Yakuza and the Far Right

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ianwarren
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Yakuza and the Far Right

Post by ianwarren » Nov 5th, '06, 01:56

Hi,

I read quite a lot on Japan and obviously seeing as how Japan doesn't seem to be able to make a video game, manga, film or dorama without sneaking the Yakuza in there somewhere :D I thought someone might be able to enlighten me on something.

I read that one thing that is different about the Yakuza is that they are quite open to hiring people from other countries (Koreans, Chinese etc) and whereas a Korean might find it hard to get a 'normal' job in Japan the Yakuza would welcome him should he wish to join them.

On the other hand I read that far right political groups often work with the Yakuza to extort money out of corporations. It seems strange that ultranationalist groups who want Japan to remain Japanese would work with Yakuza who as far as I understand are pretty accomodating to foreigners.

I just wondered what's actually accurate. Obviously going by what books tell you only gets you so far, maybe a resident may have some info learned off of the news (or maybe theres a closet Yakuza on here :D ) who might be able to enlighten me?

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Post by Prince of Moles » Nov 9th, '06, 15:07

This is actually a very good insight. Yes, you are correct that the yakuza organizations are one of the more international organizations in Japan. You are also correct in that the yakuza do have connections with the far right.

Although this does seem weird, my guess for this is that

(a) the yakuza can't choose who to hire. So they hire anyone who is down and out and willing to use violence. Since Japan still has a lot of discrimination against foreigners it is not hard to see non-Japanese not doing as well and being hired by the yakuza

(b) the yakuza yearn to belong to the wider society, and be accepted. Since the far right promises a united nation through radical change in the name of nationalism, the yakuza as an organization led by Japanese bosses tends to migrate in that direction. Hoping they will belong in the new order. (By the way the extreme left also used to promise a united country through socialism. However, as organizations the yakuza believe they are conservative and traditional [whether this is true or not doesn't really matter], so of the two extreme wings, they tend to choose the right.)

As an interesting side note, many yakuza organzations participated in the Meiji Restoration of 1868 on the side of the emperor. Only a few Edo based ones sided with the shogun.

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20centuryboy
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Post by 20centuryboy » Nov 9th, '06, 15:50

Well, in fact, many of the japanese yakuza organisations have a Korean origin since WWII. There is some korean yakuza organisations in japan AND japanese Yakuza organisations who are often linked to the extreme right. The yakuza are not one big organisation but several "families" who have deals and associations etc... yakuza control most of the drug bizness ( a lot of the sex bizness too) in asia and in hawai /Honolulu exept for Thailand where they had to fight a bigger organistation and China...

In history, not only the far right has been linked to Yakuza but the far right leaders are often yakuza like Takejiro Tokunami founder of the dai nippon kokusui-kai who was a minister in the governement...

if you want to know more you can read Yakuza by david kaplan and alec dubro.
Nankurunai sa!

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ianwarren
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Post by ianwarren » Nov 12th, '06, 01:50

Prince of Moles wrote: (By the way the extreme left also used to promise a united country through socialism. However, as organizations the yakuza believe they are conservative and traditional [whether this is true or not doesn't really matter], so of the two extreme wings, they tend to choose the right.)
.

Thanks for the comments guys.

Just out of interest, do the Japanese leftists also want to keep Japan a homogeneous society or they more open to mixed marriages and immigration etc.?

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Post by ckamc » Nov 15th, '06, 09:49

wait... isnt the extreme right also against immigration and mixed marriages as well? I am a bit confused
Lurking between many episodes.

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Post by ianwarren » Nov 19th, '06, 23:43

ckamc wrote:wait... isnt the extreme right also against immigration and mixed marriages as well? I am a bit confused
well what I'm saying is that obviously the far right (conservatives) are against mixed marriages and immigration, but Prince of Moles mentioned that ultra-leftists are promising a United country through socialism

I just wondered if that was some kind of National Socialism that was also against mixed marriages and immigration etc.

