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Gangster daughter sheds light on Japan underworld

TOKYO - With her dyed-brown long hair and tight designer jeans, Shoko Tendo looks like any other stylish young Japanese woman -- until she removes her shirt to reveal the vivid tattoos covering her back and most of her body. The elaborate dragons, phoenixes and a medieval courtesan with one breast bared and a knife between her teeth are a symbol of Tendo's childhood as the daughter of a "yakuza" gangster and her youth as a drug-using gang member.

The author of "Yakuza Moon," a best-selling memoir just out in English, the 39-year-old Tendo says that police efforts to eradicate the gangsters have merely made them harder to track. "The more the police push, the more the yakuza are simply going underground, making their activities harder to follow than they ever were before," she told Reuters in a recent interview. Police say full-fledged membership in yakuza groups fell to 41,500 last y

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Added: Oct-26-2007 
By: Interloper
In:
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Tags: yakuza, gangster, shoko tendo, japan, underworld
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