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 work weeks, 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 a riveting, often humorous tale of his journey from an inexperienced cub reporter who made rookie mistakes like getting in a martial-arts...
Contemporary Japanese crime novelists explore violent territory that Americans, even with their love of serial killings and on- and off-screen horror, would be loath to touch. The 1999 novel Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, as controversial as it was in Japan for its depiction of youthful brutality, might never have seen the light of day here had it originated from an American writer, especially as its initial publication came about around the same time as the Columbine school shootings. Women writers based here certainly do go deep into the heart of the gruesome (Chelsea Cain and Karin Slaughter are the most recent examples), but Natsuo Kirino’s Out, coolly brilliant in its portrayal of four desperate women resorting to the dismemberment (and beyond) of a dead man formerly viewed as a threat, barrels straight through every limit of tolerance.