July 24, 2021

Robert Whiting: "Tokyo Junkie" 60 Years of Bright Lights, Back Alleys, and Baseball - Part 1

Robert Whiting: "Tokyo Junkie" 60 Years of Bright Lights, Back Alleys, and Baseball - Part 1

I have been a big fan of Robert Whiting ever since I read "Chrysanthemum and the Bat" back in high school in the 1980's. Numerous, critically acclaimed books later, I sit down with Bob to discuss his latest book, a memoir, "Tokyo Junkie" 60 Years of Bright Lights and Back Alleys . . . and baseball.   We discuss his firsthand insights into six decades of of entertaining, dangerous, bizarre, and heartfelt experiences sandwiched between the 1st Olympics in 1962 to the current 2021 games. This is part 1 of a 2 part podcast interview. This episode covers the "Bright Lights and Back Alleys" of Tokyo Junkie with the 2nd episode covering "Baseball" stories and more. In true story-telling mastery,  this is a rare, oral history of raw and underground Tokyo told by the person who lived it, from Soldier to Degenerate to The Professional to The Rojin - Robert Whiting. Other topics we cover:

  • What it's like to have your life threatened by the Yakuza (twice)
  • Why writing a Memoir was a "painful" process
  • The big break which changed his life
  • Befriending gangsters and its repercussions
  • Back stories of mafia and politics
  • What led to the writing of his 1st book
  • After 60 years in Japan what he misses most about the "good old days"
  • News of his next book, a sequel to "Tokyo Underworld" 
  • Most "Gratifying" professional achievement 
  • Interview tips for a certain podcaster ;-) 

Robert's Books (Tokyo Junkie): https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Whiting/
Robert Whiting: https://tokyojunkie.com/

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