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Sunday, Nov. 25, 2001
THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF
TOKYO CONFIDENTIAL: Titillating Tales From Japan's Wild Weeklies, edited by Mark Schreiber. The East Publications, 2001, 257 pp., 1,400 yen (paper)
Grown men in diapers? Couples going all the way in the back seats of Tokyo taxi cabs? Mothers stalking their daughters? Companies that rent out wedding guests? It's a side of Japan you won't read about in the sanitized pages of the country's daily newspapers, but it's standard fare in the weekly newsmagazines eagerly consumed by the Japanese public.
Based on information culled from these tabloid magazines, "Tokyo Confidential" offers foreign readers an entertaining and humorous glimpse into Japan's wild, wacky and often downright sleazy underbelly. First printed in the Mainichi Daily News' Waiwai column between 1992 and 2000, the book is populated by a rogues' gallery of baby snatchers, bullies, moral cripples and sex-obsessed teachers.
Interested? Tokyo Confidential now features every Sunday in The Japan Times. For a representative sampling of what the book has to offer, try this week's installment.