They say dogs are a man’s best friend, but how does your pet really feel about you?
Japanese company Anicall developed a wearable device that they claim can tell how dogs and cats feel. The device, worn around the pet’s neck, can measure the pet’s heart rate and temperature.
The device communicates via Bluetooth to one’s smartphone. The gathered information is communicated through an application.
“The sensor hidden in the animal’s collar allows us to translate behaviors into emotions that are displayed on the screen,” Anicall researcher Masatoshi Asai said. The company claims the smartphone application can decipher your dog’s emotions by analyzing inflammation and evaluating the measurements of your pets mouth and ears in photographs.
The device was revealed at the inaugural Wearable Technology Expo in Tokyo. It is due to hit markets in April, but the English language name and price have not yet been finalized.
Jake’s note: I meet a lot of people and BG is a friend of a friend. So I took him to my usual haunts. One thing that you learn in life, is that there is a huge gap between how people see you and you see yourself. 灯台は元暗し. BG is an incredibly bright fellow and I hope he visits Japan again soon. The opinions expressed here as his own although most of them I found pretty true.
Trying to sum Jake Adelstein up as simply “a character,” as I attempted to do so with my colleagues, doesn’t do him a shred of justice. The Missouri-born journalist has been opening the kimono to expose everything from the complexities of the Yakuza to the expectedly bizarre Japanese porn industry for nearly 20 years now. In addition to being print published hundreds of times over, he is also a prolific online publisher for the likes of VICE and the Daily Beast and is one of the most active journalists on social media, clocking more than 50k tweets to his handle. However, despite his apparent digital fluency, he strikes me more of a throwback to a hard boiled, hard drinking detective meets justice above all gumshoe reporter.
I met Jake through a high school pal, a producer on the film adaptation of Jake’s personal memoir, TOKYO VICE. Apparently, Daniel Radcliffe is in negotiations to play Jake-san. I was intrigued a year ago when I saw the book on my pal’s shelf, and borrowed it but never got to reading it until I boarded a plane for Tokyo last week.
I read half, and listened to the rest on mp3. The stories were gripping and Jake’s commitment to his zig zag path was compelling, there was no question I had to meet dude.
The person that snuck up on me in the cinematic 25th floor Ritz lobby in Tokyo Midtown was not who I had expected. I’m a pretty good gauge of character when I meet somebody in person, but it just goes to show that a book on tape, a one-way monologue, reveals only a shred of insight.
I expected a soft-spoken ex-pat with a respectful low pro, which would make sense on an island that has a derogative term for foreigners (gaijin.) Or a writer who had chronicled his experience in TOKYO VICE as a nostalgic memoir, reflecting on the many brushes with death, unimaginable sex-capades, but who had thrown in the towel in exchange for some peace and quiet.
To the contrary, Jake is an anxiety ridden Tasmanian devil, both nervous and cocky. He surprised me as I contemplated my glass of Hibiki, instantly making me feel like a bourgeois pig.
“Here you go”
He presented me with a crumpled shopping bag containing a Foreign Reporter Press Club t-shirt, a gift of sorts and gesture that embodies his menschy Jewish roots with a far Eastern sensibility of hosting.
“You eat dinner?”
“No. Let’s do it.”
I threw the 40 bucks of whiskey back like I had just joined the Tokyo beat, gumshoes have not time to swirl. And then we were off, ears popping as the elevator free fell to the pristine Tokyo streets, the cleanliness now only a veneer after having read Jake’s book.
As we sped walked through the underground channels, I couldn’t help but feel like somebody may be following us, or maybe my imagination had grabbed a hold of TOKYO VICE and was running amuck. Regardless, Jake walks like a shoplifter who knows better than to run and call attention to his lift. I think this is his natural disposition, a neurotic energy, that if he were to cease moving may induce sempuku. A clumsy shark of sorts.
“I know this great Chinese place – it’s cheap and you can get a whole Peking Duck for next to nothing… you’ll like it and we can walk there.”
Cut to me just trying to keep up with his furious pace. He navigated us starting from the Ritz and through the underground walkways to our destination, the entire time, rifling from yakuza, the movie, and the Japanese porn industry. He led me into a magazine shop with no explanation, nearly bulldozing a few locals in the process. He operates with either reckless abandon only a person with little self awareness can in a country that takes politeness very seriously or with over-confidence, only afforded to those who’ve managed to penetrate the most protected institutions in Japan, never mind as a gaijin… Another dichotomy Jake embodies.
