Going into YAKUZA MOON I had envisioned a rich and provocative look at the raw and uninhabited side of the inner trappings of the Yakuza. Instead, what I got was a memoir of a young woman who has had to endure torment, trials and tribulations throughout her teenage years - some of which due to her father’s long-time association and subsequent departure from the Yakuza.
Despite not delivering what I had perceived to be the books focus, I still enjoyed YAKUZA MOON. Author Shoko Tendo bleeds her life story through wordsfrom being under the control of a ruthless and obsessive Yakuza gangster, a gradual addition to speed, to the growing resentment towards authority and the eventual growth which comes from hitting rock bottom.
YAKUZO MOON is very much a nonfiction novel of self-discovery amidst adversity and a lengthy streak of bad decisions. Her father’s association with the Yakuza is very much on the peripheral yet the unlawful activities and heinous crimes committed on behalf of Tendo’s ‘circle’ are on full display – from lovers to fellow gang members.
YAKUZA MOON is well worth a read; just don’t expect to learn much about the Yazuka.