Gangsters from the yakuza group Yamaguchi-gumi were spotted with cute treat bags, surrounded by smiling children and furious adults.

Halloween has come and gone, and in certain districts of Japan has left a torrent of trash and chaos in its raucous wake. Thankfully there were community efforts to clean up the streets of Shibuya, but the western part of Japan appears to be tackling a different kind of grime.

In the Nada ward of Kobe, a parade was held specifically to protest the involvement of gangsters in Halloween. Before you laugh, this is a longstanding “problem” for lawmakers — police have been trying to dissuade Yamaguchi-gumi members from passing out candy to children since 2014, citing a concern for the welfare of the youth and a worry that the yakuza members are directly corrupting said youth with their influence.

Certainly the Yamaguchi-gumi is the biggest yakuza group in Japan, making it one of the largest organized crime syndicates in the world. The crimes of the Japanese mafia have included assassinations, threats of violence, blackmail and wanton cucumber poaching. No self-respecting parent would want their children to be seduced into a life of crime, no matter how delicious and cutely-packaged the Halloween candy!

Needless to say, all of the mafia Halloween
madness has confused Japanese netizens. (Translation below)

“Civilians took to the streets for the first time on October 31 to protest candy handouts from the Yamaguchi-gumi. When the group defended themselves with ‘[we do it] because children like it’, legal representatives gave the rebuttal that as the candy was funded by criminal capital, it should be prohibited from being distributed to civilian children. What a weird state we’re in, where considering the pandemonium we saw in Shibuya this almost feels like positive PR for the mafia.”

The anti-mafia protest parade in Kobe consisted of roughly 100 people, police officers, and civilians alike, all carrying signs with anti-yakuza messages and chanting, “Gangsters shouldn’t take part in Halloween!”

In spite of the protests, activities from the group proceeded as normal. Children could attend areas around Yamaguchi-gumi headquarters to receive large bags of festive treats, much like they have since 2014 (with one hiatus in 2015 due to inter-group conflict).

Even with the protest, the yakuza has a significant amount of support from civilians. The Yamaguchi-gumi bolster their public image by raising funds for charity and handing out resources in the wake of national disasters, but many citizens were just happy to see people celebrating Halloween peacefully, rather than breaking restaurant machines and taking panty shots.

“I wish the Yamaguchi-gumi would teach those punk crowds
in Shibuya the right way to have a Halloween party!”

“Pop quiz! Which photo is of the Yamaguchi-gumi, left or right? RT if you know the answer!”

It seems as though celebrations in Kansai were much more low-key than in Tokyo, but it still remains to be seen whether gang members will be permitted to pass out treats on the streets next year. While it’s true that this gesture from the mob is more in-line with something we might see in a certain videogame series, who knows how those kids might have to repay their candy debts in the future?

Source: Livedoor News via My Game News Flash
Featured image: Twitter/croissant1st