Tokyo Vice

Jake Adelstein

Tokyo Vice
Scribe Publications
27 February 2024

Tokyo Vice

Jake Adelstein

Now a hit HBO Max TV series starring Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe & Rachel Keller

From the only American journalist ever to have been admitted to the insular Tokyo Metropolitan Police Press Club, here is a unique, firsthand, revelatory look at Japanese culture from the underbelly up.

At the age of nineteen, Jake Adelstein went to Japan in search of peace and tranquillity. What he got was a life of crime ... crime reporting, that is, at the prestigious Yomiuri Shimbun. 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 with 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 transformation from an inexperienced cub reporter to a daring investigative journalist with a price on his head. With its vivid, visceral descriptions of crime in Japan and candid 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.

'Mr Adelstein's book expertly melds classic writing about the police beat - replete with its public corpses, clean or rotten cops, smoky rooms and gangsters who eventually seek redemption - with a candid journalistic memoir that details this profession's moral and mental dilemmas. At the centre is a complex protagonist - both jaded and emotionally deep - whose drive and positive impact win respect as he offers, perhaps, something as rare and fascinating as a black pearl, namely the most compelling insider's expose yet of Japan's opaque society.' -Washington Times

'Tokyo Vice is about Japanese subculture. Adelstein instructs us in the vagaries of Japanese journalism and provides a gamy, colourful tour of the morally flexible areas of Japan, particularly in Tokyo. He also shows how Japanese police work and interact with journalists. Adelstein shares juicy, salty, and occasionally funny anecdotes, but many are frightening.' -Carlo Wolff, The Boston Globe

'A gripping and absorbing read. Very few foreigners ever come close to discovering what's really going on in Japan's closed society. Adelstein chases two major stories that pull him into a vortex of destruction, threatening his friendships, his marriage and even his life. As he battles with profound issues concerning truth and trust, Tokyo Vice approaches a heart-pounding denouement. This is a terrifying, deeply moral story which you cannot put down, and Adelstein, if occasionally reckless, is an extremely courageous man.' -Misha Glenny, author of McMafia- a journey through the global criminal underworld

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