25 May 2024

Jake Adelstein: A unique view into Japan's seedy underbelly

From Saturday Morning, 11:05 am on 25 May 2024
Jake Adelstein and the cover of his book 'Tokyo Noir'

Photo: Supplied

Having grown up in Missouri, Jake Adelstein moved to Japan at age 19 to study Japanese literature. A few years later, he became the first non-Japanese staff writer at Yomiuri Shimbun, one of the country's largest newspapers, where as a rookie reporter he was put on the police beat. Before long he was immersed in the underbelly of Japan, reporting on organised crime and the shady dealings of yakuza bosses.

Adelstein's first book, a dramatic memoir entitled Tokyo Vice was published in 2009, and eventually turned into a popular television series by HBO Max. Now he is poised to release the follow-up, Tokyo Noir, which has been billed as equal parts history lesson and true crime exposé.