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felixthebrat
May 25th, 2004, 10:14
Hello! Anyone know much about the yakuza? I guess where I was placed happens to be a big hangout for them: Maebashi City in Gunma Prefecture. Any tips? I'm a half-Japanese girl and might be able to blend in a little better than an anglo-American, but I don't speak Japanese. Any input will be appreciated. Thanks! :)

llumynia
May 25th, 2004, 11:45
when i was in osaka you could pick them out easy, they stood on the street corners in suits and solicited girls for "hostess" jobs. Also, they were missing at least 1 finger in most cases... it was weird, don't know what that was about.

but they left me alone and i left them alone. just don't approach anyone suspicious. if one does apporach you, just talk loudly in clear english about how you don't know japanese and they should leave you alone.

Got away with that trick all the time on the trains... I'd stand in the bathroom compartment/section of the Shinkansen when I couldn't find a seat, the conductor would go through and tell all of the people (in japanese) to go sit down. Then he'd walk up to me, I'd go "Hi! It's nice to meet you!" and he'd just nod and quickly move away. I felt bad, but when you've got no seat, you gotta do something! Doing it to a Yakusa would be free of guilt.

HappyJadeBuddha
May 25th, 2004, 12:00
Just watch out for guys with punch-perm haircuts. Also, watch out for the gangs of chinpira. They're the punks who Yakuza usually recruit from. They're often times the muscle behind the Yakuza, and they'll have no problem beating the shit out of you if they're in a large group.


Just smile and walk away if you can.

Cantdosleepflower
May 25th, 2004, 16:18
The Yakuza can be appeased with cake. Carry three small loaves of battenburg with you and everything should be fine.

Chiara
May 25th, 2004, 16:51
Carry three small loaves of battenburg with you

dude! it just so happens that i ALWAYS carry three small loaves of battenburg with me...so I'll be fine!

besu
May 25th, 2004, 23:18
A friend of mine lived in Maebashi for a few years some fifteen years ago and returns about every year. Here is what she had to say when I asked her about it :

Well, I don't know how it compares to other cities, but we were somewhat
aware of their presence. Its hard to tell though what group you see that
are just silly gangs and which ones might be linked to organized crime. We
heard rumors about certain people for example in our apt building and once a
man (rumored to be linked to the local yakuza) gave Jay a hard time on one
occasion. (He thought Jay was following him too closely and taunting him -
Jay on his scooter and the man - drunk on his bicycle). Mostly, they
left people alone. I was told to avoid the Keirin (bicycle races)- that
many gang types hung out and gambled on the races. Also at the festivals, I
was told that certain booths were run by yakuza flunkies, i.e. children's
mask booth, sometimes the gold fish catching booth etc. But you never know
and they don't make a big stink in public events like that.
Organized crime in Japan is a pretty interesting study actually. As an
organization, they don't always work against the local authorities but
sometimes and often in cooperation with them. The main thing is you just
don't want to get involved with them or get one of them mad at you. They do
prey on young drop outs or kids with no direction. On a visit a few years
ago to Maebashi, it seemed there were more late night motorcycle gangs that
ran their bikes up and down the main streets and near the station. We were
staying in a hotel on the main street and it was noticably noisy - I heard
those were "gangs" but probably not necessarily yakuza. In any case, I did
see questionable characters but I rarely saw on TV or heard of anything that
resembled yakuza activities.
I don't know anything about Maebashi being a big hang out for the
yakuza.... but we're part of a pretty sheltered environment so.... My take
is that the yakuza exist in every city. I would suspect that Takasaki would
be worse since, being on the Shinkansen line, there is more business and
entertainment etc. So maybe there is some spill over to Maebashi - who
knows. I felt like it was really safe and quiet in our stomping grounds.


Sounds great, especially since I have been placed in Takasaki! Ha ha - bicycle races here I come! :twisted:

Cantdosleepflower
May 26th, 2004, 08:58
dude! it just so happens that i ALWAYS carry three small loaves of battenburg with me...so I'll be fine!

I've been unable to eat anything with a strong flavour of almonds since a houseparty three years ago involving ameretto, vodka, paracetemol and tequila. I'm weaning myself back onto marzipan, and can now eat Christmas Cake with no ill effects other than the usual bloating.

felixthebrat
May 27th, 2004, 11:48
I'm down to hang with you at the bike races Besu, sounds like fun! Thanks for the info. I'll be sure to have small, highly decorated cakes in my purse to offer to highly tattooed individuals when I go out on the town. One thing I'm not clear on HJB, who exactly are the chinpira? Do you know what the name means? :) :arrow: :?: