"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Interview With Lloyd Kaneko

Authors By Authors welcomes today Lloyd Kaneko, author of Kami Jin, as part of the Authors Supporting Authors Virtual Book Tour.

Kiki: After reading about your book, Kami Jin on your website, http://www.lloydkaneko.com/, I sense, obviously, a political activist motivation to writing the story. Can you tell me what you most wanted to say, the message you most hoped to give the world, through writing this story?

Lloyd: I have to say, what you picked up from my website regarding my political activist motivation is only one part of the story.  There is a spiritual motivation that also drove the story.  The answer to this question could be quite long and complicated.  I encourage readers to read the book because they will take away different things from it.  Some things they will like, some things they will totally reject.  Yet others will probably go way over their heads.

Perhaps there is no one singular message that I wanted to give to this world.  There were many.  The underlying theme, however, focused on homelessness and poverty: essentially the way the world treats people when they are no longer useful in society.  Take a look at the massive layoffs in Corporate America for example.  A lot of people in the U.S. lost their jobs because rich executives thought it was better to seek cheap labor abroad in order to maximize their profits.  As a result, millions literally forced out of their dwellings by foreclosure.  Where was the humane treatment that could have been offered to these people?  There is practically no assistance given to these people.  Hence, they are evicted into the streets and have to live in cars or cardboard boxes, if they were lucky.  They lost their medical benefits, their retirement savings and a myriad of other things that we once took for granted as part of that “American Dream.”  Dreams were shattered, lives destroyed all in the name of profits for rich executives.  And, the government did absolutely nothing to curb this trend.

Take the existing employees that are still working and project this behavior into the future.  Imagine that company executives want to maximize profits even more by saving even more medical insurance, vacation and sick time, pensions and everything else that was once considered as an excellent human resources benefit.  We employees are really expensive in the workplace.  It cost a lot of money to support their work efforts.  What if they were replaced by droids and robots that were capable of doing the same work, only better?  Then, companies could avoid paying any benefits.  They (the companies) can operate 24/7 without shutting down since robots and droids don’t need to take lunch or coffee breaks like humans.  Maintenance for these things would be relatively inexpensive.  Either you just performed preventative maintenance to keep them going, or if they totally broke down, they would be replaced – no job interview necessary.  The only people that you would need to keep are those who can program these machines.  Even then, they could be eventually let go because these machines will be able to program themselves eventually into the future.  So now, unemployment has peaked to 95% in the world and virtually no plans being made for the welfare of the people.

The world in these times has come to treat people as “commodities.”  They are no longer viewed as humans with feelings.  That’s all irrelevant to the bottom line.  Take a look at health care reform.  Was it reform for the people, or “reform” in favor of insurance corporations?  My message to the world is we need to shift our priorities from obscene profits benefitting corporations and rich executives to focusing on the people, not only of this country, but of the world.  While one to two percent of the world live in luxury, millions upon millions are struggling to make ends meet while countless others cannot even do that.  Those are the people who do not even have a place to call ‘home” let alone find adequate resources for food and water.

In my book, God has given me the answers and solutions to solving the world’s problems of homelessness, poverty, hunger and starvation.  Not only this, He has given me a way for the world to be stewards of people, thus making wars obsolete.  How?  Simply by adapting to a new world monetary system.  I’m not going to get into too much detail about this and I encourage readers to look for it in the book.  But I received these insights by the simple Quakerly way by waiting on the Spirit.  After all, when you are unemployed for four consecutive years, you don’t have very much to interfere with your concentration and conversations with God.  But in order to do this, there must be massive reform around the world.  The United States is no exception to this and must be willing to change without prejudice to its preference towards capitalism.  Perhaps my ideas and suggestions are very socialistic.  It’s a matter of a higher level of thinking.  This is what the whole world needs to do.  We live in a very archaic, antiquated, hostile and stubborn [to change] world.  The world needs to come together as one.  We need to change our behavior and thinking from:  “What’s in it for me?” to “What’s in it for us/the world?”  As long as we live in a world of selfishness, the nations of the world are never going to change, we will continue to have different monetary systems throughout the world.  What I am imparting are, what I believe are answers from Heaven, the Universe.

In short, create a fair universal monetary system where everyone can afford to pay for everything (housing, health care, education, transportation, etc.) without having to rely on insurance companies, credit cards, loans, or lines of credit.  All one has to do is just “sign” for it.  The example is in the book.

Sorry, but I told you that the answer was going to be complicated.

Kiki: No problem at all! I love to see people who are passionate about something!

Kiki: Your website says that All proceeds of Kami Jin will go to First Day Homeless Coalition of Whittier, California. Can you tell me a little about this organization, and why you chose to so generously donate the proceeds from your book to it?

