9/11, the Discreet Charm of the Japanese, and the Alchemy of Narrative

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A year and a half ago, I wrote a little piece about 9/11 flight attendant Betty Ong. While I have been certain for some time that Betty Ong never existed, and also reasoned that if one found one such fake, there were bound to be some others, I still assumed that most of the nearly 3,000 victims were real people who really did die that day.

It is only recently that I have come to the conclusion that there was, in fact, nothing particularly special about Betty Ong, and if I had chosen any other random victim of that day, I would have almost certainly come to the same conclusions as I did about Betty Ong.

This conjecture was put to the test recently when, in private correspondence, somebody mentioned having some connection to a couple of the alleged victims of that day. Well, it was rather tenuous: basically, my correspondent knew somebody who knew somebody who claimed to have known two of the victims. Though I was getting the story third hand, I still thought it worth checking to see whether I could convince myself that these were real people.

Though most (2,605) of the 2,977 9/11 victims were US citizens, the 372 foreigners hailed from 61 different countries. There were 24 Japanese victims and of that number, two were employees of Nishi-Nippon Bank, which had a branch on the 102nd floor of the WTC north tower. The English language Japan Times reports on 9/12/2002:

The remains of 42-year-old Kazuhiro Anai, deputy head of the bank’s New York branch, and his colleague Takuya Nakamura, 30, were found in the debris at the site, now known as Ground Zero.

The article contains no photograph of either Mr. Anai or Mr. Nakamura and hardly any personal details about either person. In fact, the only information the article provides about Takuya Nakamura is his age (30) while a bit more is provided about 42-year-old Kazuhiro Anai. His 70-year-old father, Nobuyuki, is mentioned, as is his home town of Dazaifu in Fukuoka prefecture, in southern Japan.

Now, obviously, based on this information, Kazuhiro and Takuya (especially Takuya) are faceless ciphers. I decided to set myself the challenge of remedying that situation. In what follows, I shall describe my attempts to find any information that could fill them out into something more like real flesh and blood people.

I figured I would start with Kazuhiro, since there was a bit more skeletal information on him. Consider the following Google image search

Kazuhiro Anai 9/11

Only one photograph of Mr. Anai shows up. It is from the memorial page set up for Kazuhiro on findagrave.com.

The memorial page also provides the following biographical information:

Born in Fukuoka, Japan, Kazuhiro worked for Nishi-Nippon Bank, New York branch as a deputy manager, and resided in Scarsdale, New York.

Well, not much to work with. That one photo of Kazuhiro, as a lead, is also a complete dead end. There is nobody else in the photo, no family, friends or colleagues, and there is no sign of where or when the photo was taken. In fact, it is only a 5k file and basically a thumbnail (142×192 pixels).

It turns out that, search as best I can on the Internet, this thumbnail is the only photograph of Mr. Kazuhiro Anai that I have ever found.

Déjà Vu all over again

Now, as you might have already anticipated, dear reader, if you scour the Internet looking for descriptions of Mr. Kazuhiro Anai that would make you think that somebody actually knew this person, you will come up empty-handed. That sense of grabbing at thin air is broadly the same feeling you get when you try to find any personal information that seems genuine about Betty Ong, the flight attendant. That said, Kazuhiro Anai is even more of a cipher than Betty Ong.

Like Betty, Kazuhiro does not really seem to have any existence outside of 9/11. Pretty much the only sites that ever mention this person are memorial sites devoted to 9/11, such as this one. That page does not even contain any photo, but it does, however, contain a somewhat more elaborate bio than the Findagrave.com page:

Kazuhiro Anai, 42, was staying in New York to handle the remaining business for the branch, which closed Sept. 6. He was supposed to return to Japan with his family as soon as he completed his work. His colleagues described him as a ”cheerful person with leadership.”

He had a family, a wife, but there is no mention of where or when he married her, or her name, or how many children they had, or their genders. I have to think that a Japanese banker would be the alumnus of some university in Japan, but there is no mention of that either.

The page also has a guestbook feature and there is one entry by a certain Scott Taylor. Scott writes:

Mr. Anai worked for Nishi-Nippon Banks NYC branch. The branch was closing down at that time and Mr. Anai was overseeing the closing…. there were only 2 or 3 others there… Mr. Anai was getting ready to go home to Japan… Nishi Nippon Bank sent Mr. Izumi Ikeda who had previously worked with Mr. Anai in NYC to assist his family. Mr. Anai was a very nice honorable man. I remember him. Posted by Scott Taylor

Aside from repeating and elaborating slightly on some skeletal story, Scott has this to say about the guy: “Mr. Anai was a very nice honorable man. I remember him.” (Sure you do, Scott…)

Going Japanese

Now, I anticipate that some of the more astute readers are now thinking to themselves that, of course Kazuhiro Anai was Japanese and an Internet search for personal information about him should use his Japanese name. One might think: okay, maybe the guy was only in New York for a short period of time and left hardly any trace on the web in English, yet a Japanese language search would yield all sorts of personal information.

Well, I thought along these lines and reasoned that the next step was to figure out how Kazuhiro Anai’s name is written in Japanese script. Now, I should say that I myself have studied Chinese extensively but never Japanese. In fact, I would be quite interested in any feedback from Japanese native speakers telling me if I’m doing something wrong here. That is possible, but I will simply outline my approach. Anybody sufficiently interested can simply click on the various links I provided and see what I found out.

A bit of research told me that the Japanese typically write their names using Kanji, adapted Chinese characters basically, and the family name precedes the given name.

It turns out that Kazuhiro Anai’s name in Japanese script is: 穴井一弘. For instance, consider the appropriate Google image search on Kazuhiro’s Japanese name:


Google’s search algorithm obviously connects this name with 9/11 and provides various 9/11 related images. However, it does not manage to come up with a single image of Kazuhiro Anai, not even that one little thumbnail image that you get by searching the name in English.

