Shinjuku hoods bloody scouts on Kabukicho's deserted streets


Pictures don't lie. And especially in 2020, video images of police brutality -- captured on security cameras and smartphones -- have provoked outrage in the streets. And not only in the United States.

Weekly magazine Asahi Geino (June 25) reports on a video that surfaced of a violent case of "yakuza brutality" that occurred the first weekend in June in Kabukicho, Shinjuku's sleazy adult entertainment zone. It has received little coverage in the mainstream media.

This occurred at the time when most late-night businesses in Kabukicho had yet to reopen from the shutdown, leaving the streets nearly deserted.

As described by the reporter, the video showed a group of four to five men converging on one individual with shoves and rough shouts of Oi, kora! (Hey you!). The shout of "Punishment!" was followed by a hard punch to the left side of the victim's head. He was then struck from the other direction and covered his face to avoid more blows.

An "underground" writer in the district explained what was happening.

"The night of Friday, June 5 to early Saturday morning, a large group of yakuza from a certain gang descended on Kabukicho and began attacking 'scouts,'" he said.

Scouts is used to describe males whose work involves approaching young women on the street, and, using offers of lucrative remuneration as bait, attempt to recruit the women into hostess clubs and sex businesses.

"There seem to have been around 100 yakuza, who were not only patrolling Kabukicho but areas around JR Shinjuku station and Nishi-Shinjuku as well," the writer continues. "They ganged up on scouts and roughed them up. There are other videos beside that one."

"The toughs would surround guys who appeared to be scouts and demanded to know if they worked for 'N' -- which is the biggest outfit engaging in the scouting trade," said the operator of a restaurant in the district. "Some began clobbering the scouts without waiting for their answer. N began expanding from about 10 years ago and currently employs between 700 to 800 scouts, which makes them by far the biggest. It's said to be run by the 'K brothers,' a couple of nasty twin brothers who are usually in trouble over one thing or another."

In addition to persistently hassling young women who disregard them, the N-scouts have regular run-ins with scouts in rival groups. They are also reputed to recruit underage teens to work at sex shops.

When an outfit like N encounters problems, they are typically resolved by toughs referred to as ketsumochi (enforcers or trouble-shooters), some of who maintain secret ties with the yakuza. They are believed to be responsible for the latest attacks on the N-scouts.

The reason is interesting.

"Due to the self-imposed quarantine due to the corona virus, N began hiring scouts away from rival outfits," says the aforementioned writer. "The scout companies obtain income from a percentage of girls' earnings at the clubs. During the shutdown the girls, who are regarded as self-owned enterprises, were eligible for a stipend from the government, and the scout companies were also taking a cut."

"The other scout companies were getting hit hard, and a ketsumochi from one outfit decided they'd had enough."

Members of N and two other groups were in the midst of negotiations when N went on the attack, initiating a major brawl, and the two other groups summoned  their yakuza allies.

"Due to the anti-gang ordinance, restaurants in Kabukicho have stopped paying protection to gangs," said the aforementioned restaurant operator. "On the other hand, the restrictions due to the pandemic have seen yakuza making a comeback and trying to extort the restaurants. I can't tell you how much protection they pay, but some have been paying out of fear, and others have no choice to fork out because they're operating illegally.

"The gangs are persistent and no matter how much the protection payments hurt, in most cases they won't go to the police."

As of June 12, the streets of Kabukicho were said to be completely free of the scouts.

"Scouts from other groups are too scared to go there," a source told the magazine, adding that the K brothers have gone into hiding, with their enemies in hot pursuit.

Sure, measures against the pandemic are important, the magazine concludes, but if Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike is serious about getting reelected, she should step in and deal with this problem as well.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Surely i'm not the only one who thought this story might be about a bunch of boy scouts getting beaten up in i?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Scum beating up other scum. Who really cares? There are certainly more worthy societal issues that the writer of this article should focus on. Was this written by a teenager?

