View Full Version : US immigrant to Japan writes book on crime in Tokyo

01-03-2010, 12:39 PM
This interview is a fascinating glimpse into life in Japan, the book is probably even better:


Insider reaching out

Jake Adelstein spent a decade reporting on crime for a major Japanese newspaper, learning a lot along the way about how the country really works, and also about himself as he relates here and in his best-seller, 'Tokyo Vice'


Special to The Japan Times

Author Joshua "Jake" Adelstein supposes that if he'd stayed home in rural Missouri and had never come to Japan, he'd probably have become a small-town lawyer or a very happy detective on the local police force.

"I was always attracted to the law, probably because my father was the county coroner for many years and still is now," he says.

But Adelstein has spent roughly half his life in Japan, first as a student at Sophia University in Tokyo and then as a reporter for the vernacular Yomiuri Shimbun, where he landed a job that put him in touch with what he describes as "the dark side of the rising sun."

Seated on tatami in his sparsely furnished home-cum-office, crammed with books, magazines and manga extolling the exploits of the yakuza (Japan's homegrown organized-crime groups), Adelstein, who will turn 41 in March, projects an aura of nervous energy as he taps a clove-scented cigarette against the rim of an ashtray.

"I always thought about writing a memoir about my years as a reporter in Japan, because I knew I was getting a look at the underbelly of Japanese society that even many Japanese don't get," he relates. "I kept all my notes, photos, articles, tape recordings, memos, rough drafts, related documents and diary entries from the time I started working."

Although he'd completed his first draft by September 2008, Adelstein's Japan-based publisher dropped the project out of concerns over violent retaliation by certain individuals mentioned in the book. So he took his manuscript to New York.


The rest of the article here (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20100103x1.html), it takes up three web pages in all.