The Yakuza Rocket Launcher Case

Want to take your gang war to the next level? Try buying a rocket launcher! In this wild episode, we learn about the history of one of the world’s best-known criminal organizations, the split that launched a bloody turf war, and the linguistic complications of saying “yes” to arms dealers.

Featured image: A group of yakuza members show off their tattoos at a festival. Although there are restrictions on when members of the yakuza can do things like display tattoos, the Japanese government has a very different relationship with the yakuza than western countries do with similar criminal organizations. (Image source)

A piece from the early 1900s showing a tattooed yakuza running to help his friend, who’s fighting with the police. (Image source)

A group of gamblers at an illegal casino in 1949. (Image source)

The daimon (emblem) of the Yamaguchi-gumi. (Image source)

Members of the yakuza show off their tattoos at a special festival. (Image source)

A former member of the yakuza discusses western portrayals of the yakuza in film.