10 ( +13 / -3 )

There is nothing in the story to do with recent events in the US, nor any comparison to be drawn between these punks' actions and the actions of US paramilitary forces. I resume that "N" is Nikkatsu, Japan's (the world's?) largest purveyor of porn? I always thought they were in bed with organized crime... But at the end of the day, women are still seen as chattel by both groups, and that can't happen without customers. Anybody still want to call it a victimless crime?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

There was a news story some years back about a girl who tracked down the scout who got her into the life, and stabbed him to death. It turned out he was making over 1 million yen a month, and that he was a student at an elite private university. I think Tokyo passed an ordinance against street solicitation but I've seen scouts on the prowl right outside the koban in front of Shibuya station while the cops blithely went about their business of giving directions and stopping bicycle riders.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I used to see these scout types near Ebisu station but not anymore.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A Japanese acquaintance of mine was the owner/manager of 2 hostess bars/clubs where I live. He's a very nice guy, when he was younger he used to act like he was gay but as he got older much less so. Anyway, he told me that he had had some tough yakuza characters come into his bar and basically demand to be paid off for his club to continue operating in peace. Well, they wanted quite a lot of money, and he wasn't planning to cave in to the pressure. They ordered him to attend some kind of a yakuza pow-wow and he had to go in order to hash things out or else they'd have kept coming to his clubs, and he didn't want that to happen. He went to the pow-wow, but he told a relative of his who was a police officer that he was going in there and to sit outside and observe as a witness that he'd entered their establishment. He did this so if he didn't come out, the police would be all over that place investigating his disappearance. So he goes in and his seat is in the middle of the room surrounded by a ring of chairs and on each of those chairs is a scary looking gangster. He told me that they basically blast you from every direction with shouts to try and break you down and submit to their demands, but he held his ground and told them he couldn't agree to what they were asking him to do. After what seemed like an eternity, they finally let him go, but he set up a membership only and had signs made for fronts of his clubs saying so. The reason being is that the gangsters can be legally prevented from entering an establishment this way.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

He's a very nice guy, when he was younger he used to act like he was gay but as he got older much less so.

Nice way to inject some homophobia inside your post.


Scum beating up other scum.


-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Yakuzas have been a joke for a long time, said most of the Chinese triads who operated in Japan around 2000s. In the height of the bubble economy, Chinese triads racked more money than any Japanese Yakuza but they kept their profits and names very secret. Most of the Chinese triads left Japan for the West briefly after 2008 Recession. Now, Yakuzas become the prominent force across Japan once again but their profit margin keeps declining every year.

In the business of organized crimes, money is more important than anything else not how many thugs that you have. Chinese triads and Vietnamese syndicates have been operating as a shadow corporate entity for thousand years, and they understood the game best in the world. Nowadays, I would say that Vietnamese syndicates probably dominate Japan's underworld, in term of profits not presence. A vaccum that Chinese triads left for the Vietnamese. Vietnamese syndicates operate in small cells (around 5-12 people) that deal with shadow banking, drugs smuggling, weed farming and thieveries. Vietnamese thieves are currently number one in Japan with their heists ranging from supermarket shoplifting to luxury goods thievery, and surprisingly they also deal with junkyard trading. They make profits from stealing stuffs and selling them back to Vietnam for a profit. Drugs smuggling and weed farming are a very profitable venture as well. Shadow banking is also dominant with most Vietnamese workers used them to dodge ridiculous taxes imposed by J-govt - a small bank of 3 people had smuggled 10 million USD for years before getting caught in 2017. The nature of Vietnamese crimes is all about remittance economy aka sending profits to invest and get rich in Vietnam.

Vietnamese syndicates, like Chinese triads, always avoid unnecessary violence and use whatever means possible to rack massive profits. I have heard that Yakuzas repeatedly try to ally with Vietnamese syndicates but the Vietnamese "black CEOs" rejected most of the offers. Vietnamese bosses prefer to work with the Chinese triads who both share a similar culture and an entrepreneural mindset. They aren't the people who flash their tattoos, hit random strangers to show force or declare their names on the streets.

The reasons why Chinese triads and Vietnamese syndicates haven't fully kicked Yakuzas out of existence, yet. Because the J-govt has been protecting these good-for-nothings for a long time. Chinese triads and Vietnamese syndicates are arms of respective Communist governments who act as secret agents for overseas operations. Yakuzas haven't been doing anything good for J-govt in the longest time, so this is why J-police is trying to eradicate Yakuzas. Because the US pressured Japan to do so and Yakuzas are useless to keep around. When LDP government makes it easier for foreigners registered assets in Japan, Chinese and Vietnamese underworld will surely dominate everything.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Pardon me for this but there really is no honor among competing criminals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Aah, where is Furio Giunta when we need him?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

N "or Natural" is one of the worst organizations in Tokyo. They are much much worse than the Yakuza to the girls, whom they often obtain through coercion. With the police eliminating Yakuza influence in recent years in Kabukicho, the situation for the girls have gotten a lot worse under N.