He grabs two magazines that look to may be porn, “these are really rare now. Here’s one for you and one for Adam [our mutual connection], I’ll explain what they are later.”
He never explains, but I know that they’re Yakuza fanzines from a reference in TOKYO VICE. Think People magazine for mafia fanboys.
We continue on our way. I consider jogging, two feet off the ground at once would be less strenuous. We arrive at a hidden restaurant up a flight in a non-descript building, only to walk in and find a bustling dining hall filled with locals and smoke.
We get a vat of sweet Chinese wine that tastes like shit. Jake insists he can only have a drink or two as he’s on deadline. We’re seated next to a gaggle of Japanese girls in their mid twenties. Our duck finally arrives, I’m drunk, and Jake offers the remaining bits to our neighbors. He has them cackling, he’s a naturally charming guy – though questionable whether he’d have the same mojo stateside. At this point, probably so. His triumphs in Japan, cracking a notoriously isolationist society has earned him stripes of confidence he can take anywhere, that much is obvious.
His phone rings and he takes the call at the table, leaving me to kibitz in broken Japanglish with the girls.
He barks into the phone in a familiar tone that tells me he has a lady at home expecting him not to be home too late. I can’t make out the conversation, as I’m struggling to not completely embarrass myself with my poor Japanese.
“I’ll do the translation tonight, don’t worry. [pause] Yes! I’m with a friend of the producer of the film right now. We’re eating. I’ll be home in an hour and do it, I promise.” The call is actually work related, however, all work for Jake is personal.
It seems that Jake’s always on deadline in an obsessive sort of way.
Jake shows me his phone, sharing a photo he claims is worth a billion dollars. It’s a yet to be released shot of a crime family boss with the president of Japan University, who’s also the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee. The implications for corruption are obvious. “I’m publishing a story on this. The reporter who originally had this was beaten severely.” It was my idea that we meet and get dinner in the first place so I naturally offered to treat when we first corresponded. When the waitress brings a to go bag with dishes never intended to be eaten during dinner I can only laugh to myself… journalism never has, and maybe never will pay, but I’m more than happy to subsidize the honest work of a damn good investigative journalist.
Jake clearly feeds off the danger. Sure enough the piece was published days later. I get a strange feeling, not that I’m a clairvoyant, but just sometime tells me that Jake is pushing his luck. He insists that he knows what he’s doing. But that’s what I’m afraid of.
It was my idea that we meet and get dinner in the first place so I naturally offered to treat when we first corresponded. When the waitress brings a to go bag with dishes never intended to be eaten during dinner I can only laugh to myself… journalism never has, and maybe never will pay, but I’m more than happy to subsidize the honest work of a damn good investigative journalist.
TOKYO VICE the movie is scheduled to start production in 2015 – but it’s a small miracle getting a feature film made in today’s market. I’m a fan of Daniel Radcliffe, so nothing against him, but I’ll be shocked if he can do justice to the real Jake-san.
Tokyo Vice: An American On The Police Beat In Japan, my first book, hit the bookstores five years ago today on October 15th, 2009. Today is also the day I’m turning in the second draft of my second book, which will be released next year. The book’s title may have changed, the book will still be a narrative about the last 70 years of Japanese history told through the lives of yakuza and the cops that sometimes befriended them and sometimes brought them to justice.
The first book wasn’t just about yakuza, although it is often remembered primarily for those things. It’s also a book about serial killers, ATM robberies, the police in Japan, learning to be a reporter, the value of investigative journalism, hubris, and a compendium of everything I ever learned worth knowing. Five years is a long time. I’m older and not much wiser. Some things have changed. Japan’s much better at dealing with human trafficking issues and the grey zone which allowed the underworld to easily prey on foreign women brought to Japan is much narrower. However, the stream of vice, lies and corruption that flows beneath the shadows of the rising sun is still there. Some things never change.
If I seem skeptical of the Japanese government, the nuclear industry or TEPCO in particular, it’s only because I’ve had more than 20 years as a reporter in Japan and have watched these entities mislead the press and the public, twist statistics to suit their ends, and blatantly, unashamedly lie.
“We have Fukushima completely under control.” Can you guess who made that statement and when? Special prize to the person who gets it right.
This chapter never made the final cut of Tokyo Vice because it’s not about crime or the underworld. It is about the battle to tell the truth when it is inconvenient for the powers that be to have it known. It could probably use some more editing but for those who feel like the Japanese government isn’t telling you the whole truth about the actual environmental damage coming from the Fukushima meltdown–which is still going on–because if they stop pumping in water, nuclear fission will start again, this should help make you even a little more paranoid. Enjoy.
