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Gaman is the third episode of The Terror: Infamy, the second season of AMC's The Terror.[3]


As the Terminal Islanders struggle with adjusting to their new surroundings, Chester searches for a way to provide for his family and for Luz, and to fend off the evil that he feels is following him. Henry reels from the trauma of his imprisonment. Asako tries to deal with bad omens. Amy takes up a new job.[3]


A film projector plays what appears to be an old western, though the dialogue is in Japanese. A man in a cowboy hat tells someone "You've terrorized these people long enough." The film plays out as the residents of the Colinas de Oro War Relocation Center watch. In the back of the theater, a group of the residents is doing the voices for the film. As the film continues, Chester Nakayama hears a voice he shouldn't - the voice of the deceased Wilson Yoshida, who tells him "Chester, you have to go." On-screen, Chester sees Yoshida being shot and Yoshida screaming. He turns to his girlfriend, Luz Ojeda, then leaves.

It is May 1942, and Chester exits the small room, the internment camp's mess hall, which bears a poster showing that it is a John Wayne film that is being played. He goes for a walk, his breath visible in the cool night. A light shines down from him on a watchtower as he takes a pee. Later, he and Luz leave the theater together before going their separate ways. He goes inside and to his bed, where the light of guard-tower still shines inside. Luz beds with the women, though they do not think much of her, one of them calling her a "whore." A baby cries as Chester tries to go to sleep, the light flashing in his face.

As children play, Chester snaps several photos, as well as a photo of birds flying. There is a sudden gust of wind and as he takes a final photo, he is approached by Luz. He comments that he didn't see her at breakfast and she says she ate in the barracks, that it seemed easier. He asks if things have gotten any better with her barrack-mates and she tells it's been the same. She calls it being like at Catholic school all over again. He says that his shirt looks nice on her. She replies that they're low on options and he says she can get new stuff when they go home. Luz wonders when that would be. Chester figures two weeks or months, tops. As they walk, Chester spots Yuko Tanabe around a corner.

A group plays chess. Others tend a garden, watched over by an American MP. Amy asks Asako if there's been any word from Henry. She says that she prays the spirits haven't taken him and the others. They see Luz. Amy expresses sympathy for her, but Fumi feels she's ruined things for Chester and she didn't have to come there. Amy thinks it says something that she did. To this, Fumi has no reply. They find that one of the plants has grown a fruit, calling it a good omen. But when Fumi bites into it, there's a worm inside.

Chester asks Walt if the birds he's seeing are swallows, but the man doesn't know. They encounter the chief, Major Bowen, who asks Chester if he's working hard. He also asks for his name and says that he once knew a Nakayama, or maybe a Nakamura. He tells them to build a nice solid fence so that nobody goes AWOL. He leaves, and they call him an asshole. They talk with a new guy, one who just got there in the last week from San Francisco. He says his older sister is in Manzanar and it sounds terrible there. He asks about them and they introduce themselves as being from Terminal Island. They see a group of a nisei (Japanese whose parents were born in the U.S.) putting up posters. They're seeking overseas translators for the war effort. Chester calls this rich, seeing as they're supposed to be the enemy. It's said that the test is tough, that even some who have studied in Japan didn't pass. Chester looks as if he may be interested, but then comments that there's no way he would sign up after they had put them in somewhere like there.

In her dreams, Asako waltzes with her husband Henry to a Duke Ellington tune. In reality, she is awoken by Amy, who tells her that Henry is there in the camp. Realizing what she was just told, Asako gets up with a gasp. She rushes outside to a tearful reunion. Henry walks slowly, seeming to bear a great weight. She tells him they're all together as the light of the watchtower flashes down. She tries to take off his boots and he screams in pain. Yamato-san, who has also returned, explains that it's frostbite. Asako tells him she'll take it off gently. His foot looks terrible. Chester asks what happened, where he was. Hideo starts to explain, only to be silenced. The light of the tower pains Henry. Chester leaves the room. He hides and then scales the watchtower. He looks down at the view of the stark camp, then turns the light and smashes the glass. He hits hit repeatedly, utterly destroying it.

That morning, Asako puts up a paper to ward off evil spirits. She tells Henry that it's nearly nine and Chester is coming back with breakfast. Henry tells her that Yoshida was always the careful one, that Yoshida sold bait while he went to fish for a living. Asako tells him that the ofuda will keep them safe, but he replies that it can't keep them safe from human evil, spies. He says that they're always listening and watching, there even when he was in the middle of nowhere. Chester and Luz arrive with breakfast. He asks who she is and he explains that she's going to have his baby. She says she brought warm water for him. Chester explains that she's studying to be a nurse. He smacks the water tub away, asking him how he knows she's who she says she is. Asako tells him he should go.

