The vice and virtues of middle age are espied with an eagle eye in this hardboiled story about a mid-career gangster. Unfolding thorugh chiseled sketches and run through with tantalizing motifs, Kitakata's masterpiece follows the fortunes of a yakuza mobster as his moment of truth approaches. Cool, real, and cleansing, Ashes is a literary tonic.
"Ashes is a fascinating look at the largely hidden world of the yakuza, Japan's mafia." --Japan Visitor
"This yakuza fable reads like a treatment for a Takeshi Kitano film, and its aging mobster Tanaka evokes Beat's sullen screen ennui." - Mary Jacobi , The Village Voice