When the word "Yakuza" is mentioned, most people see them as pwoerful crime lords who are well-dressed and wield considerable power in Japan. But as the Eat Your Kimchi duo found out this week, the Yakuza have slowly been slipping from the public eye in recent years.
Back in the day, the Yakuza were formed as a sort of protection group for citizens. They eventually grew to be a feared syndicate within Japan who have considerable influence within the country, so much so that they could go up against large-scale corporations and anyone could locate Yakuza buildings and businesses by simply looking up the addresses.
However, the Yakuza's power within Japan have slipped in recent years due to a number of reasons. Not only have an increasing amount of members started leaving the group (from a high of 160,000 down to 20,000 as of last year) the Yakuza started shifting their business interests from their romanticised dealings of theft and blackmail to more instances of cybercrime and more underground dealings.
But one of the primary reasons why the Yakuza's power has slipped is due to a police chief publicly declaring to take down the Yamaguchi-gumi, the largest faction within the Yakuza. Due to police investigations, the influence of the Yakuza within businesses started to wane due to the exclusion of the group from contracts and the like.
As a result of their slip in influence, the Yakuza have started slipping underground and below the radar, something that Simon and Martina aren't 100% sure if it's a good thing or not.
Hit the audio tab above ^ to listen to Simon & Martina talk about the Yakuza at the 7:37 mark
Or listen right here at the 7:37 mark:
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