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Yakuza 'misunderstood' by foreign media

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On May 30, the front page of the Los Angeles Times was emblazoned with the headline, "Japanese gang figures got new livers at UCLA."

The story revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had facilitated the entry of four members of Japanese criminal syndicates into the U.S. -- despite their criminal records and known gang ties -- in exchange for information on money laundering which, as it turned out, did not prove especially useful in nabbing crooks.

"The U.S. considers Japan's syndicates to be the world's largest, and is more wary of them than are the Japanese themselves," Shukan Jitsuwa (Aug 21-28) is told by a Japanese journalist on familiar terms with the inner workings of the FBI and CIA. "There is always the notion over why the Japanese government lets this vicious 'mafia' run rampant. Americans are also of the impression that the gangs will act as a hindrance to their economic activities in Japan."

"Of several hundreds of billions of yen in investments, even if just 1% were to flow into the yakuza's coffers, their crookedness would stand out," the journalist adds. "Some Americans might tend to lump regular Japanese businessmen with yakuza, and regard such people as sinister. But there's no evidence to support this. So they assemble whatever information they can with the aim of stirring up trouble."

English publications dealing with the Japanese underworld go back over 30 years, but are still in relatively short supply. In 1975, Florence Rome published "The Tattooed Men," which described Yamaguchi-gumi's de facto chief Kazuo Taoka as "the godfather of godfathers." Other books and articles have since appeared, but Shukan Jitsuwa is convinced that the western journalists who report on Japan's syndicates generally describe their activities as the East Asian equivalent of the Italian Mafia.

But, the magazine argues, the Italian Mafia would never proudly their organization's coat of arms (if they had one) outside their headquarters on New York's 5th Avenue, or walk around wearing gang badges on their suit lapels. Nor do members of the Chinese triads in Hong Kong or Taiwan display their affiliation in such an open manner.

Foreign journalists, the article reiterates, are simply unable to comprehend the true situation of the yakuza.

"One hundred percent of foreign journalists are convinced that the yakuza are the same type of criminal organization as the mafia," says the writer. "To some extent, such a misperception should be obvious, since they know nothing about the yakuza's history. If you go back to their formative period you're talking about 500 years ago."

Considering the four yakuza liver transplants took place between 2000 and 2004, in Shukan Jitsuwa's view the timing of LA Times story appears a bit suspicious.

"Jake Adelstein, the writer of the first article about the gang leader's liver transplant in the Washington Post (on May 11) was a former reporter for one of Japan's biggest newspapers," says the aforementioned Japanese journalist. "He had mentioned in an interview that he was preparing to include it in an upcoming book. [Title: "Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan."] By running the article in the Washington Post, it's possible he may just engaging in advance publicity."

It is widely known that the U.S. is pressuring the Japanese government to crack down harder on the yakuza. But Shukan Jitsuwa isn't sure it's that easy for the government to oblige. If the magazine is correct, American law enforcement officials have obtained precious little data on the whos, whats and wherefores of Japanese gangs.

"Up to now, the Japanese police have only provided the names and dates of birth of about 50 yakuza members, despite the fact that there are about 80,000 of them in total," the aforementioned journalist tells the magazine.

"Whenever American economic or financial interests head overseas, it is the CIA that draws the lines," he continues. "It's necessary to carefully ascertain what are its real aims.

"Even if the U.S. takes a hostile view toward the yakuza, it's probably in Japan's interests for this country's government, police and judiciary to refrain from dancing to America's tune."

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Not sure exactly what position this article is taking. So the Yakuza are not like the Italian mafia or the Chinese triads--certainly their structure, rules, history, and traditions are not--yet they engage in the same drug-smuggling, money laundering, prostitution, exploitation, fraud, and intimidation schemes as gangsters the world over. In that sense, their cultural attributes, dating back however hundreds of years, hardly matter except in the sense that they need to be understood so that more effective strategies might be developed in dealing with them as agents of lawlessness in civil society.

There are certainly misconceptions among media and the general public overseas, but so what? The fact remains that the Japanese government's policy of control, and not eradication, continues to allow this criminal element to flourish, and steps taken to shut them out of involvement in supposedly legitimate business (real estate, stocks) has only moved them to extend their involvement in drugs, human trafficking, and fraud perpetrated against ordinary citizens.

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I am in no way condoning their illegal activities, but when I was living in Kobe during the big earthquake of Tuesday January 17, 1995, you know who was there handing out food and blankets to the people? Not the Federal, State and Local governments, that's for sure.

