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Yakuza Moon: The True Story of a Gangster's Daughter (The Manga Edition) Paperback – Jul 27 2011

3.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Paperback, Jul 27 2011
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International; Manga Edition edition (July 27 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770031467
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770031464
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 1.3 x 15.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,763,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Tendo, the daughter of a yakuza (mob) boss, grew up in 1970s and '80s Japan, living through the booms and busts of life on the wrong side of the law. Her first published work, Shoko uses unpracticed but appropriately blunt prose to memoir her exceedingly arduous life; readers will appreciate her restrained but powerful details, especially during some of the harsher scenes. From age 12 onwards, Shoko's life was enveloped in drug addiction, poverty, psychological and sexual abuse, miscarriage, attempted suicide and the deaths of many close family members, set against a backdrop of Japan's ultra-secretive yakuza society. Admiration and a detached style keep Tendo from exploring any resentment she might harbor toward her criminal father, which may prove off-putting for some, but feels entirely honest given the emotional trauma Tendo suffers, and is as revealing for what it includes as for what it doesn't. Emotionally complex and thoroughly heart-rending, this book is recommended for anyone searching for a more thorough and personal understanding of Japanese society, and its darker corners, than is offered by more popular Japanese imports (movies, comic books) featuring similar subject matter.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


A "worthy adaptation. . .Morikawa effectively conveys the human element. The emotions and when appropriate, the vulnerability of the subject is always unmistakable in the visual depictions. I imagine that every scene successfully projects the original author's intended sentiments." — Ain't It Cool News
"Here we have a manga adaptation of the compelling memoir from the daughter of a Japanese mobster boss. Tendo's original drew words like "powerful" and "blunt". . .and sold over 100,000 copies." — Library Journal
"'Yakuza Moon' is a wonderful manga adaptation by Sean Michael Wilson. I personally haven't read Shoko's book but Michiru Morikawa's manga illustrations really do make you feel the emotions that she has gone through. . . . I don't think I have ever seen a story like this, in manga, anime, drama or film from Japan. And to follow Japanese culture for so long and read something that was even surprising for me is quite rare. So I really appreciate reading Shoko Tendo's memoir but also grateful that Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa chose Tendo's 'Yakuza Moon' for a manga adaption. . . .I highly recommend 'Yakuza Moon: The Manga Edition.'" -- J!-ENT
". . . completely enthralling. . . . the life of Shoko Tendo is an eye-opening and fascinating story. . . . Appropriately for a comic adapted from an autobiography, this book really puts readers inside the head of its protagonist. We get to experience Shoko's world from her perspective, imagine her world with her voice, and see the world through her eyes. . . . While I found the core plot of the book to be very interesting, I haven't discussed the remarkable job that Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa do in adapting this story. I was struck by the intimacy I felt for Shoko and how effectively Wilson and Morikawa brought the character to life." -- Comics Bulletin

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, do not expect a well-written memoir. Even if it had been written well in Japanese (which, I gather it was not, as in the foreword the author apologizes for her poor writing), this would have been lost in translation.
Do expect an incredibly compact, realistic and harsh telling of a rough life in a societal group that to my knowledge does not get written about by those intimately acquainted with it (not often, not by women).
This was a difficult read, because it did not attempt to gloss over or in any way lighten the events recalled. Eye-opening, jarring, perhaps only those who have endured forms of abuse themselves can appreciate the levels of pain one simple sentence conveys without the pretension of long-winded adjectives.
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Format: Paperback
I have no idea what the other reviewer was talking about. Tendo's memoirs were amazing and very revealing about Japanese sub-culture and the Yakuza gang. Its basically her life story from her teens to adulthood, showing how and why she embraced the gang lifestyle and eventually decided to emerge from it, struggling to live an ordinary life. Having read it, I don't see how anyone could give this 1 star.
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Format: Hardcover
Poor literary writing skills and content that is conveys little sense of Japan or Japanese culture; resultantly, the setting, the experiences are rendered almost generic. "Yakuza", the premise of the title, is not explored, only mentioned, and so the title is utterly deceptive. The book seems to be meant for the local Japanese audience and is grossly uninformative and unrevealing to anyone else.

