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Yakuza Diary: Doing Time in the Japanese Underworld

Christopher Seymour

73 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 087113604X / ISBN 13: 9780871136046
Published by Atlantic Monthly Pr, 1996
Used Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Yakuza Diary: Doing Time in the Japanese ...

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Pr

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

Edition: 1st - may be Reissue.

About this title

Synopsis:

"A classic work of American journalism about Japan...
Yakuza Diary is an ignore masterpiece." -- Terry McNulty, OSU



"Seymour's book...is absolutely fascinating... Seldom has a tourist visa been put to such good use."--Men's Journal
"Christopher Seymour writes the gaudy, gritty Japan of mob bosses, tattooed punks and good time girls. Yakuza Diary is one of the most exciting books ever written about Japan."--Karl Taro Greenfeld, author of Speed Tribes
"An engagingly written and fascinating look at the organized gangsters of Japan, the Yakuza.... Must reading for all aficionados of the criminal underworld."--Booklist

"[Seymour's] account are always vibrant..., but his thoughtful insights into an increasingly self-possessed urban Japan balance out anything resembling cheap thrills."--Entertainment Weekly
"An engaging treat.... Seymour's book succeeds in expressing how exquisitely strange the Japanese will always be to Westerners who use Western methods to understand them. We get an enthusiastic, frequently fascinating account of what it's like to be an outsider among outcasts, a loser among losers."--The Philadelphia Inquirer



"Christopher Seymour's journey into Japan's netherworld is alternately funny and harrowing, and always thoroughly original. His self-effacing style makes the perfect foil for this fascinating guided tour of institutional crime and ritualized violence. Yakuza Diary is a terrific first book."--James Ledbetter, staff writer, The Village Voice

"[Yakuza Diary] is a revealing glimpse of mob influence on Japanese society.... Seymour gives a colorful account of his informers and their molls, many of them foreign women, and of the more ordinary life and ambience of Tokyo."--Publishers Weekly

Review:

In the spring of 1993, freelance writer Christopher Seymour talked his way out of the grasp of a suspicious immigration official just in time to extend his stay in Japan during a countrywide yakuza (organized crime) gang war. From the opening pages of Yakuza Diary, his lighthearted enthusiasm is infectious. As he works his way into the yakuza network of physically imposing men with full-body tattoos and a weakness for tacky golf clothes, Seymour has adventures both scary and farcical. And he collects a slew of revealing details. For example, Seymour tells us that part of the affected romance of the hugely successful and influential Japanese underworld is that they style themselves as losers: ya-ku-za literally means 8-9-3, a losing hand in an old-fashioned Japanese card game. The Village Voice writes, "Christopher Seymour's journey into Japan's netherworld is alternately funny and harrowing, and always thoroughly original. His self-effacing style makes the perfect foil for this fascinating guided tour of institutional crime and ritualized violence."

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