Monday, February 24, 2014

RE: 15 Scary Things You Didn’t Know About The Yakuza

Hey, lets all take a lil trip from Penang to Japan! 

So all of us have watched some gangster movies before. (I personally think they dont make good gang/triad movies anymore!...well except KL Gangster, that is awesome!!)
so I stumbled across this article online about the all so famous "Yakuza" - a famous name for mafia's from the land of the rising sun - Japan!

Seems like after reading this, they aren't so bad after all..they did help out when Japan was hit with the disastrous deadly tsunami (a moment of silence for the tragic incident)..

so anyways, here are some really interesting facts!

check it out! ;)


15 facts about the famous yakuza
image – Flickr / elmimmo

1. The Yakuza “employ” more than 100,000 people, effectively making them the largest criminal organization in the world.
2. The name Yakuza comes from Oicho-Kabu, a game similar to blackjack.Ya-ku-za (8-9-3) is said to be a losing hand.

3. The power structure within a Yazuka crime syndicate is a typical pyramid structure, with the head at the top and power disseminated into his loyal henchmen. However, it gets a little more complicated. True to Japanese tradition, there is unwavering loyalty and complete obedience that comes with this. Oyabun — or the father counsels and protects thekobun — the child, and the kobun is expected to lay down his life for theoyabun.

4. Yakuza membership surged to 184,000 members after World War II, which is just half the entire Japanese police force (291,475 personnel in 2010).

5. Punishment is doled out through physical violence. Failure to complete a task ends up with yubizume, which is amputation of a part of the little finger. This act makes it so that the punished becomes more dependent on his superior for protection. In the Meiji era, that meant the amputee would not be able to wield his sword as freely as he would’ve with his finger.

6. Yoshio Kodama united the Yakuza factions and became the first “godfather”. He was extremely right-wing and funneled money into the Liberal Democratic Party — an anti-communist right-wing political party.

7. Komada was behind the 1976 Lockheed scandal, which saw Lockheed pay $3 million in bribes to Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka.

8. Sumo wrestling events are usually rife with Yakuza members.

9. Kazuo Taoka was the oyabun of Japan’s largest Yakuza family, Yamaguchi-gumi. He was nicknamed “Kuma” (“Bear”) for attacking his opponent’s eyes. He was shot in the back of the neck, but survived. His attacker was found dead weeks later in some woods surrounding Kobe.

10. The Yakuza have a firm hand in the pornography industry in Japan. But that’s not all, they also have a big role in sex trafficking and firearms smuggling.

11. The Yakuza are adept at corporate blackmail and extortion. They have a specific group dedicated for this, called sokaiya. The sokaiyagather information about the company — especially on the officers. Once they get details on mistresses, violations swept under the rug, secret meetings, financial problems, they extort the management for “compensation.” And the sokaiya always gets what they want.

12. There are reported Yakuza activity in the United States. Most of the activity is in Hawaii, but they have been reported in California, Nevada and New York.
The yakuza have also put down roots in California where they have made alliances with Korean and Vietnamese gangs and furthered their traditional partnerships with the Chinese triads. Los Angeles is particularly attractive because of the influx of young actresses desperate to get their big break in the film industry. Yakuza shills have become adept at luring these vulnerable women into porn films and prostitution. Japanese men, whether on sex tours or at home in Japan, often desire western women, particularly blondes. – crimelibrary
13. The Yakuza see violent death as poetic, tragic and an honorable way to die. They also help the weak and steal from the rich. These romantic notions actually put the gang in a favorable light in the public’s eye.

14. The Yakuza responded to the tsunami catastrophe faster than the Japanese government did. The Yakuza delivered food, water, blankets and toiletries to evacuation centers in northeast Japan.

15. The Yakuza are known to play in the political sphere and align themselves with nationalist, right-wing parties. This bode well for the two, giving the Yakuza a place to meddle in politics within legal boundaries, and politicians to employ the Yakuza for illegal activities.

If any readers have any interesting tales about the yakuza to share, please do write it...I would be interested to take a look and read :) 

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