Tokyo Vice

Tokyo Vice

An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
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From the only American journalist ever to have been admitted to the insular Tokyo Metropolitan Police press club: a unique, firsthand, revelatory look at Japanese culture from the underbelly up.

At nineteen, Jake Adelstein went to Japan in search of peace and tranquility. What he got was a life of crime . . . crime reporting, that is, at the prestigious Yomiuri Shinbun . For twelve years of eighty-hour workweeks, he covered the seedy side of Japan, where extortion, murder, human trafficking, and corruption are as familiar as ramen noodles and sake. But when his final scoop brought him face to face with Japan's most infamous yakuza boss--and the threat of death for him and his family--Adelstein decided to step down . . . momentarily. Then, he fought back.

In Tokyo Vice , Adelstein tells the riveting, often humorous tale of his journey from an inexperienced cub reporter--who made rookie mistakes like getting into a martial-arts battle with a senior editor--to a daring, investigative journalist with a price on his head. With its vivid, visceral descriptions of crime in Japan and an exploration of the world of modern-day yakuza that even few Japanese ever see, Tokyo Vice is a fascination, and an education, from first to last.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2009.
ISBN: 9780307378798
0307378799
Characteristics: p. cm.

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smichal
Jun 29, 2015

Some of it was pretty interesting from the point of view of learning about different cultures. As somebody else has pointed out, it might not all be 100% true. However if any of it is true, their government is very corrupt.

JeremiahSutherland Jan 23, 2013

This is an interesting memoir. However, since it was first published, there are indications that it is more accurate to describe this work as fiction.

a
AmyEighttrack
Jun 20, 2012

One of my favorite books ever! Amazing journalism from one of the very few Westerners ever to have been admitted as a member of the Japanese crime reporter press club, Jake Adelstein learned both spoken and written Japanese language in order to do so. He writes about journalism in Japan, prostitution, human trafficking of women and the yakuza. At times damning (if only anecdotally) about Japanese culture, he has said that he also hopes “that people take away from the book an understanding of some of the things I really like about Japan... like reciprocity, honor, loyalty, ...[keeping] your word... [repaying debts and] ...honor...” I would definitely read this one again.

i
Ichigaga
Mar 26, 2012

Learned alot about the underground Japanese culture. Amazing how accepted and entrenched the yakuza are. The author can get annoying. Written from the first person, sometimes unintentionally reads like a Sam Spade novel. He veers off topic sometimes, but eventually regroups.

p
prabhjitb
Feb 06, 2012

Great book!! Could not put it down. Very insightful about Japanese culture and well written.

h
HerNoseInABookGal
Apr 13, 2011

I didn't finish this. Got side-tracked. But plan to check out and read again. Fascinating insights on Japanese culture. The first scene is heart racing scary.

n
nerowolfgal
Dec 29, 2009

Searing, honest look at the underside of Japanese culture. Deals mostly with the "soapland" culture (prositution) and the human trafficing of western and non-Japanese women. Also deals with the Japanese crime lords and their dealings with the West, mostly the US.

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