I had the honor, and experienced the excitement, of attending a book launching last night. The wildly successful window on things weird and wonderful, Tabloid Tokyo 101, now has a sequel: Tabloid Tokyo 2: 101 (All New) Tales of Sex, Crime and the Bizarre from Japan's Wild Weeklies
Geoff Botting, one of the team of three authors, extended me the invitation. I turned up at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Tokyo's Yurakucho area, salmon going just a little cool, about fifteen minutes after start off.
We were treated, over good food and drink, to a panel address from three of the authors, who took questions towards the end.
The Tabloid Tokyo series is based, to put it bluntly, on old news. But there isn't a hint of anything musty about it. The authors have patiently combed and filtered the massive weekly outpourings of Tokyo's tabloid magazine press. The best pickings are served up here - with an immediately engrossing freshness that defies publication dates.
Who cares if 'Dads thrown out of homes' was reported in September of last year? "Mr D. thought he was happy. True, he was not pleased about his daughter's upcoming marriage (she was only 24; what the hurry?), but he'd been married thirty years, and at 59 felt he could look back on a pretty good life." So it starts. Who could resist reading on?
And so what if that interview with the 284kg (626lb) sumo wrestler Konishiki about how on earth he manages to have sex (plus quotes from the girls who somehow manage it) happened five years ago? Topics like these are built to last, and they have been saved up here conscientiously, copiously, and in a very easy to read format.
Tokyo Tabloid 2 is an equally racy follow-up to Tokyo Tabloid 101, and exposes Japan in all its grand quirky glory. Get it while it lasts!
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Tabloid Tokyo 2 101 (All-New) Tales of Sex,Crime and the Bizare from Japans Wild Weeklies
Japan Tokyo journalism Tabloid Tokyo Geoff Botting
Friday, August 03, 2007