(Video: Michelle Ye Hee Lee/The Washington Post, Photo: Taro Karibe/The Washington Post)
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World

Former yakuza gangster is now a noodle chef

October 15, 2021 | 11:01 PM GMT
Once a member of the Kudo-kai, a violent syndicate of the Japanese yakuza criminal network, Takashi Nakamoto now owns a 13-seat noodle restaurant. Takashi Nakamoto, a former yakuza member, runs a small udon restaurant in Kitakyushu, Japan. For years, the yakuza operated somewhat openly. But now, Japanese authorities are applying more pressure as the yakuza’s power begins to erode. Yakuza defectors like Nakamoto are trying to reinvent themselves to work in normal society. But finding normalcy does not come easy for ex-yakuza members as they face social stigma and legal barriers.