Category Archives: Organized Crime

Happy New Year! 今年もよろしく

Takayama Wakagashira : The Defacto Leader of the Yamaguchi-gumi is alive and well….more or less.

 2009 should be an interesting year for us all and an especially interesting year in the world of organized crime. Around the close of the year, Takayama Kiyoshi (高山清司), the number two in the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest organized crime group, collapsed at a “company function” and was briefly hospitalized in Kobe. The cause of his collapse was a heart-attack. Apparently, dealing with the failed coup by Goto and his minions and other issues creating conflict within the Yamaguchi-gumi have taken their toll on him.

 Rumors abounded that he was in critical condition or close to dying–but as you can see in these pictures, taken over the New Year–he is still very much alive.

 The ruler of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Tsukasa Shinobu, is also said to be in poor health, possibly suffering from prostate cancer.  Medical care in Japanese prisons is terrible so you can’t help but feel a little sorry for him if it’s true.  In any event, with the two defacto heads of the Yamaguchi-gumi in poor health–strife is sure to follow. 

 

 

The second photo is from the Yamaguchi-gumi’s annual rice cake making festival (餅つき大会)which is open to the public, and usually performed in front of their massive Kobe Headquarters. Who can dislike gangsters that make such delicious traditional Japanese treats?

 

January 1st, 2009. The Yamaguchi-gumi tries to maintain good relations with the local populace through events like this.
January 1st, 2009. The Yamaguchi-gumi tries to maintain good relations with the local populace through events like this.

Yakuza bosses take legal classes to evade strict new law

by Justin McCurry (from THE GUARDIAN) 

 

The Yamaguchi-gumi symbol.
(The Yamaguchi-gumi symbol. Often used in a badge to identify members and intimidate civilians. New laws make displaying the symbol very risky for the yakuza and their bosses)

Japan’s most powerful gangsters are mugging up on legal terminology in an attempt to skirt strict new laws that make them liable for crimes committed by their henchmen.

The country’s top three crime syndicates are believed to have hired former prosecutors to teach them the finer points of the law, which was introduced after the assassination of the mayor of Nagasaki, Iccho Ito, by a gangster last April. Continue reading Yakuza bosses take legal classes to evade strict new law

Living With The Mob: Yakuza Deeply Rooted In Japan

 

The Tattooed Men are not easy to live with.
Once the yakuza move in, they don't move out easily.

YAKUZA WARS

by David McNeill and Jake Adelstein

A bloody dispute between two rival Yakuza groups in a southern Japanese city has led to a historic fight-back by local people.  But rooting out the mob from society will not be easy. Continue reading Living With The Mob: Yakuza Deeply Rooted In Japan

From the Times Online: Yakuza stalk Japanese markets as organised crime opens new front

From The Times
August 28, 2008

By Leo Lewis, Asia Business Correspondent

Japan’s powerful yakuza organised crime syndicates are mounting a widespread assault on the country’s financial markets that may have left hundreds of listed companies riddled with mob connections.

In a surprisingly stark admission, the National Police Agency (NPA) says that it is locked in a battle for the economic soul and international reputation of Japan. Continue reading From the Times Online: Yakuza stalk Japanese markets as organised crime opens new front