Letter from Rev. Tim Nakayama, Joy Kogawa's brother re: Origins of the Nakayama name

Rev. Tim Nakayama and author Joy Kogawa – brother and sister

Dear Todd,

Thank you for posting those photos of us on your website.  That was fairly quick!
David Kogawa, who took the trouble to come down from Surrey to
Seattle to pick me up and bring me back home so that I could attend the
inaugural for OBOV on May 24, sent me  the web-page reference – http://www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com/blog/_archives/2005/5/26/888280.html 
You made a common mistake that occasionally befalls my family name
by calling it “Nakamura” which would mean 'middle village'.  Actually,
it is “Nakayama” which means 'middle mountain'.   I sometimes tell
people that my name has “four aces” to ease the spelling, etc. 
I was a theological student at ATC, the Anglican Theological
College of B.C. (that was associated with Union College of the United
Church of Canada), and these institutions became the Vancouver School
of Theology.  When ATC still existed when I was in Vancouver from 1950
to 1965, I was associated with the Good Sheperd Chinese Anglican
Mission in Chinatown (I think it was on Keefer Street).  I went there
for “field work”, and later  was involved in the re-establishing of the
Japanese Anglican work as the people returned from the East when we
were allowed back into the so-called “protected area”. 
While at Good Shepherd, I received the kindly care of the Rev.
Andrew Lam, and his wife Leatrice, and the parishioners of the Chinese
Mission.  The people took the Japanese ideographs of my name, and read
them in Cantonese, and they remembered and called me, “Chung Saan Jun”
(my phonetic rendition of what I remember hearing rhem say) – of
'middle mountain truth' (Nakayama Makoto). 

The Japanese reading of the
ideographs in “on” reading is “Chu San Shin” or Chuzan Shin”, and in
“kun” reading – which is the poly-syllabic original rendition, it comes
out as “Naka/yama/Makoto”.  Well, the Chinese members associated
“middle mountain” and 'truth” with Sun Yat Sen!  Perhaps you can
decipher the connection of meanings and such an association!  Anyway,
with these associations it was considerably easier to remember my name
in that fashion, than with Na/ka/ya/ma/Ma/ko/to  so many meaningless,
cumbersome syllables, but “Chung Saan Jun” was much easier!

Best wishes and kindest regards,

The Rev. Timothy M. Nakayama, Priest, retired
Diocese of Olympia + The Episcopal Church USA
1991-2000 Missionary, Okinawa & Aomori, Japan
1966-1991 Rector, St. Peter's, Seattle
1956-1966 Diocese of Calgary, Canada

Hello Tim,

I am sorry for the misspelling,
somehow Nakamura got stuck in my brain, not to be confused with a
childhood friend named Nakashima, nor the girl I had a crush on in
Grade 7, then after I moved away after Grade 8, we met after Grade 12,
and finally had a real date – her name was Fujiwara.

I will correct on the website, and
with your permission I will put your reply letter onto the website as I
think it is very interesting.

Diocese of Olympia eh? Former
Governor Gary Locke is a distant relative. His cousin Paul Locke in
Seattle married my Grandmother's cousin Carol. Ever since I was a baby,
we would visit Auntie Carol and Uncle Paul in Seattle once a year. I
don't see them as often anymore, but we do keep in touch.

Now that I have your e-mail, I can
send you the photos as files. I will send them to Roy Miki too. I have
a lot of respect for Roy, and think he does wonderful work.

Peace & Blessings, Todd


Hi Todd,
Thanks for your message.  In my initial message I made an error! 
The time I was in Vancouver was from 1950 to 1956 (not until 1965 –
juxtaposition of two numbers!) 
You have my permission if what I wrote might be 'interesting'.  I
think it is more interesting that you mention our former Governor, Gary
Locke as your relative!  and you mentioned it because I cited the name
of our diocese.  Our “Diocese of Olympia” of the Episcopal Church, USA,
betrays the fact that it was established before Seattle was much of a
place.  The diocese celebrated it's 150th anniversary last year.   The
local church headquarters has been in Seattle, years before I ever came
here.  Olympia was more significant in the early days.
Likewise, the 'Diocese of New Westminster' of the Anglican Church
of Canada was begun before Vancouver was very important, and the
Cathedral was located in New Westminster at the beginning.  Christ
Church Cathedral, at Georgia and Burrard, and the diocesan office is 
in downtown Vancouver.

I have known about Roy Miki for many years, and I met him, I
believe, in 1995, at my Dad's funeral.  But on May 24th it was our
first face to face conversation.  Also, so near and so far —I hadn't
seen my sister, Joy, for the last 10 years!  We had been in Japan for
almost 10 years, and came back to Seattle 5 years ago.  But her
peripatetic life, and my laid back state, now in retirement, our paths
have sometimes been close, but they didn't cross – until Wednesday
night and OBOV !

Delighted to note your signing off with “Peace & Blessings”. 
As it happens I also very often write that before I close with my name!

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