You can see the whole Earth from the Moon!

Shoko Tendo – Yakuza Daughter (Part ONE of THREE)







on growing

_.up in the

seamy world

_of Japanese



By David McNeill

___November 11th, 2007






_Part ONE of THREE


Her memoir of growing up

in the criminal underworld

gripped Japan.


as Shoko Tendo explains,

she’s now escaped her violent,

drug-addled past to begin

a new life of middle-class


Shoko Tendo grew up in

the house of a crime boss,

spent her teens in a fog of

hard drugs and sex,

then careened from one doomed

relationship to another with a

succession of violent

petty gangsters.



Her life has been

scarred by beatings,

addiction and several

attempted rapes and suicides –

all reported in a sometimes

stomach-churning biography

that has gripped Japan.

So it is disconcerting when she

shows up clutching a bag of cakes,

which she presents with

the deepest of bows.

“I’m so very sorry for cancelling

our previous appointment,”

she says.



and painfully thin,

she looks more like a slightly

weathered manga character than

daughter of the demimonde…

as long as you ignore the garish

tattoos poking out from under

her sleeve.



Now 39,

Tendo turned her life around

before writing her biography,

Yakuza Moon:

Memoirs of a Gangster’s Daughter,

which has sold almost 100,000

copies and was published in

English this year.

The book offers a rare

woman’s view of Japan’s

criminal underbelly,

a cruel world ruled by chinpira

(young yakuza punks),

many of whom seem to have

beaten the daylights out of her.

“Every time I met a new man

I thought he would be different,”

she recalls.

“When they cried and

said sorry I forgave them.

I never learnt.”



Her battle scars make her

sound like a casualty from

a warzone:

broken bones and teeth,

perforated eardrums,

a hernia,

bald patches from having

her hair pulled out and hepatitis,

probably from drug use.



Shoko Tendo links in GREEN





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