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Tokyo Yakuza

Rival criminal gangs battle it out in the streets of Neo-Tokyo!




Five organized crime syndicates fight for control of turf in the anime-inspired dystopian alternate history of Tokyo Yakuza. In the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in a world where Japan won WWII, gang warfare has broken out among the Yamaguchi-gumi, Sumiyoshi-kai and Inagawa-kai Japanese yakuza clans, along with foreign gangs, the 14K Triad (Chinese) and the Seven Star Mob (Korean). Only you and your friends and can determine who will live, who will die, and who will end up in prison or the hospital, in this game of worker placement, fast dealing, and strong violence.

Understanding the 5 clans, described below, is key to mastering the game of Tokyo Yakuza ...

1. Yamaguchi-gumi (green player):

The Yamaguchi-gumi (gumi means gang) is the largest and most popular of the Japanese yakuza clans. They are growing quickly, like a healthy and expanding grove of bamboo. Yamaguchi-gumi gangsters love to practice fighting with katanas in sacred bamboo groves throughout their territory in the verdant parks of Tokyo. They purport to uphold the samurai spirit and teach the way of the warrior, bushido, to new recruits over a lengthy, year-long training period, during which time the new members study martial arts, perform household chores at the local clan office or main headquarters, and are exposed as little as possible to the ugly realities of drug dealing, pimping, and extortion.

The main business of the Yamaguchi-gumi is operating hostess clubs and sex venues throughout the city (the Nightclubs suit). The hostesses pour drinks for clients, light their cigarettes, and tell them how awesome they are (and how their wives don't truly understand them) in exchange for ruinous sums of yen. The Shinto spirit (or kami) most sacred to the clan is the kitsune, or mischievous 9-tailed fox. The Yamaguchi-gumi's melee weapon of choice is the katana (samurai sword), and ranged weapon of choice is the silenced FN-P90 submachine gun. Finally, the Yamaguchi-gumi color, green, represents the love of nature that is the kokoro (heart) of the Yamato race.

2. Sumiyoshi-kai (purple player):

The Sumiyoshi-kai (kai means syndicate) is the second largest numerically but the number one wealthiest of all the clans. They worship technology and count many tech otaku (hackers and fanboys) among their ranks. A long-time player in corporate blackmail (and the inventor of sokaiya raids of annual corporate shareholders' meetings), the Sumiyoshi-kai uses encryption (think Edward Snowden) to hide their every move, leaving no trace on security cameras or databases as they move around the city, buying stolen goods from teams of female shoplifters and selling them for a high profit to cognoscenti elsewhere about town.

The specialty of the Sumiyoshi-kai is demanding protection money in exchange for making sure a legitimate business, from konbini convenience stores to major shipping lines, will continue to operate smoothly (the Extortion suit). Sumiyoshi-kai yakuza are normally exceedingly well-mannered, educated, and sophisticated but a single word of disrespect can set them off on a loud, destructive rampage that brings powerful dishonor and shame to the targeted victims. Sumiyoshi-kai members are Buddhist; they pray to Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, and show mercy to their enemies if they display signs of contrition and the possibility of redemption. The Sumiyoshi-kai's melee weapon of choice is the tanto (tactical knife), and ranged weapon of choice is the Arisaka Elite sniper rifle. Their color, purple, represents high tech, high fashion, and living the high life in general on stolen credit cards.

3. Inagawa-kai (black player):

The original Tokyo gang, the Inagawa yakuza are now a distinct minority in the city which gave them birth. Due to their ever dwindling numbers and conscious of their underdog status, the Inagawa-kai has convinced the world they are the fiercest, most brutal, and downright devilish of all the boryokudan (violent organizations) in the city of Tokyo. If people believe they will be slowly tortured to death in the maze-like basement beneath a pachinko parlor, no one will dare mess with them - at least, that's the Inagawa-kai's line of reasoning. These original gangsters got their start way back in the Tokugawa shogunate as bakuto, or gamblers, who set up hanafuda (flower card) games in tea houses across the Kanto region, centering in Edo (old Tokyo). They still maintain excellent connections with right-wing government officials and fascist corporate executives.

