True Crime Japan: Thieves, Rascals, Killers and Dope Heads: True Stories From a Japanese Courtroom

True Crime Japan Thieves Rascals Killers and Dope Heads True Stories From a Japanese Courtroom A middle aged carpenter beats his year old mother to death and goes to work the following day leaving the body for his wife to find An year old woman is jailed for months for stealing fried

  • Title: True Crime Japan: Thieves, Rascals, Killers and Dope Heads: True Stories From a Japanese Courtroom
  • Author: Paul Murphy
  • ISBN: 9784805313428
  • Page: 480
  • Format: Paperback
  • A middle aged carpenter beats his 91 year old mother to death and goes to work the following day, leaving the body for his wife to find An 82 year old woman is jailed for 10 months for stealing fried chicken Like nearly all defendants in Japan, they both plead guilty What happens between plea and sentencing is the subject of True Crime Japan In this fascinating crime bA middle aged carpenter beats his 91 year old mother to death and goes to work the following day, leaving the body for his wife to find An 82 year old woman is jailed for 10 months for stealing fried chicken Like nearly all defendants in Japan, they both plead guilty What happens between plea and sentencing is the subject of True Crime Japan In this fascinating crime book journalist and longtime Japan resident Paul Murphy provides a glimpse of Japanese society through a year s worth of criminal court cases in Matsumoto, a city 140 miles to the west of Tokyo The defendants in these cases range from ruthless mobsters to average citizens, often committing similar crimes in rather different ways, and for different reasons Based on court hearings and interviews with the defendants, their families, neighbors and lawyers Murphy explores not only the motives of offenders but the culture of crime and punishment in Japan The resulting true crime book provides a lens through which to view this honor shame based, conformist culture, and shows how, in its role within that culture, the court system reveals Japan to be, surprisingly to some, a land of true individuals.

    One thought on “True Crime Japan: Thieves, Rascals, Killers and Dope Heads: True Stories From a Japanese Courtroom”

    1. First 10* book of the year. Japan's judicial and incarceration systems are both vastly different from the West, the first much softer and the second much harder. Review to follow.

    2. Don't be fooled by the salacious subtitle. This excellent book is less the tale of thieves, rascals and dope heads, and much more what makes Japan tick. Murphy succeeds in turning ostensibly bizarre cases found in a Nagano Prefecture district court into an exploration of what constituters morality to the Japanese. And what he finds, spoiler alert, is a surprisingly forgiving country if the defendant is prepared to show remorse and acceptance of the supremacy of the greater good. But woe betide a [...]

    3. A revealing and fascinating look inside Japanese courtrooms, True Crime Japan tells the stories of what happens in between pleas and sentencing in Japan. Author Paul Murphy, a journalist and longtime resident of Japan has captured these tales in detail, showcasing the different approaches, customs and morals amongst the Japanese population when it comes to crime and punishment.I loved this book. The author approaches each case in a free-flowing, relaxed style providing a great read with chapters [...]

    4. "Criminal court cases in Japan begin with the fairly predictable—the defendant pleads guilty—and end with the utterly predictable—the defendant is found guilty. What happens in between is the interesting bit." (Introduction, p.8)Paul Murphy, an Irish reporter, has written a really fascinating look at aspects of Japanese society through the medium of criminal court trials ranging from shoplifting to murder. And despite the language of the introduction, what comes before the trial is also fa [...]

    5. The court scene is so bizarrely different in Japan compared to America that your first reading about it will boggle you. The personal details in these accounts would never come out in the US and they are a fascinating window into some aspects of Japan that are outside of the usual cherry blossom story. While I've read about it before, this is the first time I've read detailed reports on how the lay judges work. I've served on many juries and I'm jealous that my Japanese counterparts can ask ques [...]

    6. Ever since I read "Rising Sun" by Michael Crichton I'm hooked on Japanese culture. Years later and I have two Japanese tattoos and a cat called Sushi so I'm buying into being a full Gaijin. True Crime Japan gives us a variety of snapshots from a Japanese courtroom. Each story is equaling as fascinating for both the crime and the Japanese system that deals with it. My favourite was the bike thief who's mother stood as his character witness (I won't ruin it). Any book that has a blurb from Jake Ad [...]