My next thought was to use the skeletal information on Kazuhiro to drill down a bit. We are told that Kazuhiro’s home town was Dazaifu in Fukuoka prefecture. The Findagrave site simply says that Kazuhiro was from Fukuoka, not specifying whether that is Fukuoka city or Fukuoka prefecture. (Details, details….) I should point out that the headquarters of Nishi-Nippon Bank is in the city of Fukuoka, and it may be that whoever put up that Findagave page just figured he would put down Fukuoka as Kazuhiro’s place of birth. (What the hell…) Regardless, we see that one of the very few leads we have is a page mentioning Nobuyuki Anai, Kazuhiro’s father, laying flowers on his grave in Dazaifu. We can see directly from the Wikipedia pages that Dazaifu is written 太宰府 in Japanese and Fukuoka is 福岡. Consider the following Google searches:

“穴井一弘” “太宰府” (This search is equivalent to “Kazuhiro Anai” “Dazaifu” using Japanese script.)

“穴井一弘” “福岡” (This search is equivalent to “Kazuhiro Anai” “Fukuoka” using Japanese script.)

The first search produces three hits, of which the first two are pages auto-generated by the phone company. The third hit is a page with two archived thumbnail images from a site called kyodonews. (Kyodonews, it turns out, will also be useful in finding any trace of the other victim, Takuya Nakamura.) The second thumbnail is ostensibly an image of Kazuhiro Anai’s father laying flowers on his son’s grave on the first anniversary of his untimely death. The accompanying Japanese text is:

真新しい墓で悲しみ新たに テロの犠牲になった穴井一弘さんの墓を訪れた父延幸さん=11日午前、福岡県太宰府市

and Google Translate gives this as:

Mr. Nobuyuki Father who visited the grave of Mr. Kazuhiro Anai who became a victim of terrorism in a brand new grave.

If you click on the thumbnail, it takes you to a page where you can purchase the full-sized (1713×1864) photo from Kyodonews. I do not see the price. Regardless, I see little point.

Frankly, I doubt that rights to this image are selling like hot cakes (or like gyozas) in Japan. It is not clear why the old man is alone there next to his son’s grave. Where are Kazuhiro’s widow and kids? Well, it’s been an entire year and maybe she found another guy.

Besides, frankly, Kazuhiro, though probably a nice guy, seems rather forgettable.

Well, cruel as that may sound, if anything, that is an understatement. The above two obvious search strings are not the only ones I tried. I tried various others. I cannot find any remotely personal description of Kazuhiro, nor can I find the name of any family members (or friends or acquaintances…) besides the father, Nobuyuki. If Kazuhiro Anai really was from Dazaifu, in Fukuoka prefecture, he surely attended school somewhere around there. Wouldn’t the alumni of his school mention somewhere that one of their classmates had died in the terrorist attack of 9/11? Cultural differences aside, wouldn’t some Japanese person who knew this guy write on a blog or Facebook or some place something like: “Holy shit! I knew that guy! We went to the same school!

As best I could determine, no. Well, we could attribute this to the discreet character of the Japanese or to Kazuhiro being particularly forgettable. Of course, if you happen to be a deranged conspiracy theorist, God forbid, you might start suspecting that this Kazuhiro Anai never existed. I shall leave it to the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.

Super Taku!!!

The other Japanese 9/11 victim who worked at Nishi-Nippon Bank was Takuya Nakamura, age 30. Turning my attention to Takuya, I discovered something quite extraordinary. At first blush, Takuya was not at all camera shy. Consider the following Google image search:

“Takuya Nakamura”

Not camera shy at all. For those of you who really want to get to the essentials, you might consider this Google image search:

“Takuya Nakamura” nude

So, as you can see, when compared to Kazuhiro Anai, the available photographic record of Takuya Nakamura leaves quite a bit less to the imagination.

Well, at this point, I might as well let you know that the Takuya Nakamura of the above-linked photos is not the Takuya Nakamura who died on 9/11. This Takuya, who I shall refer to as “Pretty Boy Taku” to distinguish him from “9/11 Taku”, is quite alive and is a top male model. In Asia, he is sometimes referred to as “Super Taku”, and frequently appears on lists of the sexiest men alive. Some of his modeling work does appear on Youtube as well. Consider the following soap commercial from Thailand.

It starts off with a Japanese hottie, who is the Japanese pornographic actress Nono Mizusawa, talking about what she likes in a man. Then we have a scene with Super Taku on the football (a.k.a. soccer) field. At the 0:07 mark, he tears off his T-shirt, revealing his glistening torso, which I suspect is something of a signature Taku move. The spot ends with Nono and Taku in the shower together, with Nono’s hand reaching suggestively down toward’s Taku’s nether regions (that are not on camera), at which point the ad ends.

The ad’s subliminal (or perhaps not so subliminal) message surely crosses cultural boundaries and is aimed at both men and women: “If you use our brand of soap this will happen to you!

Conspiracies Everywhere!

Despite being an avowedly heterosexual male, when I came upon the various photos of Takuya Nakamura — I mean Pretty Boy Taku — I was immediately conscious that he was… well… pretty. It would be less than honest of me to claim otherwise. It was hardly any surprise to discover, after a few more clicks that he was, in fact, a top male model.

In Asia, that is. In the West, nobody (to all intents and purposes) has heard of him. Asian males are almost never given roles as leading men in Hollywood or presented in popular culture as being sexually desirable. Meanwhile, with the Asian female, the exact opposite is frequently the case. The term “Yellow Fever” is defined in the Urban Dictionary as:

A term usually applied to white males who have a clear sexual preference for women of Asian descent, although it can also be used in reference to white females who prefer Asian men.

