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A shadowy criminal society, the Yakuza operate in the Draconis Combine and its former territories, including the Rasalhague Dominion. Like the Mafia they trace their roots back to Terra, though they have maintained their Japanese heritage despite absorbing a number of other mob-type enterprises over the years. As such, membership in the yakuza is slanted towards males of Asian descent, though women and other ethnic groups have joined and advanced in rank during the thirty-first century.
The yakuza engage in a variety of criminal enterprises - gambling, racketeering, smuggling - but operate on a code of honor similar to bushido. Street-level crimes are avoided out of respect for the common man, and rivals groups are more likely to work out conflict through a peaceful meeting. A major breech of honor will require an act of seppuku to atone for one's crimes, though minor offenses are punished by yubitusme, or the severing of a fingertip. Rewards for successful service come in the form of irezumi, or ritual tattoos, which grow more elaborate and cover more of a person's body as they advance rank.
Criminals like the yakuza have traditionally been numbered among the Unproductives, the undesirables of Kuritan society along with beggars and disgraced members of other classes. However, many believe they gained a level of legitimacy after the reforms of Theordore Kurita allowed them to join the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery, an honor which increased their loyalty to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Many yakuza saw themselves as the invisible heartbeat of the realm, providing aid to civilians on occupied worlds and offering a valuable source of intelligence to the security services. The increased stature of the yakuza however also helped to movtivae the activities and recruitment of the Black Dragon Society, which saw such criminals as incapable of honor or truly serving the Dragon.
The yakuza are organized into gumi (clans) along feudal lines. The head of each clan is the kumicho or supreme boss, sometimes affectionately known as the oyabun or father figure. Each kumicho is aided by an inner circle of senior officers known as shatei or younger brothers: a wakagashira (number-two man), so-honbucho (headquarters chief), koman (advisers), and shingiin (counselors). Below the shatei are the wakashu or young men who serve as junior officers, and finally the kobun or child figures, enlistees and apprentices who provide the clan's manpower. Lesser kobun, used mainly as the clan's foot soldiers, are sometimes known as teppodama or bullets for their expendable nature. The gumi also employ kuromaku (fixers) to facilitate meetings with other groups.
- Kumicho Supreme Boss or Oyabun
- Wakagashira Number-two man
- So-honbucho HQ chief
- Koman Advisor
- Shingiin Counselor
- Wakashu Junior Officers
- Kobun Soldiers or Teppodama
- Classic BattleTech Companion, p. 214
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 134
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 134
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