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"who was there handing out food and blankets to the people?"

And whose money did they use to buy those things?

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Of course they are misunderstood. Most people don't know that they have uniforms and carry guns in Japan. And drive in black & white cars with red flashing lights. And operate pachinko parlors, and send 30% of the money gained back to underground groups, many in North Korea. And front their most photogenic members to the Diet!

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the local yakuza were the first organization to help people in the Kobe earthquake. yes they used monies gained from illegal ventures to pay for it, the government should have been there! Using goods paid for with "legal" taxes... when did the government organizations show up? How many might have died waiting for them? the yakuza are the scum, no doubt, but they help the common folk in times of need while the government sits on their bottoms deciding what to do. the article above is usual Japanese drivel saying that their culture is too complex for a NJ to understand... Rubbish, mafia, triads, yakuza they are all the same thing. Bullies praying on the weak.

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drugs, protitution, money laundering, intimidation schemes, fraud, guns, shooting innocent people by mistake - thought it was a yakuza in that hospital room - is being misunderstood??? heavens.

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I read a paper which said that Mafia-type-organisations all provided a private policing service. They are a police force, or in a sense a government, for the illegal economy. If and when drugs were sold without mafia involvement then there is war on the streets, if cartels were formed or bribes made with out mafia then any of the partners could renage on the deal, but the "men of honour" make sure that there is honour even among theives. I think that Yakuza perform a very similar service, even if their history is very different.

The article points out that the Yakuza wear their symbols openly. Is this because the Yakuza are different to the Mafia, or because Japanese would like their black economy policed, while more idealist Americans would like to stamp out the black economy entirely?

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I'm not sure what the reporter from Shukan Jutswa is smoking, but the claim that “Whenever American economic or financial interests head overseas, it is the CIA that draws the lines,” had me rolling on the floor laughing. I await the claim that the Yakuza are an important cultural asset that needs to be protected. I suggest that anyone interested in actually learning about the Yakuza reads Kaplan and Dubro's book on them. Scary stuff!

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Yakuza are criminals. Unlike Robin Hood they peddle drugs, steal cars/bikes, traffic people & extort money from businesses and people.

I don't personally care what they give away or when, tolerating them as part of a society is just wrong. How many people have died from the drugs they peddle or at their hands………………….

Jav

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OK, if the Yaks are misunderstood..How about if the author of the article would enlighten us? Either they are criminals ore they aren't...which is it?

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Shukan Jikawa is just a weekly men's magazine tabloid.... it's not exactly a paper of record - obviously if the writer thinks that the mafia has a "headquarters on New York’s 5th Avenue", he's engaged in creative writing rather than journalism.

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The Yakuza and the Government are the SAME, if anything thats whats misunderstood, and so it doesnt matter who was handing out food and blankets in kobe, u see the yak was doing it, i see the gov.

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Handing out food and blankets,remember it well. What PR masterstroke. These morons actually do believe their own BS, no doubt about it. I remember a woman telling me years ago; 'Oh Yakuza never bother ordinary people you know?' Horse s#@! Or the other chestnut; 'on a sunny day a yakuza will walk on the sunny side of the road so ordinary folk can walk in the shade.' Pfffftttt...! What bollocks...

Ask Jake Aldestein what he thinks about these fly blown creeps. Here's a Washington Post article and the more I read it, the angrier I feel toward the FBI and gullible American law enforcement agencies. Completely and utterly hoodwinked.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/09/AR2008050902544_2.html

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First page, sorry.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/09/AR2008050902544.html

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No, you all have it wrong Yakuza are a part of Japanese culture just like groping, suicide & corruption

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not misunderstood. They even admit to what they are themselves. watch this series on youtube,

Japanese Gangster: 4th Regime Yamaguchi

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About the Kobe earthquake, I have been told by architects who were there both dealing with shelter provisions for the people and emergency measures for important cultural property buildings damaged in the earthquake that the Yakuza showed up yes, but their "help" was a careful publicity stunt. The Yakuza chose a few spots, created a few grateful "witnesses," and had photographs taken as "proof." It was all psychological strategy, not real help.

Long history or not, Yakuza are a social more, organized delinquents and a threat to society, specially to small merchants and people victim of Yakuza loan sharks, funeral services, sex slavery of foreign and local prostitutes, and so forth. I am guessing this "misunderstanding" by foreign Media this article alludes to means, the Yakuza are less dangerous and more helpful than Mafia, Chinese Triads and others, overseas. That is certainly untrue. Every large criminal organization is that: a criminal organization. It exploits, harms, maims and kills the weaker people. Considering the Yakuza has ties with the police and is semi-protected by the Japanese government, yes I'd say they are as bad as any Mafia anywhere; even if they are more on the brute force side than on the intelligence and information wars side.

