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Toppamono: Outlaw. Radical. Suspect. My Life in Japan's Underworld
     

Toppamono: Outlaw. Radical. Suspect. My Life in Japan's Underworld

by Miyazaki Manabu, Robert Whiting
 
Shot, stabbed, and beaten, Miyazaki Manabu somehow emerged intact from his first fifty years to put his astonishing life story down on paper. Born the son of a yakuza boss in 1945, he grew up in a household of gang members and social misfits before his conversion to Marxism launched him into the violent world of 1960s student radicalism. After dropping out of

Overview

Shot, stabbed, and beaten, Miyazaki Manabu somehow emerged intact from his first fifty years to put his astonishing life story down on paper. Born the son of a yakuza boss in 1945, he grew up in a household of gang members and social misfits before his conversion to Marxism launched him into the violent world of 1960s student radicalism. After dropping out of university and spending a brief sojourn in South America, he became a reporter on a fast-rising weekly magazine. Called back home to Kyoto to take over the family demolition business, he was plunged into a maelstrom of bankruptcy and debt, forcing him to raise funds however he could. Along the way, he became the chief suspect in one of Japan's most sensational criminal cases----still unsolved----before getting caught up in the crazy years of Japan's bubble economy, when land speculators tipped their favorite bar hostesses millions of yen and Dom Perignon flowed like water. More than just one man's incredible story, unflinchingly told, Toppamono is a sophisticated analysis of Japan's postwar half-century that will astound and enlighten. Devastatingly critical of banks and bureaucrats, questioning of Japan's understanding of democracy, and cogent on the role played by the yakuza in Japanese society, this underground best-seller, first published in 1996, will keep you enthralled until the very last page.

toppamono n: a person with a devil-may-care attitude, who pushes ahead regardless.

Editorial Reviews

The Japan Times
"Miyazaki emerges by turns as feisty, unapologetic, open, curious, an individualist and outspoken, which surely help to explain why this well-translated autobiography has sold over 600,000 copies in the vernacular."
The Wall Street Journal Asia
"A sordid story that is told uncommonly well, turning over rocks of the Japanese Establishment to reveal what comes crawling out. "

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780970171627
Publisher:
Kotan Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/01/2005
Edition description:
Hardcover with Jacket
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

Getting shot felt like being shredded apart. An intense pain tore into me as a burning sensation rushed through my right side. It was as if a red-hot Chinese kitchen knife had been shoved into my gut. I couldn't breathe for the pain and heat. Instinctively, I put both my hands over the spot. My feet gave way and I collapsed on the seat, blood spurting from between my fingers.

What People are Saying About This

Sunday Mainichi
Powerful, dark, and violent, and also very funny, the author's account of his life will blow you away.
Nikkei Shimbun
Vividly describes what was really going on during the frenzy of the bubble.
Robert Whiting
A sprawling, epic saga of Japan's first half-century after the war; must reading for any serious student of Japanese culture.
—(Robert Whiting, author of Tokyo Underworld)

Meet the Author

Miyazaki Manabu has spent a lifetime in conflict with authority. A social commentator of penetrating insights, he now lives in Tokyo.

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