Des Bettany – Japanese Guard

This is probably the best of several studies of his captors that Des produced. Adept at portraiture,
I remember my father telling me that as he was drawing one of the guards, another came from behind and snatched the sketch book from him. The guard drew a crude caricature of himself in uniform and wrote something on the page in Japanese, then left. Dad was relieved at the time that the incident had no serious ramifications.
The text was in ‘old’ Japanese, and it wasn’t until 2001 when a Japanese student my brother was hosting said his grandfather in Japan could probably read it, that it was finally translated. It read ‘I, too, am an artist’.

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