What every stressed yakuza mobster needs: A morale-boosting magazine

Engineering Evil

In-house tabloid offers tips on board games, haikus and a letter from the Yamaguchi-gumi outfit’s godfather

David McNeill

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Japan’s biggest crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, has produced an in-house tabloid magazine with features on fishing and board games and a morale-boosting message from the outfit’s godfather.

The eight-page publication warns the syndicate’s roughly 27,000 members that with times getting tougher, they must work harder to protect the values and codes of the yakuza.

An entertainment section contains accounts of fishing trips by its bosses, along with satirical haikus and tips on how to play traditional board games such as Go and Shogi.

The yakuza have traditionally operated openly in Japan, with city centre offices and mobsters who carry business cards in their suits. The century-old Yamaguchi-gumi is based in a high-walled central compound in one of the wealthiest parts of Kobe.

A reputation for keeping disputes between…

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