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.
A Japanese rescue team failed to enter earthquake-hit Nepal twice on Monday as an aircraft used by the team was unable to obtain permission to land on an airport in its capital Kathmandu because of congestion. (Jiji Press)
Japan and the United States have agreed on "seamless" defense cooperation from peacetime to contingencies, the two countries said Monday, announcing the first revision to their defense cooperation guidelines in 18 years. (Jiji Press)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday his administration is trying to improve the status of women in his country as it also seeks to protect women's rights on the international stage. (Japan Today)
Japan's 140-member supergroup AKB48 is holding its second annual draft next month, in which sub-teams will choose new members from a draft of 48 young hopefuls. And among the finalists is one of the youngest potential members the group has ever seen. (Japan Today)
If you're tired of receiving vacant smiles and flippant customer service at your local grocery store, you may want to make a trip to Japan, where the customer always comes first and every transaction is concluded with a graceful bow. (rocketnews24.com)
Robots and dinosaurs mingled with cosplayers as Japan's largest video-sharing website Niconico on Saturday opened its two-day meet-up gala which is expected to attract more than 100,000 fans for the offline get together. (Japan Today)
Survivors and bereaved families of victims on Saturday marked the 10th anniversary of a fatal train derailment in western Japan that took the lives of 107 people, hoping such an accident never happens again. (Kyodo)
Fukuoka Prefectural Police on Friday took the acting chairman of the Kudo-kai organized crime group into custody for a shooting death that took place seven years ago, reports the Sankei Shimbun (April 24). (Tokyo Reporter)