• Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Japan Subculture Research Center

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

The Guardian of Japan’s Underworld Has Gone To The Other Underworld

Morikazu Tanaka, an ex-prosecutor turned mouthpiece for the mob (yakuza) and other shady characters,  passed away Saturday at the age of 71.

Tanaka personified the image of former prosecutors in japan as being shady lawyers who would work for the highest bidder, often the criminals and/or criminal organization they once tried to put in jail. The term やめ検 (yame-ken) is the derisive slang used to refer to those who have gone over to the dark side. Not all ex-prosecutors go to work for anti-social forces or the yakuza–some continue to fight against them, sometimes tragically, as in the case of Toshiro Igari.

Tanaka as a prosecutor, he was involved in investigations including political cases with the special investigation squads of the Tokyo and Osaka district public prosecutors offices.

Tanaka went into private practice in 1988, Tanaka took part in the so-called Itoman case, one of the largest postwar economic crime cases. Tanaka worked with Kyo Eichu, a Yamaguchi-gumi consigliere who was well connected across the political sphere. Even current members of Japan’s Olympic Committee have associated with Kyo Eichu.

Tanaka was also known for his best-selling autobiography “Hanten: Yami-shakai no Shugoshin to Yobarete” (Reversed: To be called the guardian god of the underworld).


The memoir of a former prosecutor turned mouthpiece for the Japanese mafia (Yakuza). Rest in peace. Good luck with your defense at the gates of hell and heaven. Enma is a tough judge.





Managing editors of the blog.

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