Anton Kusters Photographs Members of Japanese Gang Yakuza

 - Jul 19, 2011
References: antonkusters &
Belgium-based photographer Anton Kusters did the unthinkable and spent a few months in Japan following around certified members of the Yakuza, an organized crime alliance, and documenting their meetings and daily lifestyle.

Some of the images are grouped together and published in his book 'Odo Yakuza Tokyo.' The fact that the Yakuza allowed Anton Kusters to photograph their illegal activities is hard to comprehend, but it's all due to a man named Taka-san, the owner of a small bar, with whom Kusters developed a friendship.

Anton Kusters explains, "The Yakuza project actually quickly turned into something different than I expected, I started to feel that [the Yakuza] is a way of life more than anything else… that the Yakuza is many shades of grey, and not simple black vs white. The subtle shades are the key."