The only positives are the cover of the book and the poetic, highly suggestive title.
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Format: Hardcover
I am sure that Shoko Tendo's life experiences were full of hardship and interesting times. Unfortunately, her book and writings do not read well. Maybe the translation from Japanese to English missed the story, but I doubt it - Shoko is not a gifted writer. The book is more like a poorly written memo - literally, "I walked over there. Did this. That happened. I learned a valuable lesson. (and repeated a little differently in the next chapter)". A reader who gives more than 2-stars is biased by some weird fetish to read-more-than-is-written and perhaps has some kind of sympathetic attraction to Japanese culture (and women). Hey, I love Japan and their culture is fascinating and the girls cute... but this book is rubbish! Save your money and buy different book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa327445c) out of 5 stars 93 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3100264) out of 5 stars The Life of a Yakuza Daughter Sept. 9 2007
By The BookWorm - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great read, was hard to put down once I got started. Not at all the type of life you would expect from a family that was once very powerful.

Her child hood bullying, drug use during her teen years, and horrible relationships with men in the past serve as a warning that just because a life style may appear to be glamorous does not mean that it is.

Told with shocking truth, Shoko Tendo's memoir is a great read.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa31004b0) out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good April 15 2011
By B. Wolinsky - Published on
Format: Paperback
My father used to go to Japan on business all the time in the 1980's. He marvelled at how little crime there was compared to New York. But no country is truly crime-free. Even in Japan, there were troubled kids who got in trouble with the police. This book is about that; what happens to Japanese kids from dysfunctional families.

Yakuza Moon opened my eyes to a whole lot of things I never knew about Japan. The Yakuza aren't folk heroes the way the Italian Mafia are in their neighborhoods. Everyone, including neighbors, teachers, and classmates, despised her father. She's a pariah in her neighborhood, beaten by her father at home, and when her father loses the house (and his standing in the criminal underworld) there's nowhere for her to go. She can't go to school, and has no choice but to work in sleazy bars.

The ending is a happy one, fortunately. She does have a career, has a child, tattoos herself (as a way of gaining control of her body) and makes her peace with life. Despite having no education, she does a pretty good job writing this book.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa31006f0) out of 5 stars Nice first try. Oct. 22 2007
By Caie - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This was supposed to be a weekend business trip filler. It ended up just a 4 hour plane ride and a few more hours in the hotel. I gave it 4 stars though becasue I couldn't put the book down. But I am a voyeur and this book really delivers on the exhibitionism. This is really just a Jerry Springer story with a happy ending. However, I am a Japanophile, so this book held my interest more than the same story about a girl from say, Hamilton, Ohio would have. I met several girls like the author while living in Japan and I can say the story does ring very true. This is a great, fast read if you are into Japanese culture, otherwise you may find it a bit maudlin.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa310096c) out of 5 stars Fantastic Read! May 19 2015
By Emily - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely love this book! As a lover of Japanese culture, especially the 'forbidden world,' this book provided insight of what a life was like for a gangster's family. This book isn't about what a life is like for a yakuza... a lot of people mistake that. This is about a woman's life as a yakuza's daughter (as the title states), which was just as interesting to me. You can tell how much the yakuza lifestyle has affected Shoko's family and her own lifestyle. You can see how much her father's lifestyle haunted her in various ways. It's crazy how our families can cause create our path in life - at first, that is. Then you can see how Shoko overcomes her obstacles and created her own path.

The way this was written was very straight-forward and raw. It was incredibly refreshing. Actually, I'm going to read this book again today!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3100804) out of 5 stars Interesting, though hard to follow April 7 2015
By Michelle J - Published on
Format: Paperback

I think something, literally, got lost in translation. I think the disconnect was just a matter of it being translated from Japanese to English, and perhaps Japanese culture.

The writing was at times hard to follow and sometimes down right didnt make sense. For instance, at one point, she says her father was nice, then a few pages later she tells us how he abused and mistreated her.

There were also several times where she didnt give enough information, thereby making the story quite confusing. One particular time, she talked about having a miscarriage but went on to abort. That doesnt make sense. If you are miscarrying, you dont need an abortion.

The book was interesting, it just left a lot out. At one point she mentioned how close she was to her mom and how close her sister was to her dad. At no point in the story was that ever fleshed out. It came as a complete surprise.

There were giant gaps, like the eight ish months she spent in the school for wayward girls. What happened there?

Also, why did a <spoiler> giant tattoo </spoiler> change her life?

What about the hostess jobs?

I could go on but I'll end with saying it was hard to keep up and follow along with.

I appreciate her sharing her story with us. And I'm glad to see she got her life together.