The Terror Wiki

This is about the man named Henry Nakayama. You may be looking for his adoptive grandson, Henry Nakayama II.

Henry Nakayama is a major character in the second season of The Terror, The Terror: Infamy, and the adoptive father of the main character, Chester Nakayama. His own father is Nobuhiro Yamato, also known as "Yamato-san."

Like his son, Chester, Henry Nakayama is a nisei, or U.S. born Japanese-American. living on Terminal Island, California. He is a popular figure on Terminal Island, where he works as a "simple fisherman."[1]

In the wake of World War II, Nakayama and his family are sent to a Japanese internment camp. He comes under suspicion as a spy for the Japanese, but professes to be only a "simple fisherman."[2]

On The Terror: Infamy, Henry Nakayama is portrayed by Shingo Usami.


Early life[]

He married Asako Nakayama in an arranged marriage and together they adopted Taizo, who had been born to Asako's sister, Yuko Tanabe, who committed suicide. Together, they named him Chester Nakayama and raised him to adulthood, never once even hinting at his true origins. ("Taizo")

Local affairs[]

He and his family attend the funeral of Masayo Furuya following her suicide. During the funeral, he chastises his wife for suggesting that Furuya's death is the result of an ancient, malevolent spirit which came from Japan across the sea.

While returning from a haul fishing on his vessel, the Taro, he has an incident with Stan Grichuk of the local cannery, who low-balls him on his haul, saying that he can only offer him half of the normal amount due to its supposed lack of quality. His son, Chester, promises that they'll take care of the issue, but as Chester has no experience fishing himself, Henry does not appreciate the intervention.

He and his family were one of only six on Terminal Island to have their own car, a Packard, which he enjoys taking out for a spin. Later that day, he again finds himself in contention with Grichuk, only for Grichuk to get his tie stuck in his own machinery, and very nearly get strangled. He cuts Grichuk's tie, saving his life.

That night, Grichuk comes over to his house, telling him that he's been laid off by the company due to the machine incident. He feels that he owes him compensation for providing him with subpar fish, somehow conflating this in his mind with being laid off. He threatens that if Henry doesn't give him the keys to his Packard, then he'll report him for failing to register the Taro under the recently enacted antispying laws. He gives him the keys and Grichuk leaves with the car, though not before thanking him for saving his life.

When Chester learns of the incident, it aggravates him, wondering why he didn't wait for him. Henry feels that there was nothing to be done, but Chester feels that he shouldn't have let Grichuk push him around. "You own it. Be a man." Henry replies that in Japan his father doesn't even have his own ox. When he came to the U.S., he wanted a car, and it took him 20 years, but he finally got one. Even if it is taken from him, he's still the same man, one who earned his Packard. "Don't you tell me how to be a man, boy."

That night, Grichuk is killed by a malevolent spirit while attempting to burn Henry's fishing boat, the Taro. His body is found in a net the next morning and Chester and Henry are taken away to the local naval station for questioning, only to be released when an air raid siren sounds. That night, the news comes in: the Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor; a bombing resulting in a massive loss of life. Henry is taken away by the FBI under suspicion of being a spy for the Japanese. As he is led away, he tells his son that he's a citizen, born there in the U.S., and to fight for his country. ("A Sparrow in a Swallow’s Nest")

Imprisonment and internment[]

He is sent to a prison camp in North Dakota and placed in a dark lonely cell, where he chants a mantra to try to keep himself sane: "I am not a spy. I am a simple fisherman. I love my country." He is imprisoned together with his father Yamato-san, and Hideo Furuya who was blinded after being forced to look directly into the sun by the same spirit that killed Grichuk. He initially refuses Yamato-san's offer of sutra to chew to ward off an obake, leading Yamato-san to ask him if he really believes that all the demons are still in hell. Yamato-san points out happened to Furuya, as well as recent disappearances around the prison camp that are ostensibly the work of a man named Nick Okada, but whom he believes may be a yurei.

Later, while busy chanting, Henry is summoned from his cell by a soldier and taken inside a truck. The truck arrives at an icy landscape. The soldier is dismissive of his mantra, telling him that his boss was killed for transporting oil to the Japanese Emperor's warship. He gives him a tool and makes him go ice-fishing, even though he isn't trained for ice-fishing. Despite this, when the truck returns late that night, Henry has caught two fish.

