Friday, November 20, 2009

Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein

Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan

Jake Adelstein is some kind of guy. This story is as much about him as it is about the sex industry in Tokyo. I mean, really, what kind of guy would have the hutzpah to study Japanese and then apply to be a newspaper journalist at the most prestigious newspaper in Japan? He downplays but admits to crushing difficulties, at least difficulties that would crush most of us. But perhaps you've met his kind--bold, bright, talkative, confident, curious, unimpressable. I have. I just never thought we'd get to see inside the head of one as much as we do in this revealing memoir about his work for the newspaper, working closely with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department to uncover crimes in "vice." Not only do we learn how newspapers work in Japan, we learn a bit about how the police works, how the sex industry works, and finally, how the gangsters, or yakuza work. This is an Iron and Silk for grownups. Total immersion into an Asian culture and well-written enough to serve as an introduction to outsiders.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for the kind review.
    "This is an IRON AND SILK for grownups." I like that phrase very much although I think only an avid reader might get the reference. I hope that my love of Japan and some of the traditional values there comes across in the book. Despite the negative experiences I have had there, I still feel very much like Japan is my home.
    jake adelstein