Japan mob publishes magazine for gangsters

2013-07-10 09:00
Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tokyo - Japan's biggest yakuza organised crime group has published a magazine for its members that includes a poetry page and senior gangsters' fishing diaries, reports said on Wednesday.

The eight-page publication has been distributed among the Yamaguchi-gumi, a sprawling syndicate believed to have about 27 700 members, in a bid to strengthen unity in the group, the daily Sankei Shimbun reported.

The front page of the "Yamaguchi-gumi Shinpo" [newsletter] carries a first person piece by the group's don, Kenichi Shinoda, instructing younger members in the values and disciplines they should observe, the Sankei said.

Shinoda writes that times have become hard for Japan's mafia and that they can no longer rely on their "brand" to generate profitability in their operations, the Mainichi Shimbun said.

The magazine, which is not being made publicly available, has an entertainment section detailing fishing trips by top officials, along with satirical haiku - a traditional Japanese form of poetry - and pieces on the board games Go and Shogi, the reports said.

"They may feel that it has become harder to carry on with their activities under anti-mafia ordinances that bar them from opening new bank accounts and signing real estate contracts," a police source was quoted by the Mainichi as saying.

Brutishness and risk

The number of yakuza has declined in recent years, standing at 63 200 in late 2012, down 7 100 on year, according to the National Police Agency.

The Yamaguchi-gumi makes up more than 40% of the nation's organised criminals, but it lost 3 300 members in 2012, the agency said.

Like the Italian mafia or Chinese triads, the yakuza engages in activities from gambling, drugs and prostitution to loan sharking, protection rackets, white-collar crime and business conducted through front companies.

The gangs, which are not illegal, have historically been tolerated by the authorities, although there are periodic clampdowns on some of their less savoury activities.

The yakuza are heavily mythologised in Japan, with films, television dramas and fan magazines glamorising lives of stylised violence that are governed by a samurai code of honour.

Observers say the reality of the criminal underworld is one of brutishness and risk, where only a few achieve the wealth and standing to which they aspire.

Read more on:    japan  |  mafia

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.