Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Sacred Era” as Want to Read:
The Sacred Era
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Sacred Era

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The magnum opus of a Japanese master of speculative fiction, and a book that established Yoshio Aramaki as a leading representative of the genre, The Sacred Era is part post-apocalyptic world, part faux-religious tract, and part dream narrative. In a distant future ruled by a new Papal Court serving the Holy Empire of Igitur, a young student known only as K arrives at the ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Univ Of Minnesota Press (first published November 1980)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Sacred Era, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Sacred Era

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  58 ratings  ·  16 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Sacred Era
Rachel Cordasco
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-translation, sff
Why can't I give this book 25 stars?!??
Jul 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
The Sacred Era is probably the worst book I've read in the past three years. The world is ill-defined, sometimes we are lectured about the setting but more often we are neither shown nor told what the hell is going on; this is made worse by the protagonist being a young man that just passed the Sacred Service Exam, which provides the perfect excuse for some orientation event explaining the setting, but that doesn't happen. Instead the book just jumps from one event to the next, illogically and w ...more
Bogi Takács
Review coming next week IY"H (need to insert some formatting into it but it's mostly done)
Sean Parson
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Some cool philosophic ideas and some interesting ideas but not much of a story arc and really horrific gender politics. All women in this book are just props for sexual anxiety.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
sloppy world-building with tossed together sci fi tropes--including women as clueless sinful traps but of course also a key plot motivator 🙄 disappointingly dull with the kind of religion analysis you'd expect of newly atheist internet trolls
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
** I received an advance reading copy of this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway. **
More of a 2.5 star than a 3 but I'll be generous!

I'm still not entirely sure what it is I just finished reading. The book is dystopian and fantastical and so dreamlike that it is hard to hold on to the story at times. A very surreal post-apocalyptic novel following a young man as he explores the secrets of his world, his religion, his culture and the universe. While I did for the most part enjoy this book
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
I would call this a self-centric sci-fi story. Despite not being referred to by name throughout the book, the story revolves around its protagonist. Other characters are more like figments of his imagination and not real people. Its saving grace is that this lack of characterization is relevant to the plot.

While it had its profound moments from time to time, I'm not familiar with Catholicism enough to catch all the themes and references. However, it did have some neat insights from time to time.
Julien L
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is weird/bonkers/bananas etc.

In the same vein as Kawamata Chiaki's Death Sentences (it's from the same publisher, U of Minnesota press), it follows a relatively straightforward story that quickly moves into the weird and metaphysical. It ends kind of abruptly and the plot basically takes a detour for larger philosophical and theological queries, which made the reading experience weird. This is not a book you read for the narrative, because the narrative is just a larger vehicle for spe
Jeremy Garber
My first exposure to a fascinating Japanese sci-fi author. Aramaki deftly weaves philosophical (and theological) reflection into an engrossing tale of institutional coverups, space travel powered by souls, and the pleasures of the flesh versus the secret of knowledge. K, the main character, is the youngest postulant ever to be accepted to the Imperial Academy. His study begins at the end of the Empire's Millennium of Progress, as water supplies dwindle and food production slows. His area of stud ...more
Susan Haseltine
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I guess new wave isn't my thing. The weirdly filtered western theology is somewhat interesting but the offhanded misogyny is repellent. Women are beautiful, graceful, lustful, but never anything that isn't determined by being female. Even when they are mechanical.
Rebecca Han
Aug 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-to-read-list
very confused but not in a bad way
Zack Heaton
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really profound at times. The whole book has a really neat dreamlike quality unlike anything else I've read, other than Leaves of Narcissus.

If you find theology or philosophy interesting, you will enjoy this. Personally I loved it. I must say that what other reviewers have said about female characters is true. However, i found the bulk of the material so interesting and, again, at times profound, that I can't give it less than 5 stars.
Georgina Lara
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a basic rule I enjoy science fiction which, more than simple fiction, lets me enter into another dimension where world building has permission to include and operate under different physical laws and thus sets my mind free to just enjoy the story without trying to make sense of it. Add to that a Japanese writer, elements of Christian theology, twists in the space and time continuum and you've got yourself a winning formula, at least for me.
L.S. Popovich
I stumbled upon Aramaki’s “Soft Clocks” short story in the Big Book of Science Fiction Anthology and was favorably impressed. The integration of Dali’s motifs with a science fiction setting and fantastical story meshed well in my mind. It was clever and compact storytelling. So I searched out the only other thing of Aramaki’s in English available, this so-called masterpiece modeled after Bosch. I was impressed at first by a lot of the themes and descriptions, but as the book wore on, I began to ...more
rated it liked it
Jul 30, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2017
Sarah Wasinger
rated it liked it
Sep 24, 2017
Emily Imamura
rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2020
rated it liked it
Jul 07, 2020
Douglas Armato
rated it really liked it
Jul 17, 2017
Ryne Hager
rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2018
rated it did not like it
Jul 14, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2018
rated it it was ok
Sep 24, 2017
Stephen Sowle
rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2018
rated it it was ok
Aug 25, 2017
Rick Deckard
rated it it was ok
Sep 04, 2018
Nicholas Cox
rated it really liked it
Jul 08, 2017
rated it did not like it
Dec 31, 2017
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Compulsory Games
  • The Life and Opinions of Zacharias Lichter
  • Unclay
  • Haunted Castles
  • A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan #1)
  • The Monkey's Wedding and Other Stories
  • The Exile
  • Hell Hound
  • The Passion According to G.H.
  • The Stone Book Quartet
  • The Besieged City
  • Black Gods and Scarlet Dreams
  • The Falling Woman
  • The Story of Hong Gildong
  • Nightwood
  • The Complete Stories and Poems
  • Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio
  • The Breath of the Sun
See similar books…
Yoshio Aramaki is the pen name of Yoshimasa Aramaki, whose given name was originally Kunio Aramaki. He is an award-winning author and writes mostly in the speculative fiction genres.

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
36 likes · 16 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“All that’s left for her now is to languish in her pool of ennui, to daydream once again.” 0 likes
“Perhaps nothing truly exists in this world. Perhaps existence is nothing more than phenomenological appearance.” 0 likes
More quotes…