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Episode 31 – Tokyo Vice: A Jewish Journalist Against the Yakuza with Jake Adelstein

To many of us, Japan is still a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Mysterious of all is the Yakuza, Japan’s notorious crime organization, which has been growing and spreading dread for decades.

When Jake Adelstein, a nice Jewish boy from Minnesota, decided to leave everything behind and follow his passion and fascination to Japan, he didn’t know much about the Yakuza either. But soon enough, he learned more than he’d ever imagined he would. Pursuing a career as a Tokyo investigative crime reporter, he wrote in Japanese for one of the country’s most prestigious newspapers.

Jake visited Israel recently for the first time, as a guest of Penn Publishing, who just printed his 2010 book Tokyo Vice. The book tells the mind boggling real-life incidents that took place throughout Jake’s impressive and dramatic career. 2NJB sat with him to talk Japan, Yakuza, and journalism.