Gangster Lovin’? I Think Not.

February 11, 2008 at 9:09 am 3 comments

If I should ever get my butt kicked by a gangster I blame the Japanese media. Thanks to all those serialized dramas I spend cold winter evenings watching, I’ve developed this warped sense of reality, making me think I can approach one and be their best friend.


Last year I was big on a show called “My Boss My Hero” which stars the handsome Tomoya Nagase as a 27-year-old son of a mobster boss sent back to high school for a proper re-education. (Mobsters are no good if they can’t count money.) While in class, he falls in love with an adorably innocent girl and tries his best to woo her, all the while keeping his true identity under wraps. A brute in his gangster life, Nagase posing as a wimp makes for great comedy, and in the end I was wishing I’d meet my own yakuza softie.

And yet, like the mafia men scattered along the East Coast, Japanese gangsters are nothing to gush about. Last month, a member of the Dojin-kai gang was arrested on suspicion of shooting a man in his hospital bed. The details are still hazy but it seems to be a case of mistaken identity; the room’s previous patient had gang affiliation, not the current one. Then earlier last year the mayor of Nagasaki was shot point-blank by a senior member of the Yamaguchi gang, the country’s largest crime syndicate. The assassin had beef with the city because his car was damaged at a public works construction site and he wanted compensation. Talk about hot-headed.

I did have a real-life encounter with Japanese gangsters a few years back, well before I thought they were adorable. It was actually quite surreal because there they were, a group of ten walking down the street like they meant business. One of the younger thugs strode confidently with a full-leg cast. The others wore sharp suits with their hair combed back with enough pomade to grease a car. I was in awe at the sight of them and was compelled to follow behind like a newly-initiated paparazzi. My better sense told me to do an about-face toward home.

I’m glad I did, though. I don’t think any of them would have made a good boyfriend, anyway. (^o<)


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Entry filed under: Japanese Culture, Japanese Entertainment.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Max International Review  |  February 24, 2008 at 9:01 am

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  • 2. Maxgxl  |  February 22, 2008 at 11:16 am


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  • 3. Sarah S.  |  February 11, 2008 at 10:42 am

    “One of the younger thugs strode confidently with a full-leg cast.”

    In a way I admire his tenacity, but I’m nervous about why he had that cast…!! You were definitely right to head home.


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February 2008


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