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.

<<< Shotozumi’s traditionalist stance has softened slightly due to the influence of his daughter, Keiko. Under the name Kiku, she worked the shadows for years before she sold out her teammates and returned to the family fold, suggesting either a sudden reconciliation, or the possibility she was working deep-cover the entire time. She has managed to show her father the wisdom of some “non-traditional” assets, including women and metahumans, employed in areas where more traditional kobun are out of their depth or too recognizable. She’s also on the hit list of a lot of people in Seattle, but has managed to stay alive so far.

Kat o’ Nine Tales >>>

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 busines 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.

<<< Like any big business, the Yakuza also hire shadowrunners, especially when they don’t want to get their own hands dirty, or (more often) can’t be seen as directly involved in a matter. The Shotozumi-gumi is willing to pay a premium rate, but they also expect a lot for their money. Speaking of which, they also often insist on paying in corporate scrip rather than certified credit, primarily for two reasons. First, the scrip sometimes serves as a blind, pointing the finger at a corp like Mitsuhama rather than the Yakuza. Second, the Yaks are some of the only black marketers in Seattle who accept corporate scrip, so they know the money will come back to them eventually. You can talk them into certified cred, but expect to lose that “premium rate” in the process.

Mr. Bonds >>>

<<< Although they turn their noses up at things like drugs at the higher levels of the gumi, the truth is the kobun on the streets and the gangs who run the Yakuza’s errands deal plenty of drugs, and the gumi certainly doesn’t turn up their noses at the money they bring in.

Star Loner >>>


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