The underground world of mafias is one that most people actively avoid on the public streets but are secretly excited to read about.
Movies and books about the criminal activities of gangsters showcase their lavish lifestyles, exciting day to day adventures, and occasional heroic deeds, giving them redeeming qualities that make them almost relatable.
However, in reality, these movies and books rarely depict what the life of a Yakuza or triad member is really like.
Are you interested in learning more about these mafias? We’ve curated some interesting information below about both mafia groups for you to read to your heart’s content.
Who Are Yakuza?
The Yakuza is an internationally recognized Japanese criminal syndicate that has a long and rich history in Japan’s society. They have been around for centuries but rose exponentially in prominence after World War II.
During their historical roots, they were involved in heightened criminal activity such as turf wars and undertaking protection responsibilities for money. They eventually gained favour with the Japanese government through cooperation and saw freedoms with certain gang activities.
Post-war, the number of the Yakuza rose by more than 100% throughout Japan. Their activities heavily expanded into gang wars, sophisticated gambling efforts, loan sharking, drugs (only certain groups), and smuggling goods.
Over the years, the Yakuza have evolved from being a feared criminal organization to becoming a (begrudgingly) accepted part of Japanese society. The structure of the Japanese mafia is often referred to as being similar to a family, with its familial tiers, or a business, with its hierarchical power structure.
In recent years, the Yakuza have branched out from their mostly Japan-centralized criminal activity to locations around the world, such as in the U.S. For example, one of their favourite investments is luxury golf courses.