Thursday, July 27, 2006
Yakuza Tattoos
It's usual within yakuza circuits to tattoo themselves, usually is it their clan's badges that they have all over their body. The origin of the yakuza tattoo comes from the Bakuto. They usually tattooed a black ring around the arm for each crime they committed. Finally it became a symbol of strength. It can take over 100 hours to do an entire back tattoo. The tattoo was to illustrate you were unwilling to accommodate yourself to societies rules and norms. Now is it to illustrate your clan affiliations.

posted by necromanc at 2:48 PM | Permalink | 9 comments
Kodama – The Peace Maker
The man who brought peace between many of the yakuza factions was named Yoshio Kodama.

Kodama was in jail for the early part of the occupation, placed in the same section as cabinet officers, military, and ultranationalists. He himself was part of the ultranationalist group Kenkoku-kai (Association of the Founding of the Nation). In the late 1930's and early 1940's he worked as an espionage agent for the Japanese government, touring East Asia. He worked on a major operation to obtain strategic materiel needed for the Japanese war effort.

By the end of the war, he had obtained the rank of rear admiral (an impressive feat at the age of thirty-four), and was advisor to the prime minister. He was rounded up with other government officials in 1946 and placed in Sugamo Prison to await trial. The occupation forces saw Kodama as a high security risk, should he ever be released, due to his fanatacism with the ultranationalists.

Kodama had made a deal with the occupation forces G-2 section, and upon his release, was working for the intelligence branch of G-2. He was the principal go-between for G-2 and the yakuza by 1950. (Kaplan, p63-9)

In the early 60's, Kodama wanted the yakuza gangs, who were now fighting one another, to join together into one giant coalition. He deplored the warfare, seeing it as a threat to anticommunist unity. He used many of his connections to secure a truce between the gangs. He made a fast alliance between Kazuo Taoka, oyabun of the Yamaguchi-gumi faction, and Hisayuki Machii, a Korean crimeboss in charge of Tosei-kai.

The alliance broke the Kanto-kai faction for good. Kodama continued to use his influence to mediate the alliance between the Inagawa-kai and its Kanto allies and Yamaguchi-gumi. The truce that Kodama had envisioned was now at hand.
Yoshio Kodama was then referred to as the Japanese underworld's visionary godfather
posted by necromanc at 2:45 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Organizations like Yakuza
Italy has the La Cosa Nostra.
America has the Mafia.
The Irish and Jews have their own crime organizations in America.
Southeast Asia has the Triads.
China, Hong Kong and Taiwan have the Tong.
posted by necromanc at 2:44 PM | Permalink | 3 comments
Members of yakuza organization
For the yakuza it doesn´t matter were you comes from, which country or from which class of society you belongs to, you can become a member anyway. Yakuza takes care of the misfits in the society. Yakuza members can be youth that been abandoned by their parents, youths that not managed the high pressure from the school, refugees from Korea, China etc.

Their nearest boss becomes like their father and their comrades as brothers. Yakuza offers not just companionship also money, status, authority. A part of a group were you feel useful and needed. Comparing with gangs in the USA suburbs.

There is no thresholds or requirements in order to become a member. But when you are inside there are obedience to the superiors.
posted by necromanc at 2:43 PM | Permalink | 3 comments
Structure of Yakuza

It exists two types of yakuza, clan- yakuza and freelance yakuza.

Freelance yakuza

Freelancing yakuza is a yakuza that not commit any bigger crimes and belongs to a little group of hustlers.

They have however some difficulties to survive or not come into jail, because the clan- yakuza not allows anyone other to operate within their territories. Clan- yakuza can tip the police about crimes that the freelance yakuza haven´t commit.

If the freelance- yakuza earns to much money, the clan- yakuza kills the freelancing- yakuza or make him disappear without a trace.

Klan- yakuza can however have a certain use of a freelance yakuza. If the clan- yakuza shall do something that they not want the clan to be associate with, they can turn to a freelancing yakuza that, for a sum of money, does the job for them.

