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History yakuza presentation final

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History yakuza presentation final

  1. 1. Rohit Sidhu
  2. 2. Background • • • • • Sengoku Jidai (Warring States Period) - from the mid-15th century to early 17th century Defined by nearly constant military conflict Unification of Japan under Oda Nobunga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokukgawa Ieyasu Tokugawa Shogunate established in 1600 (Battle of Sekigahara)/1603 (appointment of Shogun) – start of peace time Excess of military forces (samurai class)
  3. 3. Ronin      500 000 samurai left jobless, despite casualties suffered during the Imjin War Many were well educated and readjusted to life in market society as merchants, profiting from expansion of domestic trade from Sakoku policy Ronin – wandering samurai without a master chose other paths to survive Some became bandits (kabuki-mono) Others became peddlers (tekiya) and gamblers (bakuto)
  4. 4. Bushido   Literally way of the samurai Yakuza identify their code of conduct with that of the samurai  Violent death as honourable and poetic  Giri – obligation/duty  Ninjo – compassion/emotion
  5. 5. Kabuki-mono      Literally the crazy ones Gangs composed of former samurai during peace time Bandits groups looted towns and villages as they wandered throughout Japan Some groups designated as hatamoto-yakko (servants/bannermen of the shogun) also became violent due to idleness Inspiration for Japanese kabuki theatre tradition
  6. 6. Mythical Origins   Machi-yokku (servants of the town) – civilian police force Folk heroes who rose up to defend against bandits, tightly-knit groups  Gamblers in their spare time (bakuto)  Legend/romantic ideal of yakuza origins   Shapes perception within yakuza as ninkyou dantai (chivilarous organizations) Versus common perception as bouryokudan (violent groups)
  7. 7. Bakuto  Ran illegal gambling houses and brothels  Played dice and card games  Used abandoned temples/shrines    Commonly hired by government during Edo Period to cheat construction and irrigation workers out of their wages for a percentage Expanded into loan sharking and other activities Modern yakuza who make a living off gambling still call themselves bakuto
  8. 8. Yakuza Etymology    Cards games commonly played with kabufuda (gambling cards) or hanafuda (flower cards) Deck of numbers 1-10, 40 cards total Oicho-kabu – Japanese version of blackjack objective for a total score of 19  Players dealt 3 card  Ya (8), ku (9), za (3) – worst hand   Became common saying for something useless or bad luck Ended up being applied to bakuto themselves
  9. 9. Tekiya      Similar to Western snake oil salesmen – sold shoddy merchandise with deceit, expanded to meet demand for illegal goods (black market) Controlled booths/stalls during fairs – start of protection racket, turf wars, etc. Organized to protect themselves and their interests against the shogunate Oyabun granted status and surname, even allowed to carry a wakizashi short sword Some worked as information brokers or even spies for the shogunate
  10. 10. Traditions   Oyabun-kobun (father-child) relationship entailing blind loyalty and absolute obedience Began yubitsume (finger-cutting) as a punishment/apology to the oyabun or prior to expulsion from the group  Origin in weakening katana grip  Function of group solidarity and reliance
  11. 11. Tattoos      Tattooing (irezumi) also began as punishment, evolved to represent strength and fortitude, unwillingness to conform to society and personal characteristics Still done by hand with bamboo or steel needles, five times more painful than with a tattoo gun Popular designs – mythical beats, animals Tsuzoku Suikoden Goketsu Hyakuhachinin (108 Warriors of Suikoden) – appeal of ferocity, outlaw status and individual qualities in Kuniyoshi Utagawa and also Hokusai Katsushika’s illustrations Based on 14th century Chinese novel (Shuihu Zhuan) about a band of robin-hood types
  12. 12. Ritual • Sakazuki-goto – for creating the oyabun-kobun blood bond (father-son), joining the family • Literally event of cups, sake drinking from a cup • Common Japanese practice, for example at weddings, for bonds and coming together • Sake as bond between man and gods, blessing of good harvest, extension to earthly bonds • Yakuza ceremony performed at a Shinto shrine • Significance of sakazuki cups as a physical contract, returned or destroyed for expulsion
  13. 13. Meiji Restoration       Start of political parties and militarism Yakuza also modernized, formed strong ties with those in government (ultranationalists) Did 'favours‘ as the cost of doing business Trained militarily, in languages, assassination, blackmail, and so on by secret groups Assassinated political rivals, pressured various groups, soldiers/terrorists (i.e. Manchuria) By 1930's – role in assassinating prime minsters, finance ministers, coups, etc.
  14. 14. Yakuza in WWII     Sold opium with the help of industrialists and military under the Opium Monopoly Bureau Funded the war effort and made occupied populations more obedient (i.e. China) Ran thousands of brothels for soldiers by kidnapping and forcing Korean women and wives/daughters of debtors into prostitution Firms like Mitsui and Suzuki were involved
  15. 15. Post-WWII Origins  Proliferation of gurentai (hoodlums/hired goons)  Used threats and extortion to operate  Start of gun culture and new level of violence  Reason for bouryokudan label  Inspired by prohibition era gangsters  Yakuza dress also American-inspired
  16. 16. Post-WWII Strengthening      Larger than the Japanese military, police Used to control labour, oppose communism, provide information Majority of US aid going to Europe, flourishing black market for everyday needs by funnelling of military stockpiles Sale of amphetamines (combat drugs) to suppress hunger Unspoken agreement between zaibatsu, government and yakuza
  17. 17. The Godfathers     Yoshio Kodama (WWII and post-WWII) – known as a visionary for uniting the yakuza Kazuo Taoka (origins of Yamaguchi-Gumi) Hisayuki Machii (origins of Korean Yakuza) – Tosei-kai/Tao-kai fifth largest clan Kenichi Shinoda (sixth and current kumicho of the Yamaguchi-Gumi) – currently most powerful
  18. 18. Modern Day   100 000+ members in 22 syndicates and 2500 clans Corporate-style organizational structure with franchise based growth  1. Yamaguchi-Gumi – 50 000 in 850 clans  2. Sumiyoshi-Rengo – 20 000 in 270 clans  3. Inagawa-Kai – 15 000 in 310 clans  4. Matsuba-kai – 2000  Daimon (family crest):
  19. 19. Modern Day   1980s bubble economy led to keizai yakuza Increasing involvement in big business (insider trading, real estate, construction, banking, etc.)  1992 anti-gang law – severe sanctions  Uneasy and shifting political alliances  International expansion  Decaying police-yakuza relations  Syndicate violence over territory  Need to negotiate with Korean and Japanese organize crime
  20. 20. Modern Day      Increased defection and legitimate opportunities New biker/speed gangs (bosozoku) causing discord, disregard for old ways Korean yakuza – discrimination against Japanese Koreans (0.5 percent of Japan) Burakumin/eta/dowa – outcasts from four divisions, untouchable status inherited due to ancestor’s ‘impure’ occupations (i.e butchers, executioners, and others) Overall sixty percent are burakumin, thirty percent Korean, ten percent other Japanese
  21. 21. Conclusion • Historically those of lowest class/caste who gained influence (socio-economic origins) • Integral component of Japanese society with origins dating back to before the Edo period • Unique culture and ritual practices with a variety of historical influences that is changing • Worldwide operation in the some of the most vile businesses
  22. 22. Video Clips • youtube.com/watch?v=llhEHNe62UM • youtu.be/OQIR_ExN6oY?t=4m59s • youtube.com/watch?v=6QH8OEr2FbE • youtu.be/bOazu1_NAZg?t=1m59s • youtube.com/watch?v=yMFM3PCkTqk

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