Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Yakuza daughter tells all

Everyone else is writing tell-all books, so why shouldn't the daughter of a yakuza (Japanese mobster)?

For an excellent first-hand account of what life was like for the yakuza in the days when they made their living solely on illegal gambling, I highly recommend Confessions of a Yakuza.

Daddy's little girl shows off some of her full-body tattoos. Tattooing in the yakuza goes back to the tradition—inherited from China—of tattooing criminals as a way of literally marking them for life. Tattoos also served the purpose of ensuring loyalty: Once you were marked like that, no legit employer would ever hire you. Even today, most onsen (hot springs) and public baths have "NO TATTOOS" signs at the entrance.

—Mellow Monk

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