Former yakuza and current pastor Tatsuya Shindo analyzes 10 performances of yakuza in film and television and rates them for their accuracy.
Tatsuya Shindo, current pastor and 15-year-old former yakuza, analyzed and rated the realism of some representations of yakuza in 10 movies and TV shows.
The Yakuza are members of an organized crime syndicate that originated in Japan, with the English equivalent of the word yakuza be a “gangster” or someone who is involved in a mafia organization. Before becoming a pastor at Tsumitomo Church, Shindo was sentenced seven times and was imprisoned three times. Now he is an advocate and support system for others recently released from prison. Talking to Initiated, he was asked to watch 10 clips and rate the accuracy of representations of yakuza across film and television, including films like Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Avengers: Endgame.
The first clip dates from 2003 Kill Bill: Vol 1, when Lucy Liu’s O-Ren Ishii (Cottonmouth) attends a Yakuza Senior Leaders Meeting. During the now iconic scene, Cottonmouth is berated not only for being a woman, but also for being Japanese, Chinese and American. “It doesn’t matter your nationality or your skin color. The oppressed and ostracized people in Japanese society have come to live in the yakuza world. This is the background,” Shindo explained. “So it doesn’t matter if you are Chinese or any other nationality.”
Regarding Cottonmouth and then chopping off the head of one of the main members, Shindo clarified that even if there would be infighting between gangs or “family members”, no one would ever be “killed in an attack. key members meeting like this “, and you wouldn’t” suddenly “kill a member of your own family. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 received a score of five out of 10 for accuracy.
For other films, like The foreigner As of 2018 with Jared Leto, Shindo gave the film an eight out of 10, while Avengers: Endgame (2019), received a firm “zero” for realism, notably due to the use of a sword during the fight between the yakuza and Hawkeye / Ronin. “There was no sword fighting like this. Nowadays it’s pistols,” Shindo said.
Other films like A family (2020) received a seven, while Deadpool 2 (2018) received a “minus five” for the public baths scene. Shindo noted that not only was the bath itself inaccurate, but also taking a sword into the bath would ruin the weapon. Archer Season 5, Episode 3 received a five out of 10; Honorary cemetery (2002), a film about a real-life yakuza named Rikio Ishikawa, who committed suicide after jumping from the roof of Fuchu Prison, received a rating of six; Minbo (1992) was ranked two; and Sonatine (1993) was ranked three.
The highest ranked film for Shindo was Battles without honor and humanity (1973), a popular Japanese film about the end of World War II, which he gave a nine out of ten. “This movie is basically the story of a real yakuza figure. I saw this movie as a kid and became a yakuza because of it,” he said.
“The social need of prisons is to rehabilitate those who are ‘criminals’. I am working to serve this rehabilitation. As you have seen, I have a missing pinky finger. I have tattoos. Even so, people like me can become decent, ”Shindo said. “This way I want to make Japan a better place.”
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