True Crime Japan: Thieves, Rascals, Killers and Dope Heads: True Stories From a Japanese Courtroom
Prize winning Irish journalist Paul Murphy intriguingly invites the reader into the rituals of Japanese daily life with its traditions and problems through these vignettes of courtroom stories. Read about the epidemic of shoplifting by the financially stable silver generation, or the yakuza or gangster members with their partially amputated pinkies and their run-ins with the law, look at the reported perverts and their lusts, regard the thieves and their self disclosure to the police, and view countless other pathetic human transgressions and how these are treated in the Japanese courts. While not part of the national norm, honesty is culturally imprinted into the Japanese people and those on trial frequently openly confess their sins, beg forgiveness and make restitution to the victims, and often have strangers or relatives offer support following the sentencing.
The case histories cited with the additional interviews with the sinners and the victims are gripping.The writer provides a rich sociological study of the Japanese criminal system and at the same time compares and contrasts its low criminal incidence with the elevated crime rate in the United States. An eye-opener for all readers, but especially for those engaged in criminal justice.