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The author of the best-selling “Memories of Silk and Straw” brings the same documentary approach to bear in “Confessions of a Yakuza,” a study of an aging gangster by the name of Eiji Ijichi.

Ijichi was a patient of Saga, who was a doctor with his own Tokyo practice. Cognizant of being in the last coherent days of his life, Ijichi offered to tell the writer his story, which proves intimate and fascinating.

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