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Well, if you think, in 1945, after Japan surrendered, that the U.S just came in, wrote a new constitution, ran things for a few years while the Japanese sat around and said, Yes sir and no sir, you need to read this book This is not a Tokyo of tea ceremonies and Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, no flower arranging and bonsai sculpting No, this is a postwar Tokyo of black markets, of massive thefts and corruption, from the smallest street vendor all the way to the prime minister, with hundreds of stops between And Americans were right in the middle of all this, from the gangster entrepreneur Nick Zappetti the main protagonist of this book to the CIA, Lockheed and all the way to the presidency Prostitution, business protection shakedowns, gambling, drugs, weapons, bribes, blackmail it s all here Pretty durn fascinating account that has nothing to do with cherry blossoms nor American exceptionalism. From the standpoint of a history nerd especially one who specialized in Japanese history , this book is simply awesome Even though it s a historical read bordering on biography, Whiting does a fabulous job of making this read almost like fiction Great subject matter explored in this book I m a huge fan of cultural comparisons, and this is how it should be done I found this to be a fascinating read, from cover to cover. The sub title of Robert Whiting s fine book is a bit misleading The American gangster in question often disappears from the narrative for long stretches while Whiting explains the long history of collusion between Japanese politicians and the yakuza Nevertheless, the result is a fascinating social history with plenty of entertaining anecdotes and colorful character profiles Chief among the latter are Nick Zapetti himself, the gangster who made a fortune with pizza parlors that became the hangout of choice for expatriates, entertainers, and, most significantly, those who make their living on the wrong side of the law, and then lost that fortune through a combination of stubbornness, bad luck, and ignorance Another highlight is the career of Rikidozan, the former sumo wrestler who became a national hero and single handedly established professional wrestling in Japan by defeating foreign wrestlers in scripted bouts, all the while hiding his Korean heritage Often very funny, this book appeals to both a taste for the prurient and seamy and the desire for a serious, even handed analysis of the role of organized crime, political selfishness, and short sighted anti Communism in Japan s rise to power and wealth. Robert Whiting is uniquely qualified to write about this bit of history He has lived in Japan for years and writes a column for a Japanese language newspaper He knows the language and the people better than most Gaijan in Japan.Start this book and you will find yourself falling into an odd recipe of US Occupation forces, ancient Japanese culture, and ex US Military mobsters who see a profit in this madness called Tokyo Throw it all in the blender and hit frappe and you get what happened to business and finance in Japan following WWII The story is amazing and clearly told by Whiting.To understand the Japanese perspective, Whiting educates us about the need for competing gangs who operate black markets and help businesses out with the occasional blackmail of competitors Such activities, we are assured, help to eliminate confusion in the marketplace By confusion, the Japanese usually mean any foreign competitor who offers goods or services at a lower prices than the local source The Japanese business owners go to great lengths to avoid confusion.You just have to read this slickly written piece of history to understand how things really work in Japan And how some outsiders learned to work inside Japan to make millions. Those who are avoiding the US election news should skip this book, since, like a rancid cheeto, Trump shows up as a partner or patsy for Japanese mobsters Other US figures include Nixon and Prescott Bush.The GR description is pretty complete so I will not add much notes on the content My first comment is read the acknowledgements an notes in the back, they add depth to the book, don t skip them The amount of corruption going on in the book seems horrifying if you haven t read much about down and dirty politics, this was going on in the US when I was young Read up on Frank Hague or the Tweed Ring as an example of traditional American machine politics The violence shown by the Japanese gangs may be less than these bad boys The US still has corruption but not to the extent of 60 years ago For aspiring fiction writers, the bizarre life stories of some of these yahoos might provide some inspiration and help prevent the dreaded villianus mechaniaus, for further fodder along these lines you can read Speed Tribes Days and Night s with Japan s