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The Stick & The Stars

Reconciliation Episode

The 06 Exhibition

A strange thing, coincidence. Akira Tsurakame has lived with his wife Kay and son Andre in Los Angles since the late 1960's.  He has been a very busy guy work-wise but deep down he yearned to try and find out more about the father he never knew. His dad was killed in WW2. He was an Engineering Officer on a Japanese U-Boat called the I166 when it was torpedoed and sank by HMS Telemachus in July 1944; captained by Commander Bill King. In 2003/2004 Akira decided to take timeout to visit Japan and do some research on his father with hopes that he could get in touch with other relatives of  those who died on I166 and perhaps do some sort of commemoration to his Dad and the others lost in its sinking.

Having achieved what he set out to do, he and Kay decided to travel to Europe before returning to Los Angles. In Budapest he wanted to travel to Moscow but the agent would not process his visa so Akira and Kay travelled to Amsterdam instead. Akira, through research had discovered that the I166 had sank a Dutch submarine in 1941 called the K16. He decided, as part of his mission, to place some flowers at a memorium to the lost crew of the K16. Having done that, he felt his journey was over and it was time to return to America and do some work.

The following day he visited an Internet Cafe and received an email from a lady called Katja Boonstra. Katja requested to meet him and explained that her Dad was a member of the crew on K16, sunk on Christmas morning in 1941. They arranged to meet. Akira was very pensive, as his father's ship had caused the death of this woman's Dad, but Kay supported him and they met....

Subsequently, Akira mentioned he would like to meet with relatives of the crew from HMS Telemachus. Katja Boonstra had heard about a Commander in the west of Ireland and then they discovered he was still alive and well at 94 years of age, residing in Oranmore Castle, Co. Galway, Ireland. Akira wrote to Bill and his daughter, Leonie, requesting a visit. Bill was a little concerned about some Japanese chap turning up with a samurai seeking vengeance, but relented and thus the 'Reconciliation' took place in August 2004. Three generations met for the weekend, Akira's family, Katja's family and Bill King's family. the episode was recorded, the party, in true Irish spirit was great, and the occasion ended with a ceremonial planting of a 'Peace Tree' in the castle garden.

Watch it on video here.

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