Henry is sent out to ice-fish again, this time along with Yamato-san and Furuya. The soldier tells them that they're all tired of bread and paste, so to catch enough for everyone to eat. They discover that they have another companion - Nick Okada. When they get out on the ice, Yamato-san asks Nick if he believes in bakemono. They all crack the ice in a way that threatens to drown Nick, demanding that he tell them if he's a yurei. He eventually explains that he is not a yurei, but rather a spy, assigned by the Justice Department to find enemies of the state within the camp. When he couldn't find any, he started feeding them names to save his own skin. Though Hideo tries to crack the ice again, Henry says that it's not their decision to make, but rather that of the spirits of the land. They all walk away, leaving Nick to his fate. ("All the Demons Are Still in Hell")

Around three months later, Henry and the others are released from the prison camp and sent to live with their families at the Colinas de Oro War Relocation Center, a Japanese internment camp. Henry is badly scarred by his experience. His feet are badly frostbitten and the experience has left him wary and distrusting. When his son Chester introduces his Mexican American, Luz Ojeda, who has brought him a tub of hot water to soak his feet, he knocks away the tub, asking him how he can trust her.

He becomes sullen and sits alone in his room, not taking part in day-to-day activities and drinking saké. When Chester gets a job as a translator with the war effort, he comes to Henry, telling him that he needs to take care of the family and Luz, as Asako can't do everything alone. Henry grumbles that this is how he repays his sacrifice, by becoming a spy. Chester reminds him that it was him who suggested that he enlist. Henry, however, says that this was before he learned what the government was capable of, that they and Roosevelt see them all as rats. He tells Henry to leave if he has to, leading Chester to reply that at least he's doing something. ("Gaman")

Family matters[]

As Chester serves in the field in Guadalcanal, Henry shuns Luz, causing her much sadness. She speaks of the problem to Yuko Tanabe, who is serving as her midwife, who tells her that Henry is sad, and feeling forgotten. This leads her to make a gesture of peace. She reads to him a statement in Japanese: "Honored Father: Your grandchildren who will soon be born will always honor you. They will always think of you with great respect. And one day... when you are called to heaven, I swear they will keep your memory alive. If a boy is born... his Spanish name will be given in your honor and will be Enrique. Or, if you don't like that, please choose another name that you prefer." Not getting any response, she states to leave, but Henry smiles and says that Enrique is a good name. Luz is delighted and writes to Chester that she managed to win over his father, and tells him of how she's learned that she's having twins: Hikaru and Enrique. Unfortunately, Luz's children are both stillborn. Afterwards, Henry joins the family in praying over a memorial to the two lost children. ("The Weak Are Meat")

He and his wife tend to Luz as she becomes distraught following the loss of her children. When she emerges from the woods, dirtied after a visit to a pond, they wrap her in a robe. Later, he and Asako send her off as she leaves the internment camp with her father, Bart, having learned that her brother Dennis was killed in the war. At first, he is still a bit standoffish with her. However, as she walks away out the gate, he races towards her, causing the soldiers to raise their guns at first, thinking he may be trying to make an escape. He, however, simply embraces her. He tells her to be safe and well. ("Shatter Like a Pearl")

After returning to the Colinas de Oro from Guadalcanal, Chester learns that Asako and Henry were actually his adoptive parents and that his birth mother was Yuko Tanabe, the yurei that has been stalking him. Asako is his aunt by birth, but because Henry is no blood relation to him, he essentially disowns him. ("Taizo")

Chester's actions cause a rift between Henry and Asako. While Asako is upset when he tries to escape from the camp and is ordered to be sent to Tule Lake, Henry no longer has any time for Chester, calling him an ungrateful son. He reminds her that they are, in any case, busy caring for Toshiro Furuya, who is one of the victims of a lung illness that has spread through the camp. ("My Perfect World")

Henry presenting his Leave of Camp papers

In January 1945, Henry is granted sponsorship to leave the Colinas de Oro War Relocation Center from Corbett Delaney, the owner of the California Canning Company, which he worked for prior to being interned. He is to be his gardener and can bring Asako along. Asako asks if they really should do this, given that he knows nothing about gardening, but he reminds her that she was the one who kept talking about getting out. She worries that Chester will return to find them gone, but he reiterates that he is no longer worried about Chester. He and Asako are both given $25, as well as a travel ticket. ("My Sweet Boy")

Homecoming and saving a son[]

Shortly afterwards, the Colinas de Oro War Relocation Center is ordered shut down by the United States Supreme Court. He and everyone else in the camp is released. He returns with Asako and several of the other Terminal Islanders only to discover that their entire neighborhood had been razed and is now nothing more than a large field of dirt with a fence around it reading "U.S. government property." He takes the job with Corbett Delaney and six months later he is busy working in a garden in Hancock Park in Los Angeles. Delaney approaches him, telling him that the lantana need to be at least a foot apart. He comments that he knows he's doing his best and Henry promises to do better than his best. Delaney asks him if he and his wife have found a place to live, saying that he and Minnie recently purchased a nice and comfortable place in Leimert Park that they'd be willing to let them rent. Henry thanks him, but says that they've already found somewhere very nice.

