Unformatted text preview: Gangsters Cut Off A Finger Section To Atone For a Misdeed. YAKUZA ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR STRIKING FULL-BODY TATTOOS. Tattooing signifies the ability to withstand pain & commitment to the Yakuza life. 300-YEAR HISTORY 0. After Japan Civil War. 1. Tokugawa Era (1600-1850). 2. Ieyasu Tokugawa unified Japan. 3. Central system of govt. replaced feudal system. 4. Unemployed samurai: 0. Some became merchants. 1. some became criminals. 2. Some became free-lance mercenaries, protecting local communities. 5. Romanticized history of modern-day Yakuza. GODFATHER. FATHER-CHILD RELATIONSHIP 0. Oyabun provides advice, protection, and help. 1. Kobun provides loyalty and service. 2. Formal initiation: 0. Exchange of sake cups symbolizes blood connection between oyabun & kobun. 1. Takes place at a Shinto shrine establishing religious significance. 2. Code of bushido. bushido. 3. Violent death is poetic, tragic, & honorable. Giri & Ninjo Robin Hood Image 3. Giri: sense of duty to members of the group. Giri: 4. Ninjo: compassion toward the disadvantaged. Boryokudan: "violence group" o Rules of conduct preclude violence against the police and innocent civilians, enabling yakuza syndicates to operate openly, with high-profile headquarters. GANGSTERS, JAPANESE STYLE NUMBERS 5. Population of Japan: 127,417,244 (July 2005 est.) 6. Population of identified Yakuza: 80,000. Yakuza: 7. Ratio 1/1600 YA-KU-ZA = "GOOD FOR NOTHING" 8. 8-9-3 = 20 9. 20 is a useless number in an old card game whose object is to draw 3 cards, coming close to 19 without going over. YAKUZA DEMOGRAPHICS 10. Lower working-class high school dropouts. 11. Victims of class discrimination. 12. 1 parent of Korean or Chinese ancestry. 13. Juvenile delinquent. 14. Estimate: 75% are either burakumin or ethnic Koreans. BURAKUMIN: "UNTOUCHABLES" BURAKUMIN: 15. Suffered discrimination for generations. 16. Family history worked at "dirty" occupations: 4. Butchers. 5. Tanners. 6. Grave diggers. Kumi-cho (boss): YOSHINORI WATANABE 17. Age: late 50s(in 2003). 18. Residence in Kobe. City block in size. Upscale neighborhood. Floodlights, cameras, steel doors, bodyguards. 19. Income?: $1M per month from top aides? ( 109,380,000) 20. Moving the group into legitimate businesses. YAMAGUCHI-GUMI Dominates the industrialized, densely populated region extending from Kyoto, through Osaka to Kobe, & most other urban centers. YAKUZA GREW ECONOMICALLY AS JAPAN GREW ECONOMICALLY Sophisticated. Business-minded. Super-syndicates. Nationwide expansion. Gained political access. Influence in entertainment & construction industries Control seaports? UP-FRONT IMAGE 21. Yamaguchi-gumi is listed in the phone book 22. Yamaguchi-gumi publishes a membership newsletter. 23. Yamaguchi-gumi clearly marks its HQ building with its logo. 24. Some yakuza members wear lapel pins that identify their group. 25. Some yakuza members have business cards with the group logo on it. PUBLIC FUNERAL FOR A MURDERED GANG BOSS. WELL-CONNECTED IN LEGITIMATE FINANCIAL CIRCLES. Historic ties between gangsters & govt. officials. 26. Kazuo Taoka (d.1981): friend of 2 former prime ministers. 27. Susumu Ishii (d.1992): 7. involved with world's largest brokerage houses, rec'd $2.3B in loans & loan guarantees. 8. $1B real estate & stock portfolio. 9. Business & political ties to high-ranking party officials. SYMBIOSIS: YAKUZA & JAPANESE BIG BUSINESS Examples: 28. Major corporations paid gangsters to ensure that stockholder meetings would not be disturbed. 29. Ongoing relationship with Mitsubishi Motors. BANKING & YAKUZA 30. Close ties. 31. Real estate loans to Yakuza. 32. Real estate downturn financial institutions are left with the bad loans. Efforts to collect result in firebombings, cut telephone lines, & murder. 33. Resist clean-up of banking mess. DIFFERENT FROM CLASSIC ORGANIZED CRIME ATTRIBUTES. Ideological. 34. Ultra-nationalist. 35. Conservative. 36. Intimately involved in Japan politics. SYMBIOSIS WITH POLICE: QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL ROLE. 37. Shared political views. 38. Yakuza keep disorganized crime under control. 39. Political savvy: exercise self-control over their businesses during international events. CONCERN FOR PUBLIC IMAGE, & ... 1995 earthquake in Kobe: Yamaguchi-gumi assistance was greater than that of the Japanese government. 40. Blunted the police anti-Yamaguchi-gumi campaign of the time. 41. (Of course, it also provided a way for Yamaguchi-gumi-controlled construction firms to increase their wealth!) EXORTION & BUSINESS SERVICES 42. Extort legit & illegit businesses. 43. Hired by real estate developers to intimidate & evict people from their homes. 44. Hired by car accident victims to collect damage payments. 45. Hired by banks to confiscate property from bankrupt property owners. 46. Forced sale of coveted property. YAKUZA & DRUGS Yakuza amphetamine laboratories: Japan, Korea, Philippines. 10. Co-op with snakeheads, import from China. 11. Retailers in Japan for Columbian cocaine traffickers. COOPERATION WITH CHINESE SNAKEHEAD GANGS 47. Amphetamine trafficking. 48. Smuggling Chinese immigrants into Japan. entertainment districts. SEX TRAFFICKING Yakuza are at the center of the international trade in sexual slavery, mostly women & children, bought & sold throughout 3rd World countries. 12. SE Asian Kisaeng parties (sex tours) favored by Japanese businessmen. 13. Dominate the sex entertainment centers in Tokyo. INCREASED VIOLENCE 1990s-2001 1990s: Increased police crackdowns & economic downturns reduced gangster income & reduced their payments to their superiors. 2000-2001: Public bombings & shootings (rival wars) diminished their image. A NEW BREED OF YAKUZA IS EMERGING 50. Favor pure materialism 51. Eschew yakuza traditions such as amputating fingers. 49. Snakeheads control some gambling & prostitution in Tokyo's ...
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- Spring '08
- Government of Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Burakumin, Yakuza, Yamaguchi-gumi