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March 21, 2011

Leave The Gun. Take The Kinako Mochi.


While the world is still sorting out how to aid the Japanese in their plight, the mob has already started delivering.

In many cultures, in many places, there is a belief that times of crisis reveal the true value of a person.

In Japan, applying that axiom proves difficult, especially in light of a recent Daily Beast report that Japan's infamous mafia, the Yakuza, are providing tons of vital goods to the earthquake and tsunami relief effort.

The three largest Yakuza groups (kind of like the crime families of the American Italian mafia), have sent dozens of trucks with a few hundred tons of goods to the devastated regions thus far, reports Japan crime expert Jake Adelstein. They've sent everything from diapers to batteries to instant ramen.

While this support may seem antithetical to a criminal ethos, one member said, "There are no yakuza or katagi (ordinary citizens) or gaijin (foreigners) in Japan right now. We are all Japanese. We all need to help each other."

In 1995, Adelstein reports that the Yakuza also provided tons of goods and services following the Kobe earthquake.

Thus far, Tony "Noodles" Nakamura and his cohorts have delivered more aid than the US Navy.

15 comments:

Nickie Goomba said...

In the USA the mob IS the government.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

@ Nickie,,I agree and adding to that they are not American putting us in a worse place than Japan!

LoneIslander said...

Gangsters with a heart of gold?

Zio Rico said...

Gangsters know to never let a good crisis go to waste.

Doom said...

Yes, more than the Navy (maybe, I don't have figures before me, nor do I know if the US has been asked not to render aid, a possibility). Further, even if true, I am pleased with this. So many nations, like Haiti and those hit by the last big oceanic splash, and even those who remained in New Orleans, were happy to take what ever they could get and complain about it too.

No, if the Japanese are smart, and really have the resources, it is my distinct hope that they do not get on that soul-rending hook of free handouts. Once on that hook, there is no simple or painless way off of it. Better that people are hungry enough to change course, move, go fishing, scrounge what they may, or simply go hungry for a bit. Some suffering, and even great suffering, is not a bad thing. Actually, I suspect that anything a criminal organization does it does for it's own purposes. Be careful the hand that feeds. What it gives it can take away.

sig94 said...

Nickie - I am writing Congress to insist that they pass laws mandating that all relief supplies - food, clothing, blankets, tents, etc, - must be delivered and distributed by IRS agents. That's about as close as we can come to what is happening in Japan with the Yakuza.

And all IRS agents must have their chests covered in tattoos.

sig94 said...

Lone - gangsters and whores do not have hearts of gold. Trust me on this. But they do have family and friends and bonds with their community which are just as strong as ours if not more so. Besides, if all their customers are dead, who will gamble, buy drugs and "date" their women? Their motives may not be purer but their redtape is shorter.

sig94 said...

Zio - the gangster who's the mayor of ChiTown knows that.

sig94 said...

Doom - at the time of writing, US heliocopters had delivered 100 tons of supplies; the Yakuza double that or perhaps more.

It may be that the Navy is delivering supplies to areas where the road system has been destroyed and the Yakuza are handling deliveries where the transportation system is less afflicited.

I don't think the Japanese government will allow the support to continue past when it is absolutely necessary. To do so would be to lose face.

The Vicar said...

Gangs often gain their power by doing the work the police can't or won't do, if you know what I mean.

sig94 said...

Vicar - despite our light hearted air - these guys are not humanitarians. Thugs is thugs and even thugs realize they need some good PR every now and then. Besides, they may have looted those supplies and are now acting like heroes with stolen property. An Asian Robin Hoodishima.

Gorges Smythe said...

I've always heard that there's a little bad in the best of us and a little good in the worst of us.

sig94 said...

Gorges - Aye, I've heard that also. But do you give a lighter sentence to a thief or rapist because he was good to his mother?

Like they say, one Aww Shit cancels out ten thousand Attaboys.

Kid said...

No doubt they are more effecient than the government.

Years and years ago, I made the comment the mob just just take over American government. They'd be hugely more productive, would be brutally fantastic at National Defense and take less of a cut.

Seriously.

sig94 said...

Kid - My in-laws used to go to Vegas in the late 60's, early 70's when the mob still ran the place. They said they liked it better then.