It has a happy ending of sorts. Sometimes, truth wins out. Rare but it happens.
In 1997, I was assigned to cover Saitama prefectural politics.
I didn’t know a damn thing about local politics or local government or local anything in Japan. In many ways, this was akin to getting assigned to cover high school baseball. I had no interest in it. I had a one-track mind: crime, cops, yakuza, and arrests. I supposed I was being pushed to broaden my horizons, so I immediately went out and bought a manga on regional government. It was for high school students.
Before long I found angles to make my new beat interesting. I wrote about prefectural employees creating a slush fund; organized crime taking out fake loans from Saitama’s Small Business Support Office; yakuza siphoning off funds from banks right under the nose of the government; government officials accepting bribes from criminals; you get the picture. But to keep my quota of articles up, I realized that I had no choice but to do what I was assigned. That’s when I began to focus on environmental problems. Saitama had a few.
In early 1997, a group of concerned citizens held a press conference at the Saitama Prefectural Government Press Club where they presented evidence that the incidence of infant deaths and birth defects in and around Tokorozawa (which was home to the Seibu Lions baseball team) was significantly higher than in the rest of the prefecture. Industrial waste-management companies had created a giant waste-processing zone here, and most of the furnaces and incinerators were low-grade, burning at low temperatures and slowly, resulting not only in serious air pollution but also in the release of dangerous levels of dioxin into the ground, plants, and water. Data from soil samples from the entire prefecture seemed to make a connection between pollution and the morbidity and mortality.
Citizen groups often came to the club to publicize one thing or another. Most of the time, if they called in advance, someone from the Yomiuri would go hear them out. I went to this one. But while the material, if true, was scandalous, the response among the senior political reporters was at best tepid. Maybe if the group had prepared prettier pie charts, they would have been taken more seriously. As it was, one senior Saitama Shinbun reporter’s words summed up the general reaction: “another bunch of nuts.”
I wasn’t so sure, however. So I picked up a Ministry of Health and Welfare-approved panel report on dioxin and its effects nationwide. It wasn’t easy reading—not in Japanese and probably wouldn’t have been in English. But basically the report concluded that dioxin was an endocrine disruptor and that it could cause, among other problems, infant mortality and birth defects.
Seemed to me these concerned citizens weren’t so nutty after all. I called my senior editor. “I’ll tell you straight up,” I said, “I don’t think any of the other reporters are going to write this up. But I looked through the ministry report and I think it lends some credibility to their claims.”
The editor feigned shock, then asked, “Why do you have a copy of that report?”
“Because I don’t know anything about environmental pollution, and it seemed like a good place to start.”
“A reporter who studies his subject matter—I’m amazed. Well, fax me the pertinent pages of the report. And write the article.”
I wrote the article and sent it in thinking it would be buried in the local edition. But as I was sneaking out for a bowl of tonkotsu (pig bone) ramen, I was called back to the office: The article had made the national edition.
It was the start of what has been referred to as “dioxin hysteria” in Japan. My article, admittedly sensational, essentially stated that “dioxin equals dead babies,” and that got the public’s attention. Further tests of the air and soil revealed that dioxin levels around Tokorozawa three to seven times the normal levels.
Pressed by a suddenly alarmed citizenry, Saitama Prefecture decided to conduct a study of dioxin in breast milk in order to determine levels of contamination in both mothers and infants. Mothers selected for the study were to have lived in four designated areas of the prefecture for a minimum of five years.
The study was to be carried out partially in collaboration with the Ministry. Tanuki Taro, (Mr. Badger-Dog) who would administer the study, was himself a Ministry bureaucrat on loan to the Saitama prefectural government to serve as the head of the Health Promotion Division. A committee of hand-picked civilians was chosen to oversee the project and investigative methods. Tanuki (Mr. Badger Dog) and I took an instinctive dislike to either. He considered me an annoying barbarian environmental radical and I considered him an insincere, clueless overstuffed bureaucrat with a supercilious smile and an attitude problem.
In late March 1998, the Asahi Shinbun scooped the results of the study: The average amount of dioxin found in breast milk was roughly seven times the safe levels dictated by the Ministry Of Health and Welfare, but no substantial difference was found among the areas and nothing to indicate that Tokorozawa, the land of incinerators, was especially dangerous.
