Japan Subculture Research Center Back From Hibernation:冬眠が終了

by Jake Adelstein

JSRC has been in hibernation for most of November, while I’ve been re-evaluating my place in the world after Goto Tadamasa’s fall from power, making a living, and working on the Japanese draft of TOKYO VICE. The book may end up coming out in Japanese before it comes out in English.  

Many interesting things have happening in Japan’s underworld while we were away and we hope to share them with you by the end of December. By the way, if anyone has questions about the yakuza, crime in Japan, the latest strange trends in the country, or suggestions for something you’d like to see on this site–feel free to write in.

Suicides Using Toxic Fumes Soar in Japan

In the first chapters of Hanayagi Genshu’s book Nigetara Akan!, she outlines the problem of suicide in Japan shockingly clearly — one person every fifteen minutes dies by their own hand in Japan. This article? Just more proof of the problem.

From the New York Time Website

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

October 31, 2008 TOKYO (AP) — More than 870 people have killed themselves in Japan by inhaling toxic fumes from household chemicals this year, 30 times more than the total for all of last year, the government said Friday. Continue reading Suicides Using Toxic Fumes Soar in Japan

A few words about the End of Goto Tadamasa/ 後藤忠政組長の終焉に関する考察

·     English will follow the Japanese. 

·     この数日間、後藤忠政組長の除籍騒動及びその経緯を客観的に報道するよう頑張りました。除籍の理由は派手な誕生日会だけでないことも昭々であります。警察や裏社会などの情報源から集めた情報を組み合わせて考えると、除籍の理由は大さっぱに次の通りです。(1)2001年、FBIとの取引及び山口組内部情報漏洩疑惑(2)2006年 菱和ライフクリエイト事件での監督不行届。同事件の報道が起爆剤で、金融庁等が暴力団フロント企業の資金獲得活動を厳しく取り締まるようになった(3)2007年警視庁情報漏洩で芸能界との腐れ縁、または愛人問題が判明し、世間騒がせ。本人の不注意が問われた(4)仮病を使って幹部会を慢性的欠席(5)派手な誕生日会で仮病使いの欠席もばれたうえ、また世間騒がせ、マスコミと当局の注視を誘った(6)堅気や一般市民を繰り返して脅かして山口組の任侠団体とのイメージに泥を塗った(7)改正暴対法の施行で、山口組全の存続を危うくし、さらに厳しい改正を誘発する危険分子とみなされたーー誕生日会はあくまでも口実でした。 Continue reading A few words about the End of Goto Tadamasa/ 後藤忠政組長の終焉に関する考察

Newspapers Catch Up To Our Goto Coverage: 毎日新聞と朝日新聞は遅れて後藤組問題の結末を報道

October 20th, 2008.

Japan’s top two newspapers covered the end of Goto Tadamasa’s reign as head of the Goto-gumi today. Probably, they didn’t feel this was the most pressing of stories.

Maybe they didn’t have the resources to stay on top of the story. Who knows? 

The Mainichi Shinbun has done some good coverage. All of it in Japanese. Sankei Shinbun 産経新聞 probably did the best job of reporting on Goto’s fall from power and what it meant in terms of Japan’s social-cultural and economic landscape. Trust me, forty-thousand gangsters have an impact on the Japanese economy, and Goto Tadamasa, one of the richest of all the Yamaguchi-gumi gang lords, has his hand in many pockets and many financial markets. He’s also the biggest stockholder of Japan airlines, if my memory is correct.  Continue reading Newspapers Catch Up To Our Goto Coverage: 毎日新聞と朝日新聞は遅れて後藤組問題の結末を報道

The End of Goto-gumi/結論は後藤忠政組長の完敗

English follows the Japanese. 結局、後藤は絶縁処分を免れたとはいえ、除籍処分となりました。後藤組も存続しません。その代わり、後藤組長の部下である良知と塚本の二人が直参昇格となって旧後藤組が半分に割れてしまいます。力も分散されるはずです。

一方、山口組執行部が後藤組長の独立運動に賛同した大門会、井奥会、会津角定などに厳しい処分を下しました。後藤組長が詫びを入れた途端、賛同者が貧乏くじを引いてしまいました。そもそも後藤忠政組長と賛同することこそ危険な賭けでした。彼は忠実知らず裏切り上手の人間ですから。

