Outsiders amongst outsiders

A cultural criminological perspective on the sub-subcultural world of women in the yakuza underworld

By Rie Alkemade

This thesis explores a lesser-known aspect of the infamous yakuza subculture: the wives. Implementing a triangulation of methods and embracing a cultural criminological perspective, the book uncovers the roles, influences, and positions of these women in this overly patriarchal criminal society. Traveling across the yakuza pyramid, it examines these women's subjective perceptions regarding their own positions, and how they express these perceptions through popular media depictions. Outsiders amongst Outsiders reveals that, unlike Western mafia wives, yakuza wives have remained outside the sphere of criminal activity in this organized crime structure, remaining in a passive (emotionally and financially) supportive role. The book further explores the ways in which these women have adapted to their set of circumstances by creating a parallel shadow subculture - an exclusively female 'sub-subculture' within the yakuza itself in which they create a sense of solidarity, pride, and confident identities by adopting and mimicking the yakuza rituals and customs as their own. Thesis. [Subject: Sociology, Criminology, Women's Studies, Japanese Studies, Asian Studies, Cultural Studies]


Publication Date: 12/12/2014
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789462401938