About The Yakuza

  • The Yakuza is the name given to organized criminal gangs from Japan. The Yakuza is not a single organization but rather a collection of separate gangs or clans akin to the American Mafia. These violent criminals have left their fingerprints on many aspects of Japanese life, from lowly gambling and prostitution rackets to the halls of high-level political and financial power.
  • The various gangs that make up the Yakuza have different origins, and the gangs' versions of these origins can be quite different from the historical record. In their own vision of themselves, Yakuza descend from honorable, Robin-Hood-like characters who defended their villages from roving bandits. Some even claim to trace the Yakuza's lineage to Ronin, samurai warriors who found themselves without masters following a period of political upheaval in 17th-century Japan.
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