As it turns out, he and Asako are living in an encampment on Skid Row in California. It's a hard place, and Henry has trouble sleeping with the sound of ambulances and crying children. Furthermore, somebody calls his name, saying that there's a phone call for him. It turns out to be Chester. He urges Henry not to hang up, telling him that he and Luz got married. They need his and Asako's help because Yuko Tanabe is still around. Luz is pregnant and Yuko is planning to take the baby once it's born. Henry tells Chester that he's sure his wife will insist on coming.

They do, indeed, come, traveling on a bus through Albuquerque, New Mexico. Henry tells Luz that he's sorry she married a fool, his only comfort being that he doesn't share his blood. He walks off and reclaims his Packard. Later, he has a chat with Chester. He tells him that Yuko persists even though they burned her corpse and that running away is not the answer. Chester comments that he'd love to hear a better plan if Henry has one. Henry tells him that he never should have let Asako believe he was dead for months. He insists that there's something that Chester is not telling him.

The group barricades themselves inside the home of Luz's abuela, hoping to keep Yuko out by requiring a password for entry. The plan, however, ultimately fails, forcing them to flee to a bunker within the mountainside of New Mexico. As Luz goes into labor - Chester reveals his plan to Henry. Although Yuko is planning to snatch Luz's baby, it's Chester himself that she really wants. He plans to kill himself in order to sacrifice himself for her. Once he's done this, Luz's abuela Rocio can use her magic to go back in time and meet a younger version of himself, which Yuko will then take into her "perfect world." He asks Henry to give her a photo of his young self, and she'll do the rest. ("Come and Get Me")

Yuko possesses Luz and escapes with the baby boy before Chester and Henry can enact this plan. They begin a search for her and eventually discover a vehicle near the Ojeda family homestead, containing the corpses of two individuals. Out of the woods stumbles a girl named Esperanza, who states that she "didn't do it," that the woman with the baby made her.

Henry and Chester head into the woods to a shack, where they realize Yuko has been hiding out for months. She's gathered stones from a limestone quarry and she intends to conduct a burial. Chester begs Henry to give the photo to Luz's abuela, but Henry insists that there's a better way. Chester damns him and leaves.

Asako with Henry's corpse

They discover Yuko Tanabe in a clearing in forest, standing before an empty grave. When Chester tells her that he's given a picture of his younger self to his father, Yuko tells him that he has no father, that his father died before he was even born. At this, Henry steps forward saying that Chester is his son. He shows Yuko the photo and tells her that he won't allow his son to pay for their sins. He rips up the photo, then picks up his gun and shoots Yuko, telling her that he will not let her have his son. He gives Chester a sutra and uses another to protect himself, then begins painting Yuko's face with Japanese symbols. Chester tells him that it won't work, that they tried it at the camp. Henry replies that it did work, until they burned it away. Yuko, however, fights back. She rips away her very flesh to remove the symbol, then rips away Henry's sutra. Henry tells Chester to run and she possesses him. As Chester runs with the baby, she, using Henry's body, shoots him in the leg. She then forces Henry to shoot himself in the gut and returns to her body. As Henry bleeds out, he spreads the sutras all around the ground, then dies. Asako and Luz arrives and when Asako discovers his body, she sobs and begs him to wake up, but he has passed. She tells Yuko to kill her instead, but Yuko tells her to suffer forever.

Henry Nakayama's funeral

Ultimately, Yuko is reunited with a past self, living forever in a perfect moment. The baby is named Henry Nakayama II, in his adoptive grandfather's honor. Before Henry Nakayama's funeral, Chester has a vision, or a dream, in which he speaks with Henry onboard his fishing vessel, the Taro. There, Henry tells him the reason that he became a fisherman: that on the water there's none of the cares of the world. He was a bachelor for so long that he named his boat Taro, meaning "first-born son." He tells Chester that when he and Asako adopted him, a miraculous thing happened, that he felt the same calmness when he held his baby boy in his arms, and all of the cares of the world vanished. At the funeral, Chester tells his own baby boy that it's time to say goodbye to his ojichan, who is named Henry, as he is. ("Into the Afterlife")

Behind the scenes[]

  • Showrunner Alexander Woo stated that Chester never really got to have the conversation with Henry that he wanted to. They were never able to articulate their bond and the vision conservation with him on the boat is the conversation he wanted to have.[3]

External link[]

Notes and references[]