Halloween for kids in Kobe City was made extra-special this year thanks to their friendly neighborhood gangsters.
The notorious Yamguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest yakuza organisation, turned the garage of their headquarters in Kobe into a Halloween candy stall, where elementary school children could come and get candy while out trick-or-treating.
It seems that this has been a regular occurrence in Kobe over the years, but netizens find the idea completely absurd, with many suggesting that given yakuza involvement in the drug trade, some of the sweets might contain something extra…
Yamguchi-gumi Hand Out Candy To Kids On Halloween This Year
On Halloween night, freelance writer Suzuki Tomohiko’s Twitter account was trending:
“Yamaguchi-gumi HQ in Kobe are doing Halloween to rave reviews! But it’s only elementary school students who can get candy. It’s going on until 7pm! They’ve still got some left! Trick or Treat!! I firmly support the Yamguchi-gumi.” pic.twitter.com/bJNI9CJDRb Suzuki Tomohiko (yonakiishi) October 31 2014.
So apparently, “Yamaguchi-gumi”, the world’s largest crime syndicate, had been handing out candy to children for Halloween in front of their Kobe City HQ.
It seems that they do this every year.
According to the November 1 2013 edition of the Kobe Shimbun, the Yamaguchi-gumi have been handing out candy to children in front of their general HQ for quite some time, and the newspaper analyzed this as being a “tactic to win over their neighbors”. Even on a website connected to the Yamaguchi-gumi, the event was introduced as follows:
“The Yamaguchi-gumi is very happy to be handing out candy to the neighborhood children in front of our HQ again this year, and to be distributing them to local facilities”.
“In addition, when handing out candy in front of our HQ, the prefectural police helped us to organize the children. There was a really harmonious atmosphere that brought back memories of how we helped each other during the Great Hanshin Earthquake”.
By the way, according to Suzuki, the practice of handing out candy is said to have started when foreign children living in the neighborhood visited the Yamaguchi-gumi on Halloween.
“It all began when foreign children living in the neighborhood of the Yamguchi-gumi headquarters visited them on Halloween. Good job! Really well done! And since then, every year, the Yamaguchi-gumi have prepared candy for the neighborhood children. They leave their garage wide open. I wish all of the yakuza organisations in Japan did this. For yakuza, conduct is everything.” — Suzuki Tomohiko (yonakiishi) October 31, 2014.
Since then, this has become a regular event in the neighborhood, and there are even some people who say “I got candy from the yakuza when I was a kid”.
“I got candy from them when I was a kid too! @yokanichi: Yamaguchi-gumi HQ in Kobe are doing Halloween to rave reviews! But it’s only elementary school students who can get candy. It’s going on until 7pm! They’ve still got some left! Trick or Treat!! I firmly support the Yamguchi-gumi. pic.twitter.com/bJNI9CJDRb“ — Goran (kazusi_h) October 31 2014
“I heard stories from my uncle that when he was a kid he lived near the Yamaguchi-gumi and he got candy at Halloween, but I guess it was true after all” — Misakuradaikon (daikon442) October 31, 2014
But since the candy is limited to those who are elementary school students, be warned.
“Just came from the Yamaguchi-gumi
Seems like the candy was just for elementary school students (笑)“
Old river 古川 (oldflamin) October 31, 2014
And even outside of Halloween, the Yamguchi-gumi are known for “pounding mochi” and for giving masks to kindergartens when influenza is going around.
※ But I wonder what would happen if you ended up getting tricked by the Yamaguchi-gumi…
— PhilHirano (PhilHirano) October 31, 2014.
Comments from 2ch.net:
I’d be too frightened to go and get candy from them!
Yakuza’s candy (deep meaning)
It’s only at Halloween that the candy contains heroi….nah, never mind.
How do mothers react to this?
If it were my mother she’d never let me take candy from them.
TRICK or DRUG？
足4の字固め(やわらか銀行)＠＼(^o^)／: [in response to above]
You mean “trick or trip”…
They don’t even have to dress up, it’s easy for them.
Wonder if they’re doing it to make the kids get a taste for speed?
Are the parents who take their kids to get candy from those guys crazy?
Guess times have changed from the times when if you got candy from yakuza and your parents found out about you’d be disinherited, no questions asked.
You shouldn’t really get involved with those people.
They bare their fangs when they think it’ll come to money.
Is this to confirm future clan members?
Kid: “These cookies taste like blood don’t they Mummy?”