The SAGE Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies includes outstanding contributions from a diverse group of leading academics from across the globe. This volume is designed to serve as a major interdisciplinary reference work and a seminal text, both rigorous and accessible, to assist students and scholars in understanding one of the major nations of the world.

Organised Crime

Organised Crime
Peter Hill

Introduction

The yakuza occupy an ambiguous space within Japanese popular consciousness. Their traditional role in matsuri (festivals), itself a celebration of Nihonrashisa (Japanese-ness), links them firmly with something dear to most Japanese hearts. Their mythologised history, immortalised in countless films, honours a value system of loyalty, duty, self-sacrifice, superhuman endurance and physical courage in the face of overwhelming odds. An aesthetic combining exaggerated native attire, lurid shell-suit gangster chic and self-mutilation rituals simultaneously excludes and accommodates them. Whatever the myths, in reality they inspire fear and revulsion as well as a morbid fascination. With the rise of cool Japan, Tarantino's Kill Bill and Sega's Playstation game Yakuza 2, organised crime Japan-style has impinged itself on global culture as well.

Is Japanese organised crime of interest to students of Japan purely as an item of prurient ...

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