| Random House
Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan is a 2009 memoir by Jake Adelstein of his years living in Tokyo as the first non-Japanese reporter working for one of Japan's largest newspapers, Yomiuri Shimbun .It was published by Random House and Pantheon Books. HBO adapted the memoir into a 2022 television series. According to Gavin J. Blair of The Hollywood Reporter , there were individuals that disputed whether certain events in the book happened as stated.
The account covers Adelstein's career in Tokyo, starting in 1993 when he was hired as a rookie reporter for Yomiuri Shimbun.As a cadet, he describes being taken under the wing of Sekiguchi, an older detective. Adelstein was initially assigned to "tacky" Saitama, and the memoir covers his next 12 years as a staffer for the paper, describing 80-hour work weeks, relationship difficulties, and the interactions between crime reporters and the police. Specific cases involve the search for the killer of Lucie Blackman, and the memoir also details death threats after he published an expose on Tadamasa Goto. He also uncovered that Saitama Prefecture was altering scientific data on dioxin contamination.
Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan is a 2009 memoir by Jake Adelstein of his years living in Tokyo as the first non-Japanese reporter working for one of Japan's largest newspapers.He initially had a deal to release the book in Japan. However, after Adelstein wrote an expose for the Washington Post concerning the FBI granting visas to yakuza members, Adelstein sought police protection in 2009 and left the country.
Adelstein wrote in 2013 that: "The book is translated into Japanese but no publisher will touch it. It steps on too many toes."He described how in September 2008, the Japanese publisher "got cold feet and backed out." Stated Adelstein, "a risk assessment was done and the conclusion at the time was that publishing the book could result in unpleasant things like arson, dump trucks being smashed into the (publisher's) building, and the kidnapping of the publisher's employees and other acts of violence... I don't blame them for opting out." He wrote that the English version and Japanese version, which he wrote without a translator, are essentially the same, but with sources "more obscured" in the Japanese version. After trying and failing to have the book published in Japan, it was published by Random House and Pantheon Books. Kirkus Reviews called it "Not just a hard-boiled true-crime thriller, but an engrossing, troubling look at crime and human exploitation in Japan."
In August 2013 a film adaptation of the memoir was announced. [ why? ].Adelstein co-wrote the story for the film version of Tokyo Vice with American playwright J. T. Rogers, and Rogers then wrote the screenplay. Anthony Mandler was announced to direct the film, with John Lesher and Adam Kassan serving as producers, and Binn Jakupi serving as an executive producer. The film was expected to begin filming in Tokyo in mid-2015, with Daniel Radcliffe set to play Adelstein. Production never commenced
In June 2019, a television adaptation of the memoir was announced.The 8-part television series stars Ansel Elgort playing Jake Adelstein, an American journalist who embeds himself into the Tokyo Vice police squad to reveal corruption. The series also stars Ken Watanabe and is written and executive produced by Tony Award-winning playwright J. T. Rogers, with Endeavor Content serving as the studio. In October 2019, it was announced that Michael Mann would direct the pilot episode and would serve as executive producer, which he did. John Lesher, Emily Gerson Saines, and Destin Daniel Cretton also serve as executive producers, alongside J.T. Rogers, Mann, Elgort and Watanabe.
In addition to Elgort and Watanabe, the Tokyo Vice cast also includes Rachel Keller and Ella Rumpf.
The series premiered on April 7, 2022, on HBO Max, with the first three episodes available immediately, followed by two episodes on a weekly basis until the season finale on April 28.
After the release of the TV series, The Hollywood Reporter published an article on persons involved in the Japanese newspaper business and American entertainment industry casting doubts on the veracity of the stories published in the book. American television producer Philip Day recalled that, in 2010, while shooting a documentary for National Geographic, he felt Adelstein was not credible, citing one incident where Adelstein called him to say he had been attacked by a yakuza in the street with a phone book. A lawsuit was brought in 2011 by Adelstein after he claimed that the production interviewing three different gangsters led to threats on his life. Adelstein's former colleague at the Yomiuri, Tsujii, maintained that the atmosphere of brawling and going undercover were not tolerated. Adelstein stated in the article, "Nothing in the book is exaggerated. Everything is written as it happened."After the THR article was published, Adelstein published a response stating, "Mr. Blair deliberately left out or ignored correspondences testifying to my credibility or verifying my reporting", arguing the piece focused too much on the 2011 lawsuit and was inaccurate about keeping sources anonymous, and releasing a collection of documents and sources on Twitter stated to be from the making of the book.
Yakuza, also known as gokudō, are members of transnational organized crime syndicates originating in Japan. The Japanese police and media, by request of the police, call them bōryokudan, while the yakuza call themselves ninkyō dantai. The English equivalent for the term yakuza is gangster, meaning an individual involved in a Mafia-like criminal organization.
The Yomiuri Shimbun (讀賣新聞/読売新聞) is a Japanese newspaper published in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and other major Japanese cities. It is one of the five major newspapers in Japan; the other four are The Asahi Shimbun, the Chunichi Shimbun, the Mainichi Shimbun, and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. It is headquartered in Otemachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo.