So here we are: due to the cosmic interconnectedness of all things, we go from the 9/11 conspiracy to the emasculation of the Asian male conspiracy. This got me thinking about whether the emasculation of the Asian male and the fetishization of the Asian female were two separate conspiracies or just two aspects of the same overarching conspiracy.

Then again, I also wondered whether any of it qualifies as a conspiracy in the first place, since a conspiracy, by definition, is carried out in secret and this all seems to be taking place quite openly. Really, the interesting question to ponder is whether this is something that has occurred organically or is something conscious or deliberate.

I have to admit that, despite being half-Asian myself (my mother is Chinese-American) I had never given all of this that much thought, but I recall this coming up in a conversation in Mexico City a couple of years ago with the Vietnamese-American writer Linh Dinh. This whole topic of how Asian males are presented in the media came up and I must have been musing openly over whether this was a deliberate conspiracy and I recalled that Linh ranted:

Yeah, man! Of course it’s deliberate! It’s like… “We’re the white man, dammit! We get to fuck your women, but hell, no! You don’t get to fuck our women!

(The above is a reconstruction of what Linh said, by the way. Not a word for word quote.) Of course, Linh is not the only Asian-American male who is acutely aware of how Asian males are emasculated in Western popular culture. A bit of googling turns up various articles where people argue (like Linh, but in a more academic register of language) that this whole phenomenon is the continuation of a pattern established in colonial times. For example, consider this video:

I guess a key thought experiment is to imagine what would happen if Hollywood and the rest of the mass media turned on a dime and started promoting Asian males like Super Taku as the epitome of male beauty, giving them leading roles in romantic dramas and so forth. Would this change the perception of Asian males in popular culture?

Of course, most Asian males don’t look anything like Super Taku. Though, by the same token, quite few white males look like Brad Pitt. It is impossible to know for sure, but finally, my own sense of things is that if they (whoever “they” are precisely, never mind…) decided to pull out the stops to convince white women that Asian men are desirable, that goal could be achieved. Surely it could. It’s not even about this issue specifically, just that the overall propaganda machine is so powerful in terms of forming people’s mental world that, really, they could convince people of just about anything.

Most likely, over the coming decades, as Hollywood panders to the growing market in Asia, they will actually cast Asian men in leading roles more frequently, so we will get to see how this plays out.

9/11 Taku

Oh, but hold on a sec. This article was supposed to be about 9/11! (Besides, if I go on much more about Pretty Boy Taku, sharing photos and videos, for all my vociferous denials, readers will probably start suspecting that I am gay.)

So, what about 9/11 Taku, the Takuya Nakamura who worked at Nishi-Nippon Bank? Well, it seems a safe bet that 9/11 Taku was not anywhere near as photogenic as Pretty Boy Taku. An attempt to fish up a photo of him does not even provide a thumbnail image like we have of Kazuhiro Anai. For example, consider what comes up if you add the term 9/11 to the Google Image search:

“Takuya Nakamura” 9/11

You know, one must give the devil his due. Google’s search algorithm is pretty smart. It’s as if, once you add “9/11” to the search string, the little man inside the machine realizes: “Oh, I get it! You mean 9/11 Taku! Not Pretty Boy Taku!

So, with the addition of “9/11” to the search, what comes up is almost entirely 9/11 related images, though actually, I see that at least one Pretty Boy Taku image did get through. 9/11 Taku does have a Findagrave.com page but it has no photo of him. Here is the biographical blurb:

Work for New York branch,Nishi-Nippon Bank as a section chief and was from Tuckahoe,New York.

Not much more information on his New York Times obituary page which also refers to him as Takuya Nakamura, 30, of Tuckahoe, New York. Of course, 9/11 Taku was a Japanese national who was from somewhere (like… uhh… where?) in Japan. They surely mean that he was living in Tuckahoe, New York. Tuckahoe is a village of about 6,000 residents in upscale Westchester County, about 5 miles from Scarsdale, where his colleague, Kazuhiro Anai, was reportedly living.

Well, I don’t anticipate going off to Westchester County, New York, to see if I can find anybody there who remembers Takuya or Kazuhiro from when they were supposed to be living there. That reminds me that Kevin Barrett was talking off and on about crashing the appropriate High School Reunion at George Washington High School in San Francisco, and seeing if anybody remembers Betty Ong. (Well, good luck with that, Kev!)

More than you ever wanted to know about Japanese names…

When I first came across the Pretty Boy Taku in a Google image search, I wondered initially whether this was some kind of little inside joke, naming a fictitious 9/11 victim after a Japanese top male model. However, a bit more research showed that Pretty Boy Taku was born on 10 August, 1989, and thus was 12 years old at the time of 9/11, and surely would only have become famous maybe a decade or so afterwards. Of course, generally speaking, the people behind these kinds of things enjoy their little jokes, but this could really only be a coincidence.

The other thing I realized was that, though Pretty Boy Taku and 9/11 Taku have the same name, Takuya Nakamura, when written in English, they are actually different names written in Japanese. Or written differently, in any case. Of course, in English, the same name can sometimes be written different ways — “Steven” and “Stephen”, for example. However, Japanese, with its character-based writing system is on an entirely different level. Consider this page, which lists 38 different ways of writing Takuya using Kanji. To make matters worse, that list does not even seem to be exhaustive. Pretty Boy Taku’s first name is written “琢耶” while 9/11 Taku’s given name is “匠也” and neither version of “Takuya” occurs on that aforementioned page. The Kazuhiro Anai who died on 9/11 is written “”穴井一弘” so his given name was “一弘” in Kanji, and that is the 13th of the 42 different ways of writing “Kazuhiro” that appear on this page.

Both Pretty Boy Taku and 9/11 Taku have the same (very common in Japan) family name, Nakamura (中村). That is apparently the 7th most common Japanese surname, about on a par with “Miller” or “Davis” in English. So the pretty boy’s full name in Kanji is 中村琢耶 while the 9/11 victim is 中村匠也. When you do a Google image search on the former, you get:


and on the latter, you have this:


(Above links are clickable, of course.)

