As heard on Fresh Air and seen on 60 Minutes, Jake Adelstein’s Tokyo Vice tells the riveting, often humorous tale of his journey from an inexperienced cub reporter—who made rookie mistakes, such as getting into a martial-arts battle with a senior editor—to a daring, investigative journalist with a price on his head.
For more information on Adelstein, check out his Reuters Q&A.
“Gripping…Adelstein’s juicy and vividly detailed account of investigations into the shadowy side of Japan shows him to be more enterprising, determined and crazy than most…The facts beneath the noirish lines are assembled with what looks to be ferocious diligence and resourcefulness. For even as he is getting slapped around by thugs and placed under police protection, Adelstein never loses his gift for crisp storytelling and an unexpectedly earnest eagerness to try to rescue the damned.” —Pico Iyer, Time
“Fascinating…Pulls the curtain back on a sordid element of Japanese society that few Westerners ever see. In addition to his clash with a yakuza boss, Adelstein details the more notable cases from his 12-year career at the Yomiuri, including “The Chichibu Snack-mama Murder Case” and “The Emperor of Loan Sharks”…Adelstein’s Tokyo is a veritable Gomorrah where nearly every act of intimacy is legally bought and sold.”—Associated Press
“Debut author Adelstein began with a routine, but never dull, police beat; before long, he was notorious worldwide for engaging the dirtiest, top-most villains of Japan’s organized criminal underworld, the yakuza. Thanks to [Adelstein’s] immersive reporting, readers suffer with him through the choice between personal safety and a chance to confront the evil inhabiting his city. . . . Adelstein also examines the investigative reporter’s tendency to withdraw into cynicism (“when a reporter starts to cool down, it’s very hard… ever to warm up again”) but faithfully sidesteps that urge, producing a deeply thought-provoking book: equal parts cultural exposé, true crime, and hard-boiled noir.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Not just a hard-boiled true-crime thriller, but an engrossing, troubling look at crime and human exploitation in Japan.”—Kirkus