Members Leaving the Yakuza in 2012

Japan’s National Police Agency estimates that around 600 people quit their membership in Yakuza groups in 2012. Out of that total, 5 were able to find new employment at legitimate jobs through the use of support services.  7 former yakuza members were able to find employment in 2010, and 3 found jobs in 2011.

One of the reasons in the difficulty of former gang members finding jobs is due to the unique yakuza custom of cutting their own fingers. When a member causes problems for his group, the member cuts off a finger and presents it to the group as a sign of penance.

Businesses in Japan have been reluctant to hire individuals without fingers, as many customers do not want to have dealings with former gang members.

Source:  Kenji Ogata, “Prosthetist gives a helping finger to former yakuza,” Asahi Shimbun, April 3, 2013.