Young Yakuza

Synopsis: A young man is initiated into a Yakuza band.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Jean-Pierre Limosin
Production: Cinema Epoch
Rotten Tomatoes:
90 min

When I started this film,

there were 86 301 Yakuzas in Japan,

spread over a number

of crime syndicates.

Yakuza is a

professional gambling word.

Literally ya-ku-za means


So, how is your son


At the moment, he's at home.

But I did want to

speak to you about him.

I thought so.

In trouble again?

He's always in trouble.

The police keep calling.

I don't know what to do.

He doesn't even have a job?

No, he does nothing all day.

Here's what I propose...

You may think it odd but,

you could send him to the boss.

He's a yakuza, no?

Yes, he is.

No, I don't want that.

If it were another

yakuza clan,

I would never have

suggested it.

But everyone knows

Kumagai here.

We've all known him forever,

we know how he climbed

the ladder to get where he is.

You can't go wrong.

But I could never admit

it to my parents,

or the people I know.

The yakuza world

can be a place

where he can learn

good manners and perseverance.

Then he can decide

if he wants to be a yakuza.

He's no longer a child.

He can decide himself

what he wants for his future.

In any case, this apprenticeship

will only last a year.

It goes by quickly.

I would never do anything

without your permission.

But if you wish,

I will speak to your son.

- I'll go.

- Fine.

May we come in?

Please excuse me.

This is Naoki, Mrs. Watanabe's son.


My name is Watanabe.

Sit down.

He told me about you.

You know your mother, you and I,

are all from the same neighbourhood.

It's as if we were

all the same family.

But tell me,

what do you think of our milieu?

To be honest...

I don't really know any yakuzas.

I have friends who are familiar

with yakuzas from films or books.

But I'm not really.

Until now, I know

nothing about the milieu.

At the moment,

I don't have a steady job.

I do nothing all day.

I spoke with M. Imai

who said this was

a good chance...

He advised me to come here

as an apprentice.

I was just thinking

that it was time to change.

I couldn't just go on

doing nothing.

So, I thought that this was

a good opportunity for me.

During your apprenticeship,

you will see many things.

I am warning you,

they will not all be positive.

Human relations are

not always easy.

Of course,

it is an apprenticeship,

and your first experience.

And everything you see,

what you feel,

every experience you have...

whether it is good or bad,

can be a lesson.

What you deem to be good,

you will take on board,

and what you deem to be bad,

you will reject.

You will be your own judge.

Trust your instinct.

Good luck.

By the way, how old are you?

And that haircut is fashionable,

for young men of your age?

No, not really.

But I didn't have time

to get a haircut.

If you want to be

an apprentice here,

you need to be free to move.

You can't have messy hair.

You need to have short hair

to be able to react immediately.

Go to the barber tomorrow,

get your hair cut.

- Is that clear?

- Yes.

We will leave you now.


- Good luck.

- Thank you very much.

- How old are you?

- 20 years old.

You're so lucky!

- You think?

- Yes.

At 20, I was

in a motorcycle gang.

Is that so?

What about you?

- Yes, when I was 16.

- Really?

- Just for a day.

- One day? What put you off?

In fact, what happened was...

my friends absolutely

wanted me to join.

They kept bugging me...

I was going to say yes.

But then they wanted me

to curl my hair.

A perm?

I didn't want to.

I said if that was the condition,

I would quit.

And you left after one day?

Get changed. You can't wear

your own clothes anymore.

You wear this uniform.

You can throw out the rest.

"Please excuse me."

You have to bow low down.

Your arms by your sides,

and really mean what you say.

"Please excuse me."


Yes, not too bad.

But really mean what you say.

When you're leaving you say:

"Excuse the interruption."

Yes, that's it.

In the morning, when the boss arrives:

"Good morning, boss."

"Good morning, boss."

In here, are the boss's

cups and glasses.

- All these?

- Yes, this is all for the boss.

Here, are the guest glasses,

and here,

the H.Q. chief's things.

Here, are the guest cups,

and here, are our ones.

And all the dishes above,

belong to the boss.

The shibori below right

are the boss's.

Those are for the deputy chief,

those for the H.Q. chief.

Here, there are less than usual.

They're for the guests.

That's the boss's kettle.

This one is for us.

- Be very careful.

- OK.

That's the boss's fridge.

Everything in there,

is for the boss.

Can you get me a coaster?

Is there a special way

of folding the shibori?


We'll go in together.

"Please excuse me."


put down the shibori.

The name should be on this side.

- The name on the cup?

- Yes, facing him.

You place the shibori on the right.

Then you say:

"Excuse the interruption."

- How old are you?

- 26 years old.

I'm only 20.

You look older.

I get that a lot.

You look much older.


That old?

- Have I met everyone yet?

- Not yet.

It's stressful.

At the start, that's normal.

It's stressful.

Are there any scary ones?

Scary ones?

No, I don't think so.


You'd think in a place like this,

there would be.

- Really...

- You're sure?

It happens in the dirty city

The concrete jungle

You wander, bad boy solitaire

Full of dreams

You land in Tokyo

In a state

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Jean-Pierre Limosin

Jean-Pierre Limosin (French: [li.mɔ.zɛ̃]; born 1949) is a French film director and screenwriter. He has directed seven films since 1983. His film Tokyo Eyes was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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