A link via Mutantfrog Travelogue:
And we thought Johnny’s Jimusho was dodgy; Tokyo Damage Report gives the lowdown on the grime in the Visual Kei industry, from lack of contracts and “band rules” to money laundering. It’s not only the political world that takes cues from the yakuza:
In the beginning there was some – how do you say? – rivalry? between them, but they soon became friends, when they realized they could make more by working together. And of course that’s the exact system used by the Yakuza: controlling different parts of the country, but working together for maximum profit: “I’ll handle your businesses in my territory if you look after my businesses in yours!”
It’s a long interview, but definitely recommended reading for a look at a different side to a different subculture.
2 thoughts on “Now for something completely different: Visual Kei”
Thanks for the link. I am really really kicking myself for missing that lecture.
But that’s not why I’m writing – I’m writing because I was in Asakusa and there’s a dilapidated karaoke bar right next to the main temple (on the back side). And on Friday at noon there were around 25 mobsters going in the place with another 7 or so standing guard in front, plus who-knows-how-many drivers with their cars waiting in the surrounding parking lots.
Is that an average day in Asakusa? Or if it is an unusually large meeting, do you know the context? It seemed weird because the whole neighborhood looked run-down and semi-deserted . . . like even if it IS a mobbed-up ‘hood, how can they be making any money?
I’ll ask around! I’m not sure I’ll get an answer. I thought Asakusa was Kokusuikai territory but I haven’t really paid attention to the place in years, not as a reporter.