- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Greenfeld, the half-Japanese, half-Caucasian American Tokyo correspondent for The Nation, has written about a little-known, seamy subculture in Japan that became more prominent with the collapse of the "bubble" economy of the 1980s. In 12 compelling chapters, Greenfeld covers the grimier aspects of Tokyo's urban society: organized crime, the nightclub scene, motorcycle gangs (the eponymous bosozoku), computer hackers, ultra-right-wing nationalists, and the porn industry. His focus on individuals brings a sense of immediacy as his high-speed narrative highlights the flaws in Japan's society without bashing it. Steven Wardell's forthcoming Rising Sons and Daughters: Life Among Japan's New Young (Plympton Pr. International) focuses on teens in Kyushu and presents a more positive picture of their lives. These two books show Japan as a complex society much more like ours than people may have realized. The absence of an index makes this more suitable for most public libraries.
Katharine L. Kan, Aiea P.L., Hawaii
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Americans duped into believing that Japan has few social problems outside of political corruption, horrendous university entrance exams, and the suppression of women into lifelong menial jobs and unsatisfying lives as caretakers for their husbands will be shocked by some of Greenfeld's revelations: widespread methamphetamine use among youth, a booming pornographic industry (as a result of Japan's foray into sexual freedom), and a skyrocketing juvenile larceny rate. Organized crime is a problem also; the Yakuza is being replenished with disillusioned youth from the country's youth gangs, and its proliferation on the Japanese mainland and its rapid expansion overseas are frightening. The "speed tribes," or Bosozoku, is a catch-all term that refers to the plethora of diverse youth subcultures that have spawned as a result of Japan's famous "bubble economy." Japan's obsession with things Western intensified during the boom in the 1980s (now predicted to crash sometime in the 1990s) and is proving disastrous to its social fabric. A day in the life of a computer hacker, the "hostess" industry (with few remnants of the geisha tradition that preceded it), and a motley crew of unconventional Japanese youth as they go about their unconventional and sometimes reckless lives are some of Greenfeld's other subjects. Fascinating reading, will make many Americans rethink stereotypes they may have about the Japanese. Kevin Roddy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Great book! Lived in japan for 6.5 years and this book was brilliant!Published 20 days ago by corey mcfarren
This is not an academic work replete with quantifiable research. It is Gonzo journalism at it's best... fun to read and reveals interesting subcultures...Published on February 27, 2013 by César Chávez
I just finished Speed Tribes and really enjoyed its examination of some of the many subcultures in Japan. Read morePublished on January 5, 2013 by Ross Payton
I found this to be a very interesting book in that it sheds light on the naivete that one culture has about another. Read morePublished on March 15, 2012 by Murph
I would like to make it clear that this book came across as authentic, and in no way fabricated. Some people giving reviews here have second guessed the author, his manner of... Read morePublished on February 10, 2012 by Julian
It became obvious that the author loosely bases his tales on very little fact. This isn't to say that there aren't criminals and ne'er-do-wells in Japan (as in the rest of the... Read morePublished on November 23, 2011 by Franks here
Book is well written and interesting but the information is dated now that the Japanese economy has been stagnating for even longer than ours. Read morePublished on April 21, 2011 by R. McDowell
The books does offer some very good insights into Japanese culture, many between the lines.
I have met a few escort girls, they are very much like the woman in the book. Read more
I picked this up used, and read it very quickly - it reminded me of one of those so/so CDs from a usually great band: all the great stuff stacked at the beginning, with an... Read morePublished on September 15, 2006 by David Alston