I knew the reporter who’d made the scoop. He was my rival, and so his scoop was a crushing blow. But beyond my thwarted ambition, the results of the survey didn’t make any sense to me. How could it be that the people closest to the waste dumps weren’t getting more exposure to the deadly dioxin? The figures seemed very low any way I looked at it.
At the press conference Badger-Dog handed out a summary of the findings but no raw data. Nor was there any data on a per-city basis—simply median figures for north, south, east, and west Saitama. Badger-Dog seemed rather arrogant making his presentation. It was by no means a pat on the back for Saitama’s environmental standards, but the worst of what he said was this: “The dioxin problem is obviously more complex than we imagined, but it appears there is no direct correlation between living near a industrial waste-disposal site and high levels of dioxin in mother’s milk. More study is called for.”
Something wasn’t computing. Something smelled funny—and I mean that in a metaphorical sense, not in the literal sense of the foul stench that used to permeate waste disposal valley in Tokorozawa. I needed to take a look at the raw data myself. But when I asked, the prefectural government refused. First, they cited, “privacy concerns,” then the fact that the data wasn’t in readable form.
If at first they block your path, as the saying goes, then you just have to trudge through the mud. I got the list of people on the civilian committee, and I started writing them letters, calling them up, visiting their offices. At last I was able to catch one committee member in his office; adopting my finest ass-kissing posture, I begged for five minutes of his time. How could he refuse?
“Sensei [oh esteemed great man],” I began, “I’ve been working on this story a long time. I believe that you worked very hard reviewing the materials given to you by Saitama Prefecture, but doesn’t it seem the least bit odd that people with greater exposure to dioxin wouldn’t have higher concentrations of it in their bodies?”
He nodded. “Ah yes, I understand what you are saying. But those were the results we got.”
“Yes, I know, that is what the Ministry of Health has said. My questions may be completely uncalled for, but if I could see the raw data, then I would know for sure and my doubts could be put to rest. I know that you spent a lot of time on this study, and I’m certain that you would like to know it was done right.”
There were some Buddhist icons displayed in this committee member’s office, and somehow I felt compelled to mention the convenient fact that I had lived in a Zen temple when I attended in college; this seemed to impress him. Our conversation then veered into matters of faith, karma, and the lack of ethical development in today’s youth.
“You and I are both coming from the same place,” I said. “We want to make our world a better place. We want to see truth triumph over falsehood. We want people to be healthy, not sick. We want the air to be clean, not dirty. Let’s do our part.”
That closed the deal. I walked out of his office with a sheaf of papers.
I took the data home and I pored over it for hours. I looked at the original plan for the Saitama breast milk survey—the one that they had announced and given to the media. I checked it against my recently obtained copy of the Ministry of Health’s announced plans for a nationwide breast milk study. The Ministry had announced their own study that would be separate from the Saitama study. I wanted to see if the methodology was the same.
And then I began to see a pattern.
I called up the Ministry of Health and Welfare and asked for the person in charge of the nationwide dioxin survey. A very friendly bureaucrat picked up the phone. I explained I was writing an article on steps taken by the Saitama government to assess dioxin risk, but I had a few questions about the nationwide survey that could be helpful in putting things in perspective. She seemed pleased to be of assistance.
“It says in your press release that you require all the women in the survey to have lived in the area for five years. Why five years?”
“Well,” she said, “actually, ideally, they should have lived in the survey area for ten years. Five years is the bare minimum, but the longer the better.”
“Because it takes years for dioxin to accumulate in the body. It’s often stored in fat.”
“So five years would be the bare minimum number of years for it to show up in a survey?”
“In order to have a statistically relevant data sample, yes.”
“Well, what about four years, or two years, or just a few months?”
“No, that would be relatively meaningless. And that might even skew the rest of the data.”
“I see. Let me ask this another way: A residential time requirement of five years is necessary to get an accurate picture of dioxin contamination in humans in the survey areas.”
“Yes, that’s an important criterion.”
This was exactly what I needed. I went on, seeking fuller confirmation: “When Saitama did their dioxin study, it seems they included in their Tokorozawa sample several people who had only lived there for two years or less. What would this mean?”
“It would mean . . . it would be problematic. The data of these people is not relevant. They should probably be excluded from the sample.”
Whether by intention or by sheer laziness, the Saitama government had included a large number of short-time residents in their survey of the Tokorozawa area. This was in contravention to the original terms of the study submitted to the public and to the civilian oversight committee, which was that all participants in the survey were required to have lived in the area for a minimum of five years. If short-timers were removed from the survey, leaving only a sample of long-time residents, the dioxin contamination levels for the Tokorozawa area were shown to be alarmingly high.
