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Japan Station 18: How Jim Brodie Came to Be (Barry Lancet)

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In this episode of the Japan Station podcast I sit down for a thrilling chat with author Barry Lancet.

Barry Lancet is the award-winning author of the Jim Brodie series of books. After a long career as an editor at the international arm of one of Japan’s most prestigious publishers—Kodansha—Lancet made his debut as an author in 2013 with Japantown. Lancet’s ability to seamlessly weave Japanese culture and history into his exciting, suspense-filled plots quickly caught the attention of many and won him numerous Best First Novel awards. Since Japantown Lancet has published three more books in the Jim Brodie series: Tokyo Kill, Pacific Burn, and The Spy Across the Table. Aside from working on the next Jim Brodie book, Lancet is currently working on an unrelated thriller set in Hawaii. Japantown has been optioned to be developed into a pilot for a possible show.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Barry Lancet ended up going to Japan for the first time
  • How getting interrogated by Japanese police eventually served as inspiration for the Jim Brodie books
  • How Japantown evolved from a noir book to a mystery-thriller
  • The writing and research process that goes into writing a Jim Brodie book
  • Barry’s inability to scale down his stories
  • Restaurants in Tokyo
  • How the Jim Brodie books have been received
  • The time Barry ended up drinking with a Soviet spy at a Japanese wedding party
  • Visiting the Demilitarized zone on the border of North and South Korea
    The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the subsequent meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
  • Barry’s work on a new book set in Hawaii
  • And much more!

NOTE: After the outro music there is a bonus segment in which Barry talks about the last third of his fourth book, The Spy Across the Table. This part contains major spoilers for The Spy Across the Table so if you have not read it yet, it would be best not to listen to it.

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Extra Stuff

If you’d like to start reading the Jim Brodie series, you’ll want to start with the first book: Japantown.

The second book in the Jim Brodie series is Tokyo Kill.

The third book is Pacific Burn.

And the fourth book is The Spy Across the Table.

You can visit Barry Lancet’s official website via the link below.

Barry Lancet Official Website

You can also follow Barry Lancet on social media via the links below.

Barry Lancet on Twitter

Barry Lancet on Facebookl Website

If you would like to read the article for Wasabi magazine that I wrote based on my talk with Barry Lancet, click the link below. The article is titled “Inspired by True Events and it appeared in Volume 2 Issue 2 (June-July 2019) of Wasabi.

Wasabi Magazine Article on Barry Lancet

If you would like to dine at the fugu (blow fish) restaurant in Asakusa, Tokyo that was mentioned in this episode, you’ll find all the relevant information below. Remember to make a reservation before going!

Miuraya (三浦屋 浅草) Location Information

Address
2 Chome-19-9 Asakusa, Taito Ward, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
東京都台東区浅草2‐19‐9

How to Get There
A 3-minute walk from Asakusa Station on the Tsukuba Express (TX) Line
A 10-minute walk from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
An 8-minute walk from Taharachō Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
A 15-minute walk from Iriya Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line

Hours of Operation
Open Everyday from noon to 9:30 p.m.
May close on certain holidays

Phone
03-3841-3151

Website
Miuraya Official Website

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi)
To listen to more of Yunomi’s music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Image: Courtesy of Barry Lancet

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