In the mess hall, the man that Chester met earlier asks if he can join. He introduces himself to the group - Chester, Amy and Walt Yoshida and Yamato-san, as Ken Uehara. They ask if he's ever been to Terminal Island and he says that he hasn't, though he's heard it's nice. She agrees that it's really nice and she asks where he's from. As they chat, Yamato-san smiles and says it would be nice if somebody found love there, that would be something. He says it's a pity about Wilson Yoshida, that he never thought he would snap. Chester tells him that Yoshida wasn't himself at the time. Yoshida asks if he thinks maybe it was something else, a Bakemono, or yurei. Chester tells him he never used to believe in the old country stuff, but Yamato-san replies that they're in every country, anywhere you go, that they follow you. Suddenly, Hideo bursts in the door, looking for his son, Toshiro. He is clearly agitated, shouting and knocking people aside as he stumbles along on his walking stick. Toshiro grabs him and tells him to go back to bed, but he mutters "the swallows, the swallows" and strangles him. A couple of MPs grab him and try to pull him away, but can't get a grip. Chester runs over and finally gets him off. The MPs shout to get him out of there. He struggles insanely against the MPs as they drag him out.

Amy and Fumi are in an office, where Amy complains that she can't be a secretary for "these people." Fumi tells her that she needs something to do. Major Bowen comes in and apologizes for the wait, talking about all of the crazy stuff that has happened recently. He tells them to have a seat, asking how he can help. Fumi offers Amy's secretarial services, telling him that she knows shorthand and can type 60 words per minute. She says she would also love to help her country during a time of war. He says he could certainly use a new secretary.

That night, a soldier exits a stockade. Chester enters the stockade, searching for Hideo. He brought him some homemade saké. Hideo asks if Toshiro is okay and Chester tells him that he's with his mother, who's taking care of him. Hideo drinks the saké and Chester asks him what happened. He says that it wasn't him, that he didn't attack. He says to tell Toshiro it wasn't him. Chester asks if he remembers saying something about swallows. Hideo says that he felt something inside of him. He asks if it's happened to Chester. He says that he hasn't, but he's seen it. Hideo says that it's with him wherever he goes. They hear voices. Hideo warns him to get out before they put him with him. Then, in Wilson Yoshida's voice, he tells him that he has to go. Chester exits.

In the morning, Chester discusses things with Walt, who says that he doesn't buy it. He thinks that Hideo simply cracked up, like his own father. Chester asks if when his father said "you have to go," it was to both of them, but Walt recalls that he clearly said "Chester, you have to go." Chester asks why, and Walt replies that he's given up wondering. They approach the girls' barracks, where Chester is told that "she's not in there," that she went to the infirmary. In the infirmary, Luz tells him that she fell, but she's fine. She asked the doctor to examine her baby, but he only gave her a band-aid. The doctor tells him that there's no pain and no bleeding, so the baby is fine. Chester replies that they won't leave until he does the exam. He has her lie down and he examines her belly. He takes a listen and says the baby is healthy, strong heartbeat. They smile and she says she just felt the baby kick. Outside, he asked what happened. She says she was out walking to use the latrine when with the wind and the rain she lost her footing on the steps. Chester asks if she's sure it was an accident. She wonders what else it would be.

That night in the stockade, someone comes for Hideo. He is taken to a forest and pushed to the ground. He is left alone. He shouts for help, but no help comes. There is a rustling and Tanabe appears. She grabs him and asks if he remembers her. He says he does. She asks if he remembers what he said to her. It was that she was exquisite. She pins him to the ground and he says he'll do whatever she wants, so long as she spares him, and Toshiro. She says there's only one that she wants. She kisses him, then starts tearing the flesh from his face. There is blood everywhere. He screams, gurgles and dies.

In the morning, a group of children plays baseball. One hits a ball into the woods. Another goes to retrieve it and sees Yuko Tanabe. He follows, sees Hideo's body and the blood all over his face, and screams. Chester encounters a couple of guys talking about the incident, how it might be a yurei. One says that the kid saw a woman in a kimono, but the other thinks that he saw nothing, that their own army is killing them. Chester approaches Walt, asking if perhaps Luz's fall wasn't an accident. He says he can't stop thinking about what his dad said, and that his mother said there was evil around him. Walt tells him good luck trying to leave.

Chester is now in a room, where a man, Colonel Stallings, asks him if he's ever done any translation work before, or gone to language school. He admits that he mostly just speaks at home. They test him on military translation. They give him a military manual to translate, but he doesn't do well, admitting that there are a lot of weaponry terms he doesn't know. They give him a piece of paper with Japanese characters they found on a soldier. It's a letter, which reads "Dearest Toshiko, we made it to New Guinea. The air is thick, not like Osaka, cherry blossoms fall, an orchid." It's a poem inside the letter. "I will be dreaming of it tomorrow. I hope to be home for the next bloom." The man asks if there's anything else. When he tells him it's all that it says, he comments that he appreciates him coming in. Chester says that people need him, but the man says that he needs people who can translate with ease. "Translate, or break the code?" challenges Chester. The man asks what code. Chester refers to the weird tanka that he could barely translate. The man asks him what a tanka is, sounding genuinely interested now. Chester explains that it's a five-line poem - 5-7-5-7-7. 31 beats. The man asks what's strange about it, and Chester says that the wording is unusual, that the author switched things around so that the first syllable of each line when you say it together in a row, spells out "saramaua" - or Salamaua. Chester recalls hearing of it as a spot in New Guinea from the news a while back. He says he's guessing he knew that already. Saying that he's just curious, he asks how many others saw it.