That was “the tell.” Now I knew exactly the cards the Saitama government was playing. It had been a good bluff and if I wasn’t such a tenacious player, I would have folded. But now I knew that I had a better hand.
I took the raw data and my notes, and I sat down with the one editor I count on for support. Kurita, literally Acorn-Field, was a former shakaibu writer who’d been exiled to Saitama after working himself to the point of exhaustion (not an uncommon phenomenon) in Tokyo, but he had plenty of life in him. He talked with me for an hour, showing me how to put the story together and what hurdles I needed to clear, and then he convinced the national news editor to publish it.
On March 28, 1998, my 29th birthday it ran in the national edition under the rather blunt headline:
SAITAMA PREFECTURE SKEWS DATA IN MOTHER’S MILK DIOXIN STUDY
While claiming to have examined residents of over five years, 40% fail to meet the standard.
Did Saitama deliberately try to make the contamination levels appear low?
For what was a fairly academic piece, the article had serious impact. All the major newspapers and the television stations followed up on it. I felt pretty vindicated.
And then the Saitama government complained. So did the Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare, which called the Yomiuri head office to complain that the “ministry’s researcher was asked leading questions.” The bureau chief told me the Yomiuri would not print a retraction but that it would have to print a letter from Saitama Prefecture in which they denied “deliberately skewing” the data.
I was furious. (Ten years later I still have that letter, and ten years later my face still burns when I read it.)
I was pouting in the depths of my humiliation when Kurita pulled me aside. “I used to cover the Ministry in my shakaibu days. I know what a bunch of lying weasels those guys are. Here’s my question, Adelstein,” he said, hand on my shoulder, “Do you have any more ammunition?”
“Yes,” I answered, suddenly perking up. “The data on a city-by-city basis. If you follow the original criteria, Tokorozawa looks like dioxin central.”
“Write it up. Keep writing until they beg for mercy. I have your back.”
And so I did. I was able to chart how Saitama had deliberately changed the criteria for taking samples after the survey had started. I wrote another article about how they had done this without revealing the fact to the civilian oversight committee. I wrote another article about how the civilian oversight committee was launching a formal protest.
By the end of the month, the lieutenant governor of the prefecture apologized publicly for problems with the study. And then, a few days later, it was Badger-Dog, the self-serving bureaucrat’s turn to apologize for not having informed the committee before changing the protocol of the study.
Kurita was enjoying the whole thing immensely. Maybe even more than I was.
I next heard from Badger-Dog himself, who asked me to come see him in his office. I went, not meekly but expecting the worst. What I got was the opposite: He offered me a seat, and then he bowed before me so low that his forehead touched his desk.
“Jake, are you done yet?”
“Am I done?”
“You were right. The whole thing was poorly handled. We should have released all the data from the beginning. We should have notified the public and the oversight committee that we had altered the rules for taking samples. You are completely correct.”
“Tanuki-san, I’ll back off. [I was out of ammunition anyway.] All I want is to know how you are going to address the problems from this survey.”
“I don’t know, but once we decide, you’ll be the first to know.”
“Really? In a timely fashion?”
“Timely fashion? You mean before other reporters are told?”
“Yes, before you speak to anyone else.”
And that was how it ended. Since 1998, most prefectures in Japan have introduced high-grade incinerators that put out very little dioxin. I can’t claim any credit for that, although I would like to. Everyone wants to feel like they made a difference. And it’s good to have a scoop while you do.
Read an exciting (sort of) interview with the author and chief editor of the web-site, Jake Adelstein.
I’ve been working on this thing now for almost three years and its nice to finally see it in print. If you’re curious about the sex industry in Japan, about yakuza, cops, journalists and all that can go terribly wrong in the little island country of the rising sun, please read the book. The following interview was done for Random House, who have been kind enough to publish the book.
Thanks to her Professor Tsuneo Akaha, Michiel Brandt, was able to posthumously graduate from the Monterey Institute of International Studies on December 8th, 2012. Professor Akaha and Maria Pacana also helped set up a memorial fund in her honor. The first recipient was chosen this year.
Details are at the bottom of the post.
The Michiel Brandt Memorial Prize Fund — Please help us keep Michiel’s dream alive:
Here is how to give to this Fund:
1) Go to:http://www.miis.edu/giving<http://lists.middlebury.edu/t/684068/711859/1372/0/>;
2) Click on “Giving Now”; and,
3) Complete the giving form: under “2. Gift Information” “Direct Your Gift”, please select “Michiel Brandt Memorial Prize Fund.”
