The yakuza is an international crime syndicate of Asian gangs, originating in Japan. They refer to themselves as “chivalrous organizations,” based on their shrewd codes of conduct and extreme organization. The largest subset of the yakuza is an outfit called Yamaguchi-gumi. They butter their bread with extortion, gambling, prostitution, gun and drug running, and kickback schemes with construction and real estate companies. INQUSITR reports:
Founded nearly a hundred years ago as a sort-of union for fishermen and dock workers, according to Japan Visitor, Yamaguchi Gumi now claims over 23,000 members, making it the largest and most powerful of Japan’s crime families. The Japanese Yakuza, unlike American mafiosi or street gangs like Bloods or Crips, operate within Japan with a sense of almost-legitimacy. The 21 different crime organizations are regulated by Japan’s government, and you can drive right by their headquarters — featuring their names and emblems — on the streets of Tokyo and other Japanese cities.
Yamaguchi Gumi, not unlike other crime syndicates in Japan, operates in much the same way. Top bosses carry business cards. The organization’s members pay taxes and are offered generous compensation plans. Some of its activities are legitimate businesses…
However, a recent riff within the organization has residents of Japan shook, as bloodshed is expected. The gang is expected to split after internal disputes. There are apparently two factions within the faction squabbling. Boss Shinobu Tsukasa (aka as Kenichi Shinoda), 73—who has been leader since 2005–has been shitting on certain family heads, while showing favor to others. Members are also frustrated that Tsukasa focuses business in western Japan instead of Tokyo, where all the action is. He is also imposing “puritanical” rules. The Yamaguch-gumi bosses met recently to try to smooth things out, but didn’t get anywhere. An official split is expected at an official meeting next month, and a split would mean full-fledged warfare, according to Japanese authorities.
The last Yamaguchi-gumi split happened in 1984 and lasted five years. 30 people were killed as a result, along with other acts of violence. While this may seem light in American terms, Japan has much stricter gun laws and only experienced 10 shooting deaths out of 120 million people last year.