Ken Watanabe is a Japanese actor. To English-speaking audiences, he is known for playing tragic hero characters, such as General Tadamichi Kuribayashi in Letters from Iwo Jima and Lord Katsumoto Moritsugu in The Last Samurai, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Among other awards, he has won the Japan Academy Film Prize for Best Actor twice, in 2007 for Memories of Tomorrow and in 2010 for Shizumanu Taiyō. He is also known for his roles in Christopher Nolan's films Batman Begins and Inception, as well as Memoirs of a Geisha, and Pokémon Detective Pikachu.
Juzo Itami, born Yoshihiro Ikeuchi, was a Japanese actor, screenwriter and film director. He directed eleven films, all of which he wrote himself.
The Sixth Yamaguchi-gumi is Japan's largest yakuza organization. It is named after its founder Harukichi Yamaguchi. Its origins can be traced back to a loose labor union for dockworkers in Kobe before World War II.
Kabukichō is an entertainment district in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. Kabuki-chō is the location of many host and hostess clubs, love hotels, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs, and is often called the "Sleepless Town". Shinjuku Golden Gai, famous for its plethora of small bars, is part of Kabuki-cho.
Minbo is a 1992 Japanese film by filmmaker Juzo Itami. It is also known by the titles Minbo: the Gentle Art of Japanese Extortion, The Gangster's Moll and The Anti-Extortion Woman. The film was widely popular in Japan and a critical success internationally. It satirizes the yakuza, who retaliated for their portrayal in the film by killing the director.
Hideo Murai was a member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult and one of the perpetrators responsible for the Sakamoto family murder. He also helped plan the Tokyo subway sarin attack. Murai held a doctorate in astrophysics. He was reportedly the number three person in the Aum leadership, after Shoko Asahara and Kiyohide Hayakawa. He headed Aum Shinrikyo's Ministry of Science and Technology.
J. T. Rogers is an American playwright who lives in New York.
Sukeban (スケバン/助番) is a Japanese term meaning 'delinquent girl', and the female equivalent to the male banchō in Japanese culture. The usage of the word sukeban refers to either the leader of a girl gang or the entire gang itself, and is not used to refer to any one member of a girl gang.
Matsutarō Shōriki was a Japanese journalist, media proprietor, and police officer. He owned the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, the main mouthpiece for the military dictatorship during the war, after the war it gained Japan’s highest readership while openly distributing nationalistic and pro-American agendas.
Robert Whiting is a best-selling author and journalist who has written several books on contemporary Japanese culture - which include topics such as baseball and American gangsters operating in Japan. He was born in New Jersey, grew up in Eureka, California and graduated from Sophia University in Tokyo. He has lived in Japan for more than three decades since he first arrived there in 1962, while serving in the U.S. Air Force. He divides his time between homes in Tokyo and California.
Joshua Lawrence “Jake” Adelstein is an American journalist, crime writer, and blogger who has spent most of his career in Japan. He is the author of Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, which inspired HBO Max's 2022 television series of the same name, starring Ansel Elgort as Adelstein.
Yoshinori Watanabe was a yakuza, the fifth kumicho of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's largest yakuza organization. He became kumicho in 1989. He was known for a more low-key approach than his predecessors, partly due to an anti-gang law passed in 1992. He retired in 2005.
Tadamasa Goto is a retired yakuza. He was the founding head of the Goto-gumi, a Fujinomiya-based affiliate of Japan's largest yakuza syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi. Goto, who has been convicted at least nine times, was a prominent yakuza and at one point the most powerful crime boss in Tokyo, even being dubbed the "John Gotti of Japan". Goto was once claimed to have been the largest shareholder in Japan Airlines, but this was disputed by stock exchange filings.
Ikumi Yoshimatsu is a Japanese actress, stunt woman, book author, opinion leader, social activist and beauty queen who was crowned Miss International 2012 in Okinawa. It was Japan's first Miss International win in the 52-year history of the pageant.
Ansel Elgort is an American actor and singer. He began his acting career with a supporting role in the horror film Carrie (2013). He gained wider recognition for starring as a teenage cancer patient in the romantic drama film The Fault in Our Stars (2014) and for his supporting role in The Divergent Series (2014–2016).
The Goldfinch is a 2019 American drama film directed by John Crowley. It was written by Peter Straughan, who adapted the 2013 novel The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It stars Ansel Elgort as Theodore Decker, whose life changes after his mother dies in a terrorist bombing at a museum and a dying man convinces him to take a famous painting called The Goldfinch from the museum. Oakes Fegley, Aneurin Barnard, Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, and Nicole Kidman appear in supporting roles.
Tokyo Vice is an American crime drama television series created by J.T. Rogers and based on the 2009 book of the same title by Jake Adelstein. It premiered on April 7, 2022, on HBO Max. It stars Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe in lead roles. In June 2022, the series was renewed for a second season.
Michael Mann is an American filmmaker known for directing, producing, and writing various works of film and television.