Elena Kokhanovski, a first year MPA student, has been awarded the $1500 cash prize to support her internship in the anti-human trafficking field. Elena is undertaking academic and non-academic activities focused on this issues, according to the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS).
The prize is made possible by generous gifts from Michiel’s family and friends in Japan and the United States. This award is designed to encourage students with professional aspirations to work in this field with the hopes of eradicating and/or preventing human trafficking.
Amy Sands, Provost of Monterey Institute of International Studies and the staff of Japan Subculture Research Center wish to extend congratulations to Elena on receiving this prize and good luck as she begins to pursue her career and fights the good fight.
Michiel wrote a very eloquent and heartfelt essay on why she wanted to work to stop sexual slavery. From 2006-2007, when I was working on a US State Department sponsored study of human trafficking in Japan, including the supply side and the traffickers–Michiel was an invaluable research assistant and translator. The essay is below.
Daniel Radcliffe is set to star in TOKYO VICE. Veteran music video and commercial director Anthony Mandler will direct, based on a script by acclaimed playwright JT Rogers. Le Grisbi Productions’ John Lesher and Adam Kassan are producing. The film is eyeing a start date of first quarter 2014.
Radcliffe will play American reporter Jake Adelstein who, while working at the Yomiuri Shinbun newspaper in Tokyo, covered a beat that included murder, vice, and the yakuza. The film will be based on Adelstein’s memoir of the same name and focus on his encounters with yakuza boss Tadamasa Goto, also known as the “John Gotti of Japan”. Adelstein investigated the notorious gangster at great personal cost and sacrifice, braving death threats, before finally exposing Goto.
Adelstein, who will be working with Rogers on the script, is still an investigative reporter. He currently writes for The Daily Beast, The Japan Times, and The Atlantic Wire. His second book, THE LAST YAKUZA(editor Tim O’Connell), will be published in 2014.
Radcliffe has had a busy schedule since starring in last year’s thriller THE WOMAN IN BLACK. He starred as Allen Ginsberg in this year’s Sundance hit KILL YOUR DARLINGS, which was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. He also recently wrapped the horror film HORNS and the romantic comedy THE F WORD and he has just signed on to star in FRANKENSTEIN for 20th Century Fox and Davis Entertainment. This June, Radcliffe will return to the West End stage, starring in Martin McDonagh’s acclaimed comedy THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN.
Mandler has helmed videos for such artists as Rihanna, Jay-Z, The Killers, and Muse.
Rogers’ plays include BLOOD AND GIFTS (National Theatre, London; Lincoln Center Theater, New York City) and THE OVERWHELMING (National Theatre, London; Roundabout Theatre, New York City). He was nominated for the 2009 Olivier Award as one of the writers of GREAT GAME: AFGHANISTAN. He is also a winner of the prestigious Pinter Prize.
Lesher produced last year’s END OF WATCH, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. He also produced BLOOD TIES, Guillaume Canet’s English language debut, starring Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Mila Kunis, and James Caan, which will premiere at Cannes. Lesher is currently in production on Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s BIRDMAN, starring Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, and Naomi Watts. He is in pre-production on BLACK MASS, to be directed by Barry Levinson and star Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger, as well as David Ayer’s war film FURY, which will shoot in the fall and star Brad Pitt.
Radcliffe is represented by UTA, UK agent Sue Latimer at ARG, and attorney Fred Toczek. Mandler is represented by UTA, Management 360, and attorney Michael Schenkman. Rogers is represented by WME and attorneys Marc Glick and Stephen Breimer. Jake Adelstein is repped by UTA and William Clark Associates.
Jake’s next book, THE LAST YAKUZA: A Life in the Japanese Underground, a singular, in-depth, occasionally humorous, often dark, but inspiring tale about the life of former gang boss T. Mochizuki, aka “The Tsunami,” his unlikely friendship with the author, and the history of Japan’s ubiquitous mafia is being edited by the incomparable Tim O’Connell at Pantheon as this is being written, and will be released in Fall 2014. Other English language publishers are James Gurbutt at Constable & Robinson in the UK, and Henry Rosenbloom at Scribe in Australia/New Zealand.
The stories Jake Adelstein wrote as a crime reporter for a Japanese newspaper have earned him and his family a death threat from one of the country’s most notorious and influential yakuza. Writing a book about crime and criminal culture in Japan is likely to have further enraged the Tokyo uderworld. Adelstein never planned it this way.