Sunday, October 31, 2010

I just finished Jake Adelstein's book, Tokyo Vice.
The pages are filled with the author's memories of being a crime reporter in Japan. Elaborating on his many sources within the country's police and criminal establishments, he delves deeply into Yakuza business and the underground economy of Tokyo.
I will not elaborate on the content of the book. Suffice it to say the pages serve to illustrate the highs and lows of a journalist (I was briefly in the media business and the memoir at first made me want to rush back into this field as the author invokes the wondrous rush of sourcing a good story. By the end of the book, however, I took the opposite view, and couldn't help but feel sympathy as Adelstein had in many ways let his job eclipse the importance of family and friends).
A compelling aspect of the book, however, is the author's interpretation of a culture he is immersed in, but will never be fully a part of. It is a interesting intepretation of big city Japan by an American writer, who gets in very deep over his head.

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