An anonymous, first-person account of boys disclosing their abuse to each other.
Recorded in 2018.
Forgive me for taking time on this because it has been many years since this story took place. It is by recall. 1946 was one of the most difficult years that Southern Alberta experienced in terms of weather. It was June and I was walking back from school and I was still a quarter mile from home when the neighbour came running down from his home and said, "hey sonny, get going because that is coming,” he says pointing at an oncoming storm. "You have to get home before the storm hits us. Start running!"
And so I did. I made it back just in time. My mom, sister and I covered ourselves in blankets on the floor. They were screaming. We were in a shack under the trees and there was banging from all around. Here I am thinking, “What has gone wrong with our lives...everything was taken [during internment] and now mom and sister are crying on the floor in a shack in Alberta. I got to do something about this.” It rained for 3 days and flooded many farms. That winter it froze and it froze ponds.
It was on a neighbour's farm that one of the boys lived. And on the [redacted] farm was where (A) and his family lived. We had a skating party and at the skating party we built a fire and we were talking and I said, "Hey, you guys are from Christian families. Who is God?" and (B) was the eldest of the boys and he says, "God almighty! You've been talking to Nakayama. That's when he (B) told me, told us, about being molested by Nakayama. And then (A) said "Oh no...(B) he did that to you too?” Then (C), a friend who was with us, went on and said "Ohhh..." and I knew he was molested too. And this all came about by my asking "Who's God?" and all three of them were molested and didn’t know. Then both (B) and (A) said, "Look. No matter what, don't let that man come close to you. And don't tell anybody ever about what we had said today." And I have never done that until the [Japanese Canadian Working Group] started this process with the Anglicans.
In 2010 my friend (D), who also knew (A), came to Canada to visit (A) and then went back. From there on I phoned (D) a number of times wanting to find out from (D) about Nakayama. By that time (2010) Nakayama had died, (B) had died and (A) had disappeared. Well, in my phone call with (D) he said, "It's such a difficult story to talk about...there are so many evil things that have happened...and I am sworn to keep quiet about it. So I'm sorry, but I cannot tell you. I have been disturbed by this."
(D) was a member of the clergy and he never came back to Canada again. And guess what? He died last summer. His…his daughter looked after him and he died at the age of [85+]. One thing he did say to me was "[narrator], I do believe that Nakayama went to Peru…there's Japanese in Peru and he also went to San Paulo in Brazil and he has done evil things…” (D) somehow met these people during his ministry. That was the last talk I had with (D) and I was never able to contact him again.
The thing is, when (B), the neighbour, died, I went to (B)'s funeral and I met his whole family and the first person to say hi to me was (A's) brother, (C), who I told you was at that skating party as well. And we talked and I said "(C), where is (A)?" and he says, "That's the sad thing, we haven't seen him. Period. We don't know where he is living." Then tears welled up in his eyes and me and (C) stopped talking about it. I never saw (C) again. Anyway that is my involvement with the Nakayama story. And since (D) died I've closed my files on it.
-Anonymized to protect the identities of the individuals mentioned.