Inouye, Kanao (Kamloops Kid)

 Inouye, Kanao (Kamloops Kid)

Kanao Inouye (born 1916, died 1947). At his family’s urging, Inouye left Kamloops to attend Vancouver Technical College and in 1938 traveled to Japan to further his education. However, it was not the kind of education his family would not have hoped for. Inouye was conscripted into the Imperial Japanese Army in 1942 and, due to his flawless English, became an interpreter. As a sergeant, he was posted at a Hong Kong prison that housed Canadian soldiers. It was there that Inouye gained notoriety as the Kamloops Kid; a reputation for brutality against his fellow countrymen. Prisoners feared his unusual cruelty. He randomly beat them, claiming it was in retaliation for abuse in Kamloops.

After the war, the Kamloops Kid was charged with war crimes and sentenced to death. His dying words were the unrepentant military cheer “banzai.” (Canada’s History magazine)