A former yakuza with a silicone-made finger. Yakuza who upset their boss can be required to chop off their own digits – if they’re lucky. Photo: AFP

Japan gives yakuza criminal gangs the finger

Japanese criminal gangs are losing members as new laws, police crackdowns and an emboldened public squeeze their income. With many gangsters now seeking rehab, is this the beginning of the end for the yakuza?

Topic |   Japan

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A former yakuza with a silicone-made finger. Yakuza who upset their boss can be required to chop off their own digits – if they’re lucky. Photo: AFP
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Julian Ryall

Julian Ryall

Julian Ryall never expected to still be in Japan 24 years after he first arrived, but he quickly realised its advantages over his native London. He lives in Yokohama with his wife and children and writes for publications around the world.