The name yakuza originates from the Japanese game of Oicho-Kabu,
which is like Black Jack. In Oicho-Kabu, the goal is to reach
19, not 21 like in Black Jack. The word Ya means 8, Ku means 9,
and Za means 3. When you add the three numbers, you get 20, which
is worthless in Oicho-Kabu. The yakuza, therefore, are outsiders
is important to note that the yakuza is merely a term for the
Japanese that don't fit in with society. The yakuza are, as noted
before, outcasts from society, and they have no place to turn
but to each other. Often they are criminals and poor wretches
that blindly follow the path of crime in an effort to succeed.
The yakuza are completely different from the
Yakuza. The Yakuza are a form of organized crime. The yakuza are
just outcasts and petty criminals.
yakuza say that they originated from the Machi-yakko. The Machi-yakko
were the middle class of medieval Japan that took up arms against
the Kabuki-mono. The Kabuki-mono were a band of thieves and misfits
that rampaged across Japan, stealing from innocents. Because Machi-yakko
defended the cities from Kabuki-mono, they were
treated as the heroes of the city. They would take in the weak,
the poor, the criminals, and give them the nurturing safety they
needed. In return, they would work for their "father",
the Oyabun, who was the leader of the Yakuza. Machi-yakko can
be likened to Robin Hood, who was weaker than his foes, but stood
up to them to protect the innocent. The
modern day yakuza didn't come about until the middle of the seventeenth
century. It was comprised mostly of gamblers (Bakuto), street
merchants (Tekiya), and other such outcasts and misfits from society.
the industrialization of Japan to follow, the yakuza began to
gain control over the construction and shipping industries. As
a result, the Bakuto sect of the yakuza began to fall away, and
the Tekiya began to take over. Because of the increasing influences
of Europe and America, politics began to play an important role
in yakuza business. The yakuza
began to line the pockets of key individuals in the government
to be able to get away with certain illegal acts. In the depression
of the 1920s, many gangs sprang up at the expense of the poor,
and began to train assassins, thugs, and rogues. These gang members
were masters of blackmail, extortion, and hired muscle. During
the 1930s, the yakuza gang members
assassinated two prime ministers, two finance ministers and assaulted
many politicians and important people. The yakuza who committed
these acts are called Unyoke, which means "political right"
end of World War II saw Japan occupied with American troops. When
the Americans began to ration out food to control the Japanese,
the local yakuza became powerful and rich with the black market.
As a result of the enforced poverty upon the Japanese, however,
a new breed of yakuza came to exist. This new breed of yakuza
were called the
gurentai, Japanese for "street hustler". Gurentai were
like the Japanese version of the Mob in 1930s America. The yakuza
decided to drop the sword and pick up the gun. They began to steal
and rob from anyone and everyone; shopkeepers, people in the underworld,
and even ordinary citizens were victims of the yakuza. In the
five-year period between
1958 and 1963 yakuza membership increased 150% to about 184,000
members, more than the entire Japanese army at the time. These
members of the yakuza weren't all under the same banner, though.
There were an estimated 5200 different gangs that these yakuza
members followed. These gangs began to run out of room and started
to increase their
violence and mark their territories in bloody wars. However, there
was one yakuza who wanted unity. His name was Kadama Yoshiro.
He took these gangs and united them under a name: Yakuza.
There are 2 types of yakuza, clan- yakuza and freelance yakuza.
A Freelance yakuza is a yakuza that do not commit the bigger crimes.
They usually belong to a small group of hustlers.
have however some difficulties to survivel, the clan- yakuza do
not allows anyone to operate within their territories. Clan- yakuza
can tip the police about crimes that the freelance yakuza are
about to, or already have committed.
If the freelance yakuza earns to much money, the clan yakuza may
kill the freelance yakuza or make him disappear without a trace.
Clan- yakuza sometimes use the freelance yakuza. If the clan yakuza
needs something doing that is classed as 'illegal' by the Clan,
then they will use a freelance to do the dirty work, for cash
Clan yakuza, as the name suggests, belongs to a clan. The clan
can be compared with the Sicilian mafias "family". The
clan are structured as a common family in traditional Japan. The
clan have a hierarchy structure. The clans head chief is called
Oyabun, that means Father. Beneath him he have his children(Wakashu)
and brothers(Kyodai). These are not his real children and brothers.
the members in the clan obeys Oyabun and in return he protect
them against all dangers. Oyabun is almighty within the clan and
his word is the law. All obeys him without hesitation even if
it means danger for its own life.