No criminal group in the world is more closely identified with tattoos than the largest: Japan's Yakuza, 80,000 strong. In this episode of Marked, we go deep into Japan's underground for an exclusive look at the stunning full body-suits of ink thatmark the skin of today's yakuza.
Hidden within the layers of spectacular imagery are secret codes that reach back far into Japan's bloody samurai history: violent warriors, images of hell, prostitutes, and a range of predators from tigers to dragons. Wehear from yakuza as they share stories of their criminal pasts, the significance of their tattoos, and the pain they experienced in getting most of their bodies tattooed the old fashioned way: by getting poked over and over again with needles fastened to the ends of sticks.
Master tattoo artist and former yakuza boss Horizen guides us through the intricate process of creating a traditional Japanese tattoo, or tebori, from scratch, demystifying this ancient craft in which everything, from making the ink to sharpening the needles, is done by hand.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe defended his reflationary policy, dubbed Abenomics, on Friday while opposition leaders argued it is failing, after the House of Representatives was dissolved on the day for a snap election. (Jiji Press)
Japan's Lower House speaker has issued a very unusual order. He told lawmakers to redo their "banzai" cheers because some chimed in before he finished reading the official declaration to dissolve the chamber. (NHK)
Murder suspect Chisako Kakehi invested most of the about Y1 billion she inherited from her spouses and lovers in futures trading and other financial products over the past few years, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned from investigative sources. (The Japan News)
A highly pathogenic avian influenza virus has been detected in duck droppings collected Tuesday in the town of Nagara in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, the Environment Ministry said Friday. (Jiji Press)
Japanese public prosecutors on Friday demanded a prison sentence of 10 years for Yusuke Katayama, who is accused of hijacking other people's personal computers and using them to send online threats. (Jiji Press)
According to various Japanese news sources, 83-year-old retiree Yasuji Shibata was arrested for selling obscene material via an Internet auction in April for 3,400 yen (about US$28) after police found explicit photos in his home on November 16. (rocketnews24.com)
Police raided Internet proxy server operators across Japan on Wednesday over a spate of online banking fraud cases, with at least two of the operators suspected of helping illegal access from China. (Jiji Press)
Chinese fans expressed an outpouring of sorrow for the death of veteran Japanese actor Ken Takakura, who rocketed to stardom here and became an icon who could bridge the icy relations that exist between the two nations. (Asahi)