SMALL MAN OF NANATAKI by Liam Nolan

SMALL MAN OF NANATAKI

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

When Kiyoshi Watanabe appeared on ""This is your Life"" on the BBC, there was an immediate reaction--that all Japanese are not bad. Known as Uncle John, the small man of Nanataki with the large heart had proved this during the war years. Born a Buddhist, a Christian convert and Lutheran minister, Kiyoshi was called to duty as an interpreter in Hong Kong. He served the Japanese Imperial Army in posts at the POW camp of Shamshui Po, at the Bowen Road Hospital, at Stanley Camp. Distressed by the plight of the prisoners and patients, he took it upon himself to aid the enemy in line with his Christian beliefs, at great risk. He smuggled in drugs and equipment to quell dysentery at Shamshui Po, brought needed feeding tubes for a dying major at Bowen Road, art supplies for a colonel, books for lonely Canadians. Discovered by his superiors, he was dismissed with the warning that the dread Kempeitai were after him. War's end brought some measure of safety, but ironically he had lost his second wife and a daughter at Hiroshima. While a story such as this is suited to a simple telling, unfortunately Liam Nolan's borders on the simplistic.

Pub Date: April 12th, 1966
Publisher: Dutton