The Yakuza organization is a traditionally organized crime or mafia group with its origins in Japan. The word Yakuza is believed to originate from the Japanese game called Oicho-kabu which is played using hanafuda or so called kabufuda cards…
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The game is composed on basis of worst likely totals that come in a set of eight, nine and then three. In early Japan, such set of numbers showed the words Ya, Ku, And Sa and therefore, this is where the group yakuza originated. The group adopted this term since “ya-ku-za” represents a hand that is highly skilled and was believed to get luck of winning a game. Additionally, it is clear that the name represents bad lack to any individual that betrayed or went against the rules of the group. Today, it is estimated to have about 80, 000 members and it is actually not an illegal group but it is regulated under the laws of organized crime control act. Yakuza is a group that is openly known in Japan and across the world with regular office space, business cards, often portrayed in movies, and other fanzines (Mallory 144). The yakuza major sources of income includes extortion, intimidation, financial fraud, prostitution, manipulating the stock market, gambling, racketeering, drug trafficking, and smuggling among other criminal activities. They are known by law enforcement agencies as boryokudan a term that represents violent individuals in the community. On their part, they like to refer themselves as ninkyodantai asserting they are public servants who ensure peaceful Japan and concerned with the needs of the poor. The March 11th 2011 earth quake saw Yakuza active engagement offering support to victims in the initial weeks after the tragedy. This is in an effort to build their public image in a bid to try and live up to society expectations (Mallory 151). History of Yakuza The yakuza history gets its root from the period of Shogunate, which was a time the leaders Leyasu Tokugawa united and joined the Japanese people. The country had just come from a period of severe civil war and therefore, stability had not been fully achieved. The current time of peace left thousands (an estimation of 500, 000) of samurai individuals unemployed because job opportunities were minimal. In this respect, most samurai became part of the merchant class, but many others the ronin looked for other means of economic sustenance which led them to thievery and criminal activities. In essence, the machi-yokku or town helpers came out strongly to offer protection and safety to the society against the samurai destructors. These were just regular town people who offered their services to defeat the vicious ronin in order to protect their families. The machi-yokku became a tightly knit group that spent time involving in activities like gambling. They became the predecessors of the today’s yakuza as it believed in the legend (Mallory 140). The yakuza started through an ordered familial or family grouping of bloodline but they were chosen. In this relationship, it started with a godfather as the head, while new members were instigated through a pyramid fashion. The head of the group or godfather is normally known as oyabun which denotes boss or simply parent while the followers are called kobun which denotes a child. The oyabun as the leader offers advice, security, and assistance and in turn gets steadfast loyalty and service from the kobun at any given time. In essence, the kabun had to take a blood oath to show their loyalty and allegiance and anyone that goes against the yakuza code had to be punished. Historically, this was done where the kobun had to cut off the little finger using a sword and gave it to the oyabun as punishment but this practice has declined with time. Initiation to the group was done using sake cups that were shared to symbolize blood relation that is between the oyabun and kobun. This was mainly done in a Shinto shrine and in this way it represented a form of religious implication (Mallory 141). In addition, the
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