B-rated fiction isn’t so bad

Kami Jin: The Universe’s Answer to Poverty Starvation and Homelessness: Making Wars Obsolete: A Global Message of Peace to the Earth

By Lloyd Kaneko (Whittier, Calif.: self published, 2010, 372 pp., $19.95, paperback)

To the average reader, Lloyd Kaneko will not be an appetizing read. His book is long, and his writing style is complex.

For me, reading it was a challenge. I took a good three months to finish this book. At first the book required me to put it down after each chapter. Toward the end, however, the story became unstoppable, like a spilled bowl of lukewarm clam chowder dribbling onto your pants — you can’t stand up and out of it, and all you can do is continue to watch in befuddlement. The book reminds me of the aesthetics of B-rated horror.

The story mainly follows A. Gordon Sakata, a man with no faults. He is smart, kind and relatively successful, though remains an underdog to the ruling corrupt powers that control the Earth in the 23rd century. Gordon is part of the final remnants of the “middle class” as a college lecturer. He is a man who perseveres despite homelessness, corruption and oppression. He is easily mistaken for being Japanese, but he is actually Napajanese, from a peace-loving island nation untarnished by Japan’s Imperialist views in World War II. Nonetheless, his people were twice incarcerated. First, during World War II, and then by the Republic of North America in the early 22nd century during World War III. The people of Napajanese descent were rounded up and imprisoned in concentration camps, like the Japanese Americans they resemble.

Kaneko meant for the term “Kami Jin” to have a double meaning. In Japanese, the word can mean either “paper people” — the impoverished masses discarded from society in favor of greed (and also the level of their character development) — or “God people,” the children of God who are meant to be enlightened and saved from oppression. The story takes place in a dystopian future where the unemployment rate is 90 percent; most jobs in the world have been relegated to robots that do not tire or require minimum wage.

Nothing perturbs Gordon too much. He recorded in his diary — which is embedded in his bionic arm — “It was cold and probably dark since it was about 11 at night. I remember smelling the scent of pine as we probably we were (sic) riding around in the middle of a forest full of pine trees. The air was not only very cold, but very crisp. I never smelled air so clean in my life.” He recorded this while sitting in the back of a truck — blindfolded — as he departed a concentration camp to be left to die in the wilderness.

And despite incarceration and attempts on his life, his positive fortune makes readers aware that no real misfortune will ever befall him. Throughout the book, Gordon finds himself a beautiful wife (who is, unbeknownst to him, an alien princess), wins a mountain of cash while on their honeymoon, becomes enlightened with new-age philosophy that saves mankind, and also becomes Emperor of Xychron (an alien civilization descendent of the ancient Napajanese civilization).

This book was so crazy and badly written, that it was camp. The book possesses some kind of magic in keeping me. I wanted to know just how Gordon, in his self-righteous infallible ways, will save mankind with his incredibly nonsensical concept of human equality.

I will admit the ending was rather surprising.

 

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