January 22, 1995 |
In a wealthy neighborhood in the hills above quake-battered Kobe, hundreds of well-dressed residents join a line that snakes around the block of a large walled compound. They leave loaded down with buckets of water, six-packs of toilet paper, bags of disposable diapers and packets of noodles, cake and powdered milk. "Distribution point for baby goods," says a sign on the wall. Is this a government distribution point for the needy? Hardly.
March 18, 1988 |
Beneath the orderly surface of this coastal city is the tale of an extraordinary gang war, one that pitted an entire neighborhood against the local mob. The neighbors won. After nearly two years of noisy confrontation, they drove a gang of yakuza from their midst, forcing the swaggering, tattooed men to abandon a fortress-like office building that they had constructed, and painted black, just down the street from an elementary school.
June 11, 1991 |
Police investigators following the serpentine money trails of a company strongly suspected of being tied to a major Japanese yakuza (gangster) group have stumbled across a surprising American connection.
October 3, 1994 |
A wave of violence directed at business executives here is casting a spotlight on the murky world of relationships between gangsters and big business in Japan--and stoking fear among those with gang contacts. Just last week, shots were fired at the home of a retired insurance executive who still consults for his company, and last month a Sumitomo Bank executive was murdered, execution style.
January 26, 1986 |
The woman who at one time led Japan's largest underworld organization has died of a liver ailment, police said Saturday. Fumiko Taoka, 66, became de facto head of the Osaka-based Yamaguchi-gumi crime organization after her husband, Kazuo, died in 1981. She picked Masahisa Takenaka to succeed her husband as the gang's leader in June, 1984, leading to a division in the group.
June 25, 1995 |
What are we to make of a society in which pornography is readily available, violence pervades the arts and the media, men frequent bawdy shows and children are raised with the greatest permissiveness? I refer, of course, to Japan. This is the Japan that is almost unique among industrialized nations for its remarkably low rates of crime, especially violent crime, and its legendary ability to control the spread of dangerous drugs.