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Tokyo Vice author 'went to Japan for culture not crime'

14th October 2009

Crime writer Jake Adelstein had no idea that he would become interested in Japan's gangster underworld when he moved to the country 20 years ago.

The author, who publishes his memoir Tokyo Vice this week, told Reuters that he originally moved to Japan with the goal of learning more about martial arts, Zen Buddhism and culture.

'I was hoping that in Japan I could master karate, master myself and master the language and achieve a mini-enlightenment along the way. I hate to say I have managed to do none of those things,' he revealed.

However, Adelstein then spent 12 years working the crime beat for the Yomiuri Shimbun, the country's largest daily newspaper, and was thrust into Tokyo's underbelly of loan sharking, human trafficking and murder.

The author also admitted that he has always been interested in crime and often finds the investigation process to be more enjoyable than actually writing the story.

In a recent review of Tokyo Vice by the Associated Press, the book is described as a 'gripping story' that provides an insight into parts of Japanese society which are rarely seen by westerners.

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