Lloyd: First Day Coalition for the Homeless in Whittier is not a typical facility for the homeless like other shelters that provide a temporary place to sleep, provide meals, and clothing.  They offer a rehabilitation/transition management program to assist homeless individuals and families back into society by offering resources for job search assistance such as on-site computers and counseling, besides on-site facilities.  The center has received numerous citations and recognition in Los Angeles County for their work and efforts.  On their website, they have a slogan that reads:

“Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day…Teach a man to fish – you feed him for a lifetime…”

In short, First Day Coalition is not the typical soup kitchen.  They don’t offer overnight shelter and put them back out into the streets the next morning.  They actually make an impact on their lives.  In fact, they offer catering services to the community.

Although I am struggling, I consider myself very fortunate that I still have a place to call home even after experiencing four of the darkest years of my life – being unemployed.  At least, I’ve been blessed to have written this book.

Kiki: You have traveled extensively, do you have a favorite place, and I don’t mean one to live, but one that just enthralls you?

Lloyd: Algeria was one place where I had a most enthralling experience that has lasted a lifetime.  And, I’ve learned some valuable lessons.  It was a poor, but simple country.  While I was there, I had learned to understand and appreciate Muslims, their faith and culture.  When people and the press say derogatory and incorrect or inaccurate things about Muslims here in the United States, I get easily offended myself.  I had experienced two life-threatening accidents in Algiers:  First I attempted to fix a refrigerator’s electrical cord and was nearly electrocuted.  And the second incident was when I was being transported in the company’s car.  The car suddenly stopped in the center of a major highway due to mechanical problems and we were rear-ended by a huge military transport truck.  Fortunately, I survived the accident but had a very bad case of whiplash for days afterwards.  I’m probably still paying for it with all the cervical spine surgeries I’ve had to my neck already.  Upon my return home, I was convinced that a greater spiritual being was looking after me during that trip.

The other memorable trip was when I toured Japan. It was my first trip out of the country and during that trip, I had the extreme pleasure of going to the Palace of the then Crown Prince Akihito.  Being in front in a reception line, I had the pleasure of shaking his hand.  Years later, he eventually became Emperor of Japan.

In short, by travelling the world, I’ve developed a great appreciation for the people of the world.  This is reflected on my list of friends on Facebook.  I welcome friends from all over the world.

Kiki: Your projects in progress page lists, Legend of the Crescent Eagle, A Prequel to Kami Jin. Can you tell me a little about the story?

Lloyd: Legend of the Crescent Eagle is in its infancy stages but it is a prequel to Kami Jin that will trace the migration of Gordon Sakata’s ancestors from Napajan to the United States by way of Mexico aboard a Japanese trading ship called the “Buru Paru Maru” – The Blue Pearl.

I’ve always been fascinated about the Japanese migration into the United States through Mexico and there were many who came here using this route.  Currently, I’m trying to locate some people who have relatives that may have done this.  Perhaps some are still living.

Kiki: Your blog writings are very strongly worded opinions which fits with the type of book you have written. Can you tell me about the best book you have ever read?

Lloyd: My blog writings are essentially an extension of my book.  Commentary on contemporary issues.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the series by Neal Donald Walsh entitled Conversations with God.  Mainly because I was tired of reading books on controversial issues like David Kuo’s Tempting Faith, Bob Woodward’s State of Denial, and Paul Waldman’s Fraud.  One book that I totally enjoyed for entertainment and pleasure was Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

Kiki: Your about me shows a full and active life, an amazing reference of all the work you have done.  Do you have hobbies that help you to relax, me time?

Lloyd: I’m active in a seniors bowling league on Tuesdays.  It’s a chance for me to get out of the house and have fun with other bowlers.  I also like to go to the movies and listen to music.  My dog keeps me company when I’m writing, but she gets bored very quickly, so we go out for walks.  When the dog is not in the house, the cat takes over the office.  He actually thinks he’s human.  Other than that, I like to read.  I’m currently reading a good book by Kaylin McFarren entitled, “Flaherty’s Crossing.”

I also like to visit the sights around Southern California – especially the lesser known places like small museums.

Last but not least, I love to cook – especially for an army.  My last joy was cooking dinner for the homeless that the church hosted a couple of months ago.

Kiki: My infamous last question of sorts.  Write a question, and then answer it too please, to tell me something about you that I would not otherwise know?

Lloyd: Fair request, however I have to admit, I had to contemplate on this one overnight.  Ok…

What did you do in a former life before you became a writer?

Perhaps the place that had the greatest impact on my imagination and creativity was my first employer while I was working my way through college – Disneyland.  During the Christmas seasons, I performed in the production Fantasy on Parade as a Toy Soldier.

In fact, one of my heroes is Walt Disney himself.  I have read his biography and truly respect the man and his accomplishments both in film and in the amusement park industry.

Lloyd Kaneko
Purchase Kami Jin In Print At Wordclay or Purchase In Ebook at Smashwords


  1. Fantastic interview. Always learning something new. Disneyland huh? Bet that was fun.

  2. You leave alot to think about, but there is so much I do agree with you about,

  3. Disneyland was a lot of fun, but hazardous work -- especially in costume. You were literally trapped in the character costume while children pulled on your arms, practically taking them off with your arms still inside them! It hurt and you couldn't say anything. You had to be absolutely silent while they were tearing you apart, limb by limb.


In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.