Liz Nunoda reflects on her family's muted knowledge of Nakayama's abuse.
Recorded in 2022.
My father used to mention Mr. Nakayama often whenever he told me stories about his life growing up in Marpole prior to WWII. They were always positive ones about how he had helped my Dad’s family during the war. For example, when the RCMP issued the order for all men between 18 and 45 to report to them, my Dad and some of his buddies ran away for a few days. My dad said that Mr. Nakayama found them and said he understood why they were hiding but that they should turn themselves in, as their parents were worried about them.
The only other comment he made to me regarding Nakayama’s behaviour was, “People thought he was, you know, funny,” while waggling his hand to indicate so. He didn’t explain what “funny” meant, and I didn’t inquire further.
Years later when I was living in Vancouver and volunteering with the GVJCCA, a community member told me that Nakayama was a pedophile and had abused boys in the Japanese Canadian community.
Sometime after my Dad had passed on, my Mom mentioned that he told her Nakayama had been “going after the [redacted] boys,” (A Japanese Canadian family that also lived in Marpole pre-war). So this meant that my Dad had known he was a pedophile.
-Partially redacted to protect the identities of mentioned individuals. By Elizabeth Nunoda.