Again, note how, with the latter of the two searches above, Google’s search algorithm is smart enough to identify this as a 9/11 related query and gives a bunch of 9/11 related images. However, the algorithm is somehow not smart enough to give us any picture of the “Takuya Nakamura” who died on 9/11. Well, I say that facetiously since, regardless of how clever the algorithm is, it cannot fish up an image that simply does not exist.

Pix, Dude, or it didn’t happen!

Now, at this point, I would ask the reader a basic question:

Have you ever seen a tour bus disgorge a load of Japanese tourists in front of any touristic landmark?

If so, think back… did any of those Japanese tourists fail to whip out a camera and proceed to take a bunch of selfies and photos of one another with that landmark in the background?

So, consider this: if any of those people were to die in a terrorist incident, wouldn’t the photographic record they leave behind be something utterly voluminous? Granted, it would be mostly amateur photos, not the professional quality photography we have of Pretty Boy Taku. But never mind that…. surely, even any single major milestone in these people’s lives, such as their weddings and school graduations and so on would be extensively photographed. But their entire lives!!?? Think about that! Even in the case of the occasional eccentric in that culture who does not himself take pictures, in such a camera-crazed society, he would appear in many photos taken by others at wedding receptions and school graduation ceremonies and so forth.

Would a typical Japanese salaryman assigned to work for a while in New York not have numerous pictures of himself, family, colleagues in front of the main tourist landmarks — the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty….?

So, in essence, what are we being asked to believe here? Mr. Kazuhiro Anai and Mr. Takuya Nakamura died at the ages of 42 and 30 respectively and there is no photo of either individual? Memorial pages were put up on sites like findagrave.com and legacy.com and somehow, nobody could provide a single photo? (I don’t count the one findagrave.com photo of Mr. Anai. That’s too lame.)

Allegedly, 24 Japanese nationals died in the 9/11 attacks. As I write these lines, I have only looked at these two. If we were to go through the other 22 names, in a similar way, and not find any photographic record to speak of, what should one conclude from that?

It is often said that a picture tells a thousand words, but what does the lack of any picture tell us?

Still thinking about Betty…

The only other 9/11 victim that I myself looked into much was the Chinese-American flight attendant Betty Ong. Betty was far more important to the overall 9/11 narrative than these two faceless Japanese bankers. So, some effort was put into creating some sort of back story about this person. There is the high school she allegedly attended, though it seems pretty certain that she was never there. There is her ostensible family, three siblings, though no photos can be found of Betty with any of these people. Also, she had a fiancé, one Robert Landrum, who also does not appear in any photos with Betty.

Now, even though the life history of Betty Ong that they created was utterly sloppy and lazy, they still created something. With these Japanese ciphers, they really didn’t bother. Well, there is some cursory effort with Kazuhiro Anai’s father Nobuyuki, and some news story with him in it was inserted into a few places. But it’s as if they did that and got tired very fast. Kazuhiro Anai was allegedly from the town of Dazaifu, in Fukuoka prefecture, but Takuya was not from anywhere — well, just from Japan… go figure… or from Westchester County, New York…

Of course, it is understandable that some effort was put into Betty Ong. Not only was Betty Ong important in the overall story, since she made a phone call from a plane that established much of the hijacking narrative, but another factor is this: Betty Ong was American. Chinese-American, but American nonetheless, and her native language was English and she lived her entire life in the United States. It stands to reason that the people assigned the task of creating some record of Betty Ong had the capability to insert a few human interest stories in some newspapers and such things that come up in a web search.

In fact, there is an ongoing effort to keep the Betty Ong story alive, particularly whenever the 9/11 anniversary rolls around. For example, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, we have this news item and we can see that there was a photo op with the various crisis actors loved ones to commemorate Betty.

More recently, we have this article or this one featuring Betty’s alleged sister Cathie Ong-Herrera. There is nothing of the sort for these two Japanese victims. There were some news stories in the Japanese media corresponding to the first anniversary in September 2002, but after that, there is really just nothing. It occurred to me that, when it comes to people who were supposedly from Japan, and whose web footprint would presumably be mostly in Japanese, the people tasked with keeping this whole narrative alive might not have the means to do, in Japanese, what they did for Betty Ong, in English. Or they just didn’t bother. I have given the matter some thought and it seems to me that, if I were in their position, I would have a few fake Japanese profiles on Facebook, and have these fakes put up a few posts reminiscing about their childhood friend Kazuhiro or Takuya. Things like that, just so that, when you search for information on these people, something comes up. But they didn’t do that. Nor have they put up any Japanese language memorial page for either of these two people, analogous to what is on legacy.com or findagrave.com. I have to believe similar sites exist in Japan and it wouldn’t be too hard to have something up there..

But… they just didn’t bother.

Well, to be absolutely precise, they had a bit of an effort going on in the first year after the event, but after the first anniversary, in 2002, one really just finds nothing. It turns out that that Kyodonews site is quite useful. It has a search engine to look up archived photos from the Japanese news media and if you look up 9/11 Taku there by his Japanese name, 中村匠也, you actually get six hits, as compared to only one hit for Kazuhiro Anai. Here are the thumbnail images that come up with the captions.

