Confessions of a Yakuza: A Life in Japan's Underworld by John Bester, Junichi Saga

By John Bester, Junichi Saga

This is often the real tale, as instructed to the physician who taken care of him earlier than he died, of the lifetime of one of many final conventional yakuza in Japan. It wasn't a "good" lifestyles, in both experience of the notice, however it used to be an adventurous one; and the story he has to inform offers a decent and oddly appealing photograph of an insider in that separate, unofficial world.

In his low, hoarse voice, he describes the random occasions that led the son of a filthy rich nation shopkeeper to develop into a member, and eventually the chief, of a gang organizing unlawful cube video games in Tokyo's liveliest leisure region. He talks approximately his first police raid, and the brutal interrogation and imprisonment that it. He recalls his past love affair, and the lady he ran away with, and the weeks they spent wandering in regards to the nation-state jointly. in brief, and matter-of-factly, he describes how he bring to an end the little finger of his left hand as a ritual gesture of apology. He explains how the video games have been run and the gains spent; why the binds among participants of "the brotherhood" have been so very important; and the way he got here to kill a guy who labored for him.

What emerges is a contradictory character: tricky yet no longer unsentimental; obdurate but keen to take existence kind of because it comes; impulsive yet cautious to watch the foundations of the company he had joined.

And in any case, whilst his story is completed, you're feeling you will most likely have cherished him if you'll met him in individual. thankfully, Dr. Saga's list of his lengthy conversations with him offers a superb replacement for that assembly.

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Additional info for Confessions of a Yakuza: A Life in Japan's Underworld

Sample text

It was summer, so the doors were left open, and you could see the moon reflected on the surface of the river. I’d been collecting the bamboo sticks for about half a year when my uncle told me I was to switch over to delivering coke, which we also dealt in. It was cheaper and easier to use than charcoal, so most of the smithies and ironworks in Tsukishima were using it. The whole area was full of these little workshops—one man working a foot bellows to get the coke burning bright red, and three or four others hammering away at the red-hot iron from morning to night, turning out pots, stoves, nails, farm tools, and building materials.

Just stood around with their arms folded, drinking some water occasionally, making the best of it. In that world, there were a few things you just never said. ” As far as being hungry was concerned, they were all in the same boat, so it was a kind of competition to see who could bear it longest. If any of the men standing around there complained of being hungry, he’d be treated as an outsider, a slob who didn’t have the guts to stick it out. They were all barely keeping going as it was, and for somebody to talk about food would have been the last straw.

Silly songs, like: He swaggers by—my former beau— In best kimono dressed, A pocketful of cash to go On women and the rest. I never will forget him—no, Where’er he comes to rest! But the place he took me to wasn’t one of the classier brothels, it was a cheap teahouse along the alley leading up to the Hachiman shrine. The real business of that kind of teahouse was to provide women, so they didn’t do any fancy food—only dumplings, sweet saké, rice crackers, cakes, and tea to go with them, at the most.

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