Excel within the ranks of the Yakuza (Japan’s oldest major criminal network and akin to the Mafia) your every need, desire and want can be catered for. But if you fail and bring disgrace to the family, you will be subjected to the rather painful practice known as “Yubitsume”. It’s a tradition where gang members have to physically slice off their own little finger. Why the finger?
There’s actually a twisted logic to the practice, the removal of the little finger actually makes it impossible to hold a strong grip on a samurai sword. As a result of this defect, you’re weakened in battle thereby forcing you to rely on protection from your boss / leader. It’s the ultimately tribute and punishment to authority. It’s not an unusual occurrence either, many Yakuza members now wear prosthetic pinkies (each costs around $2,500 – $3,000) regularly having them repainted and maintained to match the seasons and blend in with the rest of the arm. Whilst others might not notice the difference, both you and the Yakuza boss are acutely aware of your shortcomings and indeed who holds the real power. Here a a couple of examples we hope you enjoy!
“To perform yubitsume, one lays down a small clean cloth and the person performing the ritual lays their hand onto the cloth facing down.”
“Using an extremely sharp knife or Tantō, the person cuts off the portion of his left little finger above the top knuckle on the finger or the tip of the finger.”