A gaijin in the organisation? Straight away, the strangest thing is that a foreigner – a gaijin – gets to become a member of a Yakuza family. Not only that, but Lowell quickly rises to become a member with key responsibilities – at one point he becomes the main boss's bodyguard.
The yakuza have done their best to portray a noble image within the public sphere. They dress nicely, are respectful and talk politely – when not trying to make money. Violence for the most part happens between gang branches or non-yakuza gangs within Japan.
Yakuza are better known for making money from extortion, gambling, pornography and prostitution, as well as for the often-elaborate tattoos covering much of their bodies. But disasters bring out another side of yakuza, who move swiftly and quietly to provide aid to those most in need.
Japan is a friendly and welcoming country, steep in history and tradition. While visitors are often amazed at how polite, courteous and gracious the society is, most first-timers may experience some sort of culture shock.
Unfortunately, no such pathways to reintegration currently exist. Social acceptance is unattainable for most who renounce their membership in organized crime groups. As a result, they have no option but to resort to illegal activity to survive.
It is completely OK to wear shorts in Japan. While it may be a bit uncommon among Japanese men, especially on work days, shorts are not off-limits by any means. And they are very common among tourists in the summer.
Three largest syndicates
The Yakuza are still very active, and although Yakuza membership has declined since the implementation of the Anti-Boryokudan Act in 1992, there are still approximately 12,300 active Yakuza members in Japan as of 2021, although it is possible that they are a lot more active than statistics say.
Unlike Western mafia wives, Yakuza wives remain outside the sphere of criminal activity. Although the women play a vital role in running the clan – managing finances, resolving quarrels and providing emotional support – they are barred from being active participants or formal members.
The yakuza have been engaged in extortion, money-laundering, prostitution, gambling, trafficking in drugs and weapons, and more sophisticated white-collar crimes. According to a 2014 police report, there were 22,495 organized crime members or those affiliates with gangs arrested that year.
Violent yakuza crimes usually involve rivalries between families, but sometimes target civilians. Most crimes in modern times are variations on things the yakuza have been doing for decades - a white collar thrown in for good measure. Unlike other crime syndicates, yakuza operate more or less in the open.
There are many pros and cons to living in Japan and expats can feel overwhelmed with the list of dos and don'ts. Luckily, Japanese society is very welcoming of foreigners and forgiving should you commit a faux pas.
The leader of any gang or conglomerate of yakuza is known as the oyabun (“boss”; literally “parent status”), and the followers are known as kobun (“protégés,” or “apprentices”; literally “child status”).
Gaijin (外人, [ɡai(d)ʑiɴ]; "outsider", "alien") is a Japanese word for foreigners and non-Japanese citizens in Japan, specifically being applied to foreigners of non-Japanese ethnicity and those from the Japanese diaspora who are not Japanese citizens.
The yakuza also make money from prostitution. They hire young girls whose are younger than eighteen years old. There are many ways to make a profit from this business, but the most popular one is the "date club." Some groups make more than a million dollars a month from this business.
However, he must repay his debt of gratitude by joining the criminal gang, aiding them in their nefarious activities. However, there's no apparent modern or historical basis for a white American being accepted into the yakuza, with the film's synopsis having little understanding of how the crime syndicates work.
When a kobun receives sake from an oyabun, they have officially passed their initiation into their yakuza family. At this point they're ranked in a similar way to older or younger brothers. They're also required to cut ties to their real family and swear allegiance to their local boss.
But unlike the Mafia in America, Yakuza don't hide their membership in the mob, because it's not illegal in Japan to be a member of organized crime. And they are so much a part of Japanese culture, they parade openly.
Japan's yakuza are putting away their weapons after an unprecedented death sentence was passed on a crime boss. Gangs affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi, the country's biggest crime organisation, have been ordered not to use guns “in public” after the conviction of the head of a rival crime group.
The yakuza's slow decline in Japan occurred after the strict implementation of anti-organized crime laws and the arrest of senior members taking place. The implemention of strict anti-yakuza laws and arrests of yakuza leaders are highly likely to force its current members to leave for legitimate means of work.
In fact, as far as fabrics are concerned, red is considered in Japan as the happiest color you can get.
Best not greet a Japanese person by kissing or hugging them (unless you know them extremely well). While Westerners often kiss on the cheek by way of greeting, the Japanese are far more comfortable bowing or shaking hands. In addition, public displays of affection are not good manners.
As for crop tops, you'll have to use your own judgment. Women are supposed to be conservative with cleavage in Japan, in that showing even a hint is often not regarded as appropriate. If you have a low-cut crop top or one that could reveal your bra from underneath, it's best to leave it at home.
Opinion: Japan's yakuza aren't disappearing. They're getting smarter. There were about 70,300 known yakuza members in 2011, but that number had dropped to 25,900 by 2020, according to the National Center for Removal of Criminal Organizations.