‘The Evaporated: Gone with the Gods’ investigates missing persons cases in Japan

True Crime December 30, 2022
The Evaporated: Gone with the Gods
Listen to ‘The Evaporated: Gone with the Gods’

What happens when someone you know disappears? This happened to Jake Adelstein in 2018 when his accountant and friend, Morimoto, vanished days before tax day. And unfortunately, this disappearance is one of many that happens every year in Japan. In “The Evaporated: Gone with the Gods,” Adelstein co-hosts with Shoko Plambeck to investigate johatsu, or Japan’s “evaporated” people.

The co-hosts find themselves navigating a strange world, uncovering new information behind such disappearances, investigating alongside detectives, and diving into Japan’s darkest instructional manuals on how to commit crimes or start a new life.

Start the podcast from episode 1 to hear the full story that introduces listeners to the co-hosts and the circumstances around Morimoto’s disappearance. All episodes run less than an hour on average and will be released weekly through January.

Before he went missing, Adelstein recommended Morimoto to his friends, Steve and Becky. They soon realized their accountant could be hiding something serious and inched closer to the truth right before Morimoto disappeared. By the second episode, Adelstein and Plambeck met with Miho Saita, the CEO of a fascinating night-moving company, “a yonige.” This organization specializes in “night fleeing,” helping people “evaporate” into thin air.

In this series, we’ll hear about Sugimoto-san, a driver and former client of Saita-san’s yonige company and what happened when he built a golf course – he was in way too deep.

When Morimoto’s former boss tried to help him, trouble unfolded including angry yakuza clients, credit charges from sugar daddy websites, and radio silence from Morimoto.

Adelstein and Plambeck sought help from a detective school in Sapporo and learned more about solving missing persons cases. They dove into a case from 2018 when a French tourist, Tiphaine Veron, went missing and heard about the circumstances leading to her disappearance. This led Adelstein and Plambeck to another interesting story. The co-hosts explored possible questions and theories behind disappearances in Japan including international espionage.

Morimoto was found alive, and the hosts discuss whether those who disappear to start a new life are entitled to their privacy and should be able to stay missing.

For more investigative work from Adelstein, check out Tokyo Vice and The Last Yakuza: A Life in the Japanese Underworld.

“The Evaporated: Gone with the Gods” is presented by The Binge, Campside Media, and Sony Music Entertainment.

Listen to ‘The Evaporated: Gone with the Gods’

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