Japanese Mafia, 'Yakuza': The Good, the Bad and the Tattooed with Marcin Tatarczuk - Context Travel

Japanese Mafia, 'Yakuza': The Good, the Bad and the Tattooed with Marcin Tatarczuk


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Yakuza, some call them gangsters, some call them local heroes. They have been the face of Japanese crime for more than half a century. Where did they come from? Do all of them have tattoos? Who are the yakuza today? Let's take a look at one of the most known symbols of Japan and discover the dark side of Japanese society.

Yakuza are regarded as being connected with almost all illegal activities in Japan. At the same time for many local communities yakuza are the peacekeepers and the protectors, commonly participating in rescue missions during natural disasters. In the first part of the seminar, we will focus on yakuza history and learn about the most famous yakuzas in Japan. In the second section, we will discuss the crime scene of Japan, the structure of the organization, their activities, districts controlled by yakuza. We will learn about the differences between a true yakuza and the yakuza created by the Japanese movie industry. Finally, we will also talk about their role in the areas hit by natural disasters.

Led by an expert on Japanese culture, history, folklore, and religion, Marcin Tatarczuk, this interactive seminar will focus on revealing the true face of the Yakuza - the most sophisticated and wealthiest of criminal organizations. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a deeper understanding of both the bright and the dark sides of Japanese society.

Marcin is a Ph.D. Candidate at Kyoto University, studying Folk culture in contemporary Japan. In his spare time, he enjoys walking through Kyoto’s streets rediscovering its secrets. He also enjoys riding his Kawasaki motorcycle, seeking more remote and hidden places. Marcin has lived in Kyoto for 11 years and worked for Context as a guide for the last 4 years.

This course is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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