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In pictures: the yakuza

Justin McCurry in Tokyo
Wednesday June 27, 2007
The Guardian

A member of the Yakuza in a public bath. Photograph: Gideon Mendel/Corbis

It is only when Shoko Tendo removes her tracksuit top that you appreciate why, even on a hot day, she prefers to remain covered up in public. Outwardly she is much like any thirty-something you would be likely to encounter on a Tokyo street. Her hair is of the dark-brown hue favoured by many Japanese women her age, her greeting is accompanied by a well-executed bow, and her voice seems to be pitched a little on the high side, a common affectation in the company of strangers.,00.html