boryokudan

Encyclopedia

boryokudan

(Japanese: "tough gang"), any of various Japanese criminal gangs of centuries-long tradition, which combined in the 20th century into Mafia-like organizations. Members, often called yakuza ("good-for-nothing"), or gyangu ("gangster"), adopt samurai-like rituals and often bear elaborate body tattoos. They engage in extortion, blackmail, smuggling, prostitution, drugs, gambling, loan sharking, day-labour contracting, and other rackets and control many restaurants, bars, pachinko parlours, trucking companies, talent agencies, taxi fleets, factories, and other businesses in major Japanese cities. The boryokudan were also involved in criminal activities in the United States.

Learn more about boryokudan with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: borwe
Next Definition: borzoi
Words Near: boryokudan
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for boryokudan
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing boryokudan
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature