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The Kempei ebook excerpt


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The Kempei, by Richard M. Baker, Jr. One of the few war novels written by an American from the Japanese point of view, The Kempei illuminates unrestrained and authorized 20th-century terrorism …

The Kempei, by Richard M. Baker, Jr. One of the few war novels written by an American from the Japanese point of view, The Kempei illuminates unrestrained and authorized 20th-century terrorism whitewashed fromn the pages of Japanese history. Decent-hearted farm boy, Junichiro Inouye, is drawn into a world of brutal military intimidation and terror as a Kempaitai soldier in the violent subjugation of Manchuria prior to a planned takeover of China and Southeast Asia. Recaptured through the literary lens of the author, his research of period events identifies a military rule that reportedly claimed 20 to 30 million lives throughout occupied Asia. (Historical Fiction) $9.95 on Web-e-Books, 399 pages.
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  • 1. Not in the History Books…Presenting The Kempei, by Richard M. Baker, Jr.One of the few war novels written by an American from theJapanese point of view, The Kempei illuminates unrestrained andauthorized 20th-century terrorism whitewashed from the pagesof Japanese history.Decent-hearted farm boy, Junichiro Inouye, is drawn into a worldof brutal military intimidation and terror as a Kempeitai soldier inthe violent subjugation of Manchuria prior to a planned takeoverof China and Southeast Asia. He epitomizes the two-sidedpersonality of a dedicated military policeman indoctrinated by animperialist nation.Recaptured through the literary lens of the author, his exactingresearch of period events identifies a military rule that reportedlyclaimed 20 to 30 million lives throughout occupied Asia.(Historical Fiction) $9.95 (online download); $19.95 (on USB stick).400 pages.Visit the website at: www.thekempei.comRead an excerpt by scrolling below
  • 2. The Kempeia novel byRichard M. Baker, Jr.Copyright © 2010 The Tri-Screen Connection, LLCAll rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. ™ P.O. Box 1291 | Portland | ME | 04104 | USAThis book is a work of fiction. Names and characters are products of the author’s imagination or are usedfictionally with the exception of period references to public figures for historical setting.First of The Tri-Screen Connection trade e-book edition 2010For information about The Kempei or The Tri-Screen Connection, please see:www.thekempei.comwww.tri-screenconnection.comLibrary of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available.
  • 3. Part One It was a short distance but long uneasy walk from the infantry training grounds tothe headquarters of the Imperial Kempei. The command to report at once to Captain Sembahad cast fear over the entire platoon, but Second Class Private Junichiro Inouye was theonly soldier ordered to step out. Terrified to have attracted the attention of the 11thDivision Military Police, he hurried along the neat walks, roads and grounds of the largeZentsûji army installation, his nearly 18-year-old frame solid and handsome, matured bysix months of intensive instruction in the 43rd Infantry Regiment. It was the morning of the last day of the seventh month in the sixth year of Shôwa,1931. On the hot, dry parade ground, Inouye had submitted to the impatient orders of anassistant platoon sergeant. Now in his baggy tan uniform, wet in the armpits and back,approaching a building he had never entered, a place friends warned should be avoided,the peasant soldier examined his military training for times he’d been disciplined bysuperiors with slaps, kicks and blows. Any of those instances, or the accumulation of them,might have drawn the eyes of a Kempei officer to his dossier. And yet, he had been quick tolearn, and obey his superiors without question. Inouye sighed and faltered before the entrance of a grey stone building flanked bysentinels. He passed without acknowledgment and wondered what he had expected…to bestruck and downed by rifle butts, or seized and assisted through the doorway by bayonet-point? Pausing a moment in the entryway, Inouye bent to remove his shoes and, cap inhand, entered a wide busy room and approached a lean sergeant occupying a place ofseemingly greatest prominence. An old wooden clock mounted on the wall above theseated man read ten o’clock precisely. Inouye stopped, saluted, and bowed, but stood toofar from the desk to hear the sergeant. He advanced and repeated the procedure, bowinglower, hands to belly. “What?” snapped the superior, a Sergeant of the First Class with three stars and avertical gold band on his collar patches. He was hot, tired, and cross after Semba’s tiradeabout inefficiency when the sergeant had been seconds late with a conscript’s records...probably this one, the man thought, killing a fly on his desk with the flat of his hand. Inouye bowed lower. “Sir, I beg your pardon, but I was ordered to report to CaptainSemba at once.” “Lick this mess off my hand, private!” Inouye complied instantly, swallowing with no sign of distaste. Somewhere in theroom a man giggled and the sergeant glared him into silence. For several minutes, the clockmade the only sound. Inouye began to perspire heavily; his lips were dry, but he resistedmoistening them for fear of drawing attention to his face. He strove to maintain a cold,blank expression and stand straight and motionless, but was startled by the sergeant whosnapped: “And who are you?”
