- Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Whiting's real-life protagonist, Nick Zapetti, arrived in Tokyo during the days of the postwar occupation and decided to stay. Jolted from a budding career in low-rent confidence games by a lingering bout of insolvency, Zapetti opened a restaurant on a whim. Against all odds, Nicola's Pizza became the Tokyo hotspot in the '50s for expatriates, ballplayers, entertainers, and politicians, and inevitably, the local mob. Zapetti's erstwhile adventures as a semi-honest restaurateur in a strange land frame the book's real story: the savage backstabbing and dirty dealing of Tokyo's business community, which overlaps so seamlessly with the yakuza at times that it's difficult to see where one entity ends and the other begins. Whiting expertly details the evolution of "the Great Transfer of Wealth," as he calls it (the shifting in funds from American to Japan), and explains why American foreign policy (and its fear of communism) may have unwittingly allowed it to happen. Whiting's writing is illuminating and engaging, and his conclusions belie the simplistic protectionist rhetoric heard from both sides of the fence.
As for Zapetti, he eventually became a Japanese citizen and took his wife's last name. In poor health and dogged by the financial ruin of his pizza empire, Zapetti turned rabidly anti-Japanese: "You ever see the movie Rio Bravo?" Whiting quotes Zapetti as asking one of his foreign customers one night. "You remember the scene where the leering cowboy throws the money into the spittoon ... and Dean Martin, who's the town drunk, crawls after it? That's Japan's fantasy image of us. They want us to beg like Dean Martin." --Tjames Madison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Great Book for learning about the Yakuza in tokyo and the general underbelly of it. Great informing bookPublished 1 month ago by Jacob Azizi
Very knowlegable and interesting story of a unique, transitional time in history, and the meeting of two cultures.Published 12 months ago by james shea
I come to this book by researching on Kodama and his cooperation with Church of Rev. Moon so call family federation for the universal Piece . Read morePublished 16 months ago by Zdenek Hanzlik
Ran across this book on Japanese society New York, and had to read it. I was there off and on during the years of 1948 t0 1966. Read morePublished on November 20, 2012 by Robert McKenna
I really enjoyed reading this book. I enjoyed the fact that this wasn't a boring read, and I didn't know what to expect next. Read morePublished on May 20, 2011 by etheromis
When I was college I read Ian Buruma's "Behind the Mask," a compelling and captivating sociological study of Japan. Read morePublished on October 24, 2010 by Jiang Xueqin