The first image is dated September 14, 2001 and the last one is September 2, 2002. Even though these thumbnails are blurry, you can see that the same elderly man appears in 5 of them. Apparently, this gentleman is Taku’s father. In the first image from 3 days after the event, we have the caption (approximately, this is from Google translate):

Unidentified family members go to the United States To Narita Airport to go to the United States, the unidentified safety officer of the West Bank of Japan, Takuya Nakamura’s father (back)

Well, later they decided it might be a good idea for the old man to have a name, so we see, in later captions, that Takuya’s father is Mr. Tomoru Nakamura. The one image that appears without Takuya’s father in it is of a man playing the guitar at a “prayer for peace” held in Shimonoseki City, in Yamaguchi prefecture, on 16 December 2001. That is the Japanese classical guitarist Kiyoshi Shomura. It seems that Kiyoshi is famous in certain circles, but I had never heard of him before. Still, having found some of his performances on Youtube, he really seems not half bad. Consider this performance of Spanish guitar music:

It doesn’t say what music Kiyoshi was playing in the “prayer for peace” in which Taku was commemorated. If I had to guess, I would say it was “Imagine”, by John Lennon, or possibly “Give Peace a Chance”. There is a poster-sized photo of somebody behind Kiyoshi in the thumbnail and, I suppose we are supposed to think this is Taku, but it does not explicitly say so.

Looking up images tagged with Nishi-Nippon Bank (西日本銀行) on Kyodonews, one can find this page with this image, dated 22 December 2001:

This photo is of a shrine that was set up in memory of the two employees that Nishi-Nippon Bank lost on 9/11. Presumably, the photos on the wall are of Kazuhiro Anai and Takuya Nakamura, who died that day. However, this news item does not mention them by name or any other details about their lives, except that they worked at that bank. (Or so they say.) In principle, it is possible to obtain a higher resolution version of that image, and maybe we could see the images of the two employees more clearly. However, I don’t think it would be that informative. Really, if the only photographic record of these people consists of a few grainy photos within a photo, that is not going to be much to work with, any more than the utterly skeletal information that can be found in the various obituaries and legacy pages that were put up in English.

A few other things come up in the searches. The most involved page that comes up mentioning Taku is a blog post from 2007 in which somebody claims to have met Taku’s father. As best I can judge from the Google automatic translation of the page the blog author is about three degrees away from having known Taku personally. He had a friend from the same neighborhood as Taku’s father. The blog post does not tell us much about Taku, though it seems to be saying that Taku had a wife, which I’ve never seen mentioned anywhere else — though, like Kazuhiro Anai’s wife, she does not seem to have a name. (Maybe the two should find each other and form 9/11 Widows Anonymous.) Most of the blog post is devoted to recounting that Taku’s father was very much against America’s “War on Terror”, not wanting there to be any more more needless victims like his beloved son Taku. There is one bulletin board page with a couple of different posts from September 2002 which state that Takuya Nakamura (9/11 Taku) attended Toyoura high school Yamaguchi prefecture, which is near where Taku’s father lived and not far from where the peace prayer with the guitarist Kiyoshi Shomura took place — all in Yamaguchi prefecture. So, in Japanese, there does seem to be some vague back story of Taku being from Yamaguchi prefecture at least. Strangely, though, that is not reflected in the various memorial pages put up in English. One can scour the English language web and all you can figure out is that Taku is from Japan. Really, that is vague enough that it ought to elicit suspicion, the same as somebody just being from England or from Germany, without any home town or region ever being specified. It is as if the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing.

Concluding Remarks

In the foregoing, I have outlined the results of my research into these two Japanese victims. All the steps I took can be reproduced. I make no bones about what conclusions I have drawn, but I encourage readers to do their own research and draw their own conclusions.

Absolutely proving a negative is not an easy task. Thus, dear reader, you can still believe adamantly that Kazuhiro Anai and 9/11 Taku were real people who worked at Nishi-Nippon bank and really did die that day. However, my sense is that, given the information I outline here, you would really have to want to believe it.

Intriguing as all this is, for some reason, what passes for the official 9/11 Truth community (Architects and Engineers and such) never addresses these sorts of questions. They are entirely focused on the physics of the building collapses, which is a topic that, it seems to me, has been beaten to death. What about these very simple questions:

  1. How many people saw airplanes crash into buildings on 9/11? (I mean with their own two eyes in real time, not on the TV like the rest of us!)
  2. How many people really personally knew any of the 9/11 victims?

In fact, these sorts of questions are tantamount to being a taboo. They take as a given that planes really crashed into buildings and (nearly) 3000 people really died.


As my own understanding of the 9/11 psy-op has evolved, I have come to doubt — well, actually, I have become quite certain that there were no plane crashes and that the 3000 victims are mostly (or possibly even entirely) fictitious. I have been certain that there were no plane crashes for perhaps 5 years, but the realization that there were no real victims (or very very few) is still quite recent.

I suppose that the biggest obstacle to understanding these things is simply that one’s mind balks at a hoax of this scale, close to 3,000 fake victims, claiming that planes crashed into buildings when they didn’t….

Well, to paraphrase Joe Stalin, the 3,000 victims are a mere statistic, so let us consider these two Japanese victims. Kazuhiro and Taku supposedly worked for a major Japanese bank, Nishi-Nippon Bank to be precise. If those individuals never existed, how do they get that Nishi-Nippon Bank to go along with the story of these two fictitious victims? Wouldn’t somebody blow the whistle? Surely, the people who really did work in Nishi-Nippon’s WTC office would know that these people were never there, no?

I don’t have any really complete answer to such a question. Finally, I think that if you really ponder it, you can finally understand that such a fraud is not nearly as difficult to pull off as it might seem at first blush.

A quick Internet search tells us that Nishi-Nippon Bank currently has 3,470 employees. Let’s assume that the number was not very different on 9/11/2001. Of course, most of those people are in Japan and most of them do not know one another. So, how many of those people would be in a position to know whether those two individuals were employees or not? Somebody with access to all the employment records at the bank’s central office in Japan, would somebody in that position make a point of checking whether either individual really worked there? And if they did check and could not find any records of either individual, would the person stick his neck out and say something?

Why? What for?

Besides, the person in that position might reason, finally, that this is just some mistake, that the records got mislaid somehow.

