Yakuza Moon – Memoirs of a Gangster’s Daughter

23 Dec


Yakuza Moon – Memoirs of a Gangster’s Daughter | 極道な月
By: Tendo Shoko | 天藤湘子
Publisher: Kondasha International

I’ve been feeling pretty bumped about life over the last few moons when I chanced upon this book. The loud graphic (of the author) & bold title immediately caught my eye. It was Shoko Tendo – a Yakuza‘s daughter’s autobiography.

The book spins a heart wrenching real life drama that refutes all happiness during this jolly Christmas-y season. Written in a very direct 1st person view, the story depicts hard core use of drugs, Shoko’s relationships with men & the constant physical abuse from a string of them.

She was a yanki by the age of 12, then a juvenile delinquent, a glue sniffer then a drug addict. She spent moons in reform home, painful years as a kept woman and maybe even decades with abusive men. She was cheated, beaten & raped, in short, it was a string of bad karma & ill fate. As a form of liberation, she got herself an irezumi (tattoo) and had to go more pain from cosmetic surgery because of all the beatings. The book was presented to the reader in simple translated English, with a sort of detachment through which you can really feel the horror that, that this brave woman went through.

What’s in it for me with the New Year fast approaching? I still (guiltily) remember thinking aloud that I desperately need to read about somebody who had it worst off than me, to feel better about my self. I could sit and complaint till the cows come home or I can pick up and move. But if I were to sum up life in just three words; it’ll most probably be the same as Shoko’s: It goes on.

So what’s it for you ? Have you already read this book? Do you personally know a Yakuza (how cool is that!)

Find out more:
Japan Today
The Age


Posted in culture, japan


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Leave a Reply


  1. Danny Choo

    Tuesday, 25 December, 2007 at 11:13

    Just a quick Seasons Greetings ;-)

  2. Ellene

    Tuesday, 25 December, 2007 at 18:05

    AGREED!!! Yakuza Moon is a real good book that will make you think how bless your life is compared to that of Shoko Tando. Kudos to her attempt at revealing the hardship of being a yakuza’s daughter.

  3. dakuro

    Wednesday, 9 November, 2011 at 05:40

    Sounds pretty amazing… as you know there some japanese doramas that show a similar plots and they are kind of interesting, there’s an english edition about this book ?