The Yamaguchi-gumi Division Conflict, now in its 10th Year, Possibility of a Blitzkrieg Ending and the Birth of a Seventh Generation | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The Yamaguchi-gumi Division Conflict, now in its 10th Year, Possibility of a Blitzkrieg Ending and the Birth of a Seventh Generation

Finally entering its 10th year, the key person, Seiji Takayama, a young head of the Yamaguchigumi, moves in the chaotic situation....

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Shinobu Tsukasa, 81, head of the Yamaguchi Gumi VI, showed up at a party held last December, and although he will turn 82 on January 25, he still has an overwhelming aura.

The great feud that has rocked the world of chivalry is about to reach a milestone.

The Yamaguchigumi split war started in August 2003. More than a dozen groups led by Kunio Inoue, 75, head of the fourth Yamaguchigumi Yamaguchigumi, became independent from the Yamaguchigumi VI. Since then, both sides have suffered many casualties. This summer will finally mark the 10th year of this conflict. Nonfiction writer Masahiro Ojima, author of “The True Story of the Yamaguchigumi Split” and other books, explains the latest power structure.

At the time of the split, the Rokudai side had about 6,000 members and the Kobe side about 2,800. At first, the Kobe side had momentum. However, the tide turned in October 2007, when Seiji Takayama, 76, a young leader of the 6th generation, was released from prison after serving his term. In addition to the increased offensive on the VI side, a number of organizations left the Kobe side one after another. According to statistical data released by the National Police Agency last March, the number of members on the Kobe side plummeted to approximately 330 compared to approximately 3,800 on the Rokudai side. Since then, the Kobe side has continued to shrink, with an estimated 200 members at present. The gap in strength between the two camps has widened to about 20 times.

Last year, there were three shootings: In January, an assistant to the Kizuna-kai Wakagashira was shot and killed. Kizunakai is an independent organization that split off from the Kobe Yamaguchigumi. Three months later, the head of Minato Kogyo, an affiliate of Yamaguchigumi VI’s Kodokai, was killed by a bullet, and in May, a leader of Kyokushikai, a secondary organization of Yamaguchigumi VI, was shot dead.

The war did not end there: in June, the home of Inoue’s gang leader was the scene of an attempted arson attack. In December, the home of the same direct leader was attacked again. Atsushi Mizoguchi, a journalist well versed in the gang situation, said, “Looking at the power structure, the Kobe side is the most powerful.

Looking at the power structure, the Kobe side is clearly losing ground. What is interesting in this situation is the shooting death of the head of the Yosima clan that took place in April. The head of the Kodokai, the core organization of the VI Kyokeikai, was shot and killed. The perpetrator has not yet been caught, but is said to be a Kizumikai official.”

If, as Mizoguchi points out, this was done by the Kobe side, it means that there is still a will left to fight back. On the other hand, the key figure, Inoue, is holed up in his home in Kobe City. The Hyogo Prefectural Police are on 24-hour alert to protect the residents in the neighborhood, and the Rokudai are not easily able to get their hands on him.

Behind the scenes, peace negotiations have been going on behind the scenes. However, these negotiations, too, have run into a deadlock.

Last summer, the two top leaders of the two unions met with Mr. Inoue, but Mr. Inoue refused to yield until the end. However, I hear that the leader of the Inoue clan did not accept the surrender until the end.

The Yamaguchigumi VI] Seiji Takayama, 76, continues to lead the front line in the current conflict. Because of his immense influence, only his physical condition is a cause for concern.

Possibility of “Birth of the Seventh Generation

In December last year, the Yamaguchigumi VI held its regular year-end meeting. The guideline of the association for the year Reiwa 2024 was “harmony and parental unity. These are the words that were written in the charter of the 3rd Yamaguchigumi when it was in its heyday, and they literally express a strong determination to end the conflict.

What will happen this year, which will be a milestone year? Mr. Ojima tells us.

There are some who think that the Rokumei side will make a move before August, but I don’t think so. If the Rokumei side stays quiet, the Kobe side will continue to downsize on its own. So it would be wiser to sit back and wait than to do something unnecessary and increase the number of young people going to jail.”

The stalemate continues. Mizoguchi agrees. Meanwhile, Takegaki Satoru, former chairman of the Yamaguchi-affiliated Yamaguchi-gumi and current head of a non-profit organization, has noted a “certain change” that has taken place in the VI camp.

Last November, the personnel changes that were announced for the two organizations directly affiliated with Yamaguchigumi VI attracted a lot of attention. That is the introduction of the ‘president system. The previous head of the clan will remain as president and watch over the organization together with the new head. When there is a change, there is a succession of departures, so they probably want to prevent that from happening. But that is not the only aim. I suspect that this is a stepping stone toward the introduction of a presidential system for the sixth generation as well. Originally, the war started under the reign of Shinobu Tsukasa (81), so it cannot be passed on unless the war is ended. However, if a presidential system is introduced, it would be possible to elevate the boss to the position of president, thereby making it possible for young boss Takayama to become the seventh head of the clan.

Behind the rumors of a possible replacement is also concern over the health of the key figure, Wakao Takayama. Mr. Mizoguchi said.

Mizoguchi said, “The clan would like to have the leader of the clan before the health of Wakao Takayama, who has made a great contribution to the clan, deteriorates. There were rumors of a presidential system during the fifth generation, but it did not come to fruition due to opposition from other executives. However, all of the current leaders are unanimously in favor of the birth of the Takayama clan leader. There will be no problems within the clan.

The movement toward the birth of the seventh head of the Takayama clan is steadily progressing. If this happens, the “sudden end” to the long-running feud will become a reality. Prior to the birth of the seventh generation, Wakao Takayama issued a decree.

In September of last year, the executive committee issued an order to each direct supervisor to “cut off Kobe Yamaguchigumi. It was, of course, Wakao Takayama who led the directive, and although a vehicle rammed into the home of a direct supervisor on the Kobe side in December, the attack must have been carried out in response to this directive.
As for Wakao Takayama, he is keen to put an end to the war before he becomes the new head of the clan in order to set up the Tsukasa clan leader. With whispers of his assuming the post this year, it is quite possible that he will step up his offensive before then. The VI clan’s ultimate goal remains the same: to take Inoue’s life or force him to retire. If Takayama makes a move, the war will move as well. The situation continues to be unpredictable and anything can happen.

The Yamaguchigumi VI is on the offensive. On the other hand, the leader of the Inoue clan remains silent. Ten years have passed since the split. The war is about to enter its final phase.

Executives of the Yamaguchigumi VI after the Sanokai meeting. From left: [Chairman of Kokushikai V] Eiji Fujii, assistant young head [Takenaka clan leader II] Miki Ando, assistant young head [Ishii clan leader IV] Yasumichi Ikuno, chairman of Daido Kai] Utao Morio, head [Chairman of Akira Rengokai] Toriki Akira, assistant young head [Chairman of Kodokai III] Shomei Takeuchi
The Kobe Yamaguchigumi] Kunio Inoue, 75, is the leader of the Inoue clan, which has not made a decision to surrender even though there is a nearly 20-fold difference in strength between the two groups. In recent years, he has disappeared from the public stage and holed up in his home.

From “FRIDAY” January 19, 2024

  • PHOTO Shinji Hamasaki, Asahi Shimbun (4th picture)

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