An anonymous adult recounts their childhood memories of how their families reacted to Mr. Nakayama.
Recorded in 2020.
I remember that time. It was after Grandma’s funeral and now Grandpa would be a widower living in our suite. Everybody was at our house, just visiting after the funeral. The adults were all inside, talking. The kids were all outside, playing hide and seek. All I remember was all the sudden, there was a huge commotion, and all the men were running outside and yelling at me. “Get the kids inside! Now! Get inside!” I guess since I was one of the oldest cousins, and everyone was visiting us. Anyway, the men all ran outside and I was suddenly rounding up all the kids getting them inside. The uncles were all screaming at this old man. He didn’t even make it our property. He was still 2-3 houses away. From the house, we could all hear, in no uncertain terms, “Get back on your bus! Get out of here! You’re not welcome!” I can’t remember which uncles said what, in all that commotion, but the men were all together outside, the women were all staying put in the house, and now the kids were all inside, too. The old man was walking. He didn’t have a car. He took the bus. That’s the only memory I had at the house, after the funeral. Lots of agitated adults and questioning kids. That’s what I remember.
But I can remember many other times when the aunts and uncles would be talking about him, before 1974. The adults called him GG and wouldn’t really explain why he was a bad man. It was only later that I learned that GG was Gordon Goichi. Nobody called him “Father Nakayama”. One time, at Toronto, at a family gathering, half in English and half in Japanese, I remember being there with the cousins. Even [a Survivor] was there. We weren’t living there. We were visiting. That’s when I remember the adults talking, and finally asking what this was, since I didn’t even know that “this” was a person. I was around 5 and one of those curious, persistent kids who asked enough questions to know that two things: that GG was just a very, very bad, bad man who wanted to pretend he was a doctor with kids in their bedroom and that I didn’t want to be alone with a doctor.
-Anonymized to protect the identities of the individuals mentioned.