Yakuza “The Crime Lords of Tokyo”

Yakuza (ヤクザ or やくざ ?), also known as gokudō (極道?), are members of traditional organized crime syndicates in Japan. The Japanese police, and media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan (暴力団), literally “violence group”, while the yakuza call themselves “ninkyō dantai” (任侠団体 or 仁侠団体), “chivalrous organizations”. The yakuza are notoriously known for their strict codes of conduct and very organized nature. They are very prevalent in the Japanese media and operate internationally with an estimated 80900 members.[ Structure Yakuza hierarchy During the formation of the yakuza, they adopted the traditional Japanese hierarchical structure of oyabun-kobun where kobun (子分; lit. foster child) owe their allegiance to the oyabun (親分; lit. foster parent). In a much later period, the code of jingi (仁義, justice and duty) was developed where loyalty and respect are a way of life. The oyabun-kobun relationship is formalized by ceremonial sharing of sake from a single cup. This ritual is not exclusive to the yakuza—it is also commonly performed in traditional Japanese Shinto weddings, and may have been a part of sworn brotherhood[4] relationships. During the World War II period in Japan, the more traditional tekiya/bakuto form of organization declined as the entire population was mobilised to participate in the war effort and society came under strict military government. However, after the war, the yakuza adapted again. Prospective yakuza come from all 

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24 responses to “Yakuza “The Crime Lords of Tokyo””

  1. kalmykdude

    This is the worst national geographic special ever. Mob boss goes in debt??? Really??? Dispute between store owner and customer over a bill requires Yakuza, really??? Punk crashes bosses car??? This is lame and the special is crap!

  2. kalmykdude

    And yet no one ever dies! scary!

  3. jackiedegracia

    This is cool, I never see anything about Yakuza. If this is all accurate…they’re overrated.

    The bikers and Mexican National cartels like the Zetas would eat these guys alive here in the Divided States of Amerikwa

  4. chinklb

    @jackiedegracia Actually they do operate a large portion of thier orginization in the usa and i highly doubt bikers or Zetas can stand against an orginization 200,000+. Men strong

  5. skierdude95

    You’re right. The Yakuza are pussies compared to the Mexican drug lords. When it all comes down to it Japan is a very peaceful country.

  6. skierdude95

    These guys are lightly armed compared to the Zetas.

  7. gangstazsqueeze

    Yakuza are one of the best out there,, we arent talking about piece of shit countries like mexico where the gangs destroy the whole country and everyone dies. Anyone can take an AK and just splurt and then die in a shootout later. We are talking about Japan, a first world country. Yakuza make money and avoid all the bloodshed. civilized semi-legal gang.

  8. mitch20003

    I agree with the person above……. These guys are like buisness men who appear to be legit. 

  9. skierdude95

    Buisness men? The Yakuza have hand guns. The Mexican drug lords have automatic weapons, grenades, rocket launchers, every possible weapon you could think of.

  10. mitch20003

    i agree with your comment 100%. cartels and gangs arent organized..

  11. skierdude95

    The leader of the Sinaloa cartel, Chapo Guzman makes over almost 50 million in a month. The Zetas may not be as powerful as the Yakuza but they’re one of many drug trafficking gangs in Mexico. With all the drug gangs in Mexico put together the Yakuza are weak. The Yakuza aren’t as violent and blood thristy as the Zetas is what I mean. When it all comes down to it Japan is a very peaceful country.

  12. simonjack0071

    at 38:05 christian propaganda LOL!!!

  13. ShY1CAS


  14. pete145340

    You don’t need good firearms when you are feared. The yakuza are very big organisation

  15. LittleFishChan

    I’m disappointed at the direction that discovery/ history/ nat geo/ etc. is going, in trying to be as much entertainment as education. I don’t care about reenactment crap, I want to learn new things about the Yakuza and see interviews. While this was interesting, there are probably better documentaries out there.

  16. ajail92

    i agree, but what theyr doing is catchy and gets them more viewers

  17. benjie414

    i saw a video on the internet of a yakuza man willingly having a finger amputated.  a man held a chisel against the finger and hit it with a hammer.

  18. benjie414

    i understand you.
    i’m not saying yakuza are good people. but i read that they helped victims and donated a lot of $ after an earthquake. i don’t think the latin american gangs do that.
    the yakuza probably help after the tsunami too.

  19. douglaspotterpress

    They only do this to look favourable in the public realm. It’s simply just a publicity stunt by the Yakuza to show that they are “regular people attempting to honour Japanese traditions.” I can guarantee you, extortion and other terrible crimes are not “Japanese traditions.”

  20. Mrkeke35

    I agree, they show the reality like if it was a movie. This documentary is similar to “Boardwalk empire”. Story tellers are everywhere

  21. lingwankyun

    Cool video

  22. 2012DragonIam777

    I see what you mean, Lol why can’t they just leave out religion.

  23. pinball281

    You ever think that maybe if the governments and monarchys were not crooks you would not have so many crooks on the street?

  24. Tenki09

    Yes but if you compare us (Bouryokudan also called Yakuza of our country) with other mafias , we are very weak.

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