Sunday, June 07, 2009

Young Yakuza

Japan 2007

Details imdb

Seen 31 May 2009

This documentary focuses on a dying profession with the problems faced by the organization coping with the modern times. Even though the yakuza is synonymous with the Japanese underworld that is the equivalent of the Western world's mafia, it also has its own unique code of ethics. The film starts with a mother asking the local yakuza chief to take in her son into the industry. She is worried about the son who seems aimless in life and thought the profession would shape him up.
In between the scenes of the young man’s apprenticeship in the trade, we get interviews with the yakuza chief. His look itself from certain angles would send a chill down your spine. It is the unspoken which is more frightening. But he is a modern version of the old yakuza, more humane in a way.
The challenges facing the yakuza with ever stricter laws coming into force is the focal point here. The chief does regret that the young ones would never be able to savour the power of yesteryears when the yakuza was all powerful. He trudges nonetheless, trying to make the best of things even though he himself has lost his position through the elaborate realignment of job positions in the organization.
The yakuza in the final analysis is the same as any other corporation, with a mission statement and business plans for each financial year. Even the chief admits, they have even gone the legal route in some ways, a survival instinct.
A revelation.

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