• Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Japan Subculture Research Center

A guide to the Japanese underworld, Japanese pop-culture, yakuza and everything dark under the sun.

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。



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.

The main losers in the debacle are those other organized crime members that sided with Goto Tadamasa. He left them hanging out to dry. Of course, this is not unexpected–since it was clear that even in his deal with the FBI in 2001, that he has always been willing to betray his fellow mafia members to save his own neck.  The editor of SHIHO JOURNAL says that essentially Goto Tadamasa was never a “yakuza”–more like a ruthless businessman and a survivor of the traditional ZAIBATSU, who found the Yamaguchi-gumi brand name a convenient way to make money.  In another life, he probably would have made an excellent tattooed investment banker. (If insider trading, blackmail and extortion were also legal). 

By dividing the Goto-gumi into two parts, Mr. Takayama, the acting head of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest organized crime group (40,000 members), has essentially halved the power of the Goto-gumi and thus strengthened the power of his own faction, the Kodokai. Keep in mind that the Kodo-kai now has close to 4,000 members, while the Goto-gumi had at best, 1,200 members.  By removing Goto Tadamasa from the scene, and splitting his group into two sections–Mr. Takayama has consolidated power considerably. 

The question remains as to whether Goto Tadamasa will be able to exert power in his “retirement” and also who will inherit his political connections and substantial wealth.  Those questions will probably be answered sooner than later.  

Goto Tadamasa is an important figure in Japan’s underworld. Like it or not, he represents the modern yakuza in all their worst aspects. He is simply a sociopathic businessman who uses violent and illegal methods to make money, at all costs, any way he can and without regard to the lives or dignity of the people who get in his way.  The ideals of 任侠, which some yakuza still adhere to, means nothing to him now nor did it probably ever mean much to the man. Perhaps, in his retirement, he will continue his Buddhist studies and find time to repent. But not likely.


Goto Tadamasa, former head of Goto-gumi
Goto Tadamasa, former head of Goto-gumi
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