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Billy Crystal should make a sequel to "Analyze This" set in Japan.

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"Yakuza"

The honorable protectors of Japan.

From The Yakuza:

Dusty: That guy doesn't like you.

Kilmer: No, not much.

Dusty: So how come you figure you can trust him?

Kilmer. Giri.

Dusty: Giri?

Kilmer: Giri. Obligation.

Dusty: You mean he figures he owes you something?

Kilmer: Yeah, sort of.

Dusty: Well, that can work two ways, Kilmer. If you ain't alive tomorrow, he don't owe you sh@t.

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What a total p**s take this article is. The only difference between the Yaks and criminal groups in other countries is that they seem to be more effective at intimidating politicians and casting themselves as honourable defenders of their host country's culture.

Suggesting that they did some good PR stunt during the Kobe Earthquake is pretty ludicrous when you add up all of the harm that they do the rest of the time. It's like saying the Kray twins were OK because they (supposedly) only ever tortured and murdered other criminals in their own community.

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I should add that the foreign media seem to understand the Yaks a lot better than the Japanese media - or at least aren't scared to portray them as they actually are.

Japan's government really takes the biscuit - banning kids from getting life-saving transplants in Japan, but sending top criminal bosses over to America to get them instead. What totally misplaced priorities - and yet the Japanese journo is worried about foreigners getting the "wrong" idea...!

You have to laugh, or you'd cry...

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'misunderstood' - sounds like the the same old excuse the Japanese trot out when they don't want to address an issue pointed out by a non-Japanese.

Look at the attempt to skew here

"Some Americans might tend to lump regular Japanese businessmen with yakuza, and regard such people as sinister. But there’s no evidence to support this. So they assemble whatever information they can with the aim of stirring up trouble."

We're not talking about Tanaka salarydrone as he makes his 90 minute commute in a 180% capacity train.

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Maffias appear with illegal stuff. In Japan you cannot legally gamble and prostitution is forbidden, but everyone has a Pachinko near their home and can enter the "delivery health" pages. At least they could legallize the thing and that anybody can make their own business. In the actual scheme, they are not only allowing, but also protecting the yakuza

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chibaman - yes, that's a kind of weird comment for him to make after the same person has tried to disassociate the yaks from their criminal equivalents in other "better understood" countries...

"500 years" of (criminal) history? Just means they are a problem that hasn't been dealt properly with for far too long, really, and is the fact that Japan tolerates their publicly-stated gang affiliations something for this country to be PROUD of? I hardly think so

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Get a proper job, contribute as a man to society; not as some bullying low-life snivelling take all dog.

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I know a lot of you guys are going to jump one me but I wouldn't be intimidated. truly they have been misunderstood. The are so many instances they settle issues which could have turned nasty or which the 'Law' would not have done anything. Only the bad nuts among them do those things you guys are referring too. And you can't see other other side because that's your mindset. Go to many police stations and they have not only a registry of the Yaks but surveillance cameras linking Yaks' offices in town. Now I welcome the insults etc etc

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The Yakuza have tremendous power in Japan and in the world. The Yakuza actually works for the emperor. They’re like the FBI and the CIA of Japan. The Yakuza who got his transplant is from Goto Gumi. He is a 70 year old well known Yakuza. If you think for a moment you could ask yourself. Why is a 70 year old man with a long list of criminal record being granted visa into USA in the first place? And why is a 70 year old man being bumped up in the long waiting list in one of the best hospitals in the world? Who has the power to give visas and bump people up in line in a hospital of this scale? There is only 1 organization who has the power to do so. The CIA. Then the next question one has to wonder is why is CIA doing these kinds of favours for Goto Gumi? What I think is that the Goto Gumi is the middle men between the CIA and their enemies. Namely the Russians and the North Koreans. Goto Gumi own huge casinos in the Russian Far East in places like Sakhalin. CIA wants to infiltrate this scene and what better way to infiltrate it by using someone who already is familiar to the scene. So the CIA made a deal with Goto Gumi and said. Look, we can get you your liver if you can get us closer to the Russians. And that was that. What is also interesting for CIA is that the Russian Casinos while owned by the Yakuza are guarded by Chechens. US having their proxy war with Russia, what better way to strike deals with a Japanese owned Casino guarded by Chechens in Russia.

