Robert Whiting has written a number of books on Japan, including You Gotta Have Wa, The Meaning of Ichiro and Tokyo Underworld, which is being developed as a series for HBO. In this lecture, Whiting addresses the intractable role of yakuza in virtually all areas of modern day society in Japan. He discusses the sequel to Tokyo Underworld that he is writing, shares insights into the genesis of the HBO project and talks about the recent National Geographic documentary Crime Lords of Tokyo, in which he appeared."
Robert Whiting is an author and journalist who has written several successful books on contemporary Japanese culture - which include topics such as baseball and American gangsters operating in Japan. He was born in New Jersey, grew up in California and graduated from Sophia University in Tokyo. He has lived in Japan for a total of more than three decades since he first arrived there in the early 1960s. He currently divides his time between homes in Tokyo and California.
Robert Whiting, author of Tokyo Underworld: The Fast Times and Hard Life of an American Gangster in Japan, discusses the Japanese organized crime culture known as “yakuza”. He explains that yakuza try to distance themselves from the mafia by highlighting their strict code of conduct and their contributions to the public good.
City (pop., 2003 est.: city, 8,083,980; metro. area, 12,310,000), capital of Japan. The country's largest city, it is located in east-central Honshu at the head of Tokyo Bay. The site has been inhabited since ancient times, and the small fishing village of Edo existed there for centuries before it became the capital of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1603 (seeTokugawa period). By the 19th century it was one of the largest cities in the world, with a population exceeding 1,000,000. Under the Meiji Restoration, in 1868 it replaced Kyoto as the imperial capital, and Edo was renamed Tokyo (Eastern Capital). A massive earthquake in the region in 1923 destroyed most of the city and killed at least 100,000 people, but most of it had been rebuilt by 1930. Much of it was again devastated by U.S. bombing during World War II and had to be reconstructed. The Summer Olympic Games were held there in 1964. Tokyo is the administrative, cultural, financial, commercial, and educational centre of Japan and the focus of an extensive urban complex that includes Kawasaki and Yokohama. Attractions include the Imperial Palace, encircled by stone-walled moats and broad gardens, and numerous temples and shrines. There are some 150 institutions of higher learning, including the University of Tokyo (1877).