Yasha (1985)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Run Time - 127 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka

In an emotional and dramatic -- if not melodramatic accounting of a former Japanese gang member, some of the traits of the yakuza, or Japanese Mafia, are brought forward. Shuji (Ken Takakura) has taken the bold step of leaving his yakuza clan behind to start a new life in a small fishing village. He marries a local woman, makes friends, and then trouble starts. While defending a barmaid against the brutality of her husband, Shuji's jacket is ripped and the large yakuza tattoo on his back is revealed. (The different yakuza clans have identifying tattoos, and many yakuza have nearly full-body tattoos.) The villagers immediately cut off all relationships with Shuji -- and in response, he goes after the gangsters who are selling drugs to the barmaid's husband, the very men who were once his yakuza brothers. (Ya-ku-za means "8-9-10" and refers to a worthless hand in a card game.)



gangster, going-straight, fishing-village, past, one-against-odds, reform [improve], tattoo, drugs, underworld, wife, bar [pub], barmaid, Japan, marriage