Archive for Gangsters

Yakuzafest Movie Review – The Yakuza

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2008 by mobflix

Directed by Sidney Pollack and starring Robert Mitchum, this movie is considered one of the first Yakuza movies made for an American audience.  Ken Takakura stars as the Japanese Hero who helps Robert Mitchum rescue a friend’s daughter kidnapped by the Yakuza after an arms deal gone bad.

Robert Mitchum returns to Japan after being there during the US occupation after WWII, while in Japan to help his friend rescue his daughter, Mitchum renews his relationship with the the Japanese lady he left behind after he was sent back to the States.  Mitchum and Takaura have a complicated relationship with tension, honor.

Severed fingers play a very important role in this film.

The plot has some great action scenes and several plot twists with fantastic acting and direction.

We give The Yakuza 4.5 stars out of 5

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Yakuzafest – Kickass Yakuza Mashup

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , on October 16, 2008 by mobflix

The above Yakuza Mashup is brought to us courtesy of EdD1EgJiNaJ via youtube.com.

EdD1EgJiNaJ  specializes in creating kickass mob mashups on youtube.

The above Mashup is a compilation of scenes from the movie “Brother” about a Yakuza who comes to the US.

Yakuza Month (Yakuzapalooza, Yakuzafest)

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , on October 9, 2008 by mobflix

The Yakuza is the collective name of Japanese Organized Crime organizations and members. Here are some characteristics of the Yakuza:

  • The word “Yakuza” means “Violence Group’.
    Members of Yakuza organizations can be identified by their full body tattoos.
  • There are over 80,000 Yakuza in Japan
  • The White Book as required by Japanese Law requires that all Yakuza members be identified

The Yakuza evolved from the 1600’s during the Edo periods in Japan. Out of work warriors began to sell their services as protection to merchants and gambling establishments. These warriors groups eventually became organized into various Yakuza organizations.

The Japanese Government and Yakuza organizations have a strange relationship that I haven’t quite figured out yet. As mentioned above, Yakuza are required by law to submit a list of their members to law enforcement. During the post WW II period, Yakuza became an invaluable source for moving commerce (legal and illegal) through Japan. Yakuza also provide a valuable service in helping business entities negotiate deals.

Yakuza activities include black market distribution of counterfeit items as well as drugs, weapons, gambling, protection, prostitution and other illegal enterprises. Yakuza also have close relationships with other Asian gangs in which they coordinate illegal commerce across the region.

Yakuza Members show thier colors

The movie Yojimbo (released 1961) is one of the most famous films of Yakuza. It is set in the 1800’s where a lone Yakuza sells his skills to rival gangs in a small Japanese town. Written and Directed by Akira Kurosawa, Yojimbo brought the subject of Yakuza to the west. The movie The Last Man Standing (1996) starring Bruce Willis is an American remake of Yojimbo. Yakuza movies typically have a Japanese or partial Japanese cast. Most Yakuza films involve sword play.

Combine the mysteries of Japanese culture along with discipline, sword play, and organized crime, and you have peaked my curiosity in regards to movies of the genre.

At Mobflix.com, we are proud to call October the month of Yakuza.