The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Who Needs Fiction: Economy Hits Criminals Too


Having just cleared the driveway one more time (this winter is set to establish new records for both snow and cold in this area - damn that global warming), one can't help but think about everyone who is being hurt buy the bad economy, including ... gangsters.

While it sounds like a headline from The Onion, it's true. Below is an excerpt from an article on "Japan Subculture Research Center" which describes the consequences of the bad economy for the Japanese Yakuza. If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to the full article.

The JSRC is an interesting site. I've created a link for it. Many of us in the West sort of idealize the East, thinking of it as some sort of utopia. Nope. They have their problems too.

Anyway, it's an interesting article. Please pay them a visit.


Leo Lewis in Tokyo

An attractive residential backstreet, a highly desirable postcode and a hugely provocative bit of corporate relocation could unleash a murderous gang war on the streets of Tokyo.

Veteran observers of Japanese organised crime are predicting a sharp increase in violence in the coming weeks as two rival yakuza crime syndicates threaten to battle it out for supremacy of the protection, prostitution and drugs rackets in the centre of the city.

The stakes are rising fast. With many of their business interests such as property and construction battered by the country’s deepening recession, the gangs are scrambling more aggressively for the profits from rackets such as blackmail and loan-sharking, which thrive in the more glamorous districts of Tokyo, according to one authority on the yakuza.

The immediate risk, said police sources, arises from a short strip of road in the glitzy Akasaka district of Tokyo and potentially explosive relations between the long-term residents and the new neighbours.

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