A freelance- yakuza can also be used as a scapegoat if it acquires a guilty to a crime.
If a freelancer is a truly genius he can manage to begin his own clan. Usual a freelance- yakuza becomes, if they not gets killed,a member in a clan.

Yakuza Klan

The clan have been compared to the Sicilian mafias "family". The clan is structured much like a common family in traditional Japan. The clan has a hierarchy structure. The clans head chief is called Oyabun, that means Father. Beneath him he has his children(Wakashu) and brothers(Kyodai). These are not his real children and brothers, only designations of rank and position they have within the clan. All the members in the clan obey the Oyabun and in return he protects them against all dangers.

Oyabun is almighty within the clan and his words is the law. All obey him without hesitation or concern for their own life. Beneath him, oyabun has an adviser that is called Saiko-komon and he has a staff of advocates, accountants, secretaries and advisers. The children's (Wakashu) boss called Waka gashira. He is number two in the clan after Oyabun, not in rank but in authority. He acts as a middleman to see that the oyabun's orders are being accomplished.

The children leaders over their own (sub) gangs and over time can move up in the structure. In that way the clan becomes a ramification with several sub families. The oyabun's "brothers" or Kyodai, boss is called Shatei gashira. Shatei gashira is of higher rank than Waka gashira but doesn't have more authority. "The Brothers" have their own "children" or "younger brothers"(Shatei). Shatei, has its own sub gangs etc. Everyone obeys its gangleader, but it's always the oyabun's word that counts.

posted by necromanc at 2:41 PM | Permalink | 3 comments
Yakuza Current Activities
Much of the current activities of the yakuza can be understood in the light of their feudal origin. First, they are not a secret society like their counterparts of the Italian mafia and Chinese triads. Yakuza organizations often have an office with a wooden board on the front door, openly displaying their group name or emblem. Members often wear sunglasses and colourful suits so that their profession can be immediately recognized by civilians (katagi).

Even the way many Yakuza walk is markedly different from ordinary citizens. Their arrogant, wide gait is markedly different from the quiet, unassuming way many Japanese go about their business. Alternatively, they can be more conservatively dressed but when the need arises, they can flash their tattoos to indicate their affiliation. On occasion they also sport insignia pins on their lapels.

Until recently, the majority of yakuza income came from protection rackets in shopping, entertainment and red-light districts within their territory. This is mainly due to the reluctance of such businesses to seek help from the police. The Japanese police are also reluctant to interfere in internal matters in recognized communities such as shopping arcades, schools/universities, night districts and so on. In this sense, yakuza are still regarded as semi-legitimate organizations. For example, immediately after the Kobe earthquake, the Yamaguchi-gumi, whose headquarters are in Kobe, mobilised itself to provide disaster relief services (including the use of a helicopter), and this was widely reported by the media as a contrast to the much slower response by the Japanese government. For this reason, many yakuza regard their income and hustle (shinogi) as a collection of a feudal tax.
Yakuza frequently engage in a uniquely Japanese form of extortion, known as sōkaiya.In essence, this is a specialized form of protection racket.

Instead of harassing small businesses, the yakuza harasses a stockholders' meeting of a larger corporation. They simply scare the ordinary stockholder with the presence of yakuza operatives, who obtain the right to attend the meeting by a small purchase of stock. They also engage in simple blackmail, obtaining incriminating or embarrassing information about a company's practices or leaders. Once the yakuza gain a foothold in these companies, they will work for them to protect the company from having such internal scandals exposed to the public. Some companies still include payoffs as part of their annual budget.

Yakuza also have ties to the Japanese realty market and banking, through jiageya.Jiageya specialize in inducing holders of small real estate to sell their property so that estate companies can carry out much larger development plans. Japan's bubble economy of the 1980s is often blamed on real estate speculation by banking subsidiaries. After the collapse of the Japanese property bubble, a manager of a major bank in Nagoya was assassinated, and much speculation ensued about the banking industry's indirect connection to the Japanese underworld.

