Gamblers, Fraudsters, Dreamers & Spies (9784805317983)

Current Stock:
Tuttle Publishing
Date Published:
some b&w & color photos
Number of Pages:
Trim Size:
5 1/8 X 8

"Bob Whiting came to the city as a stranger in a strange land in 1962 and stayed for five decades—he knows the dark alleys, the good whisky bars, the crooked politicians and the crooks, the baseball players, the bookies…better than anyone alive." —Jake Adelstein, author of Tokyo Vice

Critically acclaimed author and longtime Japan resident Robert Whiting turns his attention to the fascinating stories of foreigners who made waves and achieved notoriety in post-World War II Japan.

In this rare insider's look at Japan through the eyes of foreigners, this book covers a fascinating swathe of Japanese history, from the immediate postwar period up to the 2022 assassination of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The fascinating stories of the gamblers, dreamers, and other chancers who made their mark in modern Japan include US servicemen running Vegas-style gambling dens; baseball managers Like Bobby Valentine; hostesses, bar managers and wannabe yakuza gangsters; religious fanatics such as Members of the Moonies, and businessmen like disgraced Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.

This fascinating book provides an unvarnished look at the post-war history of Japan and offers cautionary tales about how welcoming Japan really is towards outsiders. It is based on original research and reporting by the author, a 60-year resident of Tokyo.

About the Author:
Robert Whiting is the author of You Gotta Have Wa (1989), named as one of Esquire's Best Baseball Books Ever Written in 2021; and Tokyo Underworld (2000). He has lived in Japan since 1962 and is regarded as one of the foremost experts on the country. The California native has written for many publications in his long career, including the New York Times, The Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News and World Report. His first book, The Chrysanthemum and the Bat, was named Time's Sports Book of the Year in 1977. He is also a recipient of the 2023 Henry Chadwick Award, which honors those who research and write about baseball.