergy sexual abuse, and support against the traumatic legacy of the inaction of the Anglican Church of Canada to stop this abuse.
1. How were the Healing Fund projects chosen?The Healing Fund for Japanese Canadians was established following consultation with the Japanese Canadian community. In 2017-2018 two members of the Japanese Canadian Working Group travelled across the country meeting with survivors, survivor families, and members of the Japanese Canadian community to ask them directly what their priorities were for a Healing Fund. Out of these meetings a report was drafted summarizing community requests of the Anglican Church of Canada, which included requests for counselling funding and educational resources. A summary of the most common of these requests became the Healing Fund projects and were included in the joint press release by the ACC and NAJC outlining the $610,000.
2. Who can apply for these resources?The Healing Fund supports the survivors of Nakayama’s clergy sexual abuse, their families, and others who have been affected by these crimes. Survivors are individuals who were sexually abused by Nakayama. Survivor family members are the families of survivors including, but not limited to, siblings of survivors and their descendants.
3. Who are Survivors? Survivor families?The Healing Fund supports the survivors of Nakayama’s clergy sexual abuse, their families, and others who have been affected by these crimes. Survivors are individuals who were sexually abused by Nakayama. Survivor family members are the families of survivors including, but not limited to, siblings of survivors and their descendants.
4. How was the Healing Fund figure of $610,000 decided on? Does this figure reflect the intergenerational trauma and mental health effects that the abuse has caused?"Consultations on the Healing Fund have been ongoing between the Japanese Canadians and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) as a meaningful follow-up to the 2015 apology presented by the ACC at the Vancouver Japanese Language School. Healing initiatives were collected from Japanese Canadians across Canada in 2017-2018 and these suggestions were submitted to the ACC as part of our consultations. In March 2021 the ACC authorized $610,000 to be used toward a meaningful follow-up to the 2015 apology and the Healing Fund for Japanese Canadians was established. Additional sums may be contributed in the future.
5. Will there be more funding in the future?$610,000 was authorized by the Anglican Church of Canada, the Diocese of Calgary, and the Diocese of New Westminster to be used to establish the Healing Fund for Japanese Canadians in March, 2021. Additional sums may be contributed in the future.
6. Is the Anglican Church publicly taking responsibility for failing to protect its most vulnerable constituents? If so, what are they doing to educate and monitor their clergy in order to prevent such a tragedy from occurring in the future?"An apology was issued by Bishops Melissa Skelton and Gregor Kerr-Wilson on June 15, 2015 to the survivors, survivor families and the greater community affected by the crimes of Nakayama. A link to the apology on our News Releases page can be found here.
7. How much support can I receive?The Healing Fund projects are here to support survivors, survivor families and community members affected by Nakayama’s crimes in their healing journey. We have received $610,000 from the Anglican Church of Canada in 2021 and more funds may be contributed in the future. If you or a member of your family would like future support please fill in our community feedback form on our homepage. For all other inquiries contact us if your circumstances have not been addressed.
8. Is there a section for direct financial compensation?The Healing Fund does not cover direct financial compensation.
9. Does the Healing Fund for Japanese Canadians offer legal advice?Please consult an accredited lawyer with legal questions.
10. I knew a survivor of Nakayama’s abuse who has now passed. Is the Anglican Church taking responsibility for their trauma?We understand that many Japanese Canadians who were abused by Nakayama are no longer with us. Reflecting on the time it took for the Japanese Canadian community and the Anglican Church of Canada to reach this stage in the healing process is a sobering thought for us all. The members of Healing Fund project office also have family members and friends who did not live to see the Healing Fund. The Healing Fund for Japanese Canadians offers support for counselling funding, education grants, and community healing initiatives.
11. Can we use the Healing Funds for other programs that are not listed?The Healing Fund projects are here to support survivors, survivor families and community members affected by Nakayama’s crimes. Contact us if your circumstances have not been addressed.