As a matter of principle, theft is not recognised as a legitimate activity of yakuza. This is in line with idea that their activities are semi-open; theft by definition would be a covert activity. More importantly, such an act would be considered a trespass by the community. Also, yakuza usually do not conduct the actual business operation by themselves. Core business activities such as merchandising, loan sharking or management of gambling houses are typically managed by non-yakuza members who pay protection fees for their activities.

There is much evidence of Yakuza involvement in international crime. There are many tattooed Yakuza members imprisoned in various Asian prisons for such crimes as drug trafficking and arms smuggling. In 1997 one verified Yakuza member was caught smuggling 4 kilograms of heroin into Canada. In 1999, Italian-American Mafia Bonnano family cap and enforcer, Mickey Zaffarano, was overheard talking about the profits of the pornography trade that both families could profit from. Another Yakuza racket is bringing women of other ethnicities/races, especially White/European and Asian to Japan under the lure of a glamourous position, then forcing the women into prostitution.
posted by necromanc at 2:39 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Yakuza Rituals
Yubitsume, or finger-cutting, is a form of penance or apology. If a gambler couldn't pay back a debt or something like that the persons tip of the little finger got cut off, which damage the hand and the person could not hold his sword as well as before. Also that way other people could see if a person haven't paid a debt, which could bring certain problems, since gambling always been prohibited in Japan.

Its origin stems from the traditional way of holding a Japanese sword. The bottom three fingers of each hand are used to grip the sword tightly, with the thumb and index fingers slightly loose. The removal of digits starting with the little finger moving up the hand to the index finger progressively weakens a persons sword grip. The idea is that a person with a weak sword grip then has to rely more on the group for protection — reducing individual action. In recent years, prosthetic fingertips have been developed to disguise this distinctive appearance.

This is done as an apology for disobedience. It can be done to expiate a wrongdoing but can also be done to spare one of your "children".

When you have done something that your Kumicho dislikes you take a sharp item,cut of a fingertip,wrap it in paper and send it to the Kumicho and begs for his forgiveness.If it's the first time you cut of the little- fingertip there after it becomes the next little-finger and so on.Because of that you see yakuza- members that are without several of his fingers.

Another, more radical version of penance is seppuku (also known as hara-kiri ), ritual suicide by disembowelment. Popular among Japanese samurai and soldiers who would commit it as penance for their failures, Yakuza are sometimes known to commit seppuku as well.

Another prominent yakuza ritual is the sake-sharing ceremony. This is used to seal bonds of brotherhood between individual yakuza members, or between two yakuza groups. For example, in August 2005, the Godfathers Kenichi Shinoda and Kazuyoshi Kudo held a sake-sharing ceremony, sealing a new bond between their respective gangs, the Yamaguchi-gumi and the Kokusui-kai.

When yakuza members play Oicho-Kabu cards with each other, they often remove their shirts or open them up and drape them around their waists. This allows them to display their full-body tattoos to each other. This is one of the few times that yakuza members display their tattoos to others, as they normally keep them concealed in public with long-sleeved and high-necked shirts.
posted by necromanc at 2:30 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Yakuza American Influence
Yakuza became influenced by the American gangster- movies and began to dress in black suits with white shirts, black sunglasses and cropped hair

Yakuza became tougher and more violent, the swords was history, now was it firearms that counted. Now were it not just player and storekeepers that became exposed by violence, ordinary persons could be robbed and pressed on money.
posted by necromanc at 2:28 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Post-War Yakuza: Gurentai
As Japan began to industrialise and urbanization got underway, a third group of yakuza called gurentai began to emerge (the name gurentai was not given until after World War II).