Today, they run everything from underground casinos to downtown, back alley games of chance throughout the core of the city (the Gambling suit). Inagawa-kai gang leaders wear menpo, samurai demon masks, and their bases are lit up with a hellish combination of red and black lights, evoking primal fears of jigoku (hell). They love to beat foes mercilessly and permanently injure the vision, hearing or limbs of victims and send them back to instill terror in their the hearts of their comrades. Firebombings and other terrorist attacks are not uncommon. Inagawa-kai members are essentially atheist, love heavy metal music, and project the notion they worship oni (demons) so that people will think twice about cheating at cards or knocking over one of their gambling sessions. The Inagawa-kai's melee weapon of choice is the paired kama (hand sickle), and ranged weapon of choice is the Desert Eagle .50 heavy pistol. The Inagawa-kai have adopted black as their color, after a knockdown, drag-out fight with more traditional clan members who believed white better symbolized the color of death.

4. 14K Triad (red player):

The 14K is a Hong Kong triad recently arrived in Tokyo, which formed here to protect Chinese immigrants, servants and menial laborers who are being exploited by ruthless Japanese bosses in the corporations and on the streets. Bringing prosperity and the feeling of being in a big Chinese family, the triad organization uses incense, red envelopes full of cash, lion dances, fireworks and flying dragon imagery to create a sense of community among strangers in a strange land. 14K members wrap their torsos in chains for protection, practice Shaolin kung fu in the parks and alleys of Tokyo, and guard smuggled shipments of "China white" (pure heroin) with meat cleavers at the ready. Speaking a dialect of Chinese all their own, in addition to standard Mandarin, thugs of the 14K are inscrutable to the normal Japanese population, who prefer to avoid them unless when buying drugs.

Most people in Tokyo see a Chinese person and immediately think - criminal - due to the 14K's growing reputation for dominance in the drug trade (the Drugs suit). Still, the counterfeit designer handbags, watches, and jewelry stalls operated by female members of the gang are ever-popular among the fashion-conscious, but middle-class, Tokyoites. By and large, the 14K are Zen Buddhist (Shaolin) and love the five animal styles of kung fu, a sort of moving meditation teaching them to flow like water - like water, my friend. Older members grow long, grey or white mustaches and style themselves after the Shaolin masters. The 14K Triad's melee weapon of choice is the meat cleaver, and ranged weapon of choice is the crossbow. Their color is red, symbolizing wealth, vitality, brotherhood and the strength of familial bonds.

5. Seven Star Mob (blue player):

This Korean kkangpae (gang), called Chil Sung Pa in their native tongue, protects all people, not just those of Korean descent (zainichi - or Japan-born Koreans), but all those who are in need of protection from the powers that be. The seven stars represent the virtues all gang members claim they strive for - Honor; Humanity; Loyalty; Vigilance; Strength; Generosity; and Seoul (love for their ancestral homeland). Quickly earning a reputation as protectors of the weak and downtrodden, the Seven Star Mob has organized the dockworkers and bribed the coast guard to allow massive influxes of smuggled goods of all kinds, from banned books and rare medicines to firearms and precursor chemicals, even weapons-grade uranium.

The Seven Star Mob specializes in making sure imported whiskey, vodka, craft beer and champagne flow unimpeded from overseas into the dive bars and high-end geisha restaurants (ryotei) of Tokyo (the Liquor suit). While sake (rice wine) is still the drink of choice in Japan, the industry is completely corporatized and off-limits to the Koreans, so they specialize in bringing in alcoholic beverages from abroad and selling them at a tremendous markup to the Japanese, saving the best soju (Korean liquor) for themselves. As a result, Seven Star Mob gangsters tend to be hard drinking, yet good-spirited sorts, in a slap you on the back and fine you three shots kind of way. Get on their bad side, though, and these self-proclaimed upholders of street justice will bring out the sawed-off shotguns without hesitation. The Seven Star Mob's melee weapon of choice is the bo staff, and ranged weapon of choice is the sawed-off shotgun. Their color, blue, represents salty ocean breezes and the sea in all its clarity, calmness, and penchant for sudden, tsunami storms.


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Average Rating 1 reviews
Publish Date February 02, 2015
Edition First
Department Games
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More Info Tokyo Yakuza web site

Why buy this?

  • Control 5 real-life Asian crime families in an anime setting
  • Open hostess clubs, sling dope, and battle in the streets
  • Face off for control of 50 locations (turf) in Neo-Tokyo!

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Own It Played It Fun Priced Well High Replay Value Well Written Rules Nice Artwork


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