Novel : Redemption (1. Jewel of the Rising Sun)

I have always wanted to write a biographical novel based on random flashbacks of the life of a character. This format has almost never been attempted before, since chronological order is essential for readers to maintain a sense of rational order. However, I feel that a story based on random sequences of events will grant readers the satisfaction of piecing the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle and in the process, interpret the story on their own using their own unique perspectives.

After all, we are all subjected to our own subjective realities.

In addition, the novel will also be interactive, in the sense that hyperlinks will be inserted to enrich readers with further information on certain areas of interest mentioned in the novel. 

The blog posts for this “blog novel” will not be continuous as I will intermittently blog about other topics that I find of interest at times. However, I will always include the hyperlink of the first part of this “blog novel”at the top of every blog post for this “blog novel”, as well as a hyperlink at the end of these blog entries to enable readers to continue reading them. If you chance upon a blog entry of this novel with no hyperlink to the next chapter, that means that this novel has been written only up to that point.

Thank you for your patience. 🙂

If you love this novel, please subscribe to my subsequent blog posts via email on the right frame (or just click the “WordPress sign up” button if you are a WordPress user), thanks much for your support!

So, are you ready for the first chapter?

Here it is:


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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Jewel of the Rising Sun

Being a central industrial base, Tokyo is a city drenched in drabs of mundane grey and rectangular buildings of rigidity during the day. Speed and efficiency have always been what the city is renowned for. However, just like how a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly, the city bursts into life in the wee hours of the night, as if a child strives with all his might to break free from the bondage of their parents’ disciplinary restrictions.

Colourful neon lights pulsate through the city. Billboards of varied sizes spring up from all directions, its dazzling advertisements tempting the wearied workers of the day to lie in its arms and engage in a deeper living slumber that will drive their night in a psychedelic delight. Sounds of Pachinko machines disrupt the city inhabitants’ daze and smell of varied delicacies awaken their gastronomic senses. Vehicular lights are at their most brilliance in the cover of darkness but more significantly, it signifies predators who roam the night to prey on the varied entertainment outlets that littered the streets.

A city – with much of its artificial constructs and creations – has no place for nature. Yet, people have a knack for identifying aesthetics in whatever forms they materialise. In place of the bustling of the leaves in rustic settings, blinking lights prove their potency in their lure of unwary visitors into their lairs.  In place of a slow stroll through a worn pathway into a forest, many now trek along rows of shops highlighting their wares with the frequent greetings of its shopkeepers: “Irrashaimase!” Liquor drinking shops – despite permitting patrons to stay only for a time – still draw crowds as drinkers wander from one outlet to another through the night, their drowsiness getting heavier over time but their mood lightening through the night.

 It was in one of these nights that Kiro Hirotomi was walking among the hundreds of passersby that ploughed the streets. Like the thousands who are mesmerised by the night life of Tokyo, Hirotomi knew the place by heart. Pachinkos, eateries, arcades, shopping malls. He has been to them all, having lived in this country for close to twenty years, since he was about eight. He has always been mesmerised by Orientialism. Being a non-Japanese (he was born in America), childhood memories of western culture have long faded from his memories, leaving the remnants merely as a nagging thought that served as reminder to himself that no matter how attached he was to this country, he was nevertheless a gaijin (foreigner in japanese).

Nevertheless, even Orientalism has its flaws. Tokyo wasn’t what drew him to this country as he found its setting too rigid and uptight for his liking. Rather, it was traditional Kyoto and vibrant Osaka that proved more to his liking. Nevertheless, tonight was the night he was going to meet an old friend, just like old times. A childhood friend, to be precise.

Dressed in a red and yellow shirt dress with his sleeves rolled up, Hirotomi began to tug at his skinny jeans which was a tad tight for his build. He walked with a arrogant stride, a grin appearing on his face as he saw someone across the streets. He waved but received no reciprocation. He tried again but a van pulled up in front of him and blocked his line of sight. Exasperated, he walked around the vehicle but soon found himself staring into an empty space across the street. His smile faded.

Nobody was there.

The usual wave of his hand, with a green ruby ring on his last finger. The typical grin that signified a warm embrace of a great friend. The subsequent pointing of finger at the skyscraper building to the left, owned by Katoshi Corporation. And the ending of the greeting ritual by the casual gesture to the building’s entrance, where they would both share a drink at the penthouse suite at the top of the complex once a year, talking about both business and personal matters. Tunes of “Sakura Sakura” played by a live band under dim, orange lights would resonate through the lounge, and the voice of the female lead vocalist Roko would serenade them through the evening – two sworn brothers sharing worldly tales of innocence and brutality.

Roko has always been their favourite singer, and both of them loved to be serenaded by her sultry voice, which they felt was more suited for jazz than traditional folk songs. It’s fine though, since Roko is singing a remix. But more than adoration, both of them extended a large of dose of sympathy towards Roko as well, for reasons of which was a secret shared by the three. Roko turned toward them and dressed in a diamond-studded silky black dress, she looked pretty for a lady of thirty. Hirotomi smiled at her and she smiled back just as the green lights from the mirror ball shone back blindingly at him.

The blurriness gradually cleared to reveal the flickering lights of the green man at the four-way junction, and throngs of people rushed past Hirotomi from all directions. Amazingly , in the spirit of the Bushido, there was no pushing and shoving.  Car honks and screeching tires abruptly woke him up to his current predicament.

And then Hirotomi remembered.

Yogimoto Saito was dead. 

To be continued……..


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