Most of what individuals know of the Yakuza comes from movies and TV exhibits – they’re a ruthless prison group based mostly in Japan with cool-looking tattoos.
Whereas all of this can be true, there’s a lot extra to Japan’s number-one mafia than meets the attention!
We’ve dug deep and located a few of the most mind-blowing information concerning the Yakuza, so all it’s worthwhile to do is sit again and browse all about it!
Being a member of the Yakuza isn’t unlawful in Japan.
To say that the Yakuza has an advanced relationship with the Japanese police is an understatement.
Whereas any prison actions they conduct are undoubtedly unlawful, merely being a member of the Yakuza isn’t!
The truth is, companies related to the Yakuza and even the Yakuza headquarters themselves are clearly signposted.
Their identify comes from a conventional Japanese card sport.
Oichu-Kabu is an easy card sport the place a participant attracts three playing cards to realize a sum of 9.
If the full of the playing cards is precisely 10, the rating turns into zero.
This particular hand is named Ya-Ku-Za (eight-nine-three) and is the worst hand potential.
It’s from this that the Yakuza’s identify attracts its that means.
There have been two authentic Yakuza factions.
The primary, Tekiya, have been widespread road peddlers and a few of the lowest rating members of Japanese society.
Within the seventeenth century, they turned organized and steadily shifted into organized crime.
The second group was Bakuto, the gamblers, who have been shunned by virtually all different members of Japanese society.
In addition they acted like mortgage sharks. It’s from the Bakuto that the identify Yakuza comes from, as playing cards have been one among their most vital sources of revenue.
The Yakuza had greater than 180,000 members within the Nineteen Sixties.
The Yakuza peaked through the post-WWII interval, a time when Japan was in absolute shambles.
Folks again then nonetheless believed within the idea of honorable gangsters, and the mixture of the 2 led a lot of Japan’s youth proper onto the Yakuza’s doorstep.
The Yakuza is growing older dramatically.
The inhabitants of Japan’s common age is growing considerably yr by yr, one thing which even the once-mighty Yakuza can’t escape.
On prime of all the opposite components inflicting Japan’s inhabitants to age, being a member of the Yakuza is solely changing into much less and fewer fascinating to Japan’s youth.
That is primarily because of elevated sentences for violent crimes, which now see offenders typically spending the remainder of their lives in jail.
Greater than half of at this time’s Yakuza members are actually over 50, with ten p.c over the age of 70.
No less than one Yakuza faction requires would-be gangsters to finish an examination.
Whereas this appears downright weird, it makes excellent sense after Japan launched legal guidelines that made gang bosses answerable for the actions of their underlings.
The examination entails at the least twelve questions, protecting subjects on what actions are and usually are not punishable by regulation, the sentences and fines related to them, and so forth.
It’s enforced by Yamaguchi-gumi, the biggest remaining Yakuza faction.
Yakuza members’ tattoos are all achieved by a Japanese type of “stick and poke”.
Yakuza tattoos are practically at all times based mostly on some type of Japanese tradition or mythology, however there’s much more to their that means than meets the attention.
For the Yakuza, getting a tattoo is an indication of dedication; the extra tattooed you’re, the extra dedicated you’re.
Yakuza don’t showcase their tattoos to only anybody, although.
They’d cowl them up as a lot as potential whereas going about their day.
If a Yakuza member messes up badly sufficient, they’ve to chop the tip of their little finger off.
The method, known as Yubitsume, actually interprets into “finger-shortening” and has been practiced by the Yakuza since its basis.
The origins of Yubitsume return to the times when Japanese individuals frequently used swords, and the method meant an amazing deal greater than because the little finger is essential for sustaining a grip on a Japanese sword.
With out your little finger, you symbolically and actually positioned your self on the mercy of your mob boss.
Nonetheless, repeat offenders are widespread, with one other joint eliminated with every offense.
What’s actually most fascinating concerning the Yakuza is that it’s solely in additional fashionable occasions through the Yakuza’s decline that we all know probably the most about them!
Whereas it’ll, in fact, be a superb day when the Yakuza isn’t any extra, Japan merely received’t be the identical anymore.