結論は後藤忠政組長の完敗です。「後藤組長は力を失っておらず院政の始まり」という見方もありますが、筆者はそう思いません。

The End of Goto-Gumi: After several days of turmoil, starting on October 14th, things have settled down. The conclusion to all this is that Goto Tadamasa abandoned any attempt to take his organization solo and made an appearance at the Yamaguchi-gumi headquarters in Kobe to apologize on the 17th or 18th of October. His organization will be split between his two chief executives, Mr. Rachi and Mr. Tsukamoto. Of the two, Mr. Tsukamoto has a slightly better reputation as a human being and someone who upholds “traditional” yakuza values which are supposed to be “helping the weak and taking on the powerful” and “never causing problems to civilians.” Good news for me, since I have a personal interest in all this. Continue reading The End of Goto-gumi/結論は後藤忠政組長の完敗

The Godfather: Goto Tadamsa Loses; 後藤忠政組長の敗北?

 

Goto Tadamasa, Japan's most notorious gangster has been forced out.
Goto Tadamasa, Japan

(English follows the Japanese)

未確認情報だが、17日(日本時間)において後藤忠政組長(山口組後藤組約1200人)が山口組総本部へ参り、高山頭及び山口組執行部にお詫びしたうえ、抵抗をやめると申しました。これで後藤組の独立運動が完全に封じられており、山口組本部から賛同者の処分は相次いでいます。後藤組も塚本本部長の昇格などで実質的に分裂していく見通しで、力も失います。隠居生活でも後藤忠政組長が力を発揮する可能性が極めて低いです。後藤組長とは終焉の時が近づきました。

Continue reading The Godfather: Goto Tadamsa Loses; 後藤忠政組長の敗北?

Goto Tadamasa, the Godfather of Organized Crime, Excommunicated From Yamaguchi-gumi on October 14th, 2008 後藤忠政組長が絶縁処分!後藤組が独立? 

(English follows the Japanese)

UPDATE: 15日夜、後藤忠政組長の処分が除籍から絶縁処分となりました。もっともしんどい処分です。絶縁の理由は 1. 肝臓移植に関連したFBIとの取引。またはそれを巡る報道と卑怯な行為 2. 演歌歌手などを招待した派手な誕生日会で世間を騒がした3. 仮病を使って幹部会を慢性的欠席4. 後藤組長の率いる組織の部下が堅気などの一般市民を脅したり危害を加えたりして任侠の掟「堅気に迷惑をかけない」を繰り返して破った 5. 山口組執行部の意向を直に受け入れずに「単独組活動をする」などと上層部に挑発しました。 Continue reading Goto Tadamasa, the Godfather of Organized Crime, Excommunicated From Yamaguchi-gumi on October 14th, 2008 後藤忠政組長が絶縁処分!後藤組が独立? 

NHK Bans Yakuza-Backed Enka Singers But Japanese Media Refuses To Name Yakuza Backer

IMPORTANT UPDATE: As a result of Goto’s birthday party and other factors, including my articles in the Washington Post and the Japanese press–Goto Tadamasa was excommunicated from the Yamaguchi-gumi on the 14th of October, 2008. 

  NHK, the BBC of Japan, banned from their programming several singers who had taken part in a birthday party (September 17th) for Tadamasa Goto, one of the most powerful bosses in the Yamaguchi-gumi. The ban was made and announced after the weekly newsmagazine, Shukan Shincho wrote an article about the birthday party and those attending. NHK checked with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and the singers before making their decision. Continue reading NHK Bans Yakuza-Backed Enka Singers But Japanese Media Refuses To Name Yakuza Backer

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

Silence Broken: The Plight Of The Comfort Women

Former Comfort Women Await Justice 

Adair K. FincherSeptember 25, 2008

 (This is a well-researched article about the women who were forced to work as sexual slaves by the Japanese Army during the second world war. Revisionist Japanese historians would like to deny it ever happened but that does not mean that it didn’t.)

A typical winter scene outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea: Three elderly Korean women, too old and too weak to stand, sit with gloved hands frantically waving butterfly-shaped signs written in Korean: “Apologize to us on your knees.” The air is cold. They and their supporters—nuns, the elderly, the young, and the non-Korean—are bundled in heavy winter coats and woolen caps, noses peeking out over tightly wound scarves. A cane sticks out from below the banner draped across the elderly women’s knees. In Japanese, Korean, and English the banner reads, “Wednesday Demonstration to Solve the Japanese Military Comfort Women Issue.”

Continue reading Silence Broken: The Plight Of The Comfort Women