Tokyo Underworld

( [READ] Tokyo Underworld ) ë Robert Whiting – ✓ A fascinating look at some fascinating people who show how d

The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense

In The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock, Edward White explores the Hitchcock phenomenon—what defines it, how it was invented, what it reveals about the man at its core, and how its legacy continues to shape our cultural world.

The book’s twelve chapters illuminate different aspects of Hitchcock’s life and work: “The Boy Who Couldn’t Grow Up”; “The Murderer”; “The Auteur”; “The Womanizer”; “The Fat Man”; “The Dandy”; “The Family Man”; “The Voyeur”; “The Entertainer”; “The Pioneer”; “The Londoner”; “The Man of God.” Each of these angles reveals something fundamental about the man he was and the mythological creature he has become, presenting not just the life Hitchcock lived but also the various versions of himself that he projected, and those projected on his behalf.

From Hitchcock’s early work in England to his most celebrated films, White astutely analyzes Hitchcock’s oeuvre and provides new interpretations. He also delves into Hitchcock’s ideas about gender; his complicated relationships with “his women”—not only Grace Kelly and Tippi Hedren but also his female audiences—as well as leading men such as Cary Grant, and writes movingly of Hitchcock’s devotion to his wife and lifelong companion, Alma, who made vital contributions to numerous classic Hitchcock films, and burnished his mythology. And White is trenchant in his assessment of the Hitchcock persona, so carefully created that Hitchcock became not only a figurehead for his own industry but nothing less than a cultural icon.

Ultimately, White’s portrayal illuminates a vital truth: Hitchcock was than a Hollywood titan; he was the definitive modern artist, and his significance reaches far beyond the confines of cinema.

Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic

Much than a page turner. It's the first essential work of cultural history of the new decade. Charles Kaiser, The GuardianThe Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author of the behind the scenes explorations of the classic American Westerns High Noon and The Searchers now reveals the history of the controversial 1969 Oscar winning film that signaled a dramatic shift in American popular culture.

Director John Schlesinger's Darling was nominated for five Academy Awards, and introduced the world to the transcendently talented Julie Christie. Suddenly the toast of Hollywood, Schlesinger used his newfound clout to film an expensive, Panavision adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd. Expectations were huge, making the movie's complete critical and commercial failure even devastating, and Schlesinger suddenly found himself persona non grata in the Hollywood circles he had hoped to conquer.

Given his recent travails, Schlesinger's next project seemed doubly daring, bordering on foolish. James Leo Herlihy's novel Midnight Cowboy, about a Texas hustler trying to survive on the mean streets of 1960's New York, was dark and transgressive. Perhaps something about the book's unsparing portrait of cultural alienation resonated with him. His decision to film it began one of the unlikelier convergences in cinematic history, centered around a city that seemed, at first glance, as unwelcoming as Herlihy's novel itself.

Glenn Frankel's Shooting Midnight Cowboy tells the story of a modern classic that, by all accounts, should never have become one in the first place. The film's boundary pushing subject matter homosexuality, prostitution, sexual assault earned it an X rating when it first appeared in cinemas in 1969. For Midnight Cowboy, Schlesinger who had never made a film in the United States enlisted Jerome Hellman, a producer coming off his own recent flop and smarting from a failed marriage, and Waldo Salt, a formerly blacklisted screenwriter with a tortured past. The decision to shoot on location in New York, at a time when the city was approaching its gritty nadir, backfired when a sanitation strike filled Manhattan with garbage fires and fears of dysentery.

Much than a history of Schlesinger's film, Shooting Midnight Cowboy is an arresting glimpse into the world from which it emerged: a troubled city that nurtured the talents and ambitions of the pioneering Polish cinematographer Adam Holender and legendary casting director Marion Dougherty, who discovered both Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight and supported them for the roles of Ratso Rizzo and Joe Buck leading to one of the most intensely moving joint performances ever to appear on screen. We follow Herlihy himself as he moves from the experimental confines of Black Mountain College to the theatres of Broadway, influenced by close relationships with Tennessee Williams and Ana�s Nin, and yet unable to find lasting literary success.

By turns madcap and serious, and enriched by interviews with Hoffman, Voight, and others, Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic is not only the definitive account of the film that unleashed a new wave of innovation in American cinema, but also the story of a country and an industry beginning to break free from decades of cultural and sexual repression.