12. Will the Anglican Church be releasing their records on Nakayama?The Anglican Diocese Archives of Calgary and New Westminster have promised to open their records regarding Nakayama and have been receptive of requests for documents for the Healing Fund. As of July 2023 no documents have been released by the Diocese of Calgary.
1. Who can apply for therapy funding?The Healing Fund supports the survivors of Nakayama’s clergy sexual abuse, their families, and others who have been affected by these crimes.
2. Who will my therapist be?Community members are encouraged to find an accredited therapist of their choosing as finding someone you are comfortable with is a very personal choice. We will help in any way we can to find the right therapist in your healing journey.
3. Is my information shared with the Anglican Church?Your personal information will not be shared with the Anglican Church.
1. Will we have in-person Healing Gatherings in the future?Yes! As COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted we plan to host in-person meetings again. If you are interested in hosting your own healing gathering you may apply for funding here.
2. I am unable to travel. Will I be able to participate virtually at an in-person meeting?Zoom connections will be available for future in-person meetings in order to accommodate as many participants as possible.
3. I attended a Zoom meeting on June 26, 2021 with guest speaker Dr. Satsuki Ina. Will there be another opportunity to listen to Dr. Ina?"Dr. Ina has been invited to speak again on intergenerational trauma and clergy child sexual abuse. We will send out an emails with any news to our mailing list. Fill in our contact form to be added to the mailing list and complete the community feedback form before September 2023 to indicate your interest.
1. I want to host a community healing event. What support can I receive?We look forward to helping you with this community healing event! We can provide financial support to offset the costs of travel, venue rental, supplies, speaker fees, snacks, etc. We can also help get you healing and educational resources for your event. Submit an application or get in contact with us today.
2. What kinds of healing initiatives can be covered?The Healing Fund for Japanese Canadians offers grants for community healing and education efforts to teach, discuss and promote a shared healing process for survivor families of Nakayama’s clergy sexual abuse. We acknowledge the depth of harm that went on within the community and know that community harm requires community healing. A wide variety of initiatives can be covered, such as local healing gatherings, education workshops, various related projects and information sessions on Nakayama's abuse. If you are unsure if your healing initiative can be covered please contact us.
3. Will there me a memorial created for the survivors of Nakayama's clergy sexual abuse?Community members can apply for project-based funding to go towards healing efforts. Memorials can have a profound impact on community healing and offer a physical acknowledgement of what happened.
1. Who can apply for education grants?Members of survivor families currently enrolled in education programs are encouraged to apply. Education grants are also available retroactively to June 15, 2015. If you or a family member of yours may be interested in an education grant in the future you can indicate this interest by filling in a community feedback form on the homepage of our website.
2. Can I apply if I am in a vocational/trades program?Yes. The Healing Fund Education Grants were established to support the survivors of Nakayama’s clergy sexual abuse and their families. If you are enrolled in, or have been accepted this year into a post-secondary education or training program you are invited to apply for an Education Grant.
3. I am out of school now and this funding comes too late.The Healing Fund will be accepting applications for Education Grant funding retroactively to June 15, 2015, the day the Bishops of Calgary and New Westminster presented their apology and commitment to a healing process to the Japanese Canadian survivors of Nakayama's abuse. If you were enrolled in an accredited program on or after June 15, 2015 please submit your transcripts with an application for an education grant.
4. I am a parent of young children. Can I apply for an RESP contribution on their behalf?The Healing Fund will continue to seek better ways to accommodate the community. At the current time the Healing Fund will prioritize students who are enrolled in a post-secondary education program at the time of application. If you know of someone who will become eligible for funding you must fill in a community feedback form to declare their healing support needs. Please contact the Healing Fund for a community feedback form. These forms are due in September 2023.
Inquiries made to the Healing Fund will remain fully confidential. The Healing Fund for Japanese Canadians was made possible by the combined efforts of the Japanese Canadian Working Group, the National Association of Japanese Canadians and the Anglican Church of Canada consisting of the Diocese of New Westminster, the Diocese of Calgary and the Primate of Canada.