    7. Still haven't finished this book; it is taking a while to get into, but I love the depth of information it gives you into Japanese law and society. Loved learning about the Yakuza and was amazed to learn that police almost rely on Yakuza to 'balance' crime in Japan. Very interesting and will update when I have completed the book.

    8. A great book to read if you want good insight into almost every aspect of Japanese society. Murphy uses different court cases to expand and go into detail about the background of each defendant. This gives us a telescope in which to look at the cultural, judicial, economical, social, religious, philosophical, and familial dynamics of Japan. Many of those on trial are quite interesting and it's sometimes fascinating to see how they got to where they are. "True Crime Japan" really helps the reader [...]

    9. Murphy provides a glimpse into Japanese society in this easy-to-read work. He classifies the Japanese criminal in to major types through his experiences in a Japanese courtroom. What is interesting is the procedure and the sentencing of these criminals as opposed to how things are done in the United States. This book is an interesting and good read. Its major weakness, I feel, is that it is not true to its title. All research was done in a courtroom in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. While certain [...]

    10. Delicious chapter on perverts, fascinating range of infractions that features one of the most common crimes in Japan--groping on the subway. In an effort to contain this behavior there are clubs that simulate rush hour traffic for a fee. The mix of irreverent and earnest observations yields a snapshot of modern underworld Japan sparkling with insight.

    11. I found this book very interesting. An inside view of a Japanese courtroom. Paul Murphy follows several different cases and compares to western system of justice. Many of his comparisons are to Irish and British law, but he does look at the US as well. I was interested in the Japanese legal system and this is a good look at that.

    12. Fascinating. It made me rethink the relationship between organized crime and the criminal justice system in the U.S. Japan's system is so obviously different, and yet similar in many ways also.

    13. Really enjoyed the book, it was well written and showcased the Japanese judicial very well. It was an eye opener on another culture and on its 'darker side' per se. Really recommend it!

    14. Trials in Japan can be open and shut affairs; the prosecution presents overwhelming evidence of the crime, the defendant confesses and shows remorse, and the only uncertainty is the length of the prison sentence. Each chapter of the book is about a different type of crime, most of them in common with other countries (e.g. theft or possession of illegal drugs) and some crimes that are more frequent in Japan such as groping and matricide. For each case, we are given the background of the accused a [...]

    15. This book clearly brings a better picture on how justice is made for the Japs. I admire their judicial system in which they provided leniency and chances after chances for the crime made by the criminal depending on how remorseful they pleaded on their crime. Their sentence for murderer or killers are most likely 10 years and below. Back in my country such offence might carry heavier penalties and at times sentence to death by hanging. Despite all those the Japs ensure that the prisoners have a [...]

    16. I found this fascinating. The stories of the criminals are interesting enough but it is the general information about crime and such that I found the most interesting. Things like the police making an appointment to arrest you. The kind of things that go in on Japanese court would not happen in western culture and I don't think it is something that could even be introduced. Westerners are just not honest enough. Although Japanese prison does not sound like it is very pleasant. Very regimented.

    17. This book could really be broken into three separate books - the crime stories, the legal history of Japan and regular statistics/living of Japan.I was hoping for so much more and while the actual trials/crimes are interesting everything else is just a filler. This reader felt it dragged the book down.

    18. This wonderful book is not true crime of the usual sort. Irishman Paul Murphy spent a year sitting in an ordinary courtroom in Matsumoto City, Japan, and following the variety of cases that passed through. He distilled what he saw into this thematically organized book, which deals as much with the nuances of Japanese culture as with the stories of individual lawbreakers. Highly recommended for Japanophiles, as well as for anyone who enjoys crime writing beyond the usual murderous fare.

    19. easy read, very informative, the short stories are interesting , can get insights of japan culture. There are alot of stats on the social issues, kind of dry to read

    20. Not the most accurate title or sub-title for an excellent book that gives a wonderful insight into modern Japanese society.

    21. As someone involved in criminal law, I find it fascinating to see how other countries handle criminal cases as well as their criminal justice system. This is a great book. It provides numerous stories, covering a wide range of scenarios. You get a true feel for the victims, the defendants and the system. A very informative, interesting and well written book. Enjoyed it.

    22. Court cases appear to be a surprisingly insightful starting point to digress on Japanese culture. Great book.

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