WOMEN & THE YAKUZA – Girlfriends, Wives, Leaders

The image of the Yakuza often conjures up visions of tough men covered in tattoos, engaged in a world of violence and power plays. While that is a pretty accurate description of what’s actually going on in the Japanese underworld, that’s only ONE part of the whole picture, ignoring one very crucial part that is more often than not completely overlooked: The complex and multifaceted lives of the WOMEN who chose to get involved with the Yakuza.

The Japanese underworld IS a male-dominated space, that’s not exactly a secret. But if you look beneath the surface of this world of tough guys and their power struggles, what you will find are a few fascinating stories of some PRETTY tough women who chose to navigate the unforgiving underworld of Japan. The mothers, wives and girlfriends of Yakuza members faced a unique set of challenges, but despite that, some of them even managed to get into leadership positions that were traditionally only reserved for men.

In today’s video, we delve into the rarely seen and often under-reported FEMALE side of the Yakuza, exploring its origins, highlighting extraordinary figures, and exploring the life of a typical Yakuza wife.

#crime #japan #yakuza


“Women and the Mafia: Female Roles in Organized Crime Structures” by Giovanni Fiandaca

“Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld” by Alec Dubro and David E. Kaplan


00:00 – Intro
01:44 – Female Gamblers
03:57 – Matsuda Yoshiko
07:10 – Yakuza Wives
11:49 – Taoka Fumiko
16:28 – Nishimura Mako
19:23 – Outro