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 Yakuza (ヤクザ)

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Name: Haru
Age: 23
Species: Vampire

PostSubject: Yakuza (ヤクザ)   Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:23 am

Basic Information
Name: Yakuza (ヤクザ).
Description: Also known as gokudō (極道), are members of transnational organized crime syndicates originating in Japan. The Japanese police, and media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan (暴力団, "violent groups"), while the yakuza call themselves "ninkyō dantai" (任侠団体 or 仁侠団体, "chivalrous organizations"). The yakuza are notorious for their strict codes of conduct and very organized nature. They have a large presence in the Japanese media and operate internationally with an estimated 103,000 members.
Ranks: [/center]

  • Kumicho(親分): Group elder. This is the leader of all of the Yakuza groups across the world.

  • Oyabun(組長): Family head or boss. This is the rank who is the leader of a Yakuza family and answers directly to the Kumicho. Often referred to as Ojisan (おじさん) or "Uncle".

  • Waka-gashira (若頭): Gang members who rank second behind a kumicho. The gang equivalent of eldest brother.

  • Saikō kanbu (最高幹部): senior executives.

  • Kanbu(幹部): executives.

  • Kumiin (組員): group members, often translated as ‘soldiers’.

  • Kobun (子分): group underlings.

  • Shūhen-sha (周辺者: peripheral associates.

  • Kigyō shatei (企業舎弟): business associates.

  • Jun Kōseiin(準構成員): trainees.

  • Wakashu (若衆): Used as an umbrella term to indicate gang members who have completed the sakazuki ceremony to join an organisation, but are still ranked below wakagashira.
  • Heiho (兵補) : Foot-soldiers.


Yakuza Family Ranks

  • Oyabun(組長): Family head or boss. This is the rank who is the leader of a Yakuza family and answers directly to the Kumicho. Often referred to as Ojisan (おじさん) or "Uncle".

  • Waka-gashira (若頭): Gang members who rank second behind a Oyabun. The gang equivalent of elder brother who are responsible for running a number of gangs in a region.

  • Shatei-gashira (舎弟頭): Gang members who rank second behind a Waka-gashira. The gang equivalent of younger brother who are in charge of the lower ranking members of a family and work with the Waka-gashira and are responsible for running a number of gangs in a region.

  • Saiko-komon (最高顧問): Senior adviser.

  • Shingiiin (審議委員): Law adviser. This rank manages the legal affairs of their family groups.

  • Kaikei (会計): Accountant.

  • Kyodai (兄弟): Elder brother.

  • Shatei (舎弟): Underling, lit. younger brother.


Chosen Leader: Hiketsu Katachi (秘訣異形).
Symbol:

Leader Information
-Leaders Rank: Kumicho(親分).
-Leaders Character Link: http://kaseinotatakai.forumotion.com/t119-hiketsu-katachi

Intentions & History
Intentions: Yakuza are regarded as semi-legitimate organizations. For example, immediately after the Kobe earthquake, the Yamaguchi-gumi, whose headquarters are in Kobe, mobilized itself to provide disaster relief services (including the use of a helicopter), and this was widely reported by the media as a contrast to the much slower response by the Japanese government. The yakuza repeated their aid after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, with groups opening their offices to refugees and sending dozens of trucks with supplies to affected areas. For this reason, many yakuza regard their income and hustle (shinogi) as a collection of a feudal tax.

Many yakuza syndicates, notably the Yamaguchi-gumi, officially forbid their members from engaging in drug trafficking, while some yakuza syndicates, notably the Dojin-kai, are heavily involved in it.

Some yakuza groups are known to deal extensively in human trafficking. The Philippines, for instance, is a source of young women. Yakuza trick girls from impoverished villages into coming to Japan, where they are promised respectable jobs with good wages. Instead, they are forced into becoming prostitutes and strippers.

Yakuza frequently engage in a uniquely Japanese form of extortion, known as sōkaiya. In essence, this is a specialized form of protection racket. Instead of harassing small businesses, the yakuza harasses a stockholders' meeting of a larger corporation. They simply scare the ordinary stockholder with the presence of yakuza operatives, who obtain the right to attend the meeting by making a small purchase of stock.

Yakuza also have ties to the Japanese realty market and banking, through jiageya. Jiageya specialize in inducing holders of small real estate to sell their property so that estate companies can carry out much larger development plans. Japan's bubble economy of the 1980s is often blamed on real estate speculation by banking subsidiaries. After the collapse of the Japanese property bubble, a manager of a major bank in Nagoya was assassinated, and much speculation ensued about the banking industry's indirect connection to the Japanese underworld.

Yakuza have been known to make large investments in legitimate, mainstream companies. In 1989, Susumu Ishii, the Oyabun of the Inagawa-kai (a well known yakuza group) bought US$255 million worth of Tokyo Kyuko Electric Railway's stock.[19] Japan's Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission has knowledge of more than 50 listed companies with ties to organized crime, and in March 2008, the Osaka Securities Exchange decided to review all listed companies and expel those with yakuza ties.[20]

As a matter of principle, theft is not recognized as a legitimate activity of yakuza. This is in line with the idea that their activities are semi-open; theft by definition would be a covert activity. More importantly, such an act would be considered a trespass by the community. Also, yakuza usually do not conduct the actual business operation by themselves. Core business activities such as merchandising, loan sharking or management of gambling houses are typically managed by non-yakuza members who pay protection fees for their activities.

There is much evidence of yakuza involvement in international crime. There are many tattooed yakuza members imprisoned in various Asian prisons for such crimes as drug trafficking and arms smuggling. In 1997, one verified yakuza member was caught smuggling 4 kilograms (8.82 pounds) of heroin into Canada.

