In Tokyo, your job can kill
After a top-tier manager in Japan’s premier media company ends up dead in front of company headquarters, Detective Hiroshi enters the high-pressure, hard-driving world of Tokyo’s large corporations. Hiroshi quickly finds out the manager fell from the roof at the exact same spot as an employee suicide three years before.
With little more to go on, Hiroshi can’t tell if the manager’s death was a guilt-ridden suicide, a careless accident, or a grisly personnel decision. The only certainty is that Japanese workplaces rely on “zangyo,” unpaid overtime that drives employees to quit—or to kill.
Teaming up with his mentor Takamatasu, Hiroshi scours the off-record spending, lavish entertaining and unspoken agreements that keep Japan, Inc. running with brutal efficiency. Working overtime himself, Hiroshi probes the dark heart of Japanese business, a place he’s tried to avoid all his life.
Tokyo Zangyo is the fourth in the Detective Hiroshi series.
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About the Author
Michael Pronko is an award-winning, Tokyo-based writer of murder, memoir and music. His writings on Tokyo life and his taut character-driven mysteries have won critics’ awards and five-star reviews. Kirkus Reviews called his second novel, The Moving Blade, “An elegant balance of Japanese customs with American-style hard-boiled procedural” and selected it for their Best Books of 2018.
Michael also runs the website, Jazz in Japan, about the vibrant jazz scene in Tokyo and Yokohama. He has written regular columns about Japanese culture, art, jazz, society and politics for Newsweek Japan, The Japan Times, Artscape Japan, Jazznin, and ST Shukan. He has also appeared on NHK and Nippon Television.
A philosophy major, Michael traveled for years, ducking in and out of graduate schools, before finishing his PhD on Charles Dickens and film, and settling in Tokyo as a professor of American Literature at Meiji Gakuin University. He teaches contemporary American novels, film adaptations, music and art.