Yesterday I finished the non fiction memoir by Jake Adelstien titled “Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter On The Police Beat in Japan.” I wanted to read this book because HBO Max did a show Tokyo Vice that is loosely based on the book with Adelstein being a producer and honestly I was hooked to the show so I had to read this and the book was just as good and very informative. There’s obviously differences between the show and the book but since episode 8 or 9 and 10 haven’t aired yet (I say this because there’s some confusion on whether it’s 8 episodes or 10 episodes and imbd seems to list 10 episode though other sources say there are 8.) but I will do a book vs t.v. review once the show finishes for the season or for good.
Pros & Cons
I admire how ballsy Jake is. I don’t know if I could do the things he has done with investigating the Yakuza. Jake and his family had to have FBI protection because of how dangerous the investigations would be. I also like how it also talked about how in Japan he spoke about his other investigations like investigating the sex trafficking that went on. How different the police and justice system in Japan is different compared to the United States. I also learned he investigated the Lucie Blackburn murder case that happened in 2000. There was a serial rapist and killer named Joji Obara who might have raped over 150 to 400 women. I wish Jake mentioned Carita Ridgway from Australia who was murdered by Joji 8 years before in 1992. What surprises me is Joji was only found guilty of the many rapes but not the murder and rape of Ridgeway and Blackburn. I would talk more about the case but I don’t want it to take up this entire review. For more about this case check out the crime YouTube channel called Brief Case who talks about murder cases around the world and/or search other channels and sources speaking about this case. I also wish we had more details of his personal life outside of the reporting. I do like how Jake keeps his sources protected like any good journalist does because sometimes revealing who told you what is dangerous work not just for the journalist but for the sources themselves.
Overall I enjoyed the book as much as I enjoyed the show. I can tell the similarities and the differences and I understand the show had to fictionalize a lot probably to protect those who were involved. I hope Tokyo Vice does get more seasons about Jake’s other investigations outside of the Yakuza and the fact that Jake’s new book Tokyo Private Eye comes out next year it’ll give the show more material to work with.