The convincing reason why “Yamaguchigumi’s legal advisor” made his debut on YouTube. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The convincing reason why “Yamaguchigumi’s legal advisor” made his debut on YouTube.

Yukio Yamanouchi reveals that since assuming the position in 1984, he has defended a number of big-name yakuza, including hitmen, Masaru Takumi, a former YAMAGUCHI-GUMI leader, and Kenji Morichikai, the chairman of the Morichikai.

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An unexpected person made his debut as a YouTube star.

Commemorative photo taken with Yoshinori Watanabe, the fifth Yamaguchigumi boss (second from the left), and Masaru Takumi, a young Yamaguchigumi leader (second from the right). At far left is film producer Koji Goto, and at far right is Mr. Yamanouchi. Photo courtesy of Yukio Yamanouchi.

Mr. Yukio Yamanouchi (76). He has been involved with Yamaguchigumi for about 40 years as its legal counsel. He is also known as the author of the bestseller “Sad Hitman” (’88), which describes the inner workings of Yamaguchigumi.

When he opened his channel at the end of July, the number of subscribers quickly exceeded 10,000. His popularity is unprecedented for a senior YouTuber. Mr. Yamanouchi speaks in a calm tone.

I always liked YouTube. I often watched videos about hot springs, travel, stocks, and so on. It was then that a friend I hadn’t seen in a while suggested to me, ‘If you like it so much, why don’t you talk about Yamaguchigumi? It seems that the Yamaguchigumi members are also watching, and they are all surprised, saying, ‘Sensei, what are you doing?

Born in Kagawa Prefecture in 1946. After graduating from Waseda University School of Law, he passed the bar exam in 1972 and worked at a law firm specializing in civil cases. While negotiating compensation for automobile insurance, he became involved with yakuza who “shopped” fictitious claims. Eventually, they saw Yamanouchi’s no-strings-attached attitude and began to ask him to represent them in criminal cases.” Around 1981, he became an advisor to Hidetomi Oda, the head of Yamaguchigumi, and around ’84, he became a “Yamaguchigumi legal advisor” at the recommendation of assistant headman Masaru Takumi.

Yamaguchigumi owns quite a lot of real estate, including its headquarters in Nada-ku, Kobe. Naturally, they cannot be owned in the name of the union, so two companies were established to manage the real estate. Because I was the advisor for those two companies, I was called ‘Yamaguchigumi’s legal advisor. The advisory fee for both companies was 100,000 yen per month, 200,000 yen in total. I was usually asked to defend hitmen by the clan to which they belonged. I did not represent all of them, but I was often asked to give a second opinion on their policies.

I have also defended many big names in connection with major cases that have left their mark on yakuza history. In July 1978, when Kazuo Taoka, the third head of the Yamaguchi clan, was shot at the Bellami club in Kyoto, he served as defense counsel for Kenji Moririki, the chairman of the Moririkai, who retaliated.

In those days, illegal acts were commonplace in police interrogations. There were even those whose only job was to violate suspects, known as ‘suicide squads,’ and those who specialized in perverted bullying by groping the lower half of the body.

Under intense questioning, Chairman Moriki almost admitted that the retaliation was ordered by top management. To keep his mouth shut, Yamanouchi wrote in his book that the chairman supported his lower jaw with both hands, slammed his elbow into the desk, and bit off his tongue.

He wrote in his book, “Credit for retaliation is a medal that should only come with criminal charges. In the case of a fiasco that dragged a parent into prison, disciplinary action may be taken.”

In May ’84, Assistant Deputy Director Takumi was arrested and pursued on suspicion of ordering retaliation in the Bellamy case as well. Mr. Yamanouchi’s work at this time greatly moved the history of the yakuza in Japan.

Mr. Takumi has a strong image of being a ‘Yamaguchigumi treasurer,’ but in reality he was a man of great compassion. When we went to see him after his arrest, he admitted his involvement with the perpetrators, saying, ‘I have no intention of running away for the sake of my henchmen who did a fine job. Fortunately, he had not yet signed the statement, so I said, ‘I will make sure the charges are dropped! Your life is over too soon! I desperately tried to persuade him and got him to change his mind. If he had admitted to the charges, Mr. Takumi would have been imprisoned for a long time and would not have become a young head of the fifth generation.

Mr. Yamanouchi was convicted of abetting destruction of a building in 2003 and lost his license to practice law. Still, he laughs, “I can now proudly call myself a former Yamaguchigumi legal counsel, which is rather comforting. On YouTube, he says, he is determined to convey the real image of the yakuza, with a focus on the Yamaguchigumi. In the videos, he also provides commentary from his unique perspective on the Yamaguchigumi split war that has become increasingly active.

Immediately after the split in ’15, there was sympathy for the Kobe Yamaguchigumi, and some saw them as having the upper hand. However, in reality, Kobe Yamaguchigumi has not even been able to return before the overwhelming power, money, and personnel of Yamaguchigumi VI. The dissolution of the Kobe Yamaguchigumi and the retirement of its leader, Kunio Inoue, are absolute conditions for the end of the war. It is thought that we are now in the final stage of wondering when that timing will be.

Former Yamaguchigumi legal advisor transmits information on YouTube… I am very impressed with the current era. It is truly an amazing time we live in.

Mr. Yamanouchi filming for YouTube. Only one month after the channel was launched, the number of subscribers is already approaching 20,000.

From the September 16, 2022 issue of “FRIDAY

  • Photo Courtesy of Yukio Yamanouchi (1st photo) Kei Kato (2nd photo)

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