A riveting account of the role of Americans in the evolution of the Tokyo underworld in the years since 1945.
In the ashes of postwar Japan lay a gold mine for certain opportunistic, expatriate Americans. Addicted to the volatile energy of Tokyo's freewheeling underworld, they formed ever-shifting but ever-profitable alliances with warring Japanese and Korean gangsters. At the center of this world was Nick Zappetti, an ex-marine from New York City who arrived in Tokyo in 1945, and whose restaurant soon became the rage throughout the city and the chief watering hole for celebrities, diplomats, sports figures, and mobsters.
Tokyo Underworld chronicles the half-century rise and fall of the fortunes of Zappetti and his comrades, drawing parallels to the great shift of wealth from America to Japan in the late 1980s and the changes in Japanese society and U.S.-Japan relations that resulted. In doing so, Whiting exposes Japan's extraordinary "underground empire": a web of powerful alliances among crime bosses, corporate chairmen, leading politicians, and public figures. It is an amazing story told with a galvanizing blend of history and reportage.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Tokyo Underworld|
|Release Date: 09-29-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Tokyo Underworld|
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Urgent notice to enterprisees, factories and those manufacturers in the process of shifting from wartime production to peacetime production. Your product will be bought in large quantities at a suitable price. Those who wish to sell should come with samples and estimeates of production cost to the following address:
Shinjuku Market, 1-8-54, Tsunohazu,
Yodobashiku, Shinjuku Tokyo.
Kanto Ozu Gumi
August 18, 1945
It was surely some kind of record for speed. Three days after the end of the warand a full ten before the first American soldier set foot in Japanthe above newspaper advertisement appeared for what would be the nation's first postwar black market. One of the very few paid announcements in print at the time, it was a call to commerce hardly anyone expected so quickly, given the wretched, bomb-ravaged condition of Tokyo.
Once a teeming castle town of wood and paper houses, Japan's capital was now mostly cinder, the ground one massive flat layer of residue from the terrible B-29 Superfortress incendiary attacks. The heavily populated lowlands to the east by Tokyo Bay where the merchant and artisan classes had lived and worked had all but been obliterated, as had vast sections of the neighboring industrial city of Kawasaki and the port of Yokohama, further to the south. Drivers of what few cars there were frequently got lost because it was so difficult to distinguish the road from the rubble of shattered...