Onna-Oyabun [Yakuza Godmother] | Tim Ra

The tale of the Onna-Oyabun, or the Yakuza godmother, is deeply ingrained in Japanese mainstream consciousness, thanks in large part to pop cultural influences such as the “Yakuza Wives” series and the character of O-ren Ishii from Kill Bill. This myth, however, isn’t entirely fictional. Rie Alkemade’s research reveals the existence of genuine Onna-Oyabuns, a fact she documents in her book “Outsiders Amongst Outsiders”.

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