The Yakuza

Beginning in 2008, photographer Anton Kusters began his attempt to infiltrate and document the mysterious Japanese mafia. He has spent two years with one of Japan’s notorious Yakuza gangs, known for their brutality, tattoos and strict code of honour.After months of painstaking negotiations, he was taken into their confidence and given a fascinating glimpse into the world of the secretive organised crime syndicate.Japan's National Police Agency estimated in 2009 that there were 80,900 active Yakuza, whose activities include drug dealing, extortion, illegal gambling and violent turf wars.The Yakuza are bound by a strict and ruthless moral code. To prove the sincerity of an apology some members are known to cut off the ends of their fingers.Those who wish to join the Yakuza receive a training, at a covert location, in hand-to-hand and meditation.The Yakuza are known for their tattoos, which they rarely show in public. Their tattoos are often made using the basic and painful technique of needle and ink.

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