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“Even if the U.S. takes a hostile view toward the yakuza, it’s probably in Japan’s interests for this country’s government, police and judiciary to refrain from dancing to America’s tune.”

Why would the Japanese government not take a hostile view of the yakuza. This pathetic piece of journalistic apology for the yakuza is beneath contempt

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Mindyou, spot on. I remember a book a few years back about that subject. That is just how the CIA rolls. they are always hooking up with the criminal organizations in foreign countries to help fight the commies. They've been dealing with the Yaks as far back as the 50's, looking the other way while they sold meth in hawaii, in exchange for help against the commies. Of course the CIA has connections to the current Yaks, the current yaks deal with North korea, russian mobs, etc. that is some valuable information.

The real truth is that governments really don't have a problem with criminal organizations, as long as they are useful to them.

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The biggest thing that the foreign media "misunderstands" about the Yakuza is how they are tolerated here and even integrated into civil service and the business world. The yakuza are pretty much only taken down when they start shooting, otherwise they are left alone to conduct business. As for the Kobe earthquake or any other disaster the Yaks are always the first to open their wallets. It's a very effective way of keeping themselves in a positive or at least "they're not so bad" sort of light with the public. Personally I have nothing to fear from them, but I am biased as I believe breaking the mofia in the US lead to a huge increase in killing as the street gangs filled the vacuum. There will always be crime, believe me the organized variety is much safer for the average citizen.

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Just watch a couple Takashi Miike Yakuza movies and tell me who's more mixed up about the subject. Japanese Media or Foreign Media.

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All the sex, drugs and gambling is run but Japanese Yakuza. The yakuza put all the blame on foreigners for all Japan's problems. The drugs are imported by the Japanese mafia NOT foreigners. This is another example of the Yakuza trying to shift blame.

The ex deputy editor of Kyodo news was Yakuza, he beat up another Japanese and lost his job. News was even reported on this site, seems the Yakuza are into everything.

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I think it isn't the Americans who misunderstand, it is the Japanese themselves.

For example, "Americans are also of the impression that the gangs will act as a hindrance to their economic activities in Japan". Will "act as a hindrance"? The yakuza actually go around trying to stop Americans from doing business here? I hardly think so, and doubt many other people seriously think so either.

It is just another case of a news article shows something about Japan in a negative light and as always Japan reacts badly. If this article had been about US gang activity in LA, all Japan would suck it in and it would be gospel truth. If there is one thing the Japanese can't stand, it is to be criticized by foreign people.

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Change,

At the risk of "jumping on you", I would suggest that if the law is useless in so many cases, a reasonable response would be to reform the system rather than to rely on a syndicate of thugs to settle things. Sorry if my suggestion insults you.

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Change, the reason such systems develop is due to a serious lack in society of an effective and honest police force. If the yakuza are relied upon for such things, then the police need to reform and figure out why they aren't doing their job properly. I've done a bit of study on the yaks, and they are nothing more than a crime syndicate. They do all the usual PR things to make themselves less offensive, but in the end they murder, they sell drugs, they sell people, and need to be removed. The bad far outweighs the good.

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In any society where one group (an elite) outlaws things wanted by the majority - drugs, sex, gambling -, people will appear who will supply the service. The yakuza, mafia, or whatever would all disappear if these were made legal. Whether legal or illegal, the same people will use drugs, for example. It is not like every single person in the world will get hooked on drugs if they are legalized. If we were all hooked on drugs we couldn't make war, but that is another story...

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Mindyou, What have you been reading?

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So they handed out blankets. Big, stinking deal! Who got robbed, conned, beaten or murdered so they had the money to pay for those blankets? That technique is as old as the hills and has been tried on by every dictator from Peron passing out televisions to the poor to Mugabe giving farms to those who have no idea how to maintain them. A wife beater is still a wife beater no matter how good of a businessman he is. A child molestor is still a child molestor no matter how well he coaches little league. And a yakuza is still a criminal no matter how many blankets he passes out. What exactly is it that the foreign press doesn't understand about that?

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How many of you even really know any yakuza?. How many of you have attended any of their privet events?. Have any of you ever been to a bosses house?. In fact how many of you have had to pay the monthly push.

So for all your knowledge on the subject if you haven't had to do any of these you don't know squat.

