Japanese gangster. Organized crime in Japan is highly structured, and the various syndicates between them employed some 110,000 people 1989, with a turnover of an estimated 1.5 trillion yen. The yakuza have been unofficially tolerated and are very powerful.
Their main areas of activity are prostitution, pornography, sports, entertainment, and moneylending; they have close links with the construction industry and with some politicians. There is considerable rivalry between gangs. Many yakuza have one or more missing fingertips, a self-inflicted ritual injury in atonement for an error.