Tokyo Underworld


At all So much are little descriptions of some corporate espionage through information gathering via prostitutes or little side business deals that shortcut past needed certificationsyawn inducing stuffIf you really love Japan and are interested in some post WW2 corruption give this one a read BUT if you are looking for something a little thrilling may I suggest the book Tokyo Vice I don t really give this book two stars because it s a BAD book I m just not convinced that it really concerns a gangster I may be nitpicking but this felt like a garden variety criminal really It s pushing it to put this on my Japanese Mob shelf It s an interesting enough book however and those interested in the American expatriate experience in Japan will no doubt like it But I was looking for something about An American Gangster in Japan and I didn t really feel like this was that Amusing and relatively accurate story about how post war Japan was built by the CIA gangsters and professional wrestlers The sub title of Robert Whiting s fine book is a bit misleading The American gangster in estion often disappears from the narrative for long stretches while Whiting explains the long history of collusion between Japanese politicians and the yakuza Nevertheless the result is a fascinating social history with plenty of entertaining anecdotes and colorful character profiles Chief among the latter are Nick Zapetti himself the gangster who made a fortune with pizza parlors that became the hangout of choice for expatriates entertainers and most significantly those who make their living on the wrong side of the law and then lost that fortune through a combination of stubbornness bad luck and ignorance Another highlight of the law and then lost that fortune through a combination of stubbornness bad luck and ignorance Another highlight the career of Rikidozan the former sumo wrestler who became a national hero and single handedly established professional wrestling in Japan by defeating foreign wrestlers in scripted bouts all the while hiding his Korean heritage Often very funny this book appeals to both a taste for the prurient and seamy and the desire for a serious even handed analysis of the role of organized crime political selfishness and short sighted anti Communism in s rise to power and wealth A Perfect Evil (Maggie ODell, uick what do the US Army professional wrestling the CIA the LDP the militaryindustrial complex TV pachinko and pizza have in common If you said the post war Japanesenderground economy then you have either read this book or are an extremely abstract thinker Robert Whiting s Tokyo Underworld The Fast Times and Hard Life of an American Gangster in Japan places Japan s post WWII economic recovery in a whole new light Witness to this recovery and subseuent reversal in economic power is Nick Zappetti a former GI and would be mobster turned pizza restaurateur While introducing Italian syle pizza to the Land of the Rising Sun Zappetti hobnobbed with scores of shady characters who matched his own shady proclivitiesZappetti lived a colorful life in Japan First arriving in Japan as part of the US Occupation forces he took advantage of the thriving black market before opening a pizza joint in Roppongi that became the go to place for expats and yakuza alike The fact that Zappetti himself had Mafia ties back in New York at least he claimed gave him street cred His The Wedding in White (The Men of Medicine Ridge, unceasing shrewdness cunning and willingness to engage in business ventures for which he had noalifications or experience eg making pizzas pig farming etc in anticipation of the ick buck eventually paid off making him one of the wealthiest if not the wealthiest gaijin in JapanBut Zappetti s associates and acuaintances were eually as colorful and Whiting sketches these characters with subtle wit Really there was li. Wrestler bungling diamond thief who turned himself into the Mafia boss of Tokyo and the king of Rappongi we meet the players and the losers in the high stakes game of postwar finance politics and criminal corruption in which he thrived Here's the story of the Imperial Hotel diamond robbers who attempted and may have accomplished the biggest heist in Tokyo's history Here is Rikidozan the profe. Well if you think in 1945 after Japan surrendered that the US Just Came In Wrote came in wrote new constitution ran "things for a few years while the Japanese sat around and said Yes sir and "for a few years while the Japanese sat around and said Yes sir and sir you need to read this book This is not a Tokyo of tea ceremonies and Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines no flower arranging and bonsai sculpting No this is a postwar Tokyo of black markets of massive thefts and corruption from the smallest street vendor all the way to the prime minister with hundreds of stops between And Americans were right in the middle of all this from the gangster entrepreneur Nick Zappetti the main protagonist of this book to the CIA Lockheed and all the way to the presidency Prostitution business protection shakedowns gambling drugs weapons bribes blackmail it s all here Pretty durn fascinating account that has nothing to do with cherry blossoms nor American exceptionalism Great book on the post war rise of Japan from the perspective of an Italian American Ex GI who had a lot of shady friends Topics include Roppongi history The post war takeover of Japanese society Media Gov t etc by right wing nationalist war veteran yakuza types Cold War American complicity and involvement in said takeover Particularly by Republican Admins CIA Nixon Korean Mafia Lockheed Martin Scandal PM Kakuei Tanaka of the Tanaka political dynasty See also Makiko Tanaka Pro wrestling as national feel good propaganda and entertainment Those who are avoiding the US election news should skip this book since like a rancid cheeto Trump shows p as a partner or patsy for Japanese mobsters Other US figures include Nixon and Prescott BushThe GR description is pretty complete so I will not add much notes on the content My first comment is read the acknowledgements From the standpoint of a history nerd especially one who specialized in Japanese history this book is simply awesome Even though it s a Robert Whiting is niuely alified to write about this bit of history He has lived in Japan for years and writes a column for a Japanese language newspaper He knows the language and the people better than most Gaijan in JapanStart this book and you will