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Synopsis Kazuya leads a quiet life running a Tokyo supermarket When an extortionist tries to close him down, he must turn to the yakuza. This is the most skillfully written translated piece of crime fiction that I have read in a long time, possibly ever A reformed yakuza walks quite deliberately back into the life for reasons that are not completely clear until the very last page He is hunted by a man who is almost completely empty of any enjoyment of life beyond his ever present Gauloise You wouldn t think this could be a great story, but it is. #READ EPUB Ä 檻 õ Kazuya Takino Leads A Quiet Life Running A Supermarket In The Tokyo Suburbs But When An Extortionist Tries To Force Him Out Of Business, He Finds Himself Drawn Into The Yakuza Underworld A World He Once Called Home And Thought He Had Left Behind Pursuing Him Is Detective Takagi, An Aficionado Of French Cigarettes And Modernist Poetry, The Most Decorated Inspector On The Tokyo Police Force As The Shadowy Maruwa Gang Engages Takino In An Escalating Cycle Of Violence And Retaliation, Detective Takagi Can Only Stand By And Watch As The Beast Within Takino Is Lured Further And Further Out Of His CageA Towering Masterpiece Of The Hardboiled Genre, The Cage Is At Once A Searing Portrayal Of The Violence Of The Japanese Underworld And A Tender Mediation Of The Ties Of Love And Friend That Can Save Men From Madness Or Plunge Them Deeper Into It Takino has lead a quiet life for the past 6 years He runs a small, local supermarket in Tokyo with his beautiful wife But he used to be yakuza When an extortion racket comes round demanding he sell his store and his land, Takino can t comprehend what the fuss is all about When digs deeper, he digs himself into a hole from which there is no escape.This is a brilliant noir crime novel set in 80s Japan It s bleak and hardboiled Well paced, the book is a smooth read that builds to a crescendo of consuming yet not senseless violence Highly recommended. Hardboiled Japanese crime, pairing Detective Takagi, a policeman with a taste for poetry and French cigarettes, against Kazuya Takino, a retired criminal who regretfully goes up against a Yakuza gang Great bedtime reading with a shot of something strong. This was pretty awesome, a fast paced hard boiled yakuza noir romp with plenty of ultraviolence, a likable but seriously flawed protagonist, a suitably tragic ending and a great title that seriously ties into what the main character and the cop chasing him, to a certain extent are trapped with. ,. I picked this up on a whim while in a specialty shop, but it had no purpose for me everything here is surface level action and the back cover synopsis than suffices for the full experience of the novel This is the third book by Kenzo Kitakata that I ve read, the first two being Ashes and Winter Sleep Translated by Paul Warham, this book is a fitting addition to Kitakata s works in English The hardboiled styling of this book is in line with 1990s Hong Kong action films rather than Japanese novels, but it makes the book a fast and enjoyable roller coaster ride.The Cage continues in the style set up in these previous books, with the focus on two main characters, Kazuya Takino and Detective Takagi Takino, a former Yakuza who s gone straight, struggles with the life he s created and the world he thought he d left behind By rendering this gangster as a complex human being, Kitakata can deftly explore the various levels, neighborhoods, and relationships of contemporary Japanese society The cage is a metaphor for the world that Takino has made for himself, and that he is aware of, but the novel also explores the cages that the other main characters have built around themselves, for better or for worse and knowingly or unknowingly. The Cage by is Kenzo Kitakata s 1983 novel about a yakuza gangster, recently 2006 translated from the Japanese Kazuye Takino is a former gangster, running a supermarket owned by his invalid father in law Through a combination of events and character he finds himself drawn back in and eventually encountering Detective Tagaki, a poetry reading, brandy drinking detective known as The Old Dog It s hardboiled, noirish fiction, which reminds me in some ways of Dashiell Hammett s The Glass Key the pacing, style and moral ambiguity of the characters The story began slowly, I thought, but as the action unfolded and Tagaki was introduced on page 90 , things picked up and moved to an interesting resolution.