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Yakuza Moon: A Memoir of a Gangster's Daughter


Yakuza Moon: A Memoir of a Gangster's Daughter




Yakuza Moon is a memoir by Shoko Tendo, who grew up as the daughter of a yakuza boss in Japan. She tells her story of living in luxury and then in poverty, of being bullied and abused, of becoming a drug addict and a gang member, of surviving violence and suicide attempts, and of finding her way out of the underworld with the help of tattoos and a new identity.




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In this article, you will learn about:


  • What is yakuza and how does it operate in Japan?



  • What are the challenges and dangers of being a yakuza daughter?



  • How did Shoko Tendo overcome her past and transform her life?



  • What are the themes and messages of Yakuza Moon?



What is yakuza and how does it operate in Japan?




Yakuza is a term for organized crime groups in Japan, which have a long history dating back to the feudal era. Yakuza groups are structured like families, with a boss (oyabun) at the top, followed by underbosses (wakagashira) and subordinates (kobun). Yakuza members follow a strict code of honor and loyalty, and often display their affiliation with tattoos on their bodies.


Yakuza groups are involved in various illegal activities, such as gambling, prostitution, drug trafficking, extortion, loan sharking, racketeering, and violence. They also have legitimate businesses, such as construction, real estate, entertainment, finance, and politics. Yakuza groups have a complex relationship with the Japanese society and authorities, sometimes cooperating with them and sometimes clashing with them.


What are the challenges and dangers of being a yakuza daughter?




Shoko Tendo was born to a wealthy and powerful yakuza boss in 1968. She lived in luxury until she was six years old, when her father was arrested and their family fell into debt. She faced discrimination and bullying from her classmates and teachers, who called her names like "yakuza girl" and "gangster's daughter". She also witnessed her father's violent behavior at home, as he beat her mother and siblings.


Tendo rebelled against her family and society by becoming a delinquent. She started going to nightclubs at the age of 12, where she met older men who exploited her. She became addicted to drugs and joined a girl gang. She was involved in fights, thefts, vandalism, and prostitution. She was also abused by several boyfriends, one of whom scarred her face with a cigarette.


Tendo tried to kill herself twice by overdosing on pills. She was also sent to a juvenile detention center for eight months when she was 15. She felt hopeless and worthless, as she believed that she had no future or escape from her yakuza background.


How did Shoko Tendo overcome her past and transform her life?




Tendo began to change her life when she was 24 years old. She decided to quit her job as a bar hostess, where she had worked for several years to pay off her family's debts. She also decided to get tattooed from head to toe with a design of a geisha with a dagger in her mouth. She said that getting tattooed was an act of empowerment and liberation for her.


Tendo also met a man named Junjiro Yamada, who became her husband. He was not involved in the yakuza world and treated her with respect and love. He encouraged her to write her memoirs as a way of healing from her past. Tendo published Yakuza Moon in 2004, which became a bestseller in Japan and was translated into several languages.


Tendo said that writing Yakuza Moon was cathartic for her. She said that she wanted to share her story with others who might be suffering from similar problems or prejudices. She also wanted to show the reality of the yakuza world from a female perspective. She said that she hoped that her book would inspire people to overcome their difficulties and find their own happiness.


What are the themes and messages of Yakuza Moon?




Yakuza Moon is a memoir e0e6b7cb5c


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