Japanese guy in the middle of the street squatting

Origin of the Yakuza

For centuries, the yakuza have lurked in the shadows of Japan, their origins shrouded in legend and myth. Some say they started as a band of gamblers who banded together for protection, while others claim they were born from the samurai tradition, rising to prominence in the Edo period. Still prominent in today’s Japan, and idolized internationally for their brutal initiation rituals, strict codes of honor, their beautiful inkwork, the yakuza have a cultural significance that cannot be ignored. To peer deeper, past this superficial enshrouding of their true characters, to really understand them, we must start at the beginning and ask ourselves: where did they come from? 

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