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- Chapter α -



Is life a dream or an illusion?

These days, KAMAYANN reflect on what has he done or where he will go

It remind him that ups and downs of this town where his stage of the life.


In 1945, After air raid, KAMAYANN was the merely bereaved.

Lonesome and strange life had begun.

Still he has a dream of the scene of that time.



In ‘50s, KAMAYANN used to be a ragman, shoeshine boy, and tobacconist, or

odd-job man for cargo ships.

He was a unique street child in Naniwa, Japan who has no time for getting



[Kamagasaki was a slum and shacks had jostled. Everyone, men, women and kids

lived for dear life.]


In early ‘60s, Became an orphanage then he spent half of his life for

working for overseas cargo ships and being in this town.


[Japanese economy started the roll to take off. Young labors from rural

district or ex-coal miners sustained this rise. Day labor assembles market

showed an aspect how was the economic like and at that time Kamagasaki was

an open-air market.



[A view of Kamagasaki Ginza St. in early ‘60s]



In late ‘60s, because of construction manual work he became a well muscled

man who like a cheep booze and TAKOYAKI-ball cake, with somewhat smell of

sea. Being Happy-go-luck man.


[By Tokyo Olympic in 1964 and Osaka Exposition in 1970 were turning points

for jumping up of Japanese economy in the sky. These days, full of job offer

rushed through in Kamagasaki with huge buses that came to rake up labors.]



In ‘70s,

Yet, KAMAYANN had started to feel that he does not belong in Japan, he liked

the town.

The town was neglected by ordinary people but free. He had been brought up

with a mind of child since he was alone. He thought that the town suits him

He looked like a cartoon character of the “DORAEMON” and,

He was a kind of man who always spoke out “No problem.”


[Meanwhile Japan economics was flying up in the sky with a favorable wind,

some people who could not catch up had drifted to Kamagasaki. Some of them

settled and others had gone somewhere. Sometime the town became a unique

place for both single-handed men and labors but not for anyone else.

Its population came up 20,000 and there were more than 200 cheap


Kamagasaki was quite unique city space.]


In ‘80s,

His mind that he felt himself was an outsider of the society became the peak

in this era.

Faces of people passing streets seemed senseless robots or reptiles.

He felt some solitary.


[Through out and overcome a couple of recessions, Japanese capitalistic grow

to the top or being in “BUBBLE.” Somehow, its figure turned like a plump

pig. It was natural that no way to fly for a pig any longer.

The economic Bubble also brought a peak of hiring offer that behind call up

for the hell of being out of job approached in a couple of year later.]



Today, We can recall that the riot braked after an interval of 17 years in

October 1990 was a voice to the society that was in sick with the Bubble.


[This picture is a copy from the book “HOTEL NEW KAMAGASAKI.”]


Some gap rise and lie between existence of KAMAYANN and Japan for a long


“I prefer being a hunger migratory to being like a mechanical part of an

enterprise” KAMAYANN used to said so when he drunk at stall bar.

KAMAYANN kept JP YEN, which he can use powerfully in third world countries,

then more often turned his back to Japan. Spread his free wings to the

world. He is a free man.

Or may be not that, but just there is no place for him in Japan.



KAMAYANN saw a lot of things, and walked through

A town in civil war, a village in poverty, islands with beautiful palms, a

city covered with car pollution and slums looked like Kamagasaki in ‘50s or

a country with discrimination.

He saw a country of worker. He had been in the north or south.


One day, he met a unique old man while travelling.

“You! A fellow. A man who shall plow up at the end of his journey.” An old man said.


“Yes. It means not cultivate for all but when you tired for journey, come

to the end of your journey and set up a housekeeping then be a citizen.”

“Citizen? What your mean of citizen.” KAMAYANN was stunned.



An old man guided his town. It totally differs that of Japan. People in

there enjoy personal time but share a great deal for discussion at

gatherings or through Internet, or put energy for sizes of self-governmental

organizations. It seemed they were well being in circulation.

Government offices were out of officialism. Information or what ever was open.

Companies were not like enterprise. Funds or know how were provided to public.

Politicians were not governors. They were clean and no cozy relationship

with business.Of course there were some unique who are ordinal in Japan.

A housewife came to talk him with smile, who is stranger but without

heritage. ?Now adays, it is impossible at lonesome Japan. Specially to a

lower class, like KAMAYANN-

“It looks not so but this town started from a burned ruin after warfare.

Still under construction and each one should think how to build it. Everyone

must head the cast.” She said.


