Black Box is a riveting, sobering memoir that chronicles one woman’s struggle for justice, calling for changes to an industry—and in society at large—to ensure that future victims of sexual assault can come forward without being silenced and humiliated.
In 2015, an aspiring young journalist named Shiori Ito charged prominent reporter Noriyuki Yamaguchi with rape. After meeting up for drinks and networking, Ito remembers regaining consciousness in a hotel room while being assaulted. But when she went to the police, Ito was told that her case was a “black box”—untouchable and unprosecutable.
Upon publication in 2017, Ito’s searing account foregrounded the #MeToo movement in Japan and became the center of an urgent cultural and legal shift around recognizing sexual assault and gender-based violence. As international outlets covered every step of her story—even documenting it in the BBC film Japan’s Secret Shame—this book launched a societal reckoning. At the end of 2019, Ito won a civil case against Yamaguchi.
With careful and quiet fury, Black Box recounts a broken system of repression and violence—but it also heralds the beginning of a new solidarity movement seeking a more equitable path toward justice.
Emily Woo Zeller is an artist, actor, dancer, choreographer, and voice artist who has won Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in 2018. She began her voice-over career by voicing animation in Asia. AudioFile magazine named her one of the Best Voices of 2013 for her work in Gulp. Other awards include the 2009 Tristen Award for Best Actress as Sally Bowles in Cabaret and the 2006 Roselyn E. Schneider Prize for Creative Achievement.
Allison Markin Powell has been awarded grants from English PEN and the NEA, and the 2020 PEN America Translation Prize for The Ten Loves of Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami. Her other translations include works by Osamu Dazai, Kanako Nishi, and Fuminori Nakamura. She was the guest editor for the first Japan issue of Words Without Borders, served as cochair of the PEN America Translation Committee, and currently represents the committee on PEN’s Board of Trustees. She maintains the database Japanese Literature in English and lives in New York.