So, I remembered to have heard that there were some connections between Forum (Mejibray‘s label) and the Yakuza. Were there an exception or are there more of those?
With this, tzk and koichi’s tweets that they were not visual kei, tzk and mejibray were threatened, the only one who came out clean was meto
All host and hostess clubs have Yakuza ties, several band men moonlight as hosts or own host bars, ergo, Visual Kei is Yakuza adjacent. Not sure about actual labels being ran by them though, but they run in some of the same circles.
it’s not just forum, most of japanese entertainment (music, cinema, TV, etc.), particularly if there’s a Japanese-Korean presence, which has several diff. factors to it (for somebody in the korean diaspora living over there, entertainment might be one of the very few venues more or less open to succeed at.)
majority of western writing on this would reference jake adelstein, so I take news like this as a soft shill of his books on the subject (he has several):
the comedian referenced to was outed as having a yakuza friend, and he decided to retire altogether after that.
The Yakuza Are Running Japan’s Hollywood
Japanese social games funded by Yakuza, says expert – Destructoid
Jake Adelstein: My Favourite Game | Features | Edge Online
I see VK as a little vanity scene that happened to emerge on the intersection of so and so, particularly gya working in the hostess thing
21st-Century Yakuza: Recent Trends in Organized Crime in Japan ~Part 1 ２１ ―― | The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
Recent Trends in Organized Crime in Japan: Yakuza vs the Police, & Foreign Crime Gangs ~ Part 2 ２１ ―― | The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
there’s a good write-up here if you have interest in the broader subject.
l’arc en ciel getting scammed out of their album royalties by a former major label falls close to the white collar crime also referenced several times on one of the pages throughout.
ok so lots of misconceptions will come up here, it is night life, and people are often wanting to imagine things/guess alot.
the comment “All host and hostess clubs have Yakuza ties” is not true.
it is 2023, most Yakuza groups are shut down, ghosts of their former selves, unneeded,
it is not the 90s anymore.
Host clubs that have strong ties to Yakuza still do exists but it is not a big thing anymore like in the past. I have worked for a host club ran by Yakuza (nagoya branch) and also by one that has zero ties and was very proud about it, the one ran by Yakuza was a small two store only group in the countryside, the one with no connections? biggest group for hosts in japan by store count. that is kind of a reflection of the age. So assuming things based on past books/reports about Japan create that image maybe?
This applies for Vkei too; in the past it was very connected! why? because there was money to be made in that boom era. Now? Vkei is a shadow of its former self, this paired with the Yakuza also being obsolete means you will have a double whammy of their ties to it not being there at all.
Are there Ex.Yakuza types still doing stuff? yes. are there people who have no affiliation with Yakuza but are just generally terrible people running terrible businesses? yes ← and this is the most common thing now.
Even major labels have really bad contracts for their artists sometimes, it does not automatically mean they are Yakuza. Same applies for these Vkei guys who sign dumb contracts/are basically just idols performing what the label produces. A one sided contract does not equal Yakuza, just a common thing in music all over the world since olden days: Juice the artist, make that money.
Those bigger companies, TV, Major Labels still have ties to the major Yakuza groups, but that is because there is money to be made, they are big time still and the people running those big companies are old and backwards.
But Vkei is a shadow of it’s former self, we are 30 years post boom now so it is no where near a thing like it was in the past. Have I run into Yankee types who are influenced by Yakuza? sure! but actually straight up currently registered member of Yakuza? naw. Not even once here in Vkei.
I hang out with Yakuza/ex.Yakuza sometimes and they all have graduated onto things like Coding, websites, IT, etc. things that actually make money and have no troubles coming back to them.
to sum it up: Common “black” as they call it business practices does not equal Yakuza.
It is still connected in Major label and entertainment big time biz but indie labels are just ran by yankee types with some people who MAYBE are ex.yakuza but currently registered? naw, not likely at all.
older bands will have ties to those ex.guys but the age has changed.
Don’t remind me, those crime bills not only killed the yakuza, it killed Yakuza literature and cinema and now all we have are the video games.
don’t worry the biggest yakuza group is still alive; The Japanese Government haha.
Anti-yakuza laws have led to different kinds of groups and crime
Would be great to have some kind of solid proof, both for and against this point.
“All host and hostess clubs have Yakuza ties” and “I hang out with Yakuza/ex.Yakuza sometimes” are two extreme statements on opposite sides of the coin.
Also, my uncle works at Nintendo.
The articles @nekkichi posted are the best thing we have here.
It’s likely the Yakuza has evolved rather than dissolving. Powerful groups like that don’t just vanish overnight. Much of their current activity could very well be on the Internet, manipulating us all behind the scenes. Who knows?
Edit: Also, bear in mind that current and post-members of the Yakuza are likely not going to tell the truth regarding their organisation.
It is a fact here in Japan that over 2/3s of the yakuza have dissolved after the change in laws and are reduced to working mainly small town night areas where the police will do very little etc.
this is not speculation but fact that can be quickly researched.
Articles applying to major industries will have nothing to do with an underground genre like vkei,
see my reply, kind of common sense if you really think about it.
my uncle works at nintendo is a new term to me but, as a mate once said on a tour in america
“we are not with the band, we are the band.” my sole and only Job is working in the music industry here in Japan and in Vkei with people from the proto era up until current era + have friends/collaborators in the major industry for pop etc.:
and I will bet my balls you are not gonna find Yakuza in a failing genre where businesses,labels,livehouses etc. have been closing down one after another and stand by the fact that have never ran into or heard of even one single active Yakuza in any part of it these days.
Actually mentioned this backstage at chop the other day to our drummer Tossy who is active from the 00s era and was under former extasy label guys/actually bubble era yakuza guys etc. and even he immediately said “what would a Yakuza be doing (in vkei now)? there is no money to be made. lol”
I think overseas being far away from things here like Yakuza or Vkei some people just want to imagine it is like how it was in the past/movies mixed with that false filter in their head of it being something it wasn’t even ever at all. Speculating that a pyramid scheme system with only a few smart people at the top and a bunch of yankee types doing their dirty work is like freemasonry or something is kinda odd too. They are literally reduced to doing phone call scams on old people (you will see warnings of that everywhere here) and having to pickpocket food items to feed members (that was on the news too).
it’s refreshing to see this updated view. i think by now most of us have seen that alleged interview with a former vkei bandman about the yazuka connections, dynamite tommy etc that surfaced like what…10 years ago or something? that was really the only context i had.
That’s so sad! Is nobody there helping them? Maybe the communities could set up some soup kitchens to help feed their yakuza before it’s too late?