26 December 2010

Sanctuary ~ Remarkable Japanese Manga Story...

One of my favorite manga -- which, btw, is not for the underaged, the ethically puritanical, or any otherwise delicate souls -- is Sanctuary by author Sho Fumimura and artist Ryoichi Ikegami. It's the epic story of Chiaki Asami and Akira Hojo, two Japanese friends since childhood who transform their country, one rising through the political machine, the other via the Yakuza underworld. There are many dramatic and salacious aspects to the story, but one has especially intrigued me -- the bold move by Hojo to decriminalize the Yakuza gangs and have them go legitimate...This is a work of fiction, of course, but the idea of decriminalization and legitimization of criminal organizations is fascinating and I wonder if it's actually doable without endless pitfalls and failure modes (i.e. fronts, laundering, etc).

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