Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

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Some recent yakuza stories

I am working on editing Blood Moon, a couple of pages a day, and the other day right after finishing with the first inner scuffle I came across three yakuza stories almost at the same time. I felt like commenting a couple of them:



On a Plane to Yakuza Land (Christopher Jue)

Christopher Jue is an USA-born photographer based in Tokyo. He does commercial and editorial work, and one of his latest works involved the headquarters of an important yakuza gang, the Kudokai. He shares his work and his experiences in his blog.

It is unclear why the Kudo-kai wanted or allowed the shooting, but the gang lately has been labelled “dangerous”, which pushes it more into the illegal zone than in the grey zone usually yakuza thrive in. Let’s remember that with the new anti-organised crime laws, yakuza bosses can be sued for the works of their underlies (As a matter of fact the largest syndicate in Japan is having trouble with this too, as mentioned by Tokyo Reporter not that long ago.

So what did the Kudo-kai want? Look friendly and approachable? I mean… the cake is adorably cute, and more something that I would expect in a maido cafe than a yakuza HQ.

A related story ran in The Times I think here. If someone out there is a subscriber, I would love a summary of what they say ^^

For now, Mr. Jue’s photographs are pretty awesome, although I think he would not have been so calm if he had known a little better where he was getting into.



Underground Hero : Love To Hate Me (Maiham-Media)

Maiham-Media / メイハムメディア works with pictures and films, especially for publicity campaigns. They seem to be focussing on cars lately. They prepared this “documentary”. The Daily Mail also ran an article with some of the amazing stills.

Morohoshi Shin’ichi is an underground boss in Kabukichō, the entertainment and red-light district in Shinjuku (Tokyo). It is famous for its host and hostess clubs, love hotels, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs. All the fun for party animals, and a known yakuza district (especially considering that most of Shinjuku is in the hands of the Chinese Triads, last I read). The video takes a look at his Lamborghini cars, a bit at his lifestyle and some of his surroundings. Seven minutes come a bit short, but some of the views are pretty spectacular. Something that shows really well in the video is the obvious hierarchy-related behaviours, and I’ll refrain from talking about the tattoo designs. I would have enjoyed a bit of an explanation for where the word “hero” comes from in the title.

I will probably want the photo book if they ever release it though XD