The yakuza, Japan’s version of the mafia, has launched a new website to combat dwindling membership.
The Yamaguchi-gumi, the largest yakuza group, has launched the ‘Banish Drugs and Purify the Nation League’ site which includes footage of members making their New Year pilgrimage to a shrine, accompanied by a traditional folk style song, promoting masculinity.
With membership falling to its lowest level the website promotes some of the work done by members such as helping with the clean-up effort in the wake of the 2011 tsunami and the 1996 Kobe earthquake.
The yakuza refer to themselves as ‘ninkyō dantai’ or chivalrous organisations and it is this image they are promoting on9 the website with a strong anti-drugs message and an apparent concern for social welfare.
Experts claim poor public image coupled with Japan’s economy have made membership less appealing to potential members.