Tokyo Vice

Tokyo Vice

An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan

eBook - 2009
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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. For twelve years of eighty-hour workweeks, he covered the seedy side of Japan--extortion, murder, human trafficking, and corruption. Here, he tells the riveting, often humorous tale of his journey from an inexperienced cub reporter to a daring investigative journalist with a Yakuza price on his head. With its visceral descriptions of crime in Japan and an exploration of the world of modern-day Yakuza that even few Japanese ever see, this is a fascination, and an education.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2009
ISBN: 9780307378941
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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Sep 26, 2018

Read like Lawrence Block & Donald E. Westlake writing scathing tellall book on the Japanese sex industry & government's insular view.
Sure author took a lot of heat as a ignorant Gaijin on Japanese cultural mores as a cubbie reporter before he became a jaded hardboiled reporter.
He made a lot of enemies because he exposed establishment foibles & organized crime's dirty laundry.

Mar 11, 2018

Interesting book, and reasonably well written for a working reporter's POV.
Several of the murders touched upon by the author in this book were the subjects of entire books later.
Reading this reminded me of a discussion I had several years back with a Japanese grad student at U-Dub (University of Washington). She was expressing her opinion of the yakuza and its reach into the Japanese government and how it corrupted it, and suggesting that America appeared above such corruption.
When she described the yakuza's methods, I explained that was exactly what private equity firms in America - - and elsewhere - - did [whether the largest ones like the Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group, or much smaller ones like Baird Private Equity]; all perfectly // legal \\ - - but thoroughly unethical, amoral and criminal!
She was open-minded, so I may have altered her perceptions a bit?

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.

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.

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.

Feb 06, 2012

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

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.

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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