Title: Yakuza Moon
Author: Shoko Tendo
Publisher: Kodansha Int'l
Pages: 252 pages
Many speculations on life being a yakuza in Japan, but Shoko Tendo gives us the truth of Yakuza’s life, and especially on being a Yakuza head gang’s daughter. What you know and think about Yakuza and the overall of Japanese life and culture will change after you read this book.
This is an autobiography of Shoko Tendo who was born in the winter of 1968 in Japan. Though starting her life in a fabulous childhood, Shoko was treated her unfairly since she was a daughter of a yakuza father, in the community and even in the school. She had to face the frightened people when she appeared in their sights and many rumors about herself and her family.
Shoko Tendo had to go through the things that started to go more wrong after Tendo’s grandmother died. Her father went to jail and her mother should be the single parent for the family and also leader of the gang life whilst. Abusive father and being molested by her father’s employee left scars in Tendo’s childhood.
In teenage, Tendo became a yanki, a teenage rebellious punk kid. She tried drugs and free sex life style. Many rapes, physical abuse, and gang wars she had gone through. And escape is not the only way to go out. She was caught in yanki sweeping by the police and sent to jail. Living in a school for special care students didn’t make her stop.
When her father’s business went down, a debt collector asked Tendo to be his mistress, so he wouldn’t terrorize her family life of debt his father had made. It wasn’t just once Tendo become a mistress in her young age and treated bad everyday. This point, Tendo started to see the results of the mistakes she had done had not involved only her life, but also her loved ones. The way to go back from hell wasn’t that easy though---Through a tattoo which became her wake-up call. This is a true story about passionate struggling and surviving. Full of hardships, sacrifices, tears and … blood.
Through the book, Tendo shared her past and her reflections, and brought up the real life of a yakuza within. Many speculations and rumors about yakuza or being a yakuza, as if yakuzas aren’t humans like other people in Japan. But this way, Tendo opened up the other side of living as a yakuza that it wasn’t that easy.
- · Two thumbs up for Shoko Tendo! For writing such a wonderful and touching book of her own life. Especially, it opened up the truth in the yakuza community where people think they know all but actually they don’t. It shared to us another angle to see from a yakuza. Like being a wife and a child of yakuza’s.
- · Many lessons we can gain from Shoko’s life. Watching our own steps and being responsible to everything we did. And how we should always remember the people who loved us and we loved and not to hurt or disappoint them. A value of a family. Struggle is all worth for everyone.
- · The way Shoko Tendo’s writing her life down is like she story-told to us. The hardships and miserable pain are so scarily alive and awaken us from what we have gone through in life is nothing, compared to Shoko’s.
- · This book is totally a perfect autobiography! Shoko Tendo's book is very witty and knows very well how to touch the readers about mistakes and regrets.
- I recommend this book for everyone, from people who thinks their lives suck, or who love to know about Japanese cultures, or, ever played a game about Yakuza.