AK: The gang really went out of their way to minimize violence. Part of what I noticed about the Yakuza was that they felt as if they were almost “part” of society, like society wasn’t society without a criminal element, but this also made them very conscious of their role within society. [...]
S: One of the first things I think of when I hear “mob income” is violent extortion. How did the gang make its money if it avoided violence?
AK: They were involved in a lot of white-collar crime. In the past there had been violent turf wars, but Shoichiro, the street boss, told me “We can get the most money out of the economy.”
One of main sources of income they had was debt collection. They would actually go and buy entire loan databases and pay off the money people owed. Of course, after that happened, those debts were just transferred over to the yakuza.
Also, after Fukushima [the nuclear disaster], they helped rebuild some houses; only it wasn’t a simple philanthropic relationship. These people now owe the gang.
Yeah, I can't be the only one that spotted the creepy similarities between Yakuza operating standards and corporate interests here in the states, right?
But yeah, Yakuza are criminals, and dangerous at that. They might try to market themselves as something else, something more romantic
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