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Post by geoff2005 » Nov 20th, '06, 03:05

off topic: speaking of yakuza. anybody know any good dramas with yakuza in it. thats subbed.

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Post by 8thSin » Nov 20th, '06, 06:18

geoff2005 wrote:off topic: speaking of yakuza. anybody know any good dramas with yakuza in it. thats subbed.
Sailor Fuku to Kikanjuu (soft 1ep and hardsub planned) and Tiger & Dragon are still available for download. I personally don't really like yakuza dramas.

Now I get off topic too: Why are unsuccessful yakuza members always running takoyaki stands in dorama? I heard somewhere that takoyaki sellers are entry-level yakuza job, but... Why?

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Post by Prince of Moles » Nov 20th, '06, 16:21

The far left is basically Communism. If you go to the far right you get Fascists and Nazis. So National Socialism (ie the Nazis, the English translation of the word German =NA=tional So=ZI=alismus) is actually on the far right.

The far left promises a united society in the sense that all the workers will band together and previous distinctions such as ethnicity, race, and even gender will disappear. Thus in theory the left has no problems with foreigners. In practice, well, some people are prejudiced.

As for Takoyaki and yakuza. Well I'm no expert on the operation of these small stalls. But the fact that you need to temporarily borrow the space to set up a simple stand that takes little skill to run, makes for a perfect opportunity for gangsters to ask for protection money. This happens in both the US and Japan and I assume in most other countries.

So my guess is that most Takoyaki stands are operated by regular folks. 1 or 2 among them however, is operated by a yakuza member keeping an eye out on their clients and making sure no other rival gang tries to muscle in.

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Post by AngelicLayer » Nov 21st, '06, 20:33

I used to learn and study everything about yakuza for a long period of time. They mostly, as far as I know, try to hire young underlings and social misfits, e.g. those who are poor because it´s shameful in Japan to get a credit at a bank, those who have problems at home or at school, those who were at prison and canot find any job, those who are orphens, because the Japanese mostly adopt children from a family and not an orphen house or how it´s called, those who are gaijins in Japan. And as far as the Korean nationality that is left in Japan since the occupation in , ehmmmm maybe 1950?? who don´t get the Japanese citizenship.
It also has something to do with their partners. There are Chinese, American etc.. and of course Korean underlings. The Korean yakuza are a powerful presence in Japan, despite the fact that Koreans suffer discrimination in Japanese society and the Korean yakuza godfather Hisayuki Machii born Chong GwonYong in 1923.
Well, maybe those are just rumors , not facts, but yakuza don´t have anything to do with Nazism or Nationalsocialism, they just are patriots!!

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Post by ianwarren » Nov 22nd, '06, 01:30

I do find it fascinating how the Yakuza is pretty much tolerated by society though.

Coming from England all I have is our version of organised crime which is very subversive and underground. If you ever met a serious criminal you'd probably never even know you'd met him, you certainly wouldn't see him hanging around the street wearing FUBU :lol

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Post by Prince of Moles » Nov 28th, '06, 07:33

I guess in the US and in Japan, gangsters and gangster wannabes are common in the big cities. But it is the low ranking gangsters that are very flamboyant and noticable. The big shots wearing nice suits and clothes are often harder to tell.

By the way, I don't know of any personally :p

Most people do avoid them as well. No need to court danger if you can avoid it.

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Post by Néa Vanille » Nov 28th, '06, 18:47

I don't really know how much the yakuza are accepted in Japan, but one thing I DO find puzzling is the portrayal of them in JDramas.

I mean, sure, they are portrayed as being quite evil and ultimately, young people are advised to stay away from them (as seen in My Boss, My Hero), yet one can't deny that there's humour in the way they are described and considering that it's a pretty serious criminal organization we're talking about, they are portrayed as rather cutesy. :unsure:

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Post by kotaeshiranaihito » Nov 28th, '06, 19:20

From what I heard one big difference between the Yakuza and american gangs is that the Yakuza are supposed to do their best to make sure that the ordinary people that are not involved in their affairs don't get hurt (only their targets do). Gangs everywhere else pretty much don't care what happens to anyone. They'll go as far as blow up an entire building full of hundreds of people just to get one person they are after (providing it can't be linked back to them of course)-of course this doesn't normally happen, just making an example.