And an old man followed. “See KAMAYANN.”

“How did you know my name?”

“LIVING means, first of all, you must get a place to impair the dignity. He


“Sure it. But recently number of homeless is growing because of

unemployment in Japan and also other part of the world.”

“It is problem too. However, at the second, it is not enough live in a

house as a case.

You must maintain comfortable relations to not only your family but also

with your neighbors and then join to keep up your town to reflect your will.

This is a procedure of build a lovely place at where people want to live and

environment of the earth can be protected. This is called “Development of

living ability.” This was declared at UN conference at Istanbul, Turkey in

1996. Now, how about changing your course of life on this way? End your

journey and have an eye on being a citizen of 21st century.”

KAMAYANN stammered again. “Citizen of 21st century… It sounds like social

class but…Something is wrong. Ah. Why your looks is alike me? You are a

mysterious guy.”



It was Jan. 17 1995 in between a trip to another for him.

He happened to work at a construction site in Kobe, Japan.

He just stood there in utter amazement. Great Kansai Earthquake.

It was the second scene of burned ruins for his life.

KAMAYANN felt sorrowful. Japan had broken and it was natural because Japan

was totally opposite of what he saw at the old man’s town.

“What shall we do?” “What we missed for…”

Japan nor Kamagasaki, even himself would not be able to stand well without


KAMAYANN began to think over.



Now this grade school dropout guy transform himself to a philosopher.

Feelings it is the first time in his life that thinking something like this.

Meanwhile he was just a war orphan, he had had to move and work for the

first thing.

Meditating itself make even a headache because of not do so for a long time.



KAMAYANN recall what the old man told him on the way of trip.

“But, after all I will end my life as a drifter in this town. It sounds not

so bud.

Like a HIKU poet; Mr. MATSUO BASHO, I will dead on travelling that I like.

That’s my, my aesthetic. No way to turn…”

KAMAYANN look around the town of KAMAGASAKI in there

Wondering people who are looking for a day job by some reasons. And,

Spreading shack hotels and eating-houses that merely gather without order.


Something flashed in his mind then survey another side of view from a top of

the TSUTENKAKU tower.

There is another town with mess of buildings. It is a typical view of Japan,

that disappoints people especially for visitors or returnees from western

who just arrived at tinsel Kansai airport then looked through a window of a

car when the pass.

There is a Japanese town at where neighbors seem only work and sleep.

Something welled up in his mind. Some like combative spirit.

Yes, people in this side are the same drifters as a point of neglecting for

community reform or producing living space.

KAMAGASAKI is just a simple and easy guide to show, isn’t it?



“When you change yourself, Japan shall be changed. People will get flurried

and surprised because they will find that even you are trying to change.”

“Too rude!”

“Fight against it, KAMAYANN” Voice of the old man echoed inside of him.

He must be my dad who I missed before I could have a memory. It means that

the lady behind him was my mum? It must be a dream or I’ve got aged. It is

the first time for him for sobbing with sorrow.



Summer has come again. The season he became an orphan.

KAMAYANN determined. It is the time to break with convention.

A small locust must ecdysiast at the end of long time sleeping.

It will be none the worth off, even if it not work. There is nothing to

loose after all.

He backs to normal. A man of optimism knows no bounds.



“People may laugh on me but that’s nothing for me. After a burst of

laughter, some of them may find what is some important.

Even KAMAYANN has begun to prepare the era of new value with a mind of


With a mind of if you want another day that differs as usual, you must be

different as before.



“So, what is it after all? From where shall I start?”

This is a question to move on.

“The author of mine said someday at the burned ruins after the great

HANSHIN earthquake, that it shall be new relations of a man to man.”

“Yes, I will start with setting up a family… Shoot! I’ve forgot to have a


He is estimated at age of fifty-five.



However a chance has come.

One day, a new character “Flighty Boy; FUWAFUWA” has run away to


He is another type of drifter of today’s Japan.

Two of guys who have been thinking themselves have no proper place in the


This is a beginning of their partnership to grope of self cast off and

realistic living.

With assistance of a local NGO (Non Governmental Organization), they lend an

apartment room.

A challenge to live, challenge to be a citizen of 21st century has begun.



This book included stories that happened for four to five years in middle of


This is a grand story with teardrops and full of romantics… not likes that.

But re-arranged four-frame comic strips that had written under conditions of

haphazardness carried by wind called deadline. With concerning of mind of

KAMAYANN, though, He doesn’t care as usual.



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