Not only do they conduct mass human trafficking of underage girls, but they often leave the girls to have no money even for food. They don't just take a cut, they often put on massive debts to the girls via minimum monthly payments, and threaten their lives if they don't pay. On the debt, they place massive interest payments. All of this is allowed by police and Japanese justice system.

In addition, they also arrange/force the for girls to do chem-sex, which caused many of the girls under their rule become addicted allowing them to further control the girls. N is clearly backed by the police, because when my friend went to the police they did nothing, and she was severely beaten afterwards. This group's deeds is not exactly a secret, the fact that Japanese police never even touched N or any of its members shows high level of corruption.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

we all know that hosttess bars and most of all night clubs or ran by the mobsters of Japan. They should just shut the entire Kabukicho city down and every night club as its a waste of space. No one need that crap and that scum bag kabukicho city.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wish Jake Adelstein would write a sequel to "Tokyo Vice" and pick up where he left off 10 years ago.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The police are on the take or they would try to stamp this out.

What a corrupt society we live in, smh

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Vietnamese syndicates operate in small cells (around 5-12 people) that deal with shadow banking, drugs smuggling, weed farming and thieveries. 

This is an interesting post, Rubbedite - a very long first post on JT - welcome to the forum.

I decided to research this a bit more on Google and the only links I could find were this post and something made a few days ago on Reddit:

Given that it is near identical in points and the user posts mainly on Japanese and Vietnamese issues, I imagine that you authored both.

Given that you appear to be the internet's sole resource on this, do you mind sharing where you get this information from?

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Given that it is near identical in points and the user posts mainly on Japanese and Vietnamese issues, I imagine that you authored both.

Actually no, I picked up the idea from this guy. His idea is very entertaining, and I look into Tokyo Reporter and other Japanese newspapers to testify his ideas. It seems that many people neglect the rising prominence of Vietnamese criminal enterprises. Most foreign theft in Japan are authored by the Vietnamese nowadays, and even Yakuza can't compete against these people.

He is like a Vietnamese who knew someone living in Japan. Vietnamese is now the third largest foreign population in Japan, and soon they will be number one. It isn't hard for a Vietnamese to know their relatives in Japan.

Vietnamese is among the most active people on the Internet, so it is not hard for me to find one of my kind. Like Chinese, Vietnamese is present almost everywhere in the world. Thanks to three Indochinese Wars.

Given that you appear to be the internet's sole resource on this, do you mind sharing where you get this information from?

I am a Vietnamese American who lives close to my own community. The source of Vietnamese rapid rising towards the middle class, upper middle class and even elite level in the West is through first years of doing criminal enterprises for the Chinese. My parents left Vietnam in the 1990s due to economic hardships, and they gradually built their wealth through operating a restaurant soon expanding their business into nail salons and jewelry shops. They are very successful and enjoying an upper middle class status. Now, they are investing in Vietnam and regularly going back between US and Vietnam. I realized that they found their successes through working with Chinese triads who were very kind towards Vietnamese. These triads operate in the legal, grey areas so my parent's works aren't that illegal. After creating enough successes, they break from the triads but still have a good relations with the boss' family who regards them as comrades. In my parent's circle of upper middle class to wealthy Vietnamese elites, everyone there is still working with organized crimes one way to another. Nowadays, Vietnamese syndicates are gaining an equal significance, so these people won't have to go with Chinese triads during the early years of Vietnamese immigrant hardships. I also learned that Vietnamese syndicates have state support from the VCP, similar to the CCP with Chinese triads. I am very neutral on the politics of Vietnam, so I don't hate the VCP but I commend their efforts were excellent of turning Vietnam into a successful country today.

Applying the knowledge that I learned among Western Vietnamese communities, I found the same thing is true with Vietnamese in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. Most of these shadowy stuffs aren't popular knowledge, and very secretive. I am fascinated with the world of Asian organized crimes, and even surprised to see that Chinese and Vietnamese are ruling the Asian underworld along with the governmental tentacles behind them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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