Chapter 11 Meeting the DNA

Two days later, I was sitting in the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ), enjoying a beer and conversation with Kato-san, who was filling me in on essential background he thought I needed to know before I went mano a mano with Miyauchi. He had even prepared a little dossier—a two-page document with a recent photo and a summary of Miyauchi’s background and achievements. I had already checked most of this information on the Internet ages ago, but I was grateful to receive this nicely printed-out summary from Kato. I thanked him by ordering another round of beers.

“Here are the basics you need to remember,” he said, pointing to the top page of the document he’d just handed me. “Miyauchi was born in Kobe in 1935. So he’s a Kansai boy to begin with, and he grew up during the war. His father worked for the Japan subsidiary of an American lumber trading firm. That’s important. Dad studied English and worked with foreigners, so such things did not seem at all unusual or out of place to his son. Remember, as the 1930s went on, everything foreign was considered suspect, and later, evil. His father’s firm was shut down years before Pearl Harbor, and the next company he joined was ordered to provide supplies for the Imperial Navy. Miyauchi’s father sent him to live with relatives far from Kobe to keep him away from the trouble that he knew was coming to Japan’s cities.

“He entered the middle school of Kwansei Gakuin, a prestigious institution that provides ...

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