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VICE Specials

Japan Won't Let Filmmakers Use the Yakuza for Movie Plots Anymore

We talk to two companies that rely on the Yakuza's true stories.

Media Works, the film production company founded by Hoyu Yamamoto, specialises in producing Yakuza movies, almost all of which are based on true events. They produce dozens of movies a year, making up 80 percent of all Yakuza films put out each year. Unfortunately for them, gang expulsion laws were passed two years ago in an effort to prevent Japanese entities from working with the Yakuza.

Now, Media Works faces the difficult position since they rely highly on authentic Yakuza stories. Kunihiko Shinoda, chief editor of the magazine Document, faces similar challenges. We decided to go out and find out how they deal with their new circumstances.