As for the employees working specifically in the New York branch in the WTC, that is obviously a far smaller number of people, but even so, consider the scenario: if you work in a bank branch with a few dozen people, say, and an event like 9/11 occurs and you are told that two of your fellow bank employees died and you don’t really recall ever seeing those people, would you be willing to swear that those people never existed? Maybe you just never had any dealings with them. Or your memory just isn’t what it used to be…

In short, it’s one thing to talk about thousands of people keeping a secret, but really, the number of people at the bank who are actually conscious of the fraud could be very low. If it is just a few people, how hard would it be to get them (whether by carrot or stick) to go along with the story?

A few years ago, a French acquaintance insisted to me that a good friend of his had been in New York on 9/11 and had seen a plane smack into one of the towers with his own two eyes. I told him that yes, I believed that his friend was in New York at the time, but I was quite certain that he had seen this on the TV like the rest of us. My acquaintance became enraged at me.

How dare I call his friend a liar??!!

Well, you see how this can be a delicate situation. I did not feel that I was really calling his friend (who I had never met) a liar. It was more about the overall psychology of the situation. Quite possibly, in the days following the event, he saw the plane hit the building in a near endless loop on the TV and could well have convinced himself that he saw it with his own two eyes. Or, he reasoned that he was nearby and could have seen it, so he made his New York trip more interesting in the retelling, by saying that he saw it in real-time, when he really just saw it on the TV like everybody else. In the latter case, he was embellishing his story a bit, but people do that. Regular folks sit at the bar and they bullshit a bit. That doesn’t make them pathological liars — just storytellers, like we all are at times.

I came upon these two Japanese victims because, in private correspondence, somebody told me that he knew somebody who knew somebody who knew these people. I have to think that something similar happened here too. Somebody with regular dealings at Nishi-Nippon Bank could convince himself that the affable gentleman who tended to him a week before 9/11 was Kazuhiro Anai or Takuya Nakamura, one of the two who died that day. In any case, it makes his story more interesting:

“Well, I went to that bank to do a wire transfer a few days before 9/11 and the guy who helped me, I later heard that he died that day, never made it out of the building.”

“You don’t say!”

“Yeah, and he seemed like such a nice fella too.”

Well, in closing, it is a complex panorama. Of course, there are the professional false witnesses, like this one, the famous “Harley guy”, who claims to have seen the planes hit the towers. I also have to think that the people who claim to have known Betty Ong personally are, by and large, just lying. Still, it behooves us to understand that there are also innocent explanations of how people, ordinary people who are basically honest, could end up claiming that they knew people who never existed, or saw plane crashes that never happened. Aside from the professional liars, this is another key element in how the overall illusion is constructed.

The mainstream of the 9/11 Truth movement is based on the idea that the key to 9/11 lies in understanding the physics of steel framed buildings. Now, I tend to think that it is more about what I shall call the alchemy of narrative, the black art of transforming made-up stories into “established fact”. While the physics of 9/11 applies pretty much exclusively to 9/11, the alchemy of narrative is really about how the media propaganda system works more generally, and is more dangerous to the powers that be. Strangely, they can tolerate people (some significant minority, anyway) understanding that the buildings were blown up with explosives of some sort. However, the role of the media, the propaganda matrix, their ability to construct an end-to-end hoax — that is the real taboo, the hidden truth that the controlled opposition 9/11 Truth movement is determined to conceal.

Comments from the Discussion Forum

  1. Great read.

    You touch upon the question how they would have managed to get the real employees of that Japanese bank to go along with the story. However, what about the people that actually were supposed to come to work that day at the WTC towers? Did they simply manage to evacuate them all before blowing up the towers? Did they somehow keep them out altogether?

    When I visited NY in December 2001, there were vigils with photographs of perished firemen and candle lights in various places in Manhattan. People would stop by and pray or meditate in silence. Your hypothesis would require that these firemen were invented too. This sort of victim “with deep ties to the community” would probably be the hardest to fake. The safe bet would have been to sacrifice at least some people for real.

  2. I guess the victims of 911 are a hybrid of those who really existed, and fake ones like Black/Chinese Betty Ong and (probably) these Japanese victims of 911.

    Fake victims (with their mourning friends and relatives) have this beautiful ‘extra’ that they can only talk in the way their inventors make them talk. That usually means that they don’t talk at all. They are just devastated by the terror event, you see. And they also never stand up against the usual routine of Western armies who will bomb countries in order to retaliate the event, kill the perpetrators (who never were convicted in front of a trial) and with them kill hundreds of thousands other citizens. The silence of fake victims must be seen in only one way: they agree with the retaliation and the war. Fake victims also have the advantage that they make the death toll rise from the terrorist event. I don’t think that 200 American deaths in the WTC would have led to an invasion in Afghanistan, or Iraq. But 3000, including people from Japan and elsewhere, that is much more impressive!

    Jon, I am reading: ‘breakfast of champions’ from Vonnegut right now. There, one of the characters explains that humans are driven by 2 emotions only: gold and women’s underpants. And since these two emotions are so ridiculous to cling to, though man believes they are not, shows that mankind is able to believe anything.

    Gullibility is not a vice of mankind, but given that man is known to be gullible, it is pretty simple for ‘them’ to make mankind believe anything, whether it relates to 911, race, climate, food, addictives, sexuality, anything. And it is not gullibility that is the vice, but the people who abuse other man’s trust who commit a vice. I am sure that PR agents disagree there with me. And I am also sure that they can be pretty convincing in explaining why abusing one’s trust is -not- a vice of mankind. And I am sure that I am able to believe that, because I am a human too. Which is one of the reasons why I turn the screen off, don’t listen to the news, etc. Still, there is quite a lot to unlearn from the days that I still listened to news (and believed it). And since news is everywhere, it is not that simple to completely quarantine yourself from it…

    I agree that it is much easier to talk about steel frames and WTC 7 (that fell in its own footprint), than talk about planes that did not hit WTC or victims of 911 who do not exist. The former is quite a dull discussion, the latter ‘explosive’. The latter can also not be made into a movie or a book (too far away from the conventional wisdom that magic on such a grand scale simply cannot happen), while the former can and probably will. Plot: some nerd starts to doubt the official narrative of 911 and finds out that apart from that 2 planes hit the WTC and that 3000 people died on 911, much else was going on! Someday that will be televised, like Oliver Stone’s JFK, and that will be called ‘our history’.

