5 Movies With The Yakuza

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· 4 min read
A number of shirtless and tattooed men celebrating

The Yakuza is a well-known criminal organization in Japan that has been a notable subject in the film industry for several decades.

Due to their complex power dynamics, unwavering code of ethics, and violent reputation, the Yakuza have been depicted in various ways throughout different movies.

This article aims to provide an explanatory analysis of five movies that feature the Yakuza and explore how this organization is portrayed in each film.

Through a neutral and informative tone, the article will delve into the details of each movie and the Yakuza's portrayal, offering a moderate level of depth and elaboration to clarify their depiction.

Best Movies With Yakuza

The Outsider (2018)

A man who is covered in tattoos shown in a suit

The Outsider, a Netflix original film starring Jared Leto, tells the tale of an American soldier who joins the Yakuza after spending World War II as a prisoner of war in Japan.

The film is famous for its portrayal of the power struggles inside the Yakuza and the complex relationships among its members.

Despite criticism for its depiction of the Yakuza as a single, cohesive organization, the film provides an interesting glimpse into its inner workings.

Graveyard of Honor (2002)

A man pointing a gun

The Takashi Miike-directed movie Graveyard of Honour is a remake of the same-titled 1975 movie.

In the film, a low-ranking Yakuza member ascends up the ranks of the organization through cunning methods.

The movie Graveyard of Honour is renowned for its brutal portrayal of violence and its analysis of the influence of the Yakuza on Japanese culture.

Outrage (2010)

An old man and a young man threatening the camera man with a gun

Outrage is a grim criminal drama that investigates the inner workings of the Yakuza and was directed by Takeshi Kitano.

The movie centers on a dispute between two opposing Yakuza clans and the horrific fallout that follows.

The film is renowned for its accurate portrayal of the Yakuza's methods, particularly its use of murder and torture to keep power.

Yakuza Apocalypse (2015)

A shirtless man looking back

In the strange and weird film Yakuza Apocalypse, directed by Takashi Miike, the Yakuza world is combined with vampires.

The main character of the movie is a Yakuza leader who has been transformed into a vampire and must fight against rival gangs and other supernatural dangers.

Instead of portraying the Yakuza in a realistic manner, the film emphasizes on its magical aspects.

The Wolverine (2013)

A shirtless muscular man with knives extruding out of his fists

The Wolverine is a superhero movie starring Hugh Jackman as the eponymous character. While the film is primarily a comic book adaptation, it also incorporates elements of the Yakuza genre.

The plot of the film takes place in Japan, where Wolverine becomes embroiled in a conflict with the Yakuza. The Yakuza are portrayed as a ruthless criminal organization that will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.

The film also explores themes of honor, loyalty, and revenge, which are common themes in Yakuza movies. Additionally, the movie features several prominent Japanese actors and actresses, including Hiroyuki Sanada and Tao Okamoto, who bring an authentic Japanese perspective to the film.

Overall, while The Wolverine is primarily a superhero movie, its incorporation of Yakuza elements adds depth and complexity to the story and makes it a unique entry in the Wolverine film franchise.

Like a Dragon (2007)

A man in a business suit punching

The Japanese film Like a Dragon was helmed by Takashi Miike. After their leader is killed, a group of Yakuza members are shown engaging in a power struggle.

The film is noteworthy for its peculiar humor and usage of imagery reminiscent of computer games.

Fans of the genre will enjoy this Yakuza movie since it's funny and entertaining.

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What is the Yakuza?

The Yakuza is a powerful criminal organization in Japan that has been depicted in numerous films over the years.

Why are the Yakuza often portrayed in films?

The Yakuza is a fascinating subject for filmmakers because they represent a unique and mysterious aspect of Japanese culture. They also provide a rich source of drama, action, and intrigue.

How accurate are depictions of the Yakuza in films?

Depictions of the Yakuza in films can vary widely, from realistic portrayals to highly exaggerated or stylized depictions. It's important to remember that these are works of fiction and may not accurately reflect the reality of the Yakuza.

What are some common themes in Yakuza films?

Yakuza films often explore themes of loyalty, honor, and betrayal. They also frequently delve into the darker aspects of human nature, including violence and greed.

Some notable Yakuza films include Battles Without Honor and Humanity, Sonatine, Tokyo Drifter, The Outsider, and Like a Dragon. These films offer a range of styles and perspectives on the Yakuza and are worth checking out for fans of the genre.