The 11 Best Documentaries About The Yakuza

Jul 14, 2023 | Art, Best Of, Crime

Intrigue and danger are two words that come to mind when we think of the Yakuza. This notorious Japanese organized crime syndicate has been the subject of mythos, books, movies, and video games for decades. But what about documentaries? Here we explore 11 compelling documentaries about the Yakuza which delve deep into this powerful underworld.


Twilight of the Yakuza (2019)

In the land of the rising sun, a powerful force lurks in the shadows. They are known as the Yakuza, a formidable organized crime network that has plagued Japan for decades. As their numbers dwindle and authorities tighten their grip, questions remain about their true nature. Are they truly a scourge upon society, or do they serve a more complex purpose in a country known for its low crime rates?





Young Yakuza (2008)

Discover the journey of a disillusioned young man who turns his back on society, causing his distraught mother to make a bold decision. In a last-ditch effort to save her son, she offers him up to the ruthless Japanese mafia for one year. Will this unconventional approach lead him down a path of destruction or redemption?







The Best Free Yakuza Documentaries


1. Japan’s Traditional Tattoos Are Celebrated at This Underground Pilgrimage

This documentary takes us on a journey to explore the centuries-old art of horimono tattooing, and how it is deeply rooted in Japanese culture. We learn about the stigma associated with this art form due to its association with gangs. But we also get an insight into the annual pilgrimage that many take to celebrate their tattoos in the mountains each summer. This documentary reveals a fascinating look at one of Japan’s oldest traditions!


2. Japan’s most violent biker gang

This documentary takes you into the thrilling and dangerous world of Bosozuku, Japan’s most notorious biker gang. This film gives an inside look at their violent history as they battle against police and rival gangs. Explore the highways with them as they ride customized bikes wearing jumpsuits while wielding brutal weaponry. Get a unique insight into their lifestyle to see what it truly means to be part of a yakuza gang.


3. The Fall of the Yakuza

The Fall of the Yakuza is an intriguing documentary that delves into Japan’s restrictive anti-yakuza legislation and its effects on yakuza members. Mahmood Fazal interviews former and current yakuza to find out what happens when they try to leave the group, as well as those who stay despite new laws targeting them. He also looks at why some aging members cannot find new recruits. This eye-opening film digs deep into a complex societal issue in modern-day Japan.


4. Death of the Yakuza

This 2015 documentary dives deep into the history and code of conduct of one notorious yakuza gang. Hear their stories as they share insights on life within the group, and get a closer look at the intricate tattoos that are such an important part of their identity. Learn more about this fascinating culture through interviews with members, and explore how art is intertwined in their lives.


5. Twilight Of The Yakuza

The Yakuza have been a part of Japanese culture for centuries, but in recent years they have become a dying breed. This documentary takes an in-depth look at Japan’s organized crime syndicates and explores the crackdown launched by the government since 1992 to eradicate them. It also examines whether or not the Yakuza can be considered evil in today’s society, given their low crime rates. Get a glimpse into this fascinating world with this ten best documentaries about juicing!


6. The Yakuza – Mafia of Japan

The Yakuza have been around for centuries, and they are one of the most well-known crime syndicates in Japan. But behind their reputation for violence and power lies a culture that is steeped in tradition and family values. This documentary looks at the fascinating history of the Yakuza, exploring their code of conduct and uncovering how this powerful organization has managed to stay relevant in modern times. Learn more about these mysterious figures and discover why they are still so influential today!


7. The Kudō-kai: Japan’s Most Violent Yakuza

The Kudō-kai is a notorious Yakuza group in Japan with an infamous reputation for violent crime. This documentary explores the history of the Kudō-kai and reveals how they rose to power. It looks at their inner workings, their relationships with other yakuza gangs, and examines why they have been so successful over the years despite numerous attempts by law enforcement to stop them. The film also features interviews from people on both sides of the law who provide insight into this fascinating criminal organization. Get ready for an eye-opening look inside one of Japan’s most powerful organizations – The Kudō-kai!


8. Japanese Yakuza vs Chinese Triad

Ever wondered which of the two most notorious mafias is more powerful? The Japanese Yakuza and Chinese Triad have been vying for supremacy since centuries, but who has the upper hand in this underworld battle? Find out by watching our new video about these criminal enterprises. Learn all about their history of violence, crime and deception – a story you won’t want to miss!


9. Ex-Yakuza Noodle Shop

This documentary follows the story of a former Yakuza member who opens up a small noodle shop. It’s an exploration of his journey from being part of Japan’s notorious organized crime syndicate to becoming a successful entrepreneur. We get to see how he changes his life and faces the challenges that come with starting a business in a new industry. This is an inspiring tale full of lessons about resilience, determination, and never giving up on your dreams!



Kenji Yamamoto was living a life of desperation after his father passed away. But everything changed when he met Hiroshi Shibasaki, the boss of a crime syndicate. The two developed an unbreakable bond like that of father and son – one that would prove to be invaluable in Kenji’s journey ahead. As time went on, Kenji started his own family and embraced this newfound connection with Hiroshi as they both explored their paths forward. documentary tells the story of how Juicing helped bring joy and hope back into Kenji’s life, creating a positive change for generations to come. Follow along as we take you through all ten best documentaries about juicing and its powerful impact on individuals’ lives!


11.  They’re Older, They Regret Their Tattoos

Are you considering getting a tattoo but worried about possible regret down the line? Today we’re looking at people who have many tattoos and now wish they hadn’t gotten them. We’ll hear from heavily-tattooed folks online, t about how their ink has become an unwanted reminder of the past. Plus, get tips on how to make sure your tattoo is something you won’t regret later in life!

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B