How YouTuber Taro Takken became “the most knowledgeable amateur about yakuza in Japan
Interview with a unique YouTuber with 49,700 subscribers who has attracted the attention of "people in the know
He is probably the most knowledgeable “amateur” about the yakuza in Japan today. The “yakuza information” provided by the YouTube star Takken Taro (age undisclosed) is that in-depth.
For example, on August 16, “Kobe Yamaguchigumi! On August 16, for example, a video titled “Kobe Yamaguchigumi! On the following 17th, for example, a video titled “Information: Sumiyoshi-kai New Structure! The next day, on the 17th, he reported on the developments of Sumiyoshikai in a video titled “Information: Sumiyoshikai New Structure!
My channel is not a ‘news channel. My channel is not a “news” channel. It is an entertainment variety channel that takes up information and rumors that come to me and discusses them. It is not my goal to provide my viewers with correct information. That is why I always say in my videos that I do not back up what I say.
Laughing wryly, Takken has 49,700 registered viewers (“Takken Taro CH,” as of August 23). Since he launched his channel four years ago, the number of subscribers has been steadily increasing, and now he is attracting the attention of not only yakuza enthusiasts but also people in his own profession.
Takken, however, has not been making “yakuza videos” since he first became a YouTube star. In his early days, as his name suggests, he posted serious videos related to the Takken examination.
I was originally an instructor at a prep school called Waseda Seminar,” he said. I was also asked by companies such as Taisei Corporation and Shimizu Corporation to conduct seminars to prepare for the exam. When I was teaching, I used the business name ‘Tatekentaro,’ which I still use today.
After working at a prep school for about 20 years, he changed jobs to a real estate company. After working for a real estate company for about 20 years, he changed jobs at a real estate company and began his YouTube career in earnest in 2006 after retiring.
At first, the number of views didn’t increase at all,” he says. So I decided to take a look at the land that was the subject of a high-profile case involving a real estate developer in Gotanda, Tokyo. I turned the camera on myself and posted a video explaining the situation from the perspective of a real estate professional, and the number of views increased dramatically. I realized that if you do something that people are interested in, you can get views.
Later, he began to cover completely different genres, such as the “NGT48” scandal and the “murder tackle” issue by the Nihon University football team. He began posting videos of yakuza gangsters with a light heart, thinking that there might be a demand for them.
I liked nonfiction and reportage, so I think I had more knowledge than most people. So I posted videos that introduced the yakuza of the past, and each time the number of views increased considerably. As I posted the videos, I had the opportunity to get acquainted with Mr. Satoru Takegaki, former chairman of the Yamaguchi-gumi Giryukai, and from there my network of contacts expanded.
Nowadays, Takken is sometimes contacted directly by active yakuza through SNS, asking to meet with them. It seems that he has built up a solid network in gathering information on yakuza.
There are seven or eight viewers who volunteer to send me information via Twitter DMs or LINE. Some of them are executives in the Yamaguchigumi and others are not. Among them, there is one who knows what I can only assume to be an executive in the Yamaguchigumi (laughs).
Still, I wonder if there is any fear of amateurs sending out yakuza information.
I have not been harmed so far, but I might be killed someday. Well, if I am shot dead, the Internet will be all over the place for two or three days, and I think that would be fine (laughs). (Laughs.) In the beginning, I sometimes received comments like, “What are you amateurs talking about? Even people in my profession say, “You know a lot, don’t you, Mr. Takken? But I am just an entertainment YouTube star. I will continue to post content that I think will be of interest to everyone, not just yakuza.
He posts videos every day and currently earns about 500,000 yen a month. He hopes to increase the number of subscribers to 50,000 or 100,000 in the future. Popular YouTube stars with more than 1 million subscribers are good, but finding someone unique like Mr. Takken is one of the best ways to enjoy YouTube, isn’t it? But finding a unique person like Mr. Takken is one of the ways to enjoy YouTube.
Top right: Collaboration with former Yamaguchigumi member Satoru Takegaki. He has also collaborated with various other people, such as a former Yamaguchigumi legal advisor and a former detective. The content was reported in detail with photos. Bottom right: A video released on August 20 this year. The channel provided original information, which was rarely reported in the media. Bottom left: The channel was quick to obtain “letters of excommunication” and “letters of insulation” circulated in the industry and introduced them to viewers. The background behind the letters is explained.
From the September 9, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Shinji Hamasaki