In 1999, Italian-American mafia Bonanno family member Mickey Zaffarano was overheard talking about the profits of the pornography trade that both families could profit from. Another yakuza racket is bringing women of other ethnicity/races, especially East European and Asian, to Japan under the lure of a glamorous position, then forcing the women into prostitution.

Because of their history as a legitimate feudal organization and their connection to the Japanese political system through the uyoku (extreme right-wing political groups), yakuza are somewhat a part of the Japanese establishment, with six fan magazines reporting on their activities. One study found that nine in ten adults under the age of 40 believed that the yakuza should not be allowed to exist. In the 1980s in Fukuoka, a yakuza war spiraled out of control and civilians were hurt. It was a large conflict between the Yamaguchi-gumi and Dojin-kai, called the Yama-Michi War. The police stepped in and forced the yakuza bosses on both sides to declare a truce in public.

At various times, people in Japanese cities have launched anti-yakuza campaigns with mixed and varied success. In March 1995, the Japanese government passed the Act for Prevention of Unlawful Activities by Criminal Gang Members, which made traditional racketeering much more difficult. Beginning in 2009, led by agency chief Takaharu Ando, Japanese police began to crack down on the gangs. Kodo-kai chief Kiyoshi Takayama was arrested in late 2010. In December 2010, police arrested Yamaguchi-gumi's alleged number three leader, Tadashi Irie. According to the media, encouraged by tougher anti-yakuza laws and legislation, local governments and construction companies have begun to shun or ban yakuza activities or involvement in their communities or construction projects. The police are handicapped, however, by Japan's lack of an equivalent to plea bargaining, witness protection, or the United States' Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Laws were enacted in Osaka and Tokyo in 2010 and 2011 to try to combat Yakuza influence by making it illegal for any business to do business with the Yakuza.

Yakuza activity in the United States is mostly relegated to Hawaii, but they have made their presence known in other parts of the country, especially in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, as well as Fresno, Raleigh, Houston, Oregon, Denver, Chicago, and New York City.[28][29] The Yakuza are said to use Hawaii as a midway station between Japan and mainland America, smuggling methamphetamine into the country and smuggling firearms back to Japan. They easily fit into the local population, since many tourists from Japan and other Asian countries visit the islands on a regular basis, and there is a large population of residents who are of full or partial Japanese descent. They also work with local gangs, funneling Japanese tourists to gambling parlors and brothels.[28]

In California, the Yakuza have made alliances with local Vietnamese and Korean gangs as well as Chinese triads, with Vietnamese as the most common alliance. The alliances with Vietnamese gangs dated back in the late 1980s, and most Vietnamese gangsters were used as muscle, as they had potential to become extremely violent as needed. (Yakuza saw the potential following the constant Vietnamese cafe shoot outs, and home invasion burglaries throughout the 1980s and early 1990s). In New York City, they appear to collect finders fees from Russian, Irish and Italian mafiosos and businessmen for guiding Japanese tourists to gambling establishments, both legal and illegal.

Handguns manufactured in the US account for a large share (33%) of handguns seized in Japan, followed by China (16%), and the Philippines (10%). In 1990, a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver that cost $275 in the US could sell for up to $4,000 in Tokyo. By 1997 it would sell for only $500, due to the proliferation of guns in Japan during the 1990s.

The FBI suspects that the Yakuza use various operations to launder money in the U.S.

In 2001, the FBI's representative in Tokyo arranged for Tadamasa Goto, the head of the group Goto-gumi, to receive a liver transplant at the UCLA Medical Center in the United States, in return for information of Yamaguchi-gumi operations in the US. This was done without prior consultation of the NPA. The journalist who uncovered the deal received threats by Goto and was given police protection in the US and in Japan.
History: Despite uncertainty about the single origin of yakuza organizations, most modern yakuza derive from two classifications which emerged in the mid-Edo Period (1603–1868): tekiya, those who primarily peddled illicit, stolen or shoddy goods; and bakuto, those who were involved in or participated in gambling.

"Tekiya" (peddlers) were considered one of the lowest social groups in Edo. As they began to form organizations of their own, they took over some administrative duties relating to commerce, such as stall allocation and protection of their commercial activities. During Shinto festivals, these peddlers opened stalls and some members were hired to act as security. Each peddler paid rent in exchange for a stall assignment and protection during the fair.

The Edo government eventually formally recognized such tekiya organizations and granted the oyabun (leaders) of tekiya a surname as well as permission to carry a sword—the wakizashi, or short samurai sword (the right to carry the katana, or full-sized samurai swords, remained the exclusive right of the nobility and samurai castes). This was a major step forward for the traders, as formerly only samurai and noblemen were allowed to carry swords.

Bakuto (gamblers) had a much lower social standing even than traders, as gambling was illegal. Many small gambling houses cropped up in abandoned temples or shrines at the edge of towns and villages all over Japan. Most of these gambling houses ran loan sharking businesses for clients, and they usually maintained their own security personnel.

The places themselves, as well as the bakuto, were regarded with disdain by society at large, and much of the undesirable image of the yakuza originates from bakuto; this includes the name yakuza itself (ya-ku-za, or 8-9-3, is a losing hand in Oicho-Kabu, a form of blackjack).

Because of the economic situation during the mid-period and the predominance of the merchant class, developing yakuza groups were composed of misfits and delinquents that had joined or formed yakuza groups to extort customers in local markets by selling fake or shoddy goods.

The roots of the yakuza can still be seen today in initiation ceremonies, which incorporate tekiya or bakuto rituals. Although the modern yakuza has diversified, some gangs still identify with one group or the other; for example, a gang whose primary source of income is illegal gambling may refer to themselves as bakuto.
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