Memoir highlights unimaginable adventures in Japan

In “Gangsters, Geishas, Monks & Me: A Memoir of Three Years in the Underbelly of Japan,” Gordon Hutchison shares his experiences in a Zen monastery, a yakuza family, a major cabaret and an unfriendly rural town
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(PR NewsChannel) / December 5, 2012 / CARY, N.C.  

Gangsters, Geishas, Monks and Me

"Gangsters, Geishas, Monks and Me" by Gordon Hutchison

In “Gangsters, Geishas, Monks & Me” (ISBN 1475158939), Gordon Hutchison takes readers deep inside clandestine worlds where few Japanese dare venture and no foreigner has gone before. Fast moving yet introspective, this memoir chronicles the many “can’t-make-this-stuff-up” adventures on Hutchison’s spiritual journey and trial-by-fire initiation into Japanese culture.

From 1976 through 1979, Hutchison trained at a Zen monastery, maintained close personal ties with the head of a yakuza family and worked as a doorman and English teacher at a major Nagoya cabaret—three ultra-conservative, foreigner-hostile Japanese worlds that accepted him as one of their own. From below-freezing monastery winters, to mob meetings with murder on the agenda, to love cabaret-style, the “impossible” situations he found himself in made his cultural education unique in the literature of foreigners in Japan.

Hutchison captures the humor and pathos of having his world turned upside-down in the ongoing struggle to maintain his identity while adapting to the demands of an environment few Westerners could imagine, much less tolerate. Written to educate and entertain, “Gangsters, Geishas, Monks & Me” tells a story he believes will resonate with spiritual seekers, foreign culture followers, travel enthusiasts and memoir lovers, and hopes it will play a small role in deepening cultural understanding.

“Gangsters, Geishas, Monks & Me” is available for sale online at and other channels, with 50 percent of profits going to orphans of Japan’s 2011 tsunami.

About the Author: Gordon Hutchison received a BA in psychology and religion from Duke University. He attended Sophia Graduate School of Comparative International Studies in Tokyo, then spent 24 years in advertising at Dentsu, the world’s largest ad agency, and his own creative boutique. His 30 years among the Japanese gave Hutchison not only a story that had never happened, and probably won’t happen again, but the tools and credentials to put it into proper perspective.

“From his life on the edge as a Zen trainee, yakuza pal and cabaret apprentice, Hutchison writes with a unique perspective on Japanese society. Penetrating, insightful and funny.” — Liza Dalby, author of “Geisha”

“A remarkable journey … vivid, witty, insightful, engrossing and heartfelt. Anyone who wants to understand Japan should read this highly informative and entertaining book.” — Robert Whiting, author of “Tokyo Underworld,” “You Gotta Have Wa” and “The Meaning of Ichiro.”

Gordon Hutchison
Phone:             (919) 468-2401

REVIEW COPIES AND INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE                                                                                   


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SOURCE:  Gordon Hutchison

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