    Jon, I want to thank you for writing yet another entertaining and thoughtful essay.

  3. Yes, the storyline of the Japanese 911 victims is hard to believe, but not impossible if you look at it superficially. I think that such a storyline is good enough to tell to the (easily distracted) public, so why aim for more if you are into storywriting? It is as if all these incidents are given to the public as an appetizer (the event), but the main course (the explanation) never comes, we just get more appetizers.

    Not being American, and not really caring about 911, I remember that I did not pay much interest in 911 at the time. I do remember that I was much more intrigued by the Antrax envelopes that were sent to congressmen; seemed much more sinister to me. And in retrospect that was a perfect distraction (for people like me) to not ask too many questions about the 911 storyline. And from there it just continued with Rumsfeld’s acknowledgement that Al Qaida caved itself in in Afghanistan, the Bin Laden videotapes and then the Liberation of Afghanistan by US troops, etc, etc. If you follow the news on a daily diet (like I did back then), it is very easy to get distracted by the most ludicrous stories: all appetizers; and the moment the audience at large may ask sceptical questions, they are led to another appetizer (e.g., antrax), etc.

    Now being a balibomb survivor, and having been in close contact with victims, their friends and relatives, I can assure you that all the 4 Dutch who died there l can be found on internet (Dutch sites), and that friends and relatives did make an effort to make the victims ‘alive’ again by talking with journalists and report their personal stories to some detail. So that not much can be found about the 911 Japanese victims, is a bit odd. Or is it a cultural thing of Japanese people being ‘shy’, not ‘talkative’, ‘mourning for themselves’?

    Actually, there are 2 people from Japan who died during the balibombings in 2002, so here is a perfect natural experiment.

    Bali really happened, and Japanese people (2 of them) died. See https://www.sbs.com.au/news/bali-bombings-full-list-of-victims-names

    If 911 is similar to Bali (and not a hybrid or staged event), you would expect at least as little coverage in Japan about the Bali victims as they reported on the Japanese 911 victims.

    Here are their names:

    Kosuke Suzuki

    Yuka Suzuki

    So here is a quick result


    Kosuke Suzuki Balibombings


    Yuka Suzuki Balibombings

    In English stories pop-up about names of relatives who mourn for these Japanese. And that is just a quick and dirty Google search (English language). Curious to know what would happen if you expand the search in Japanese language similar as to what you did for the 911 Japanese victims. Will the result be the same or different? - Just a thought for another research project…

  4. Well, thanks a lot for this. It provides some baseline comparison. Let’s see…

    It is not hard to find out that the two people, Kosuke Suzuki and Yuka Suzuki were a married couple and their names in Japanese are:

    鈴木康介 and 鈴木由香 respectively.

    There is a photo of them here: https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASKBD4JH2KBDUHBI011.html

    And that is already more than we have for either of the two alleged Japanese 9/11 victims! One little wrinkle is that (another) Kosuke Suzuki (written the same as the Bali victim in Kanji) is a famous (or moderately famous) actor. You can see that by googling the Japanese name “鈴木康介”.

    Well, there’s not a lot of information on this couple, but at least there is that photo that one finds quite quickly. There are some articles that say that this couple had visited Bali many times. They identified the woman from dental records.

    I have to admit, very little life history. Something comes up about the parents of both victims. Nothing about them having any children, but maybe they didn’t have any. I was trying to find a memorial page for either of them with a bit of history, like where they went to school and not finding anything. I haven’t looked as hard as I did with the two 9/11 Japanese victims. Maybe I’ll look a bit more later.

  5. Oh, and here is something I forgot to mention that is quite funny. (At least IMHO it is.)

    There was (or maybe still is) this project to have bloggers sort of “adopt” a 9/11 victim and write a tribute to that person. It was called the “2996 project”. https://project2996.wordpress.com/

    I came across the 2996 project blog entry for Kazuhiro Anai. Check this out!


    Look at how the guy just fails to find out anything about this person and starts bullshitting. Reminds me of the examination answer of somebody who never studied the material!

    Look at the third comment under that blog post. The guy writes that he
    also has a Japanese victim to write a blog entry about and can’t find any information about the person! Funny enough, the whole thing has such a presumption of being real that these people don’t see anything so strange about the fact that they can’t dig up any information at all about the people they’re supposed to be writing about!

  6. Pity that nothing came (or seems to have come) out of the test. But then, maybe the sample of 2 individuals (in Bali and 911) was too small and led to a type II error. Or maybe the Japanese really are less ‘loud’ than the Dutch when they remember their victims.

    That 2996 project is obviously trying to make worthy victims out of those who died during 911. I would only start to believe in their sincerity, if they would try to the same thing about the victims who died in e.g., Fallujah, Basra, Al-Shifa, Benghazi, etc, due to US, GB, and NATO bombing. But that of course will never happen… And I would certainly start to complain (and not consider the site a joke anymore) if they would try to make a worthy victim out of people that I know who died in such terrorist attacks.

    But I am pretty sure that the 2996 bloggers don’t have to be afraid that they will ever get a complaint from a friend or relative of all the victims that they commemorate.

  7. Well, yeah, there is the issue of the sample being so small. That’s for sure. With the Suzuki couple that died in Bali, at least there is one photo that is labelled as having been provided by family members. A bit more searching in Japanese (which is quite laborious for me) I did find that they were apparently from the city of Yokohama and the husband was supposed to have worked for the city. An office worker. Well, a clerk, I guess. Nothing more precise than that. Apparently, the couple went to Bali every year since 1996, loved the place.

