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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Chopping off my little finger

Chopping off my little finger
Originally uploaded by timtak.
Removing the top joints of fingers is one of the most Yakuza-typical behaviours. Yakuza remove top joints of their fingers to signify that they are sorry about something, such as not having paid back a debt, or having made a mistake. In the films at least, if a Yakuza makes a mistake he may he told to bring a finger by his boss. The lack of a finger joint is a sign of being a member of the "extreme path" (gokudou).

In Korea people remove portions of their fingers by way of protest, sometimes against the Japanese. Such protests would be inclined to backfire since finger removal is so closely associated with criminals.

In one manga i read, a Yakuza debt collector (some Yakuza earn their living in this way) threatened the debtor saying "If I don't take your debt back to my boss he is going to ask for my finger, so I will chop it off here," and proceeded to take out a kitchen knife and prepared to make the cut. The debtor was so alarmed at the prospect of seeing someone cut their finger off that they paid back their debt, before the yakuza drew blood.

Apparently it is "surprisingly painful." I am not sure what that means. It looks painful. How could it be surprising?

A gentleman that I knew with no top finger joint used a prosthetic finger to cover his loss. He was a restaurant manager when I met him but I could not help thinking that he was a Yakuza who had fallen from grace.

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It seems you are working hard on these blogs but no-one ever comments on them. Shame as this is very public service of you. Not sure about Brits stealing all loo equipment, surely just toilet roll.
Thanks fishy business

I am of the impression that anything that is not chained down disappears in the UK, if it is of any value to anyone.

But...it is a long time since I have been in the UK.

man just by looking at that image look creepy and dont want to think more of that. Disgrace, made mistake or whatsoever, hell NO, i'm gonna cut my finger off. Gosh some ppl are crazy or rather scary.
Thank you Mayvelous

I think that the Yakuza do it partly to be scary, or to show how manyly-scary they are.

I also think that, when in the colour version of my textbook, I should remove the blood from this image. Students might feel ill.
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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.