Yakuza are members of transnational organized crime syndicates originating in Japan. At their peak in the early 1960s, police estimated that the yakuza had a membership of more than 200,000. Yakuza still regularly engage in an array of criminal activities, and many Japanese citizens remain fearful of the threat these individuals pose.
About Yakuza in brief
Yakuza are members of transnational organized crime syndicates originating in Japan. At their peak in the early 1960s, police estimated that the yakuza had a membership of more than 200,000. Yakuza still regularly engage in an array of criminal activities, and many Japanese citizens remain fearful of the threat these individuals pose to their safety. There remains no strict prohibition on yakuZA membership in Japan today, although much legislation has been passed by the Japanese government aimed at impeding revenue and increasing liability for criminal activities. In Japanese the word yakuzas is generally written in katakana. Despite uncertainty about the single origin, most modern yakuze derive from two social classifications which emerged in the mid-Edo period : tekiya, those who primarily peddled illicit, stolen, or shoddy goods; and bakuto, Those who were involved in or participated in gambling. The roots of the YakuZA survive today in initiation ceremonies, which incorporate tekiyan or bakuan rituals. The name yakuzai originates from the traditional Japanese card game Oicho-Kabu, a game in which the goal is to draw three cards adding up to a score of 9. If the sum of the cards exceeds 10, its second digit is used as the score instead, and if the sum is exactly 10, the score is 0. If the three cards drawn are 8-9-3, the sum is 20 and therefore the score is zero, making it the worst possible hand that can be drawn.
Although the modern Yakuzai has diversified, some groups still identify with one or the other; for example, a gang whose primary source of income is illegal gambling may refer to themselves as baku, especially since Kyushu island is a gambling island. The Yakuze are known for their strict codes of conduct, their organized fiefdom nature, and several unconventional ritual practices such as yubitsume, or amputation of the left little finger. Members are often described as males, wearing sharp suits with heavily tattooed bodies and slicked hair. This group is still regarded as being among the most sophisticated and wealthiest criminal organizations. At the height of their popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, the yaruza were estimated to have more than 100,000 members. This number has drastically dropped, a decline attributed to changing market opportunities and several legal and social developments in Japan which discourage the growth of yakuzone membership. The yaruze are considered one of the most dangerous criminal groups in the world, and are considered to be among the most violent and dangerous of all organized crime groups. They are often referred to as the “Ninkyō dantai” or the “Yakuze” by the police, and the media by request of the police call them bōryokudan. The English equivalent for the term yakuzu is gangster, meaning an individual involved in a Mafia-like criminal organization.