Summary of The Japanese Mafia

Yakuza, Law and the State

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The Japanese Mafia book summary
Methodical examination of Japan's 'yakuza' (mafia) and recent legal efforts to control it.


8 Overall

5 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


This scholarly work examines the nature of organized crime in great depth and details the evolution of Japan's mafia, called the yakuza, and the challenges confronting it in the 21st century. Although Peter B.E. Hill’s style is rigorously academic, the nature of the material itself is so sensational that the book is at times a thrilling read. It offers a glimpse of the underside of Japanese government and society, and reveals historical facts likely to shock the average non-Japanese reader. getAbstract finds that this book will, of course, interest readers who are professionally concerned with crime, sociology, economics, Japanese studies and the like. However, it may also appeal to fans of true crime stories and hard-boiled fiction – a rare attribute for an academic book.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What mafias are;
  • How mafias fit into society; and
  • Why the yakuza are a markedly Japanese mafia and what distinctively Japanese challenges they face.


What Are Mafias?
Organized crime is a term applied to organizations that function somewhat like governments in illegal markets. These organizations, often known as “mafias,” provide a number of services at great profit. One of the most important is protection. Mafias can see that contracts...
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About the Author

Peter B. E. Hill is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in sociology at the University of Oxford.

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