Tag: Crime

Book Review – Yakuza Moon: Memoirs of a Gangster’s Daughter

Book Review – Yakuza Moon: Memoirs of a Gangster’s Daughter

Organized crime, forceful loan sharks and debt collectors, drug deals gone wrong. These are some of the things people think of when they hear the work “yakuza.” Often depicted on the large screen as well-dressed men who want to rise up through the ranks, those who call themselves yakuza are part of Japan’s organized crime ring, involving themselves in various kinds of criminal activities that would lead them to doing heavy jail time if caught or sold out. However, even when heavily involved in the underworld of crime, many of them still paid attention to their lives outside of the ring.

Yakuza Moon: Memoirs of a Gangster’s Daughter is a woman’s life story during the 70’s and 80’s of Japan how her life changed all because she was the daughter of a yakuza boss. Ever since she was just a child, Shoko Tendo had to deal with the lifestyle that followed her, from hearing nasty and malicious rumors about her family, being shunned and tormented by both students and teachers while she was at school, and enduring the countless abuse from those she loved, including her own father. In her early teenage years Tendo told the story of her rebellious and delinquent ways as a yanki, and her experiences getting high off of paint thinner and hard drugs. As she got older, her life would seem to be on the right track to improvement, but then reality would hit her in the face, literally, in the form of various kinds of abuse she endured from different men.

Tendo left nothing to the imagination, getting right to the point when she shared her experiences, both the heart-warming and the dirty and gritty. Her writing style is raw and harsh, often going into detail about events that would make one’s shoulder shudder and send an icy cold tinge through their body. Many who’ve read it found it uncomfortable to read at times because Tendo practically took her life and written it onto paper, but that’s what kept me wanting to read more. From describing how debt collectors came by and destroyed her childhood home, to the bloodied, bruised and scared damaged she suffered at the hands of her lovers, those who like reading about one’s journey from hell and back will truly enjoy Tendo’s tale.

It was the height of summer, and there were days when the heat was enough to melt the asphalt on the street. The heavies sent by the loan sharks couldn’t care less. They ripped out all the air-conditioning units in the house and piled them up in the garbage along with a bunch of other household appliances, all in full view of the neighbors, of course. Our large-sized American refrigerator was left lying on its side, its doors hanging open to reveal nothing but empty white racks. The wooden parquet floors were so damaged that they didn’t lie flat anymore, creating a kind of bizarre optical illusion that the ground was moving.

Every day without fail, the debt collectors would fling open our doors or windows and yell in at us. I knew there was no point in arguing, but one day I cracked under the pressure. After one thug had just hurled a string of abuse at my mother, I brought my fist crashing down on the kitchen table.

“Who the hell do you think you’re threatening? If you keep on talking to my parents like that, you stupid assholes, then that’s it.”

“Fucking kid!” he spat back.

So this was what is was like to have no money. I wanted to cry with frustration.

Without wanting to give away major points and details about the emotional and complex life, the moment Tendo decided to have a tattoo done by a traditional Japanese tattoo artists, that’s the moment when she took her life in her hands and began to take control, not letting her past come and haunt her anymore. Accompanying the book are photographs submitted by Tendo herself, giving us a small window on what parts of her life actually looked like, including a photo of her tattoo.

After reading Yakuza Moon, it personally gave me a deeper understanding about exactly what kind of life a yakuza would be involved in, and what kind of torment and suffering their family may have to go through.

Yakuza Moon: Memories of a Gangster’s Daughter by Shoko Tendo is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other major bookstore. For those who like visuals and images, there is also a manga/graphic novel adaptation of Tendo’s life story. Regardless of which one is purchased, it’s still well worth the read.

(Image from Amazon.com)

Coroner’s Opinion

“What do you think happened here, Boss?”

“To be honest, I’m not entirely sure myself. I’ve never seen anything like this before. And on top of that, the evidence found at the crime scene isn’t even giving us some kind of clue as to what could do harm like this.”

“Edged weapons could easily do cuts and slashes like this though.”

“These kind of slashes are too clean–there’s no way somebody could have tore through skin and bone so easily. Besides, the cut isn’t the only thing I’m worried about.”

“You’re talking about the strange, green liquid around the edge of where the limb was cut?”

