• Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Japan Subculture Research Center

A guide to the Japanese underworld, Japanese pop-culture, yakuza and everything dark under the sun.


jakeJake Adelstein @JakeAdelstein

Jake Adelstein is considered one of the foremost experts on organized crime in Japan. He has been an investigative journalist in Japan since 1993 and is the author of the best-selling memoir “Tokyo Vice.” He contributes to The Daily Beast, The Japan Times, Vice News, and the Japan Subculture Research Center. Adelstein is also a board member of the Polaris Project, an organization that combats human trafficking.

Mari Yamamoto @MariYamamotoNYC

Assistant Editor

Mari Yamamoto is a writer and former editor of TRANSIT, a Japanese culture and travel magazine.

Julianne Chiaet @JuliChiaet

juliBook Editor

Julianne Chiaet is a journalist and editor based in New York. She edits long-term projects for JSRC. Julianne mostly covers science, Japanese culture, and technology. Her work has been published in Scientific American, The Daily Beast, and Daily Mail.

Chelsea Sakura BaileyThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 5A4160BE-D0C1-4CED-8609-0CE58FDCC1BC-768x1024.jpg

Assistant Editor and Field Researcher

Chelsea Sakura Bailey is based in Seattle and edits articles and features for JSRC, as well as conducting research. While relatively new to journalism, her boundless enthusiasm for all things Japan, and her morbid curiosity about the dark side of the rising sun, make her a valuable contributor.

Sarah Noorbakhsh

Sarah is the former Editor-in-Chief of JSRC, contributing writer, journalist, translator and photographer, based in London, UK.

Stephanie Nakajima

Stephanie is the former Assistant Editor, contributing writer, philosopher at large, based in Boston, MA and sometimes Copenhagen, Denmark.

Louis Krauss
JSRC Intern

Louis is currently a student and hosts a radio show at Oberlin College. It airs every Monday at 7 PM Eastern Time. He spent the summer of 2015 as an intern for JSRC and plans to return to Japan in the Spring of 2016. He loves jazz music and can really tear it up on the saxophone.

30 thoughts on “Contributors”
  1. Mr. Adelstein and associates,

    I am writing a thesis on the crime syndicates in Japan, and their influence on the national economy and politics. Is there any advice or words of wisdom you could provide me with? Also, I would greatly appreciate it if I could establish a primary form of contact with someone at the research center to ask questions when I run into any issues in my research.

    Thank you for your time,

    Tyler B.

  2. Hello,

    I was looking through blogs about Japan and I came across Japan Subculture. I really like your eclectic mix of Japanese culture and news.

    I am a publicist at Tuttle Publishing and we are publishing a new Japanese history book, Samurai Revolution. Given the topic of your blog, I really think your readers would enjoy the content of our book. It focuses on the chaotic and violent Meiji Restoration period and is the first book in English to draw on the writings of Katsu Kaishu who earned the epithet “the shogun’s last samurai.”

    If you are willing to review it, I’d love to send you a copy. Let me know what you think. Here’s the link to the Amazon page:

    1. We take contributions from anyone and welcome article submissions. There is a predominance of women writers for the blog because many of them go into journalism in Japan. We don’t always pay for contributions because it is a non-profit endeavour with a limited budget. Jeff Kingston, Benjamin Boas, Jake Adelstein and others have contributed to the site.

  3. I’m having a lot of trouble getting jobs in journalism after I threatened to sexually molest the children of a colleague at NHK and I’m bitter about it. I’m hoping someone can give me some advice.

  4. Mr. Adelstein,

    Why is it that NYT reporters who talk about how Japan really is get re–assigned?…..Norimitsu Onishi is now in San Francisco and Hiroko Tabucchi is now in New York. Both took a lot of criticism from Japanese people because they talk about political issues, tell the rest of the world about hostess bars, corporate corruption, etc. So does the Times feel the pressure to move them out?

    Just wanted to know your view….


    1. It’s just rotation. Ms.Tabuchi was a local hire and then hired at the head office which requires training back in New York. Mr. Fackler is an excellent writer and so fluent in Japanese he can write books. It’s not pressure just time.

  5. Do you accept article suggestions? If so, where do I send them? Sometimes I notice articles online that may be a good fit for this site.

  6. Hey Jake, did you enjoy that little episode involving your editor at the DB? I hear that your agents, publishers and film financiers are hungry for truth as well

    1. I did. We all had laughs about Christopher Johnson http://www.goyamagazine.com who we decided was a criminally sociopath who has at definitely 1) threatened to sexually assault to children of a reporter colleague at NHK in 2007—and left a tape. 2) he also made threats to his replacement at France 24 after he was fired in letters and then confirmed it on twitter. 3) a lawyer offered to help me put him in jail under Canada’s criminal harassment laws. 4) We wondered why such a well-known war-reporter wasn’t in Syria and concluded that it was because he’s a coward only capable of stalking women and children.

  7. Hi Jake and team

    I am currently reading Tokyo Vice and really enjoying it. I have also recently read “Yakuza” by David E. Kaplan to learn more about the organisations, their history, methods and motives (whether considered positive or negative by outsiders). This website is also a great source of information for someone who has little knowledge of the true culture.

    I am currently writing a crime fiction book which includes yakuza as part of the main story line and I’d appreciate your thoughts on a dilemma I face. Although it is purely fiction, are you aware of whether the main organisations have issues over their portrayal in western fiction? It certainly makes for good reading but I’m not sure whether I should avoid using actual organisations by name and use fictional names or to use actual organisation names.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  8. Hello! I am currently a 10th grader. In our Individuals & Societies class, we are learning about human rights violations. My group is focusing on human trafficking in Japan specifically against foreign woman and high school girls. We would like to know more about how these woman get involved in these businesses, how they are treated and why they are not able to get out of it or report to the police.

  9. Dear Mr Adelstein,
    My colleagues and I at The Telegraph are working on a story in Tokyo about the 2004 Pink Panther heist in the Ginza district. Are you able to help us bridge connections with the police detective in charge of that case? If so, do you have any connections? Are you able to assist us?
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Kindest regards,
    Philip J. Javens

  10. Gomen for dropping this in here, but the email address in the contact section is not working.

    Somehow, I fear that I inadvertently offended and got plonked by Jake Adelstein on twitter

    Was it the link to the canned coffee post? It might well be that in my scant travels to Japan I missed a brand that had strong coffee in a vending machine can. If so, please fill me in and I will update and retract.

    As I value your work and enjoy and follow your campaigns, I take this seriously.
    Thanks and best wishes /B

  11. Hi guys. I’m very interested in what you’re doing, and especially Jake’s work.
    Do you think I can pay you a visit sometime?



  12. Any news on the status of the Tokyo Vice movie? All I see are old posts about how the movie was supposed to start shooting in August of 2015, starring the Harry Potter guy. But then silence. I can’t find any updates on it anywhere. Is it still being planned? Or has the Yakuza managed to get the project cancelled?

  13. Hello. I’m a big JSRC fan. And a Toronto-based journalist who lived in Osaka many, many moons ago (aka early to mid-90s). I’ve been assigned a feature story on Osaka (more of a general city-profile thing, but not shitty tourism bunk) and was wondering whether you might be able to suggest an interesting local journalist that might be good for an interview (preferably with some English abilities as my Japanese is damn rusty).

    I can tell you more over email if you like. Any suggestions appreciated muchly. Thanks for taking the time.


  14. Dear Mr Adelstein,

    do you know of any Yakuza car trade businesses in Germany? I am German myself and would like to know more details about it 🙂

    Kind regards


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