Book Features

Author Takuan Amaru shares Gaikokujin The Story

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This is a spiritual rags to riches adventure. I have been blessed to live a ‘storybook life’ but not in any glamorous way. Writing this book has allowed me to examine my role as a person of color—which I refer to as ‘melanin-rich’—in a society which has proven itself to be hostile toward non-Caucasian people. Because this is part memoir, part historical treatise, and part survivor’s guide, it is my intention to stretch the parameters of a conventional novel. Book 1 of this Trilogy is told through the eyes of a confused child. A stranger in my own home, like so many neglected children, I found a surrogate family in the street—mainly at our neighborhood basketball courts. After learning how to ‘make a dollar out of fifteen cents,’ I was headed down a tried-and-true path for disaster until, ironically, a Beast and a Serpent came to my rescue.


In the 1980s, the economic policies of the Reagan Administration, policies widely known as “Reaganomics,” created such astronomical unemployment for young blacks that John E. Jacob, president of the National Urban League, labeled the decade a “Depression Generation.” Since that time, black and brown people have been murdered and incarcerated at such a disproportionate rate compared to Caucasians, that nowadays brothers beyond the age of thirty who are not on probation and have a job (not to mention all their teeth) are such rare figures in our community children see us as old men.

The only adult guidance many of our youth receive comes from gang members, drug addicts, or neighborhood bums. Since these are the adults the youth emulate, trying to put something over on peoplewe called it ‘getting over’rather than succeed through meritorious achievement, replaces true ambition. The result: crime and other forms of deceit become a normal way of life. Despite being a dangerous game to play, many have been led to believe this is the road to the American Dream.

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Takuan Amaru is an accomplished writer, teacher, and youth advocate. He is the author of over 100 articles ranging on diverse topics like popular culture, music, history, and ancient spirituality / philosophy. A number of distinct life experiences have thrusted Tak into a cycle of multicultural renaissance. Takuan borrows from his various, former occupations as a soldier, social worker, mental-health specialist, athlete, music artist, and high school teacher to connect with readers on an intimate level. He makes his home in Nagoya, Japan. For more information, including how to contact Takuan, please email him at:; or connect via Facebook.

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