After the Quake, Help from an Unexpected Place

March 19th, 2011, by

While Japan continues to battle the devastation wrought by the recent earthquake and tsunami, concerned citizens abroad are doing what they can to help get Japan back on its feet. Within the country, meanwhile, donations of food, water and other essential supplies are coming from an unexpected source: the yakuza.

According to a piece by Jake Adelstein in The Daily Beast, several prominent Japanese organized crime syndicates have been sending truckloads of supplies to the worst-hit areas of the country, and even opening the doors of their offices to the stranded and homeless. It’s a surprising gesture, coming from groups renowned for extortion and violence; but it’s nonetheless a heartening sign in a country that clearly needs to pull together through hard times.

Check out the story here.

  • Jake Adelstein

    The yakuza continue to distribute supplies and aid. I think that there are obvious ulterior motives but at the core it’s a humanitarian effort. Yakuza have families and friends as well in the area. Joining “the tribe” doesn’t men giving up being a person. There also a number of Buddhist priests and other volunteer workers doing amazing work in the areas as well. The yakuza being unhampered by red-tape or the law can do things very quickly. Sometimes, when the laws slow down aid, outlaws can do good things. In a few months, I’m sure they’ll be back to shaking down people as usual–but maybe for a while they’ll remember to live by what they espouse.

Last modified: April 26, 2011 at 10:40 am