Luz holds a letter. As of June 5, 1942, from the Office of the Commandant of Savage, Minnesota, Chester is accepted as a candidate for the Japanese Linguist Program. He is to report immediately to the Camp Commander on June 9, where he will be trained at Camp Savage, Minnesota, as a linguist: Japanese-English translator and liaison coordinator. Signed - Warren Carr, Recruitment Commander. She asks, surprised, about him joining the army, and he tells her that it's an opportunity to earn a real wage, more than he's ever made. She's shocked that he's shipping out in two days, wondering where they're sending him. He tells her that he starts in Minnesota, and then wherever he's needed. He tells her that he'll send all the money home. She asks him what home. He admits that it's a shock and she tells him he's running away. He says that his parents will take care of her, that he needs to know she'll be okay. She tells him to stay if he wants that, that there must be another way, that others are managing. He tells her he's not like others. He says that he has a plan now, that's what he's doing. He swears that it's all for her, and the baby. She nods sadly, asking what would happen if he didn't come back. He tells her that he's a translator, that he won't see any combat. In the distance, a jazz record plays and they stand quietly. She says the music is nice. He says that if he closes his eyes, he can maybe forget where they are. She comments that they've never danced together and if he's leaving... Chester agrees that they should rectify that. They do a slow dance and she hugs him. From a window, Yuko Tanabe watches.

Chester finds Henry, who is partaking of the saké. They talk about his leaving, and Henry asks what's keeping him, telling him to go. He tells him that Luz will be moving in and he knows he's been through a lot, but that Asako can't do everything alone. He needs to get out of bed and take care of the family, including Luz. Henry comments that this is how he repays his sacrifice, by running off to be a spy. Chester notes that he had told him to enlist, and Henry replies that was before he knew what they were capable of. Roosevelt, the government, they see them as rats. Chester says that they won't look at them like that once they win the war. Henry replies that he used to think that if you treat people good, you'll see the good in you. But they don't. They beat him and left him in the cold. Chester tells him that they sent him back. He's there now and has a grandbaby on the way. Just sitting there is no way to live. He says that maybe not, but that's what they do - gaman (persevere). Chester, on the other hand, runs away. He again tells him to go, if he has to. Chester replies that at least he's doing something.

Outside, he walks together with Walt, who asks how much he told Luz. He says that just that it's a good job, her being worried enough as it is. They hug, and he hugs Amy goodbye as well. He asks if Ken is being nice to her and she punches him playfully. His mother tells him he'll look handsome in uniform and that Henry will come around. They hug, and finally he approaches Luz. Handing her a package, he tells her that he found a woman making dresses, in case she gets sick of wearing his shirts. She smiles at the dress, made from a rice bag and with the logo on it. She asks how he paid for it and he tells her he traded his camera. She tells him to write as soon as he can. A strong wind blows as they kiss. Asako runs up to him as he's about to leave, saying that she forgot his hair. He takes off his hat and she cuts off a lock. Luz asks what she's doing. Amy explains that if he were to die and there was no body, she can cremate the hair to give him a proper burial. Luz gives a little wave goodbye as he leaves.

Outside the women's shower, Luz asks Asako if there's another doctor at the camp. Asako asks what's wrong and she shows her a bloody towel. She says she feels fine, but doesn't want to see Dr. Kitamura again. Asako tells her of a midwife in the new barracks, north of the guard tower. She offers to come with her, but she says she can make it. In the barracks, the midwife sings gently to her as she feels her belly. She tells her that the baby is moving. Luz asks if the head is down. The midwife replies that it's up and Luz is relieved. The woman continues her gentle song. The camera pans up as the woman - Yuko Tanabe - croons in Japanese "There's my sweet baby."

Guest starring[]


  • Daisuke Nakagawa - Benshi
  • Maki Yi - Bensho
  • Aya Furukawa - Sachiko
  • Matthew Smalley - MP Nessler
  • Ryuta Kato - MP Sergeant
  • Ryohei Hayashida - Alan Uehara
  • Matthew Finlan - MP Moseley
  • Hiro Kanagawa - Dr. Kitamura
  • Emi Kamito - Nurse Hasegawa
  • Hiro Thomas - 8-Year-Old Boy
  • Massey Morimoto - Issei Man
  • Hiroaki Futsukaichi - Issei Man #2


Behind the scenes[]

The opening scene, in which a movie is translated in Japanese by a group of Japanese Americans, is based on a real-life memory of show star and consultant George Takei.[4]

Notes and references[]