Author picture

Akimitsu Takagi (1920–1995)

Author of The Tattoo Murder Case

8 Works 614 Members 10 Reviews

About the Author

Works by Akimitsu Takagi


Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Takagi, Akimitsu
Legal name
Takagi, Seiichi
Date of death
Aomori, Japan
Place of death
Tokyo, Japan



Well-written. This novel about 1950's Tokyo taught me that Japan (as many countries) suffered during and for years after WWII. As well as about Japan's excellence in block and tattoo art.Seems like while men were treated as kings, women were not treated as full equals.How surprising!!

But... book's pace is slow. And I simply didn't feel satisfied after reading this.

I haven't decided if I will try another of Takagi's books.
Bookish59 | 8 other reviews | Oct 4, 2023 |
Would I read another book by this author?

Would I recommend this book?

Who would I recommend this book to?
Anyone who enjoys golden age murder mysteries.

Did this book inspire me to do anything?
I have a handful of other Japanese murder mystery books and I am now likely to read them sooner that later as a result of this book.

This is a locked-room murder mystery set in Japan in 1947. The book is interesting not simply because of its murder mystery nature, but also because it is set in post WWII Japan and gives a glimpse of life in Post-war Japan. It was interesting to read about the cultural norms in Japan in relation to greeting people, visiting their homes, and general politeness.

In terms of culture, the position of women in Japanese homes was highlighted. One quote that brought it home to me is:

The three men shared a light meal of rice, miso soup with tofu and straw mushrooms, grilled butterfish, and various savory side dishes. (Daiyu's wife Mariko, as was customary, served them in silence, the ante later by herself in the kitchen.)

The approach to murder mystery involved setting the scene, describing the scene, setting out the evidence as gleaned from various interviews and investigations, and then the build up to the big reveal.

I found the characters engaging and the story held my interest and attention. There was a slight slowing of pace in the third quarter of the book and that has led me to give the book 3.5 stars rather than 4.
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1 vote
pgmcc | 8 other reviews | Jan 20, 2023 |
This book was fascinating - set and written in Japan in the 1940s, it gave me so many fascinating insights about this time period. I also liked the lively depictions of several characters. The mystery itself was "obviously" quite convoluted, and not sure I was convinced by the back and forth of point of views at the beginning. The translation itself was interesting, probably challenging to do. It read as more "modern" than the 1940s and while it helped me get into the book more quickly and read it fast, it was also a bit jarring at times. But it's really hard to do :)

I want to thank NetGalley and Pushkin Press for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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OpheliaAutumn | 8 other reviews | Nov 3, 2022 |
Shigeo Shigawa is hired at what seems to be his dream job at an extremely lucrative salary. He soon finds out that the job he has actually been hired for is to be an industrial spy, and the target company he is to spy on is owned by the family of his former best friend, who is now married to his former girlfriend. Nevertheless, he is able to reestablish a friendly relationship with his former friend, and all is going well until his friend turns up murdered, and Shigeo becomes the prime suspect.

This is a vintage Japanese crime novel. It was a pleasant diversion, an easy to follow police procedural. It did its job, and so I recommend it.

3 stars
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arubabookwoman | Dec 3, 2020 |

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