Former Yakuza VTuber Taro talks about the scary situation of the cars of the yakuza. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Former Yakuza VTuber Taro talks about the scary situation of the cars of the yakuza.

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A car said to be the yakuza’s preferred choice (courtesy of Taro Jongjang).

The yakuza are known to drive black luxury cars and drive annoyingly at ridiculous speeds. Many people have this image due to movies and TV dramas, but what is the reality?

Taro Jongjang, a virtual youtuber (VTuber) under the name “Jongjang Taro,” which refers to people who have been in prison many times, and a former yakuza himself, talks about the real yakuza’s car situation.

In the old days, the status of a yakuza was to drive a luxury car like a Mercedes, Crown, or Cedric. Some yakuza hated the black color, which even ordinary people often thought was cool, and chose the white color, but most of them drove black-painted cars with full smoke. They did whatever they wanted with license plates, such as unifying them with the numbers of the gangs and 5910 (Kyokudo).

This situation changed with the enactment of the Boryokudan Law (Law Concerning Prevention of Unjust Acts by Organized Crime Groups). This law has made it difficult for yakuza to own luxury cars.

Now it is difficult for the yakuza to own luxury cars because of the Law for Securing Storage of Motor Vehicles (Shikko Hou). Yakuza are not allowed to register their names in the “owner and user” section of the vehicle inspection certificate. So nowadays yakuza often drive family cars like Prius and Alphard.”

In addition to the garage law situation, another circumstance is that many yakuza file as tax-exempt households. If such households suddenly purchase luxury cars, the tax office will conduct an investigation, and if they are discovered to be yakuza, arrest is inevitable. Therefore, it is becoming more difficult for today’s yakuza to drive luxury cars.

Now that more and more yakuza drive household cars, it has become difficult to distinguish between cars driven by yakuza and those driven by ordinary people.

When I asked him if there was any way to tell the difference, he gave me a surprising answer.

In the past, you could easily recognize a yakuza car by its distinctive license plate number or sticker, but nowadays they don’t do anything conspicuous that would be easily recognizable to avoid being spotted by the police. However, the cars driven by those in the higher ranks of the yakuza are often black luxury cars, so it may be easier to recognize them.

The way of driving has also changed. In the past, they used to drive in formation, ignoring legal speed limits and traffic signals, but now they drive with the sole purpose of getting around, like driving a cab. Even the yakuza can’t resist the times, you know (laughs).”

In the old days, if you messed with a yakuza car, you were in big trouble because you were accused of being related to the owner of the car, the yakuza boss.

Nowadays, such a situation seems to be less common, but now that a car driving next to you may be a yakuza car, you might want to be more conscious of driving safely to avoid being involved in such an incident.

A car that is said to be a favorite choice of yakuza (courtesy of Taro Joronji).
A car that yakuza prefer to drive (courtesy of Taro Jorinbo)

Read “Gokudo Rakuen,” an ultra-realistic manga about the yakuza world, supervised by Taro Shogun, who knows all about the world of the yakuza.

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