Of course they are always trying to spin their image, mostly to cover the fact that the cops, politicians, and civil leaders all have some sort of tie with them. I know first hand of how the cops and the yak work, as well as some of the politicians in my area. Here is an example. The sumiyoshi ran a car threw the yamaguchigumis head office. War was called. They had hired hitman coming to town and guess what, you got it the cops put up a 24/7 protective team around the sumiyoshigumi bosses house. Yup our tax money at work guarding a known gang boss.

As for economic impact try this. They used to go buy a few shares in big companies I mean like Nissan and the sort. Then they would show up at the shareholders annual meetings and demand money or they would disrupt the meeting. For years this was wrote of as the price of doing business. There was reports of some of these companies actually listing the payoffs in their books. It was about 10 years ago the government finally stepped in and did something about it. This was like everyday news 15 or 16 years ago.

Look depending on where your at in the ranks they all have a monthly payment. Some are low around 800 or a 1000 bucks a month. The higher up you get the more the payment is. So where do you think this money comes from a 8-5 at 7/11.

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Yakuza and other Asian mobs have around 6 million members and the western mobs, the top is at around maybe 50 thousand? Most of the operate in Eastern Europe. Former Yugoslavia and Russia. So it’s 6 million against 10 thousand. Not every one of the 6 million members are assassins. Many intellectuals there with good education in law, economics etc. They are business men, lawyers. The point is they are all a part of this.

Japanese news is mostly about various scandals. Sex and corruption scandals and business leaders committing "suicide". There was 1 director who was the president of Aozora Ginkou. He was killed because he was going to put an end and expose the loans to North Korea. Him becoming the presidnet he vowed to put an end to this. There is alot of business between North Korea and Japan. It is underground business which means it is Yakuza territory. North Koreans run much of the Pachinki/amphetamine business together with the Yaks. The police turn a blind eye because they are bribed. Well the president of Aozora Ginko was going to put an end to this and then all of a sudden he was reported as committing "suicide" in a hotel room.

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They were right, I read the article and I understood nothing about the yakuza, so it happens with foreign and domestic media

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Misunderstood or not, they are still criminals. They are still the reason that people like me can't go to an onsen, (ie tattoos). I guess the whole country misunderstands the Yakuza. Maybe we should all invite them over for tea so they can play with our children?

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dxxjp, I don't go to dinner parties with killers and criminals willingly. Unless its to poison the punch.

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"In any society where one group (an elite) outlaws things wanted by the majority - drugs, sex, gambling -, people will appear who will supply the service. The yakuza, mafia, or whatever would all disappear if these were made legal. Whether legal or illegal, the same people will use drugs, for example. It is not like every single person in the world will get hooked on drugs if they are legalized. If we were all hooked on drugs we couldn't make war, but that is another story..."

That is one of the biggest fallacies out there. Let's look at prostitution for example. Usually, the prostitues are women. Who likes to control women? Some men with issues. So it becomes legal to get rid of them. Wait a tic, these same men like control. So, they keep up their pimping and violent ways. Why? not because it's illegal, but because it is money they don't have to work for. That is why Amsterdam made prostitution legal so it could be "controlled" and "regulated" by the gov't to stop this type of action. But I do remember reading that they are finding that it hasn't really stoppped or slowed down the bad things that happens to these women by men who need to control others. What needs to happen here is for the cops/beaurocrats/elected "officials" to stop being such corrupt cowards and actually help the problem by enforcing the laws. As it is, that will never happen because no one will willingly stop taking a paycheck to do what needs to be done.

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and no, dude, it isn't the majority that want this. it is the minority, otherwise it would be legal.

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Some Americans might tend to lump regular Japanese businessmen with yakuza

Huh.... Newbe's, nobody makes that mistake, anyone who's been here more than a few years...

foreign journalists are convinced that the yakuza are the same type of criminal organization as the mafia

The only thing they have in common with the Mafia is they are organized and their activities are largely illegal... But aside from that, They are Nothing like the NY Mafia or any other U.S. based Mafia family...

If you piss of a "Real" Mafia, you will be lucky to get off with a ass-kicking, if not a pair of "cement sandals," but the Yakuza are a bunch 2 bit punks, maybe if you really piss them off, they'll stop delivering liquor to your story or stop trash collection, or something to hurt your business.

They rarely resort to violence and are rather timid and apologetic (I might add) when confronted with the prospect of getting their skulls cracked, by some crazy looking, but average size foreigners... Yes they are...

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dxxjp

boy yr a fountain of new info on yaks arent ya! NOT!

