K's Reviews > Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan

Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein
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's review
Jul 22, 2011

This book doesn't get into how the author even ended up studying and working in Japan (although it is referenced on the Amazon blurbs). He writes about the process of becoming a reporter for the Yomiuri Shimbun, the corporate culture, and how you work your way through the ranks. The intro "teaser" chapter was of Adelstein receiving death threats should he go ahead with publishing a story involving Yakuza. Most of the corporate culture quirks mentioned in the book would be no surprise to any idiot who minored in Japanese Studies in college (like me!), but sadly it would provide evidence for the "bad" things you've heard about Japanese corporate culture, such as with how they treat women and foreigners, etc. Eventually Adelstein made his way to reporting about the red light district in Tokyo, which was quite an educational read. From that point he ended up involved in campaigning against human trafficking in Japan, so you're left thinking, oh, that's nice, he's not just another white dude turned English teacher who married and had hapa babies. Overall the author's writing style makes it easy to read through some notably difficult topics. If the author publishes another book (likely to focus on his work regarding human trafficking), I'd read it.

You should read this book if:
You always wanted to learn more about the Yakuza and how people actually get to report about them without getting killed
You always wanted to learn more about the newspaper industry (or print media in general) in Japan
You always wanted to learn about the red light district in Japan and how the hell they make money off things like soaplands

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