Journalist Adelstein (Tokyo Vice) parlays decades of reporting on Japanese organized crime into a propulsive history of the yakuza. …Adelstein is careful not to romanticize their actions: while some yakuza leaders touted a code of honor, Adelstein highlights how often that code’s directives, such as not harming civilians, were violated. He’s especially good at tracing the yakuza’s political influence in Japan, explaining how they bribed and blackmailed legislators into opposing bills that would have curbed their influence. Painstakingly reported and paced like a thriller, this is a must-read for anyone interested in organized crime.
The full review may be read on the PW site here.
The Last Yakuza: Life and Death in the Japanese Underworld by Jake Adelstein will be published in the English language by Scribe on October 17th.
Jake Adelstein was a reporter for the Yomiuri Shinbun, Japan’s largest newspaper, from 1993 to 2005. From 2006 to 2007 he was the chief investigator for a US State Department–sponsored study of human trafficking in Japan. Considered one of the foremost experts on organized crime in Japan, he works as a writer and consultant in Japan and the United States. He is also the public relations director for the Washington, DC–based Polaris Project Japan, which combats human trafficking and the exploitation of women and children in the sex trade. His previous book was Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan (Pantheon, 2009), which is entering its second season on Max in 2024.