Yakuza term papers and essays

Yakuza is the collective name given to organized crime groups in Japan, which have an overall membership of around 100,000 today.  Also known as gokudo, the yakuza like to be known as 'chivalrous organizations' (ninkyo dantai), while the police and the media refer to them as 'violent groups' (boryokudan).  The yakuza originated in 17th Century Japan and are still active in many sectors of Japan's culture today, especially the media.  The yakuza operate through a strict code of conduct, involving ceremonies and a hierarchical structure called an oyabun-kobun relationship between adults known as 'foster parent' and 'foster child'.  In addition, the yakuza adhere to codes of loyalty and respect known as jingi.  Yakuza groups are traditionally headed by one oyabun, who has the devout following of his subordinate kobun - the vast majority of them boys or men who cut family ties and pledge their total allegiance to the group.  The intricate and complex organizational structure of a yakuza may be difficult for an outsider to understand, but becomes a way of life for members.  Rituals associated with the yakuza include 'yubitsume' (cutting off the tip of one's little finger), sake drinking ceremonies, and full body tattoos.  There are three main yakuza syndicates in Japan today, namely the Yamaguchi-Gumi (with over 850 sub-clans), the Sumiyoshi-Kai  and the Inagawa Kai.  Activities of modern yakuza syndicates range from drug trafficking to sex-related trade and human trafficking.  The police are hesitant to get involved in many of these activities and prefer to allow the yakuza to keep the order in the more seedy areas of Japanese culture.

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