find yourself falling into an odd recipe of US Occupation forces ancient Japanese culture and ex US Military mobsters who see a profit in this madness called Tokyo "Throw it all in the blender and hit frappe and you "it all in the blender and hit frappe and you what happened to business and finance in Japan following WWII The story is amazing and clearly told by WhitingTo nderstand the Japanese perspective Whiting educates s about the need for competing gangs who operate black markets and help businesses out with the occasional blackmail of competitors Such activities we are assured help to eliminate confusion in the marketplace By confusion the Japanese The Kings Sister usually mean any foreign competitor who offers goods or services at a lower prices than the local source The Japanese business owners go to great lengths to avoid confusionYou just have to read this slickly written piece of history tonderstand how things really work in Japan And how some outsiders learned to work inside Japan to make millions I wanted to like this as I am admittedly Japan obsessed and a big fan of true crimeThere are some gems here some wild characters and a few crazy crime stories but The Cattlemans Ready-Made Family ultimately the book doesn t really deliver on what was advertised at least not in my opinionThe parts focusing on the American Gangster in Tokyo tend to be entertaining and there are even a few side characters if you will that are even fascinatingbut they weave in and out of the book dropping off often and being replaced with anecdotes of crimes that seem so white collar that they barely deserve the term crime. A fascinating look at some fascinating people who show how democracy advances hand in hand with crime in Japan Mario PuzoIn thisnorthodox chronicle of the rise of Japan Inc Robert Whiting author of You Gotta Have Wa gives s a fresh perspective on the economic miracle and near disaster that is modern JapanThrough the eyes of Nick Zappetti a former GI former black marketer failed professional. Ttle Whiting had to do to these guys interesting Check it out "Rikidozan the former sumo turned professional wrestling superstar who his Korean heritage "the former sumo turned professional wrestling superstar who hid his Korean heritage Japanese prejudice while he painted the town red in booze and pill fueled partying binges shouting insults he had learned in English like kokkusakka and kommi basutadoHisayuki Machii the 6 2 200 pound mob boss known for killing two men with his bare hands and who once worked for American intelligence Like Rikidozan he also was an ethnic Korean in a Japan that still marginalized KoreansJohn Gorgeous Mac MacFarland the Wild Bull of Nebraska a big American lug who played the role of villain in the pro wrestling circuit and was later involved in an ill fated diamond heist He was known for bizarre lapses in sanity and nusual sexual tastesSee You can t make this stuff The Year of the Beast up Whiting s account of Japanese gangsters bears little resemblance to the slick stoic tattooed yakuza we see in American films These guys had a sense of honor no doubt and were super tough imagine taking fifty three stitches sans anesthetic or facing a sword wielding opponent whilenarmed These guys were crazy And they paid the price for their lifestyles They were all in notoriously bad health with toneless bodies and wan complexions caused by a steady morning to night diet of cheap sake The Billionaires Bidding unfiltered cigarettes and methamphetamines Many of them suffered from diabetes and thy talked incessantly of of treatments for tooth cavities and hemorrhoids Hardly a glamorous picture The modus operandi of Japanese gangsters changed later however to white collar crime as Japan s economic fortune made a reversal in the 80s While the antics of Zappetti et al feature prominently the subtitle The Fast Times and Hard Life of an American Gangster in Japan is somewhat misleading because the greater narrative is less on Zappetti s life than Japan s post war economic life and the hidden factors that contributed to its remarkable development Whiting givess a view of post war Japanese economic development that Japanese leaders are probably not willing to readily admit that a great deal of the economic development was due in no small part to a lucrative The Bride In Law underground economy the players in which were organized crime groups the CIA Japanese big business and the Liberal Democratic Party Japan s conservative political party despite its nameBeing one of the Cold War era bulwarks against communism the CIA heavily funded money to the LDP who in turntilized its extensive Lhéritier des Drakos underworld connections Aote from Jiro Ode president of a finance company the Yakuza are part of the LDP It is a relationship of mutual help friendship cooperation and support There are no straight lines nothing dividing them Everyone is grayHowever despite the fact that corruption played an integral role in post war development and it could be said that this corruption is just part of doing business in Japan it is important to note that Western concepts of corruption and customary Japanese practices and concepts of gift giving and harmony are often at odds as Japan faced inevitable cultural shifts in the latter part of the twentieth century Neither the US nor Japan were completely free from blame Tokyo Underworld made it apparent that cultural misunderstandings and ignorance go both wayswhiting s history of ignorance go both waysWhiting s history of WWII Japan is an eye opening and entertaining account well researched and something that most students of Asia economics or social sciences are not likely to encounter elsewhere While casual readers might find some of the bits that focus on the greater political and economic areas tedious I think Zappetti s story as well as the others that feature than makes The Italians Christmas Housekeeper/The Baby The Billionaire Demands/The Innocents Shock Pregnancy/Sheikhs Secret Love-Child (Secret Heirs of Billionaires Book 18) up for tha. Ssional wrestler who almost single handedly revived Japanese pride but whose own ethnicity had to be kept secret And here is the story of the intimate relationships shared by Japan's ruling party its financial combines its ruthless criminal gangs the CIA American Big Business and perhaps at least one presidential relative Here is thenderside of postwar Japan which is only now coming to light. ,

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