In short, a gurentai is a gang in a much more traditional sense, a group of young unruly thugs who peddle their violence for profit.
posted by necromanc at 2:28 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tekiya and Bakuto
More directly, the origin of most modern yakuza organizations can be traced to two groups which emerged in 18th century Japan: tekiya (peddlers) and bakuto (gamblers). Although the modern yakuza has diversified, some gangs still identify with one group or the other. For example, a gang whose primary source of income is illegal gambling may refer to themselves as bakuto.

Tekiya (peddlers)

As they began to form organisations of their own, they took over some administrative duties relating to commerce, such as stall allocation and protection of their commercial activities. For example, during Shinto festivals, these peddlers opened stalls and some members were hired to act as security. Each peddler paid rent in exchange for a stall assignment and protection during the fair.

Bakuto (gamblers)

Had a much lower social standing even than traders, as gambling was completely illegal. Many small gambling houses cropped up in abandoned temples or shrines at the edge of towns and villages all over Japan. Most of these gambling houses ran loan sharking businesses for clients, and they usually maintained their own security personnel. The places themselves, as well as the bakuto, were regarded with disdain by the society at large, and much of the undesirable image of the yakuza originates from bakuto. This includes the name "yakuza" itself.
posted by necromanc at 2:27 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Yakuza Origin and history
The term "Yakuza" comes from a Japanese card game, Oicho-Kabu (played with hanafuda or kabufuda cards), and means "good for nothing". It comes from Japan's counterpart to Black Jack, Oicho- Kabu. The generally difference between the both cardgames are that in Oicho- Kabu the cards rate shall be 19 instead of 21. The worst hand in the game is a set of eight, nine and three, which gives a sum of 20 and a score of 0. In traditional Japanese forms of counting, these numbers are called Ya (8), Ku(9) and Sa(3) respectively, thus the origin of the word "yakuza".

There is no single origin for all Japanese yakuza. Rather, yakuza organizations developed from different elements of traditional Japanese society.


Yakuzas origin can be followed far back as to the year 1612, when men known as kabuki-mono (the crazy ones). Their odd clothing style, the distinct haircuts and bad behavior, longswords quickly got everybody's attention. They were known as masterless samurais, ronin, and several of them began to wander around in Japan as a band of robbers, plundering villages and small cities. Kabuki-mono generally came from shoguns or samurais whom during long peaceful times were forced into unemployment. Almost all yakuza have the same type of background poor, criminals and misfits. The Yakuza became a family for them. They got help with problems, got attention and could feel a certain saftey


Yakuza however not see kabuki-mono as their "ancestors" instead they feel that they are machi-yakko(City servant), Machi-yakko became the people's heroes, praised by the citizens for their help against kabuki-mono. The Machi-yakko were often weaker, far less trained and equipped than kabuki- mono. Therfore they were compared with England's Robin Hood. Kabuki-mono were known for their ruthless behavior and terrorizing all the surrounding areas. They were well known for stabbing people for pleasure. Kabukimono were gave their groups scary names and spoke in vulgar slang.

posted by necromanc at 2:25 PM | Permalink | 2 comments
What is Yakuza ?

Yakuza also known as gokudō , are members of traditional organized crime groups in Japan. Today, the yakuza are one of the largest organized crime phenomena in the world. In the Western press they are sometimes called the "Japanese mafia," by analogy with other traditionally Italian-Sicilian organized crime groups of the same name.

Yakuza strength rises and falls according to the tides of Japanese society, with estimates of core membership ranging from 80,000 to more than 110,000 in the years from 1945 to 1996. Some authorities believe Japan's National Police routinely undercount the Yakuza, numbering only those names found in confiscated membership rolls, or recorded from routine police intelligence reports. Like the Sicilian Mafia and other underworld organizations, the Yakuza are formed into families.
posted by necromanc at 2:19 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Why a blog about Yakuza ?
As you already know when you create something, it must be something that you want to know more, something you like, etc.So I decided to know more about this amazing power, named Yakuza, and I decided to learn, and what I learn I'll post in that blog.Maybe with time someone will find my blog quite intresting.
posted by necromanc at 7:03 PM | Permalink | 15 comments
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