    Well, are we 100% sure that these two are real people? I honestly don’t know what to think. I honestly don’t know what one’s expectations should be in terms of what one should find. I have to admit that I haven’t found any descriptions from anybody, like friends or co-workers, who seemed to have known these people. Did they have any hobbies besides taking their yearly vacation in Bali? In general, so far, I could say that with this Suzuki couple, it’s hard to find any reality to them outside of them being victims of that Bali bombing. They were from Yokohama and the husband worked for the city. Pretty vague… Trying to narrow in using Yokohama (横浜) in search strings doesn’t get me very far.

    Cripes, I honestly just don’t know…

    Well, at least there is a photo of these people. Those two Japanese 9/11 victims that I looked at, neither of whom even has a photo, that’s really just crazy. I can’t believe that either of those are real people.

    But if you search using the Dutch language, you can find some real biographical information about the Dutch victims, right? You can figure out where they went to school or worked and stuff like this, right?

  8. There is plenty if you Google the 4 Duch names who died during the Balibombings

    You will find birth dates, places of burial, names of family and relatives, where they lived, blogs and reports of people who remember the victims, etc etc. Also the people who remembered them have a tracklist on internet, long after Bali, which is related to many things and most often NOT Bali.

    Which got me thinking about 911 Dutch victim (n=1): Ingeborg Lariby

    Well a quick and dirty search revealed… not much…

    She has 2 parents, who are very media and internet shy (understandable perhaps), and for instance “say” according to the info of a Dutch muckymuck journalist specialized in US issues, that they are happy that justice had its course when Bin Laden died in 2011, but that they still grieve about the death of their daughter. See: https://www.ad.nl/buitenland/we-krijgen-onze-dochter-er-niet-mee-terug~a62c8ca6/

    I could not find blogs, Facebook pages of friends who remember her. She seemed to have had no partner, friends, brothers/sisters. And I could also find no entry of her on the web before 911. There is one web page (most in Dutch… ) that tells quite bit about her life story: she worked for a very large company (Regius) and was living alone in NY, leading the ‘sex and the City’ life.


    There are also names of former classmates of her


    But these classmates (again quick and dirty) seemed to have not taken the trouble to write about the tragedy of Ingeborg Lariby on 911 and how they remember her…

    And there is also nobody complaining about having been named (as former classmate), even though, you know, privacy is an issue on the web…

    And then there is also this (in English, please read…)


    Of course, all this does not proof that Ingeborg Lariby did not exist, but it does ring a bell, at least to me, when I contrast Lariby to the 911 Japanese deaths. And it seems to confirm the Bali (real event) vs 911 (staged/hybrid event) test, where you would expect detailed life stories of the victims (but maybe not all) for the former, and find much less detailed life stories for the latter or maybe even nothing at all.

    Now this Dutch sample is, admittedly small, I am biased in my assesment (since I know the Dutch victims from Bali almost by heart, and am not really interested in 911), and I have only done a quick and dirty search.

    But if you want to research this empirically, you could for instance:

    1 sample victims from English speaking countries, except US (since 911 happened in the US), and compare Bali vs 911 in terms of

    No. Entries of the victims on the web before the terror event and not related in any way to the terror event (hypothesis: more to be found for Bali victims than 911 victims)

    No. Of relatives of the victims

    No. Of blogs about the victims

    If the victims had a family

    If anything of the relatives and friends of the victims can be found on the internet that is NOT related to Bali or 911


    This type of research is certainly time consuming, but also worth the effort if you are involved in a movement (where many hands make light work). So if you are in the 911 movement, than I think you have a research project. I am not excluding the possibility that this already has been done. For instance, see here:


  9. Well, okay. However, having slept on this, I have to say that I just have to conclude that the Suzuki couple, Kosuke and Yuka, must be fakes. There is that one (rather unflattering) photo of them and nothing else. And there is just no real information. They don’t really seem to have any existence outside just being victims of the Bali attack.

    Kosuke supposedly was an office worker for the city of Yokohama but there is no mention of what administrative department or any of that. Yokohama is apparently Japan’s second largest city, over 3 million people, but actually, I think it’s really just part of the overall Tokyo megalopolis, so like it’s all concrete between there and Tokyo itself. But anyway… Just as I pointed out about these 2 Japanese bankers from 9/11, no description of these people from anybody who knew them. No biographical information to speak of, quite unclear where they attended school or university. You can’t figure out the name of either man’s wife… But simply not a single photo. That has to be the A-1-A killer.

    So, the two Japanese victims from Bali look like fakes. They really must be, based on the same reasoning I provided in this article. So I have to stick to my guns on that… Now, that doesn’t logically imply that the four Dutch victims are fakes. If they are real, then this is a hybrid event, with some real victims and some fakes.

    You said you personally knew one (or was it more than one) of the victims in Bali? Was that one of the four Dutch victims or somebody else? How well did you know the person? (Sorry to probe, but this is some real information here…)

    What you tell me about the one (almost certainly fake) Dutch victim from 9/11 is interesting, that Ingeborg Lariby woman. I had never heard that name before.

  10. I have been thinking about the married Dutch couple. I don’t think they will pass your test and therefore have to be considered as fake as well. I am saying this since I do not want you to withhold ideas to spare my feelings. I, on the other hand, think that fake victims (like the Japanese) were added to the list of real victims of the Balibombings and consider the Dutch married couple as real

    A. I spoke on several occasions with relatives of the married couple

    B. I considered them to be genuinely mourning and therefore

    C. Want to be on the safe side, calling the Dutch couple a false negative test result when you put them to your test.

    The other 2 Dutch victims will pass your test.

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