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Japan Subculture Research Center

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The Last Yakuza: A Life In The Japanese Underworld coming in 2015


Mar 3, 2012

Jake Adelstein’s 2nd book, a narrative non-fiction history of  post-war Japanese organized crime, The Last Yakuza: A Life In The Japanese World  is due to be published in 2014.  The book by focussing on several former yakuza bosses and their associates, including the cops who arrested them, will follow the rise of the yakuza, their movement into the financial world, and the gradual disintegration of the professed code that let them be tolerated in Japanese society.

Publisher’s Weekly had the story before it was officially announced. The Atlantic Wire also kindly gave the announcement of the book deal a write-up yesterday.

Agent William Clark, at William Clark Associates, just closed two notable deals. In the first, he sold U.S. and Canadian rights to Jake Adelstein’s nonfiction book The Last Yakuza: A Life in the Japanese Underworld to Tim O’Connell at Pantheon. (Adelstein’s first book, 2010’s Tokyo Vice, is also with Pantheon.) The author is a journalist who grew up in the Midwest before moving to Japan, where he began covering crime for a Japanese paper. The first American to work that beat, Adelstein, who was recently profiled in the New Yorker, has emerged as one of the foremost authorities on organized crime in Japan. The new book, about a former gang boss, is, as Clark explained, “a singular, in-depth, occasionally funny, often dark, but nonetheless inspiring, tale.” A U.K. auction for the book was in progress at press time. (July 2nd, 2012) 


From The Atlantic Wire. 

Some in-house book news: Atlantic Wire contributor Jake Adelstein has a deal for his book The Last Yakuza: A Life in the Japanese Underground. Adelstein, an expert on organized crime in Japan, worked as the crime reporter for Tokyo newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, the first American to hold that position. He was profiled in The New Yorker earlier this year. The Last Yakuzaaccording to Publisher’s Weekly, is about a “former gang boss.” Adelstein previously published Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, a memoir. [Publisher’s Weekly]



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24 thoughts on “The Last Yakuza: A Life In The Japanese Underworld coming in 2015”
  1. I’m really looking forward reading this book and was actually eagerly waiting for a release date!

  2. 2014? That’s after 2013, which is next year. Why the wait? Haven’t you finished the book yet?

    Will there be a Kindle edition?

  3. This is fantastic news, Jake. I’m sure The Last Yakuza will be as excellent a work as Tokyo Vice.


    Do you still plan on writing a work that focuses exclusively on the economy of the Japanese underworld? A year or so ago, I remember reading an article that said you were also working on a play. Are either of these other projects still in the works?

    1. Thank you. Yes, I still have a book on the underground economy planned. And I was working on a screenplay not a play. The screenplay is done. 😀
      And thank you for asking.

  4. 2014 ! That’s so far away, wikipedia article of you says the book would be out in 2011 🙂 I guess I will just have to wait.

  5. 2014 is a long wait, but it will be well worth it.

    Jake, we all enjoy your work very much. Just don’t get hurt doing it.

  6. I am greatly anticipating this book. Just finished Tokyo Vice and ended up on this website looking for more of Jake’s articles. Thanks for your hard work.

      1. I am currently reading your book and this helps a lot in my research paper about the yakuza (major level @ school). It was a real struggle to get the approval to write about this topic.

        Thanks, Jake-San!

  7. Looking forward to reading it, Jake. I keep going back to Tokyo Vice and finding something new. I am sure The Last Yakuza will do the same.

  8. Jake, I loved Tokyo Vice. Read it through a couple of times. For the life of me, I can’t find any information on ‘The Last Yakuza: A Life In The Japanese Underworld’ being available to buy. What’s happening?

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