Brief history of Yakuza: Old Forum Topic

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Brief history of Yakuza: Old Forum Topic
Original Poster: setsu nin to
Forum: Japanese Martial Arts
Posted On: 13-03-2004, 15:08

Orginal Post: setsu nin to: Brief history of Yakuza

BLACK PANTA
Yakuza were actually Ronin Samurai and it was “founded” in the 1600’s. They were a band of Ronin that came together to work for the betterment of the Japanese poor folk. Like the English band of merry men from Sherwood forest. This once honouralbe motive wich then was a crime has now evolved into an organized crime syndicate. I just wanted you all to know (those who didn’t) the origin of this organized crime family and their honourable history.
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DeStRuCtIkOn
Any sources? The Yakuza these days are more like the Mafia here in America, so I’m not inclined to see them as thieves who take from the rich and give to the poor.
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BLACK PANTA
quote:

Originally posted by DeStRuCtIkOn
Any sources? The Yakuza these days are more like the Mafia here in America, so I’m not inclined to see them as thieves who take from the rich and give to the poor.

NO no that was their history. That was when Yakuza was young and first came about. Like everything else corruption sets in and ruins
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BLACK PANTA
History of the Yakuza — Feudal Japan
Kabuki-Mono

The yakuza can trace its origins back to as early as 1612, when people known as kabuki-mono (“crazy ones”), began to attract the attention of local officials. Their odd clothing and haircuts and behavior, along with carrying longswords at their sides, made them quite noticable. Kabuki-mono made a habit of antagonizing and terrorizing anyone at their leisure, even to the point of cutting one down just for sheer pleasure.

The kabuki-mono were eccentric samurai, taking outrageous names for their bands and speaking heavily in slang. Their loyalty to one another was remarkable. They would protect each other from any threat, including against their own families.

In fact, the kabuki-mono were servants of the shogun, also taking the name of hatamoto-yakko (“Servants of the shogun”). The groups were comprised of nearly 500,000 samurai that were forced into unemployment during the time of peace during the Tokugawa era, forcing them to become ronin (“Wave man,” a masterless samurai). Many had turned into bandits, looting towns and villages as they wandered throughout Japan.

The hatamoto-yakko cannot truly be seen as the forebears of that yakuza. Instead, the yakuza see the machi-yokko (“Servants of the town”) as their ancestors. These people were the ones who took up arms and defended the villages and towns from the hatamoto-yokko. These people consisted of such occupations as clerks, shopkeepers, innkeepers, laborers, homeless warriors and other ronin. Everyone who was part of the machi-yakko was an adept gambler, which helped them develop a closely-knit relationship with each other and their leaders, much like today’s yakuza.

The machi-yakko soon became folk heroes, praised by the townspeople for their actions against the hatamoto-yakko, though they were, for the most part, untrained and weaker than the hatamoto-yakko. They were very similar to England’s Robin Hood. Some of the machi-yakko were even subjects of stories and plays. (Kaplan, p14-16)

The early yakuza did not surface until the middle to late 1700’s. These members include the bakuto (traditional gamblers) and the tekiya (street peddlers). These terms are still used today to describe yakuza members today, although a third group, gurentai (hoodlums) has been added in the post World War II era. Everyone in those groups came from the same background: poor, landless, delinquents and misfits. The groups stuck closely in the same small areas without problems, as the bakuto remained mostly along the higways and towns, and the tekiya operated in the markets and fairs of Japan.

The yakuza began organizing into families, adopting a relationship known as oyabun-kobun (father-role/chiled-role). The oyabun was the “father,” providing advice, protection and help; the kobun acted as the “child,” swearing unswerving loyalty and service whenever the oyabun needed it.

The initiation ceremony for the yakuza also developed in this period of time. Instead of the actual bloodletting that was practiced by the Mafia and the Triads, the yakuza exchanged sake cups to symbolize the entrance into the yakuza and the oyabun-kobun relationship. The amounts of sake poured into each cup depended upon one’s status, whether the participants were father-son, brother-brother, elder-younger, etc. The ceremony was usually performed in front if a Shinto altar, giving it religious significance. (Kaplan, p18-20)
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Hengest
Not to question your research Panta, but it’s difficult for me to link these warriors of old with the yakuza I see walking round Tokyo. Most of them are jokers. It’s very difficult to be scared of a man who thinks punch perms and massive shades are still cool…
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BLACK PANTA
quote:

Originally posted by Hengest
Not to question your research Panta, but it’s difficult for me to link these warriors of old with the yakuza I see walking round Tokyo. Most of them are jokers. It’s very difficult to be scared of a man who thinks punch perms and massive shades are still cool…

lol,

but you obviously wouldn’t say that to them face to face. But regardless their history was once an honourable one. Just thought others and you included would be interested to know.
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Hengest

quote:

but you obviously wouldn’t say that to them face to face.

Very true! They could probably kick my arse easily. I’d just be pissing myself laughing at their “fashion” sense while they did it.
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BLACK PANTA
quote:

Originally posted by Hengest

quote:

but you obviously wouldn’t say that to them face to face.

Very true! They could probably kick my arse easily. I’d just be pissing myself laughing at their “fashion” sense while they did it.

I know what you mean though. The top gun shades kill me 2.
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setsu nin to
Hengest

If you will have any problems with Yakuzas just call me.

I will come (never) and tell them: Hengest is my friend (I never saw him before). He didnt do nothing wrong, live him alone, NOW! (Hengest is guilty for everything). If you whant problems come to me (I agree with you Mr. Yakuza, whatever you say
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