A Japanese organized crime group known as yakuza has been in existence for more than 300 years; the group can be traced back to as early as 1612 when group members began to attract the attention of local officials due to their odd clothing, haircuts, and behavior.
The Japanese police and media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan (暴力団, "violent groups", IPA: [boːɾʲokɯꜜdaɴ]), while the yakuza call themselves ninkyō dantai (任侠団体, "chivalrous organizations", IPA: [ɲiŋkʲoː dantai]).
Definition of yakuza
1 : a Japanese gangster. 2 : an organized crime syndicate in Japan.
Yakuza operate almost entirely in Japan, as opposed to the mafia or Russian mob, which have an international presence. Yakuza families occasionally partner with outside organizations to import weapons, drugs and other products otherwise difficult to get in their country.
In Japanese, delinquents are referred to, both in real life and in fiction, as yanki (as in "yankee", because of their rebelliousness and Hawaiian-patterned shirts they sometimes wore rather than an affinity with the USA), while their leaders are called banchou. Girls can be called sukeban or onna banchou.
Sukeban reportedly first appeared in Japan during the 1960s, presenting themselves as the female equivalent to the banchō gangs, which were composed mostly of men. During the 1970s, as banchō gangs began to die out, sukeban girl gangs began to rise in number.
"Gyaru" refers to a Japanese fashion and social sub-culture of girls who follow a certain style of clothes, hair, makeup, and activities. They're kind of the valley-girls of Japan, some would say.
Yakuza are viewed by some Japanese as a necessary evil, in light of their chivalrous facade, and the organizational nature of their crime is sometimes viewed as a deterrent to impulsive individual street crime.
In Japan, a stunted pinkie signifies membership in the yakuza, or Japanese mafia. In a ritual known as "yubitsume," yakuza members are required to chop off their own digits to atone for serious offenses. The left pinkie is usually the first to go, though repeated offenses call for further severing.
Suggestions for Tourists With Tattoos
While tattoos are not illegal, they can prevent people from getting the full Japanese experience. When using public transportation in Japan, such as trains, tourists with visible tattoos will want to keep in mind that their ink may be offensive to some of the locals.
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.
It essentially involves cutting off a portion of your little finger, serving as a method of atonement for serious wrongdoing - having sometimes been considered as an alternative repayment for debt if someone can't cough up the cash.
Some yakuza operated firms have generated millions of dollars in profit. Expanding on this, the former Colonel had some words of advice for the Ninkyo Yamaguchi-gumi. "The yakuza are Japan's best entrepreneurs by far, but if this Yamaguchi boss was really smart, he'd expand overseas -- but into the ramen shop business.
In the Edo period, criminals would get the Tokigawa symbol on the back of their necks to avoid the death penalty. But then the officials would just hack the skin off before they executed them. If you tattoo a family symbol it is a very serious crime, almost as bad as tattooing a first generation samurai symbol.
This really shouldn't be a problem at all—the Yakuza, that is, the Japanese mafia, tend to stay away from foreigners (to the point where I've heard amusing stories about foreign guys scaring them off). Most tourists will get around happily without even knowing they are out there.
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.
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.
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.
These are the so-called five-year clauses. During that period of probation, former yakuza are treated as associates of organized crime groups and, just like active members, are barred from opening a bank account or renting property in their own name.
Kkangpae (Korean: 깡패) is a romanization of the Korean for a 'gangster', 'thug', 'punk' or 'hoodlum', usually referring to members of unorganized street gangs.
The Yamaguchi-gumi are among the world's wealthiest gangsters, bringing in billions of dollars a year from extortion, gambling, the sex industry, arms trafficking, drug trafficking, real estate and construction kickback schemes.
History and Etymology for otaku
Note: In Japan the use of the pronoun otaku to refer to young, usually school-age males with poor social skills who devote themselves to technology or some aspect of pop culture began in the mid-1980's; the usage is said to be comparable to the use of nerd or geek in English.
No – you can't label yourself as gyaru if you don't wear makeup. Because, throughout all eras of gyaru, the one thing they have in common is the makeup. Whether it's the dark tan and contour, or large false lashes, all gyaru wear at least some sort of makeup. And that's all for today!