Pacific Tides
My name is Thomas Sturm and I'm a programmer, photographer and writer.

Now go outside and look at the sky.

The Poison Ape

Last year I had picked up the first US translation of one of Arimasa Osawa's books - Shinjuku Shark, and just recently I've found a new translation in his series around a cop in Tokyo in our local Japanese bookstore.

The title is The Poison Ape, and where Shinjuku Shark was an in-depth study of Tokyo police procedures, this new book is a hard, cold-edged dive into Tokyo's brothels and the many illegal immigrants from China and Taiwan that live and work there.

Detective Samejima hasn't changed much since the last book, but this case is definitely rougher. Samejima stumbles over a case of drug sales in Tokyo's subways that leads on to illegal immigrants, but there is much more going on as a bloody feud between Taiwanese gangs spreads into Tokyo, rapidly decimating gang members and bystanders alike.

The book is a good read and offers insights into a Japan that a casual traveler to the country would never see, but it is also a very brutal book, probably in many ways a more truthful account of the underbelly of Tokyo's society than most writers would dare to offer.

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