Next Generation among a few others, most of this info doesn t make it to the US, so the online Japanese news sites can provide you with the current payoff scandal of the month If you a video oriented sort of person Pigs and Battleships is part of the Criterion collection or you can watch one of the countless Takeshi yakuza films.An engrossing read, don t start it late at night. Amusing and relatively accurate story about how post war Japan was built by the CIA, gangsters and professional wrestlers. Great book on the post war rise of Japan, from the perspective of an Italian American Ex GI who had a lot of shady friends Topics include Roppongi history The post war takeover of Japanese society Media, Gov t, etc by right wing, nationalist, war veteran, yakuza types Cold War American complicity and involvement in said takeover Particularly by Republican Admins CIA Nixon Korean Mafia Lockheed Martin Scandal, PM Kakuei Tanaka of the Tanaka political dynasty See also Makiko Tanaka Pro wrestling as national feel good propaganda and entertainment. I don t really give this book two stars because it s a BAD book, I m just not convinced that it really concerns a gangster I may be nitpicking, but this feltlike a garden variety criminal, really It s pushing it to put this on my Japanese Mob shelf It s an interesting enough book, however, and those interested in the American expatriate experience in Japan will no doubt like it But I was looking for something about An American Gangster in Japan, and I didn t really feel like this was that. Saat awal membaca buku ini, saya hampir tidak merasa bhw buku ini ttg biografi seorang gangster peranakan Italia yg berkebangsaan AS Tetapi makin dibaca makin lanjut semakin menarik.Gangster tsb bernama Nicola Zapetti yg saat pertama kalinya menginjak Jepang pd thn 1946 dia msh berusia awal 20 an Bermula sbg pedagang penyelundup barang barang dari AS pd Masa Pendudukan, berkolusi utk mencuri berlian yg menyebabkan dirinya masuk penjara, dan setelah keluar dr penjara, Nic sukses mendirikan restoran pizza Nicola s yg mutakhir dan dikunjungi para selebritis dunia Bagaikan roda berputar, begitu pula jalan kehidupan Nic Saat di puncak kesuksesannya, Nic yg sudah berteman akrab dgn dunia bawah tanah alias geng geng kriminal Jepang, sampai Nic sendiri dijuluki Raja Roppongi Namun menjelang di usia tuanya, Nic terjebak hutang maha besar, yg mengakibatkan dirinya diperdaya oleh perusahaan besar Jepang, kalah sidang berturut turut, mengakibatkan penurunan kesehatan dirinya Faktor paling menyakitkan adalah Nic merasa dirampok oleh bangsa Jepang dan harga dirinya yg tinggi serta arogansinya yg luar biasa menyebabkan Nic tidak bisa menerima perubahan zaman yg terjadi termasuk pula perubahan fisiknya Selain kisah Nicola Zapetti, di buku ini juga banyak diceritakan tokoh tokoh sentral era pascaperang yg kondang semacam biografi singkat seperti Thomas Black, Rikidozan, Kakuei Tanaka, dll Jadi kita banyak mendapat informasi mengenai keadaan dan situasi masyarakat Jepang setelah Perang Dunia II sampai dengan era pre Millennium termasuk sikap xenophobia bangsa Jepang terhadap bangsa asing.Selain itu modus operandi para yakuza dari zaman ke zaman juga diceritakan lumayan detail dan ironis saat perbandingan yakuza era 60 an dgn era 80 an Skandal politik yg mewarnai sayap kanan partai LDP dari masa ke masa itu juga dikemas apik dari soal skandal suap, korupsi, pembelian jabatan, pemenangan proyek dsb Saya puas dan tidak menyesal telah membeli buku ini pd thn 2010 dan baru membacanya 7 thn kemudian Tidak ada kata terlambat utk membaca buku yg bagus. `Download Pdf ⇖ Tokyo Underworld: The Fast Times and Hard Life of an American Gangster in Japan ⇝ A Fascinating Look At Some Fascinating People Who Show How Democracy Advances Hand In Hand With Crime In Japan Mario PuzoIn This Unorthodox Chronicle Of The Rise Of Japan, Inc Robert Whiting, Author Of You Gotta Have Wa, Gives Us A Fresh Perspective On The Economic Miracle And Near Disaster That Is Modern JapanThrough The Eyes Of Nick Zappetti, A Former GI, Former Black Marketer, Failed Professional Wrestler, Bungling Diamond Thief Who Turned Himself Into The Mafia Boss Of Tokyo And The King Of Rappongi, We Meet The Players And The Losers In The High Stakes Game Of Postwar Finance, Politics, And Criminal Corruption In Which He Thrived Here S The Story Of The Imperial Hotel Diamond Robbers, Who Attempted And May Have Accomplished The Biggest Heist In Tokyo S History Here Is Rikidozan, The Professional Wrestler Who Almost Single Handedly Revived Japanese Pride, But Whose Own Ethnicity Had To Be Kept Secret And Here Is The Story Of The Intimate Relationships Shared By Japan S Ruling Party, Its Financial Combines, Its Ruthless Criminal Gangs, The CIA, American Big Business, And Perhaps At Least One Presidential Relative Here Is The Underside Of Postwar Japan, Which Is Only Now Coming To Light