An Analysis Of Yakuzaian History, Beliefs, And Traditions

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An Analysis of Yakuzaian History, Beliefs, and Traditions
Eastern Asian Cinema
Comm 162
Professor Min
By David J Sasso Jr

Japan’s criminal underworld began apparently in the seventeenth century in the Edo or Tokugawa eras. The Azuchi-Moyama was apparently a period where unification ceased in the year 1603, and the Tokugawa Shogunate gained control over the Japanese government bringing with it two hundred fifty years of peace. It was towards the middle of this era that three early versions of what today we know as the Yakuza surfaced: the shishi, the tekiya, and lastly the bakuto. It was the shishi that were commonly referred to as the strong arm protectors of the early modern state of Japan. They became increasingly disgruntled with the Tokugawa Shogunate which forced them to wage war against the government they swore to protect. The shishi did not outlast the Meiji Restoration period, but helped to instill loyalty in the later branches of the early Yakuza. The tekiya, who are also referred to as the yashi who were opportunistic peddlers uniting as gangs, and the bakuto were authoritative underworld gamblers who initiated the lucrative business of money lending or” loan sharking.” While it was the shishi that involved themselves in political endeavors because of their legitimate concern for their nation, it was the bakuto who submerged themselves in governmental endeavors because of their physical ability. These violence specialists as they were
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