Headline, September19, 2013

''' !!! THE FLAPPING OF : 

!! MAN VULTURES !!! '''

This is how one great author puts it : The Japanese public tolerates Yakuza power with the same passivity accorded the corrupt politicians of Japan's murky pseudo-democracy.

Despite well published scandals, the churning economy has largely succeeded in public scrutiny off the backs of greedy politicians   -mobsters benefit from Yakuza movie lore that paints them as heroic; dignified rebels in a nation of westernised wimps.

Japan's biggest movie star at the time is Ken Takakura. This sullen, talented actor made his mark playing the archetypal Yakuza hero who maintains tradition in a fast changing Japan. 

Takakura's characters are humble, brutal, truly honorable Japanese men who only find solace in Yakuza discipline while loving a simple (but pretty) Japanese woman who help him to shoulder his Japanese angst (and wash his socks). Takakura's Yazuka persona is the polar opposite of  -and even an affront to-  Japan's other and real hero, the salaryman.

The Yakuza subculture is one of the most compelling aspects of modern Japanese society. It's an extraordinary amalgamation of traditional Japan and contemporary worldliness. The elaborate body tattooing, which can cover the complete torso and thighs, is still very common. The  bari-maki, an old fashioned money belt formed by wrapping a wide cloth around the mid-section, is standard Yakuza casual wear. 

Until a few years ago, carrying a pistol was a Yakuza taboo  -all fighting was to be settled by Samurai sword. Ken Takakura never uses a gun. Newer Yakuza trademarks such as punched-permed hair and tinted glasses have evolved to become a part of the tradition.

In xenophobic Japan, the Yakuza is at the forefront when it comes to providing    ''employment opportunities''  for ostracised Japanese of Korean and Chinese decent; indeed these  ''foreigners''  are some of the Yakuza's biggest biggest guns. In this respect, the Yakuza seems thoroughly enlightened  compared to Japan's race-conscious status quo. 

In the Japan of obsequious salarymen, squeamish teenagers terrified of touching a public handrail, and the new  ''super-nerd otaku -computer freaks''  who fear all human contact, the Yakuza members who flaunt their criminal associations and machismo continue to fascinate movie directors as well the submissive everyman.

But heroic Yakuza movies make Yasuo Lizuko laugh. Especially the manner in which the inevitable yubi a tsumeru   -the finger chopping scene-  is sanitised. Lizuka has witnessed this act of atonement and fidelity four or five times. It's always a mess. Two weeks after Tanaka should have turned over his sumo tribute to Okawa-san, who was probably too busy to notice, a sub-boss   ''reminder'' was garbled to imply that Okawa-san himself had indeed been deeply insulted by Tanaka's faux pas. 

Frenzied and flattered to think the exalted Okawa-san had mentioned his name, Tanaka requested a formal audience with the Kowa-kai chieftains.

Considering Tanaka's intelligence and circumstances, Lizuka figured finger-chopping was an even-money bet. He has hoped Tanaka's cowardice would win out, but when the soldier showed at Okawa-san's elegant office reeking of whisky and wearing a blue kimono  (instead of his trademark counterfeit Lacost golfwear),  there was no doubt about his intentions.

Lizuka was very glad the non cinematic precautions of calling a nearby hospital and an ambulance had been taken.

Besides attending disconcerting ceremonies of self-mutilations and making the rounds of Yakuza funerals, Lizuka's other responsibility is cruising out to Tokyo area prisons to pick up released Kowa-kai members. It's important for Lizuka to be the first face seen by a newly freed  ''brother''.

Tokyo Joe: Yakuza boss Yasuo Lizuko is in his element,  -a warm glow within him-  ''the future looks great and rosy and profitable,''  he muses, as the Nissan President steers through to an unknown destination, around the mean streets of the Japanese capital.
And the truth is that the Japanese gangsters make the mafia look like mummy boys!!

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Brunei. See ya all on the World Students Society Computers-Internet- Wireless : '' !! Real Hopes-Real Heroes !! ''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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