The Yakuza in Popular Media
Honorable Criminals or Violent Gangsters?
ISBN 978-3-96317-265-6 (Print)
28,00 € (Print)
ISBN 978-3-96317-805-4 (ePDF)
22,00 € (ePDF)
© Büchner-Verlag, Marburg, erschienen am 8. Juli 2021.
The yakuza, Japan’s traditional gangsters, are famous, especially outside Japan, where the country’s criminal underworld ranks next to sushi or Godzilla when it comes to their respective fame and popularity. However, in popular media the images of the Japanese gangster vary, ranging from chivalrous Robin Hood-like characters, to violent mobsters without honor and dignity.
The present volume addresses these differences, i.e. the way yakuza are presented in Japanese and Western popular media. Films and autobiographical novels, inspired by historical events or personal experiences, but also by existent and sometimes even expected stereotypes, therefore often already represent a specific image of the Japanese mafia that is more like an artificial construct than actual reality.
The contributions in this book consequently intend to discuss the images of the Japanese yakuza in popular media to offer a first insight into a very important yet so far understudied topic related to the history of and existent narratives within Japan’s popular culture.
Benjamin Freudenberg is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at Hong Kong Shue Yan University.
Wolfgang Herbert is Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies at Tokushima University.
Frank Jacob is Professor of Global History (19th and 20th centuries) at Nord Universitet, Norway.
Sybil Thornton served as Associate Professor at Arizona State University before she just recently retired.