Ah Halloween. After Christmas, it’s easily the best time of the year to be a kid. You get to dress up, scare people with your friends, and then best of all… go to your local organized crime branch to get a giant bag of candy.

Such has been the annual tradition on Halloween for children who visit the headquarters of the Japanese yakuza group Yamaguchi-gumi in Kobe. But this year, Halloween has had an “unfortunate accident” and been cancelled, meaning the mob will be handing out no candy.

Wait… what? Japanese mafia? Halloween candy? What do these things have in common? Read on to find out!

With the rise in popularity of Halloween in Japan these past few years, it’s only natural for the nation’s “seedier” side to get in on the fun too. A few years ago, Japan’s largest organized crime group, the Yamaguchi-gumi, began handing out giant bags of Halloween candy to the local kids to celebrate. Just look at the loot from last year!

▼ Those bags are huge! I just hope they weren’t extorted from the other kids in the neighborhood….


▼ Everyone come on down to the Yamaguchi-gumi headquarters for a sweet offer you can’t refuse!



Despite the shady reputation of the organization, you can’t deny that they gave out plenty of generously sized candy bags and smiles last year. So this year many of Kobe’s children were probably looking forward to doing it again, but unfortunately they will be very disappointed. The Yamaguchi-gumi has cancelled Halloween and had this to say for the reason why:

▼ “Unfortunately, due to various circumstances our annual Halloween event is cancelled this year. We are looking forward to next year, when we hope to be able to run the event again. -Yamaguchi-gumi”

[tweet https://twitter.com/SankeiNews_WEST/status/656702917601177600 align-center]

While their official announcement does not specifically state the reason behind the cancellation, Hyogo Prefecture’s police have a hunch that it may be related to several of the group’s branches splitting from the main organization last month. With so much turmoil and risk of gang violence breaking out, perhaps everyone thought it would be best to protect the children and cancel Halloween. Better safe than sorry.

Japanese netizens had quite a bit to say about the announcement:

“Wait, why are they so nice? I thought yakuza were evil?”
“And why did they use such a formal font for the sign? It’s so professional.”
“What kind of event is this? Do they normally get a lot of kids there?”
“I wish I’d known about this. I would’ve gone!”
“Kids, don’t take it! It’s blood candy!”

It’s both bizarre and somewhat unsettling to see an organized crime syndicate care so much about the children, much less use its official Twitter account to make an announcement like this. Still, it should be interesting to see if things will have settled down enough by next year so that their odd-yet-somehow-popular Halloween tradition can continue.

Source: Sankei News via Hachimakikou
Images via Mjyouka