It’s very fair to say that whatever knowledge a lot of people have about the Yakuza comes from pop culture since, like many things that have been taken and twisted over the years, this organization has been given that same type of makeover that tends to make it a little bit ridiculous, not to mention so over the top that myths and legends have been tacked onto it for decades. But thankfully, there are still those that remember and understand the truth of it, and sometimes they’re more than willing to divulge the honest picture of what went on in such organizations as the Yakuza, or at least will give a different opinion than many people might have wanted to hear. Some folks might want to think that the Yakuza is still a humongous crime organization that has its feelers out everywhere and controls more than people understand, but when hearing the more realistic account of someone that’s actually been there and live the life, it becomes easier to think that the movies are telling a tale that is geared toward fiction while the truth is doled out in small bits and pieces.
That’s pretty typical of the movies as well as TV to be certain since that’s their job, to entertain people using the various elements they have to work with. The Yakuza is said to have been quite powerful at one time, and those that deal with such material are typically those that make movies that are either fascinated with this part of the Japanese culture or intrigued by the criminal element that it brings to any given movie or show. Hyping the Yakuza up for the sake of one story or another was bound to happen since to be fair, people do love to hear about the criminal element of any society since it brings a bit of danger and something out of the ordinary into their lives. But those that have lived it, that have experienced the real thing, tend to laugh or become offended at what Hollywood attempts to do when it comes to showing a part of the life they once lived.
If the pastor in this clip is offended he hides it quite well since it does appear that he’s a little more amused than anything as he breaks down each scene and goes through what it was really like to be a part of the Yakuza. It’s actually not that surprising to figure out that life in the organization was represented with some truth in the movies from time to time, such as the cutting of the finger and a few other things. But seeing as how Hollywood tends to take things over the top so often and expands them into something that most people should be able to look at and discern as not realistic, there are plenty of scenes that should not be taken at face value. When one understands the distinction between reality and fantasy it becomes easier to see what’s there to entertain the masses and what might have been realistic at one point. Thinking that corruption still exists to some degree is pretty easy, but thinking that it’s continued to exist in the same manner that the movies show is what people tend to want to believe.
How much we believe the experts that tell us otherwise is a byproduct of history and fantasy being bashed together on a regular basis since many people might question the pastor’s word simply because they want to believe that life isn’t quite as mundane as it would appear. The movies do manage to give people a look into something that might have existed in a similar way in the past, but could not adapt well enough to exist in the current world that we inhabit. Then again, the movies do tend to exaggerate a lot, since it’s kind of silly to think of any Yakuza member bringing a sword into a bathhouse unless there was a good enough reason for it. Plus, anything larger than a dagger in a bathhouse might be a little tough to conceal given the nature of the place. Details such as this are reasons why it’s easier to doubt Hollywood than an individual who was supposedly there and knows what they’re talking about.
The ‘How Real Is It?’ series is a fun look inside how things actually are and is a little more entertaining since it uses those that have lived the life, that have seen what goes on, and are either not that offended by what Hollywood churns out or can tamp it down enough to enjoy a good laugh at how ridiculous things get. There are a great number of these clips that go on to show the world as it is by pulling away from the smoke and mirrors, and usually without destroying the effects too much.