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thomas

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Calling themselves the "chivalrous groups" (仁侠団体 ninkyō dantai) and based on a strict code of conduct and rituals reminiscent of samurai days, the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia, are involved in numerous illegal activities, ranging from gambling, prostitution and protection rackets to white-collar crime to this day. Dwindling acceptance in the population, tough anti-mafia legislature and sweeping law enforcement campaigns have resulted in a stark decline in yakuza members: the 10 largest groups in 2009 fielded some 35,490 members. This number fell to just 16,200 in 2016 and continues to plummet.

The Yakuza Thread is for the general discussion of our article on the Yakuza - Japanese crime syndicates and for news and updates relating to Japan's mobsters.
 
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thomas

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Here's an article of a former yakuza member who succeeded in restarting life in legality. As a construction worker, he now earns less than a third of what he did as a gang member. But he's happy.

When he was in his mid-20s, the man worked as the chauffer for a gang boss in Tokyo. He received 700,000 yen ($6,300) a month. But he was expected to be at the beck and call of his boss at all times. In those days, the man would often have sushi or grilled beef dinners at restaurants. Working in the construction industry today, the man makes about 200,000 yen a month, so his dinners consist mainly of bento meals from convenience stores. But he says he does not mind the switch to the less luxurious fare. "Meals after a hard day of work are really delicious," he said. "I should have realized much earlier how great a normal life is."

However, not everyone manages to leave gang life behind:

The agency said there were about 78,600 gang members across Japan in 2010, but that fell to about a third over the span of a decade, to 25,900 in 2020. Between 2011 and 2020, about 5,900 gang members have left their gangs behind after receiving help from police and local organizations striving to drive out organized crime. However, it can be tough to find help once they leave gang life. Only about 210, or 3.5 percent of the total, have found jobs through the association set up to help such individuals return to a normal life.

 

Uncle Frank

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The ones who came to the bar where I worked always liked to show off their knives they carried , but not their tattoos. Most of their knives looked like they would break if they stabbed a pillow , LOL. For some reason , they needed to be pretty drunk before they would show off their tats. I only met 10 or 12 , so I can't speak about all of them as a whole.
 
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