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.
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.
·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
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: 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
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
(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.”