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Post by Takekaze » Nov 29th, '06, 07:37

Néa Vanille wrote:I don't really know how much the yakuza are accepted in Japan, but one thing I DO find puzzling is the portrayal of them in JDramas.

I mean, sure, they are portrayed as being quite evil and ultimately, young people are advised to stay away from them (as seen in My Boss, My Hero), yet one can't deny that there's humour in the way they are described and considering that it's a pretty serious criminal organization we're talking about, they are portrayed as rather cutesy. :unsure:
Compare this to how Japanese police is usually protrayed in JDramas. They're usually not really the brightest and most members are shown as somewhat incompetent. Except if the hero's a cop, then he -and sometimes his team- are the smartest and best cops around (just take Remote or Rookie).

As for the American gangs. Oh please, bunch of dumb kids trying to play criminal. Smoke'em. Use a fitting ammount of force and they'll wet their pants. If you can compare Yakuza to something in America, I'd compare them to the mid-war organizations, like the one run by a certain Al Capone (even though Yakuza today is nothing like that anymore).

That said, don't use JDramas as a reference of how it really is. I mean, we all know KITT isn't real, right? And that there is no A-Team and no Airwolf and that the Stargate is really just an invention for TV, right? So why would Yakuza be the way they're portrayed in a tv series?
AngelicLayer wrote:Well, maybe those are just rumors , not facts, but yakuza don´t have anything to do with Nazism or Nationalsocialism, they just are patriots!!
So it's patriotic to support right-winged wannabe groups who park their black truks outside Yasukuni, play the Battleship March and try to blast everyone with their racist and nationalist messages through their speakers? Interesting... Besides, patriotism is the virtue of the vicious and harbors a huge danger since it ALWAYS leads to nationalism, as history proves (if you ask me, being a patriot is nothing to be proud of, it just shows how narrow your view is). Be happy they're just a minority. I would really hate to see them gain actual political power over there. It would ruin the country and that would really be a pity. Yet, they're somewhat entertaining, too, especially when they start rambling about "pure Japanese" and "Yamato people". It's so stupid that it's already funny again.

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Post by Néa Vanille » Nov 29th, '06, 19:19

Takekaze wrote:[That said, don't use JDramas as a reference of how it really is..
:lol ALL I said was that it was strange way of interpreting them on TV. :lol

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Post by ruisu » Nov 30th, '06, 23:24

I read a funny story about a gaijin who was selling watches (or anything) on the street. It was pretty sad how he'd convince people to pay $20 for a fifty-cent watch. But anyway, one day a guy came up to him and told him to get a new spot. The gaijin was like no, you get a new spot (or something to that effect) and then the Japanese guy showed him his hand. When the gaijin noticed that he was short a digit, he gladly gave him the spot.

Turns out if you eff up in the Yakuza, you may very well lose a finger! That's gansta. So if you see a man missing some fingers, be careful.

Anyway, I thought how he made a living in Japan was pretty funny...but now to hear that you can just work for the Yakuza is even funnier. What kinda "work" do they have you do?

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Post by zibla » May 12th, '07, 17:24

you all need to remember that yakuza life ain't that glamorous as it portraits in dramas it's like in any other Mafia organizations "you screw up and you lose a finger or you die" you probably get killed by your best friend or family :-(. life's hard so don't come and ask stupid questions like What do they make you do? it's obvious.

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Post by ruisu » May 12th, '07, 19:54

yea dude I figured it out already. they make foreigners pimp hoes, scare people outta money, and shoot politicians. poor hoes.

that's not what i meant. i was wondering what some more of their schemes were...like selling fake rolexes for 4000% more than you paid = funny. having a chain of yakitori stands = funny. Selling 7/11 lighters for 10 bux = funny.

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