All that you wrote is common knowlwedge for anyone hanging out in Jpn

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DXXJP, My girlfriend worked at a japanese snacku so i went there after work some times, every now and then a local Yakuza boss would come with his underlings, and i had to sing Frank Sinatra's My Way, because he liked Franky. It was interesting to see the submissiveness of the lowest rank yakuza and his 20 year younger girlfrend. He always said i was his "friend"

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timtak

I read a paper which said that Mafia-type-organisations all provided a private policing service

You don't say....?

Of course they provide "policing" services, it's called "protection" money...

I'm sure they gave out trunk loads of money in Osaka & Kobe and any other disaster struck place that served a purpose for their operations...

I.E... Kobe & Osaka are two of the biggest Yakuza towns in Japan, they make a lot of money at these places... So of course they were going to help people out, whether they wanted it or NOT and a couple years down the road, they will be back to collect on these "favors"...

You can bet on it...! One thing or another, you don't get help from the Yakuza for nothing...

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The Yaks like to see themselves as saviors. They arent. They keep the business playing field uneven.

I put a lot of the blame on the passive Japanese public. In most countries the public would be firebombing Yak offices.

The Yaks are in part preventing Japan from moving forward.

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change - the police surveillance cameras that you mentioned are to make sure that the Yakuza are OK, not to spy on their activities. If the police had the balls - not to mention the political support - to seriously tackle organised crime, then they could walk in with their list and arrest everybody. Unfortunately for law-abiding citizens the police prefer a policy of containment and accepting that yaks have a degree of immunity, because they prefer yaks to control the majority of domestic crime rather than the triads. What irritates me is that foreigners are accused of misunderstanding the yakuza when in actual fact the Japanese have simply learned to turn a blind eye and accept their highly damaging criminal activities with their usual "shoganai" attitude.

DXXJP - the "disruption" by Yak shareholders of listed companies was in some cases welcomed (or sponsored) by the boards as it gave them an excuse to keep their AGMs as short and "uncomplicated" as possible... i.e. no difficult questions from legitimate shareholders either.

That's an example of where Yaks performed a service for business - though arguably to the detriment of society at large, by reducing accountability.

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The real truth is that they Yakuza might as well be a government Ministry. They have as much impact and influence in Japan. And they are as influential.

I don't see them as the same as the US or Italian Mafia. And certainly not like MS13 or other global crime gangs. They are instead an unfortunate part of the fabric of Japanese society that serves some positive purposes as well as many negative ones. Much like the sitting goverment.

I'd like to see the Yakuza go away forever. But that would be the same as expecting phrases like "Shoganai" to go away forever. Just isn't likely.

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Suckas got played

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tkoind2

what you say is true but the old "systems" are slowly but very surely killing this country & its ability to compete with the world, but as you know the J-pop just love to collectively wollow in self pity & await the impending implosion & the response will be a massive shoganai but any foreigner here even paying attn only on rare occasions will know other wise

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Nihonjinron garbage. The Yaks are greedy, brutal thugs; there is no 'misunderstanding' there. Every time something is written that is embarrassing to Japan, the cultural 'misunderstanding' or 'confusion' card is played. We foreigners obviously can't see the purpose the Yaks serve. Mainly, lining the pockets of corrupt politicians, and depixelizing Japanese adult movies.

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Interesting article in The Times - makes you think http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article4621950.ece

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I've also had the odd scuffle with a Yakuza or three over the years. But I don't find them at all intimidating. Rather the other way around. If they think they're tough, they ought to try living on Moss Side in Manchester, UK. Yaks soon back off when they realize a person CAN look after themselves!

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Yakuza are scumbags - like all criminals - absolutlely no "misunderstanding" about that.

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Those kinky-haired, four-fingered little bastards should be removed from society.

I once went into a little, dumpy joint in Maebashi and had a couple beers. There were five kinky-heads in a booth behind me. I asked the mama how much in English. She asked the yaks, "Dou shio ka." One says, "Ichi mahn go sen." She worked her pencil and pad a while and then said, "Ni mahn yen."

I laid ni sen on the bar and she started yellin "No,no,no! I put one back in my pocket and left.

She followed screaming like hell. I would never cheat an honest person out of one cent or one yen but have now qualms about crooked bastard like the Yak.

In 1950 I almost got into a fight with a shipmate for cheating a rintaku rider out of 50 yen. I hate thieves and crooks.

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Agree that the yaks are nothing like the italian or russian mobs.

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