Lore III: Mafia Architecture

There’s Osaka and then there’s Kobe.


On one side, let’s talk about the Yakuza’s turf in Osaka. It is right smack in the central district where high rise buildings are the norm. They seem to extend endlessly into the depths of the skies, and they light up brilliantly at night. It’s a little bit like billboard city because bright lights in the city at night usually come from the vibrant and enticing adverts on the side of buildings. Usually promoting new tours from popular bands, the newest iPhone or just random adverts of pretty people holding drinks (usually Asahi – the nation’s pride lol) in the effort to make it seem more tasty to the viewers.



The Yakuza’s ‘Head Quarters’ is in one of the office buildings in central Osaka. Strangely enough, they fit in just fine with the working crew. Instead of seeing working class rushing around during lunch time to grab a bento or two, you can usually see a few well-dressed yakuza’s with tattoos smoking at the entrance of the buildings.


But for the Oyabun (Kuroko), he lives in an apartment just a block away from the headquarters. Convenient to his workplace huh. Well he lives in an apartment building called Mystique Heights and he actually owns the whole block and leases it out to people he trust. He lives on the 23rd floor and has a magnificent view of Osaka’s nightlife. It’s pretty sterile of an environment, I would say, because its mostly clear floor-to-ceiling windows (bulletproof though, you wouldn’t want to die of a sniper shot while admiring lights i assume??) The oyabun has a taste for the highlife and was very focused on ‘aesthetics’, so he had the whole block renovated in that way. BUT WHAT’S COOL IS THAT the oyabun actually cares for the environment and build solar panels on the ceiling, along with a residential garden where he grows some vegetables in his free time. Its quite adorable. He often just sits at his leather chair, sipping bourbon on the rocks while contemplating about plans.


They also often frequent the yakuza bathhouse on the outskirts of Osaka, where they would wind down over sake in a safe environment since the other bathhouses frowned upon tattooed people and obviously the yakuza. Who wants to start a fight in a bath house when you’re practically naked? Nobody. Neither does the Yakuza. That’s why they have their private bathhouse with security guards + CCTVs everywhere. They don’t mess around with their bath time.


And on the other side for Kobe,

its not really skyscrapers and sleek aesthetic, its more rustic there. Buildings were one or two stories tall usually, with that same residential white paint that fades over time to a slight tinge of yellow due to rain and shine. There was an area in town where it was more crowded and has more commercial buildings, a little similar to that in Osaka. But they were more intimate, with small streets and stalls lining the alleyways that emit a warm comforting glow at night when you walk down the street. The comfort is of course, a false sensation, because in a city ran by the Hokusai mob who were almost as bad as the Yakuzas, you wouldn’t want to find yourself out late at night that often.

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But of course there’s the headquarters for the Hokusai at Peragon Motel. Fairly well furbished but compared to the yakuza’s high-rise building, they exist in a more simply designed area. Nothing fancy, has a neon signboard with the name on it. About 15 stories high, accommodating living space for the most fearsome people in the world. They often crash the KTV lounge and drink almost all the liquor in the bar while making merry with women. No surprise there.









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