shadowrun 5th - trial run
Oyabun Hanzo Shotozumi has guided his association, and the Seattle Yakuza, for decades. Shotozumi is a traditionalist and a firm believer in doing things the way the Yakuza have done them for centuries, so his organization maintains practices like irezumi tattoos to demonstrate their rank and influence (the very best done by traditional
master artists without the use of modern tools). Members of the gumi are expected to atone for their mistakes with traditional yabitsume (“finger-cutting”) and seppuku rituals.
The Shotozumi-gumi is organized and run like a business association, with the oyabun as its chairman. They combine the traditional Yakuza practice of offering their benevolent protection to residents of their nawabari (literally “roped-off area,” mainly the International District of Downtown) with the sokaiya practice of dealing with local corporations and Seattle offices of multinationals. Essentially, the corps pay the Yakuza protection money to avoid disruptions of their business affairs and to smooth certain underworld connections.
Closer to the street, the Shotozumi have interests in gambling parlors and “entertainment” services like prostitution (both traditional geisha and their bunraku parlors), chip-dealing, and smuggling.
The newest Yakuza association in Seattle in the Kanaga-gumi, built from the former Shigeda-gumi after Oyabun Takeo Shigeda was assassinated. New Chairman Sato Kanaga is far more conservative than his predecessor, insisting the association follow the example of the Shotozumi-gumi in maintaining the Yakuza’s ancient traditions and practices. This had led to a purge of the gumi’s ranks some are calling “the Little Schism,” leading some to refer to Kanaga as “Little Akira,” after the infamous head of the Watada-rengo (although never where they might be overheard).
The Kanaga-gumi controls the former Shigeda territory in northern and western Seattle, primarily Everett, Snohomish, and Auburn, as well as the Redmond Barrens.
The lowest of the low in the Seattle Yakuza are the Kenran-kai. Every organization needs somebody to do the shit jobs, and the Kenran-kai are it for the Yakuza. They’re a relatively new association, cobbled together from survivors of the Nishidon-gumi judged loyal enough to live, although stained by their leader’s dishonor and death. Filled out by refugees from the former Shigeda-gumi and some new recruits, the Kenran-kai is in charge of Yakuza operations in Puyallup, the most desolate and unfriendly territory available. Still, Oyabun Kosuke Tomizawa has taken the duty of leading the Kenran-kai very seriously, working hard to win over the trust of the suspicious peoples of Puyallup and convince them that his association has their best interests at heart.
The New Way
The “New Way” is a movement within the Yakuza to embrace modern concepts like magic and metahumans and adopt a more businesslike attitude, setting aside traditional prejudices and practices that proponents believe needlessly limit the Yakuza’s growth and influence. The New Way even espouses tolerance of non-pureblood Japanese and female members of the Yakuza, in the interests of expanding the organization’s global influence and reach. It is contrasted with the “Old School” of traditionalist Yakuza holding to the syndicate’s time-honored practices, including mistrust of magic and prejudice towards metahumans (kawaru) and women.