  • 4. “Sir! Inouye, Junichiro, Second Class Private!” Inouye replied smartly. His armsached from tension. “What else?” the man demanded, his eyes slit. “State your organization, stupidignorant son of a stupid ignorant rice-planter! Dono chûtai ni zokushita imasu ka?” Inouye blushed. “Second Company, sir--” The man clenched his fists and Inouye braced for a battering. “Second Company, sir!” he repeated loudly. “Third Battalion, 43rd Regiment ofInfantry, 11th Division, Fourth Military Jurisdiction!” The superior glowered. “Kokodo mate!” He stood abruptly and disappeared througha rear door. Inouye waited for a time before the man reappeared and ordered Inouye tofollow him. Led down a long dark hallway behind the reception room, he stopped shortwhen the sergeant said, “Tomare!” and knocked on a door. “Hairo!” a voice growled. The sergeant opened the door and pushed Inouye in to a small office. “Private Inouye, captain!” The boy failed to salute and bow fast enough to please the sergeant who delivered ahard slap to Inouye’s ear. Without looking up the officer spoke calmly: “That’s enough,sergeant.” The man bowed, exited the room and shut the door. Inouye stood stiffly and waitedas the officer read through a file of papers. As time passed and Inouye dared look down, hestudied the man. Immaculately dressed in a well-fitted summer uniform, Semba wore brown, thick-rimmed eyeglasses, and close-cut hair. His strong, impassive, rather ugly face bore a bushyblack moustache and a scar across the lower lip that gave his mouth a twisted look. He wasbent so far over the papers that Inouye wondered why he didn’t use a brighter bulb in thesocket hung by a cord over the desk. The stark, windowless room was painted Kempeiblack. “How many people have you murdered?” Captain Semba asked suddenly. Wild thoughts took hold of the young soldier...prison…execution…torture. “Tomma! Idiot! Answer me! How many?” The officer glared with eyes accustomed towatching victims squirm with but few words from him. “How many?” he asked again in alow mean tone. “None, sir,” Inouye replied. “Have you ever had the desire to kill?” “No, sir.” “Truthfully now, wouldn’t you like to kill me this instant?” “Oh, no sir!” Semba glanced at the soldier, a faint smile on the twisted mouth. “If I ordered a manto sever your fingers, would you want to kill me?” Inouye swallowed and shook his head. “Well, private?”
  • 5. “It would be your right to order my fingers severed, sir.” Semba nodded and grinned, revealing large yellow teeth. “If I brought in yourfamily, tortured then murdered them and drank your mother’s blood, would you want tokill me?” The captain fixed his cruel, unblinking eyes on Inouye’s. “I’m waiting for ananswer, private!” Semba snapped, wanting to break the boy despite aversion to his orders.Like every gendarme in the 11th Division area, he thought the experiment ridiculous. “If you had a reason, sir, you could do nothing that would make me want to killyou,” Inouye said, glancing at the door to his right, fearing his parents and sister werebehind it. “The Kempei needs no reason! Rape, torture and murder would be for my pleasureonly! O-wakari ni narimashita ka?” “Yes, sir, I understand,” said Inouye, though thinking hai, I’d want to kill you. Butthe thought frightened him. Tennô-heika could be listening. Perhaps the captain could readhis mind, too. “If I ordered you to do the same, would you obey?” “Hai, sir, I am a soldier.” Semba knew the boy was lying and wished for the opportunity to test him. “Have you fornicated with your mother?” Inouye did not understand. “Shôchi shimash’ ta.” “You have, have you? What did your father think about that?” “I don’t know, sir.” “Did he watch you do it?” Ashamed of his ignorance, Inouye eyed the floor. “I don’t understand the word, sir.” “What word?” “Fornicated, sir.”Thank you for reading this excerpt from The Kempei. To purchasethe entire 400-page novel as a PC e-book, go to: