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Tokyo Joe    by Christopher G. Moore order for
Tokyo Joe
by Christopher G. Moore
Order:  USA  Can
Heaven Lake, 2003 (2003)

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* *   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

Julian Bonner, known as Tokyo Joe to the Japanese with whom he has lived for the past 45 years, ran Sugamo Prison during the American Occupation of Japan after World War II. Choosing to live in Japan after the war, Bonner became an oyabun. In other words, he was a type of godfather involved with the Japanese Mafia. When Bonner decides to tell the secrets of Sugamo Prison, the Japanese suddenly decide to deport him to America. Their reason: he tried to fix a title baseball game.

Bonner brings his Japanese daughter with him, and moves in with his son and wife. From there the story of a powerful man (or was he?) and his dysfunctional family is told from several perspectives. Bonner's son, who has had little contact with his father during his formative years, seeks to understand the man Bonner became. Bonner's first wife, his second wife, his daughter, Japanese friends, the bum on the street corner, the doorman, and the maid, all tell different stories about Julian Bonner.

Who knows the true Tokyo Joe? Who knows the secret of Sugamo Prison? Can a son and father find neutral ground amid strife and misunderstanding? This book will answer some of those questions and leave you with food for thought.

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