This novel is set deep in the Amazon Basin of the 1960s and in present-day Tokyo. Immediately after World War II, the Japanese government addressed the problem of a population that was growing too fast by encouraging people to emigrate overseas. Those who went to Brazil were promised large tracts of fertile land, but on arrival often discovered they had been given wilderness land that defied cultivation. A tiny proportion of the more than 40,000 Japanese who settled in Brazil met with success; the majority died from hunger or disease. This is the story of how a group of emigrants' children take their revenge on contemporary Japan, prosperous after the economic miracle of the sixties and seventies. The government that deceived them, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in particular, is their chosen target.
The ringleader of the plot is an old man named Eto, an emigrant who, despite losing his wife and brother and being robbed while working in the gold mines, finally made a fortune wholesaling fruit and vegetables. Now suffering from Parkinson's disease, Eto doesn't have long to live, but he adopts the son of a deceased fellow emigrant. The boy, Kei, was raised among native Amazonian tribes and is half-wild. Eto sends him to Japan where he spends three years perfecting his revenge scenario. Beside Kei, there are two other members of the gang: Matsuo, a childhood friend from the Amazon who was raised by Colombian drug barons who sent him to Tokyo, and Yamamoto, a middle-aged man who drifted back from Brazil to Tokyo, where he now sweeps the streets. They successfully carry out a major crime caper without harming anyone or revealing their own identities. Eto has secured the vengeance he wanted, and the Japanese prime minister is forced to makes an official apology for the failure of the emigration strategy. With rich characterizations and an epic sweep, this is a masterpiece of suspense that readers won't be able to put down.