Yamaguchi-gumi

From Academic Kids

Yamaguchi-gumi (Japanese: 山口組) has been known as Japan's largest boryokudan (analogous to a western Mafia family). It's assumed to be the largest criminal organization in the world. Estimates put the number of active members at 20,000, with another 15,000 people having strong associations. It is, by far, the largest of the yakuza groups, and its membership encompasses roughly a third of all yakuza. The Yamaguchi-gumi has its headquarters in Kobe, Japan, but it operates all across Japan, and also has overseas operations in Asia and the United States.

Leadership

After the death of Taoka, the heir apparent was serving a sentence in prison. He, however, died of liver failure shortly afterwards. Kumiko Taoka, Kazuo Taoka's wife, stepped forward to fill the leadership void until a new kumicho could be selected.

Finally, in '84, the elders chose Takenaka Masahisa to be the 4th kumicho of Yamaguchi-gumi. One of the other contenders, Hiroshi Yamamoto, broke away from Yamaguchi-gumi with more than 10,000 of its members to form Ichiwa-kai. A bitter rivalry existed between the two groups, which was exacerbated by Ichiwa-kai's 1985 assassination of Masahisa.

Template:Japan-stubja:山口組 zh:山口組

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