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Chopping off my little finger | by timtak
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Chopping off my little finger

This is for a textbook page about Yakuza (Japanese mafia) movies, since removing the top joints of fingers is one of the most Yakuza-typical behaviours. Yakuza remove top joints of their fingers to signify that they are sorry about something, such as not having paid back a debt, or having made a mistake. In the films at least, if a Yakuza makes a mistake he may he told to bring a finger by his boss. The lack of a finger joint is a sign of being a member of the "extreme path" (gokudou).

 

In Korea people remove portions of their fingers by way of protest, sometimes against the Japanese. Such protestsare inclined to backfire since finger removal is so closely associated with voilent crime groups.

 

In one manga i read, a Yakuza debt collector (some Yakuza earn their living in this way) threatened the debtor saying "If I don't take your debt back to my boss he is going to ask for my finger, so I will chop it off here," and proceeded to take out a kitchen knife and prepared to make the cut. The debtor was so alarmed at the prospect of seeing someone cut their finger off that they paid back their debt, before the yakuza drew blood.

 

Apparently it is "surprisingly painful." I am not sure what that means. It looks painful. How could it be surprising?

 

A gentleman that I knew with no top finger joint used a prosthetic finger to cover his loss. He was a restaurant manager when I met him but I could not help thinking that he was a Yakuza who had fallen from grace.

 

Note that the blood is not reflected in the blade. It was taken from another photo on flickr, not from my veins.

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Uploaded on September 26, 2005