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Testimony 15

A sister of a survivor reflects on the 2015 Anglican Church apology.

Recorded in 2015.

When Mr. Nakayama at the age of 95 years,  confessed his sexual abuse, why wasn't he charged then?  He may not have been put in prison, but he could have been made to face the public and make his confessions and apologies to the victims then in spite of his age.  I question why did he wait until he was 95 years old? After he confessed  his sexual abuse, what did the church do next? Tell him to go home and have a nice day? It seems there is still racism in the church today according to what [redacted] says.  Mr. Nakayama is not the only person from the church who sexually abused someone....what have they done in other cases?  What have they done for the Natives of our country?

Mr. Nakayama received a title of Canon from the church.  That should be removed from anything that he represented.  Also, if they do not know how Mr. Nakayama received permission and money to go to other countries around the world such as the Philippines, they should find out.  I'm sure there are horrific stories to be told there as well. I think the Anglican church should do some investigation.

He or [redacted] requested some years ago (before Nikkei Place) that his religious attire, physical items, etc...whatever he received from the church be placed in the JCNM&A  (Japanese Canadian Museum and Archives).  When I heard this from someone who worked in the JCNM&A at the time, I told them that the people who were abused would be very upset if they accepted anything.  I later heard that the  JCNMNA refused his religious possessions, but another museum had received it.  I feel it should be taken out of that museum and any other place that shows his authority as a Reverend or Canon. 

I was angry when I heard his daughter wanted to make his house a Heritage House.  By this time, many people knew about his sexual abuse record and about her book which hints strongly about his sexual abuse.  I am surprised they received an Ok from the city to make his house a Heritage House...another horrible reminder for the victims of  keeping his memory alive. I feel the Anglican Church should go to the city and recommend that they take away the Heritage House name and put it to a better use.

I remember that the big celebration of the Redress, there were many speeches made.  One man got up and took the mike and said he wanted to honor "Reverend" Nakayama for all the good he did especially during the war years.  (In fact he did do some "good", but that was his way of taking advantage of his position, and getting into their homes.)  He asked that everyone give him a standing ovation....I looked around and I could see that not everyone wanted to stand.  But they soon became conspicuous, and soon everyone was standing and clapping.  I felt very sorry for the victims who felt they had to give a standing ovation to their perpetrator, for if they kept sitting it would mark them as a victim or someone who didn't want to wish an "honorable" person well.  So I feel that somewhere in the Redress notes or information, Mr. Nakayama's story should be told.

I could go on, and I'm just writing "off the cuff" but I feel strongly that the church has done almost nothing so far.  It shouldn't be the victims that has to tell the church point by point what to do because I feel most of the older people (victims) in the Japanese community would like to hide this "shame" so no one is going to step forward.  They, the church, should tell the Japanese community what can be done and ask us if we would accept all the different things that they could do to make this right.

I also think the Church should find out why Nakayama was allowed to travel so widely around the world. They need to do some research into where he went.

-Sister of a survivor. Anonymized to protect the identities of the individuals mentioned.