Japan for the Uninvited

Japanese culture from a bemused foreign perspective


YakuzaThe yakuza is one of the most famous and most romanticised criminal groups in the world.

Traditionally seen by many Japanese people as a modern incarnation of the samurai, the yakuza were tolerated for a long time.

They are distinctive for extensive tattooing, missing pinkie fingers and hairstyles 20 years out-of-date.

In 1991, new “Anti-Boryokudan” legislation outlawed organisations that employed a high proportion of former convicts, radically altering yakuza structure and making recruitment much more difficult.

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