The yakuza have a history dating back to the 17th century in Japan. The first half of their modern history begins after World War II. In the immediate post-war period, the yakuza filled a power vacuum and controlled black markets, gambling, and prostitution. In the 1950s and 60s, they expanded their influence into legitimate businesses such as construction, real estate, and finance. In the 1970s and 80s, the yakuza became heavily involved in corporate racketeering and white-collar crime. At their height, they had upwards of 90,000 members and at least 100 recognized groups. However, among them, three specific groups operated the majority of Japanese control. Their territories did not overlap, but violent conflict arose at the borders or when one group challenged the dominance of another.
In the 1990s, the government began cracking down on the yakuza, passing laws that made it illegal for businesses to have ties with them and for yakuza members to collect “protection” money. This, along with economic factors led to a decline in the yakuza’s power and influence.
Modern history and CCD legality
By the 2020’s, anti-yakuza laws were deemed largely effective. Estimated memberships declined from a peak of near 90,000 to a mere 4,000 across the country. The effort didn’t work so much as to dismantle the groups, although their financials were interrupted, but actually by dissuading members from wanting to join in the first place. Prior to these efforts, there was a strategic pro-Yakuza propaganda, published by the Yakuza themselves through movies, magazines and comics that glamorized affiliation. As a result, groups continued to operate in drug trafficking, extortion and money laundering. One law banned members of the Yakuza from owning property, obtain a loan or operate any businesses. Another law made it a crime to even do business with a member of the Yakuza, whether or not the person was themselves affiliated with one of the groups. Public tolerance of the Yakuza dwindled.
Integration into the CCD undid many of these discriminatory laws. As a result, the powers that rose from the ashes became themselves extremely loyal to the Ascendancy, who they view allowed them to retake their proper place. The stirring of a new government in the Dominance re-established Yakuza influence and a new way to organize crime. The very definition of crime was rewritten. Despite their return to prominence, it could be said that it is the CCD that influences the Yakuza rather than the other way around.
This is the largest yakuza group in Japan, with an estimated 44,000 members. It is based in the Tokyo metropolitan area and is known for its involvement in human trafficking, money laundering, politics, and extortion.
This is the second-largest yakuza group in Japan, with an estimated 18,000 members. It is based in the Kansai region, which includes the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe, but it has a strong presence in other parts of Japan as well. The group is known for its involvement in a wide range of criminal activities, including illegal drug trafficking, extortion, and money laundering.
This is a burgeoning group and one of the first to operate independently outside Japan. They have approximately 750 members in the area. Given there are only an estimated 10,000 Japanese living throughout the entire Central Dominance, membership percentage is respectable. The majority if not all of the Edenokoji live in the greater Moscow area. At an estimated population of about 40,000 million, their footprint is small, but they are known for trafficking black market goods and for being a bridge between other organized crime groups such as the Russian mafia and American cartels.
–kai and -gumi are often added after the name of the group. They generally translate to -society, -association, -gang, or -clan.
Known activities and affiliations
Unnamed Korii-kai oyabun (boss): Rose through the ranks of a yakuza society. He was a mid-level lieutenant in now disbanded Yakuza group when the earthquakes of the 2020’s struck Japan. He accurately predicted the rising ASU and eventually CCD power and aligned himself early with pro-Custody politicians. During the earliest days of the Custody takeover, he lead a Yakuza war that split with the former group. He took over and has led the Korii-kai ever since.
Korii-Kiyohito: One of the Oyabun’s adopted sons. Orphaned and rescued from the country following tsunami.
Korii-Haruto: One of the Oyabun’s adopted sons. Orphaned and rescued from the country following tsunami. On the run from the Korii-kai who demand payment with his life as retribution for the destruction of a Tokyo city building.
Onoda Takeo: The current Privilege of DIV. Has unidentified ties with the Yakuza.
Ushijima Hara: Current Patron of DIV. Works closely with the Yakuza leaders to maintain peace and stability.
Ryker Petrović: A CCD spy with direct ties to Ascendancy’s intelligence. He has brokered deals with the Yakuza and American cartels for the purposes of reporting on their dealings back to the Custody.
Yun Kao: A liaison between Moscow police and organized crime rings, including the Yakuza.
Kōta: A procurer of illegal and exotic animals often purchased by members of the Yakuza.
Adrian Kane: A Moscow businessman whose legitimate businesses are often used for shipping, storage, and clean up by the Yakuza.