“Yeah. It would be easy enough to say that it’s just splash splatter from something breaking, but the fact that it’s around the injury, it makes me wonder if the edged weapon was laced with something. I mean, look at it: it’s fucking glowing on a cold corpse. There’s no way this is something naturally occurring.”

“We’ll just have to wait until the fluid samples come back then, Boss.”

“In my twenty years of working as a coroner, I’ve seen countless kinds of cases where somebody was slashed to death. All of them were easily identifiable based on the depth of the stab wound and the puncture site itself. But to see an entire limb cut clean off and see a strange ring around it, I honestly can’t figure this out. I almost want to say that whatever did it isn’t even human.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“What I mean is, we may not be dealing with a murder, but a hunter-prey thing.”


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— via Daily Prompt: Luminescent

Burned Down to the Ground

Another crime to try and find an answer to, this one involving a house being burnt to the ground. The first assumption is that it was due to natural causes. However, if we left it at that, things could become worse if it turns out this was done intentionally.

That’s where I come in. I’m assigned to the most mysterious of crimes and incidents, trying to figure out what caused it, who did it, and why. Along side with my partner, I plunge head first into a crime scene to figure out the true motives.

But nothing could have prepared me for what we were about to find…

I sure as hell didn’t want to think about it either. But we had a job to do, so we didn’t have a choice to stop there.

“Rich, back up.”

“Why?”

On-Call Sharp Shooter (Part 1)

It isn’t easy being me. My entire job revolves around customer support, fulfilling calls and orders from my boss and other bullshit clients who don’t have the balls to do the job themselves. Then again, the pay for my line of work is pretty damn high, so I can’t really complain.

But when one of the calls I get involves shooting down a well-known cop hellbent on trying to crack down on crime and drug trafficking in the city, it makes you realize that the city is a lot more dirty than what the public can see.

Thankfully I have my trusty rifle in hand ready to shoot down whoever I’m assigned to.

Plus I get a bonus pay of beer along the way, so that’s a win for me too.

Blindly, I stick my hand in the bag and feel around until I can get a grip on what I was searching for.

“Sweet, I still got one left.”

Rich Noir of the City

Holding a small glass of whiskey on the rocks, Richard looks down at the city nightlife from his living room. He leans on the glass a bit to get a better look at the sidewalk below him.

“What determines the worth of a man? The knowledge they ascertained through life, their morals and values that shape their views and lifestyle? The items that they surround themselves with?”

Richard takes a sip from his glass and looks back into the living room. Luxurious furnishings, all of which are covered in ivory white, expensive paintings and sculptures decorate the marble tile floors, a large flat screen television set up with full entertainment station; the living room of a wealthy man.

Richard walks over to one of his couches and sits back, placing his glass on the coffee table in front of him. He puts his feet up on it and goes back to his personal discussion.

“If a man follows a code of conduct, or some kind of code of honor to go about his life, does that make them a valuable person to others? Does that increase their actual worth, how much it would cost you to obtain their services?”

Letting everything goes to his head, Richard gets a small migraine and rubs his eyes for a moment, “Damn it, I’m starting to sound like a philosophy major student.”

“Well, some people find philosophy not only to be sophisticated, but also attractive.”

A womanly voice gently speaks from behind Richard, followed by the sound of wet footsteps. When she approaches Richard from behind, she reaches over the back of the couch and wraps her water soaked arms around his neck.

“Personally, I find it boring and tiresome at time.”

“Then why do you have all of those books about Hobbes and Machiavelli in your personal study?”

“I read them to help me fall asleep sometimes. A girl does need her beauty sleep after all and what better way to fall asleep than to read about a guy rambling on about ‘human nature this’ and ‘human nature that?’”

Richard looks up and sees a blonde haired woman looking at him with a sarcastic smile on her face. Even though he’s seen her dozens of times, he always likes to take a moment to carefully look over every small detail of her peach, blemish-free face.

With a chuckle, Richard replies, “It’s hard to tell if all of that sleep is helping. You still have some bags under your eyes.”

“You ass,” the woman snares back. Although she gave an angry reaction, all she does is lightly pluck Richard on his nose and climbs over the couch, sitting next to him. “You’re lucky I care about you, or else I would have ripped you a new one.”